Canada’s own Blue Rodeo brought their country stylings to Kitchener this past weekend, playing to a packed house at Centre in the Square. The band played two sets during the show, with the entire audience on their feet for much of the second set.
Blue Rodeo is one of Canada’s most successful country groups, with 11 Junos to their name and an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Originally formed in 1984 by singer/guitarists Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor and bassist Bazil Donovan, the current lineup consists of Cuddy, Keelor, Donovan, drummer Glenn Milchem, keyboardist Michael Boguski, guitarist Colin Cripps, and multi-instrumentalist Bob Egan.
Adding a bit of local flavour to the band, Egan calls Kitchener his home, and owns Bob’s Guitar Service downtown.
As for the show on Saturday, the first set the band played consisted of songs from the most recent album, In Our Nature, which was released in 2013. The set was highlighted by a fantastic cover of the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time,” as well as a number of humorous anecdotes espoused by Keelor about some of the songs.
At one point, Keelor mentioned a shack he owns out in the country with no electricity or running water where he goes to get high and write songs. “It’s my job!” he said in defence of the practice, laughing.
After a brief intermission, the band’s second set featured a number of the band’s hits, including “Rose-Coloured Glasses,” “Til I Am Myself Again,” and “Diamond Mine.” For much of the set, the entire audience was on their feet, singing and dancing along with the band.
By the encore, when the band brought out the opening act, the Devin Cuddy Band, to join them on “Lost Forever,” the crowd was louder than the band, literally dancing in the aisles.
This prompted a second encore from the band, with Cuddy and Keelor coming out with “one more for the road,” playing an acoustic version of “What Am I Doing Here” to end the show with a bang.
Overall, even for someone who was not well-versed in their music, Blue Rodeo still put on an excellent show. If you have any interest in Canadian or country music, give them a listen; you will not be disappointed.