Blue Rodeo – Casino NB – 02/06/2014

Posted: 11th February 2014 by refrainmusic in Concerts
Blue Rodeo - Casino NB - 02/06/2014 ~ Refrain Photography

Blue Rodeo – Casino NB – 02/06/2014 ~ Refrain Photography

Blue Rodeo usually never disappoints, the half a dozen times that I’ve had the chance to catch them live I’ve always been happy with what I got out of the band.  This night was no exception, you got full value for your ticket as you left the building almost three and a half hours after the show started.  Starting the night was the Devon Cuddy Band, if the name sounds familiar it’s because Devon is the son of Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, and there is no mistaking the connection.  From their tall lanky frames, affection for classic western wear styled shirts, and strong vocals Devon and his Dad are much alike.  The brief thirty-ish minute set of bluesy styled music with some rockabilly styled guitar flare thrown in for flavour by guitar player Nichol Robertson warmed the crowd up for what was to come and by the sounds of it many were disappointed to see them leave.

Devon Cuddy Band - Casino NB - 02/06/14 ~ Refrain Photography

Devon Cuddy Band – Casino NB – 02/06/14 ~ Refrain Photography

It was now Blue Rodeo’s turn to take the stage at Casino NB, it’s been about a year since they’ve been on stage here and they’ve come back with a new album (In Our Nature)  on their 25th Anniversary Tour.

The group focused the first half of the show entirely to their new music, introducing the diverse crowd of young and old to their new offerings.  When listening to the band I remarked to others around me how every time I forget just how good musically this band is, strong vocals and lyrics aside, these guys are really, really good musicians.  It’s evident in some of the new music, I forget as well that Jim Cuddy is a pretty damn good guitar player reminded of this when he swaps out his classic acoustic for a full bodied electric and goes to town on it.

Jim Cuddy - Blue Rodeo - Casino NB - 02/06/2014 ~ Refrain Photography

Jim Cuddy – Blue Rodeo – Casino NB – 02/06/2014 ~ Refrain Photography

After a brief intermission the band returned and began to focus on the music that we all know and love from the past 25 years.  Blasting through an extended version of “Diamon Mine” drummer Glenn Milchem and keyboardist Mike Boguski played an extensive (and impressive) mid-section solo that had me mesmerized, again musically, this band is smokin’.  One thing I’ve always liked about Blue Rodeo live is their interaction with the crowd, their willingness to chat, tell stories and remark on the writing of a song to give us some insight behind it.  Greg Keelor was in witty form this evening as he told us about trips to his “shack” in Haliburton to write, then forgetting the name of the song to be reminded jokingly by Cuddy.  Speaking of Cuddy again, this man had not missed a beat, his vocals are as strong as they ever were and I am always pleasantly surprised as he sits behind the piano and sings first in a throaty growl and dances up into a spiralling falsetto on a song like “After The Rain”, one of my favourite BR songs.

Rolling through hit after hit, Keelor got the crowd into it like an accomplished performer, having the crowd sing most of one song and breaking for the crowd to sing other.  Out came “Rose Coloured Glasses”, “Five Days In May”, and many many more.   After two hours of solid, rousing music the band left the stage and to my surprise some of the crowd started to leave, one fan even saying “they’re all done”, like heck they are dude and I said as much to him.  Sure enough a couple of minutes later the band returned to of course sing one of their most famous songs in “Try” and Cuddy once again impressed me with his vocal.  Joined then by the entire Devon Cuddy Band for an intense and crowd pleasing performance of “Lost Together” to end the show.   As the crowd once again started their exodus to the parking lot the band got called out for a second encore, but this time it was just Cuddy and Keelor with two acoustics and a microphone singing us off into the night with “What The Hell Am I Doing Here”.

Greg Keelor - Blue Rodeo - Casino NB - 02/06/2014 ~ Refrain Photography

Greg Keelor – Blue Rodeo – Casino NB – 02/06/2014 ~ Refrain Photography

This was arguably one of the best and most complete Blue Rodeo shows that I have seen from beginning to end, from the musicality, to the vocals, to the showmanship it was perfect.  I highly encourage you to get out and see Blue Rodeo on this tour as it is well worth the trip!

Once again I want to thank the bands, Casino NB, and PPRL for an amazing night of music and entertainment!