Last week, The Maritimes by way of Moncton, Summerside and Halifax were treated to some incredible shows featuring Canadian Roots-Rock royalty Blue Rodeo, with special guests Skydiggers! It really is a true testament to their love of the East Coast that they were there last week despite the blistering cold temperatures! Nonetheless, concert goers were treated to an evening of great songs paired with incredible musicianship. I had the chance to cover the show in Summerside, PEI at the amazing Credit Union Place.
Skydiggers, consisting of Andy Maize, Josh Finlayson, Ron Macey, Michael Johnston, Noel Webb, and Jessy Bell Smith hit the stage first. A veteran touring group themselves, just coming off their ninth studio album, “Warmth of the Sun,” were an anticipated group to see. One thing I noticed off the bat was their amazing sound, in terms of harmony vocals especially that of vocalist Andy Maize paired with Jessy Bell Smith. The combination of their voices seemed to be a perfect blending making harmony vocals a delight to hear! On songs like “A Slow Burning Fire,” ‘I Will Give You Everything,” and “A Penny More,” concert goers were also made witness of the incredible musicianship of the group. While they are primarily a roots-rock band, during the set you could hear so many genres making them very versatile! On a side note, I was personally entertained by the killer dance moves of Andy Maize! His stage presence was fantastic and I know all in the arena were thoroughly entertained!
The main event of the evening began with and eruption of cheers from the crowd, myself included. Blue Rodeo had finally hit the stage! Jim Cuddy,Greg Keelor, Bazil Donovan, Glenn Milchem, Michael Boguski and Colin Cripps delighted the Summerside crowd on Friday night. The opening song, “5 Days in May” was the prefect opening song to get the crowd going. It’s amazing how a band can simply play one note of one instrument and the crowd will know exactly what the song is going to be. The group is known for their incredible musicianship, and Friday night was no exception. Surprisingly enough, this was my first time ever seeing Blue Rodeo perform in a live setting so I was thoroughly impressed, and very much entertained. Jim Cuddy, in my opinion has one of the best voices in the business today, and still sounds as good, if not better than when the group first hit the scene. His voice blended with Greg Keelor’s makes for beautiful harmony and such a signature Canadian vocal duo. In addition to this, one thing that truly stuck with me was the group’s incredible musicianship. You would see members going from one instrument to another throughout the show, all the while playing incredible musical interludes in between songs. With hit tracks like “Try”, “Til’ I Am Myself Again,” “Rain Down On Me,” “Bad Timing,” and “Lost Together” the crowd was in the palm of their hands, myself included!
If you have yet to see any of the two bands live, I would recommend that you take advantage. You will not regret it. Fans in Newfoundland – this means you! Blue Rodeo and Skydiggers will be performing at St. John’s Mile One Center on Saturday, February 16th.
Tickets for the St. John’s show range in price from $49.20 – $72.20 (including tax and applicable surcharge) and will be available at the Mile One Centre Box Office (50 New Gower St.), by calling (709) 576-7657 and online at mileonecentre.com, evenko.
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