As we've bragged about before, things have changed in downtown St. Catharines over the past few years, thanks primarily to the addition of the Meridian Centre and The First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. Both venues recently saw some major artists take to their stages, one a Canadian icon, the other a world-renown performer, who we still can't believe graced us with his presence.
On Wednesday, November 8th, Gordon Lightfoot played at the Performing Arts Centre. I was there with my friend Shelley Stewart, as we kept up with our tradition of taking in musical acts at the PAC (after first enjoying dinner at Gord's Place on James Street, the tasty part of our routine.)
Lightfoot performed 'Sundown', 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' 'If You Could Read My Mind' 'Carefree Highway' and 'Rainy Day People' as well as other songs he made popular in the 60's & 70's. Although he looked a bit frail, he joked that rumours of his death were greatly exaggerated. He was accompanied by his band and played several guitars throughout the night at the sold out venue.
He never was one for belting out major notes or wildly attacking the guitar and remained consistent in those regards. Still, it was an enjoyable night out and a chance to say I saw Gordon Lightfoot in concert.
The following Wednesday (November 15th) Sir Elton John performed to a sold out crowd at the Meridian Centre. Although I tried, I was unable to snag tickets to the show, but Shelley and her sister Kim were among the 6,000 enthusiastic fans who were fortunate enough to see the true 'Rocket Man'.
With a massive catalog of hits to choose from, there was something for everyone at Elton's show. Midway through the venue, John's band took a brief break, while Elton continued to tickle the ivories and sing some newer tunes. When the band returned, so did the songs that made Elton famous.
Although some report that Elton required assistance getting on to the stage, his voice and piano skills were still stellar and no one left the stadium disappointed.