TOUR SUMMARIES

1997 Tour Summary


The 1997 tour opened in Boise, ID on May 20 and concluded on October 18 in Orillia, ON.  One show in June in Santa Fe, NM was cancelled because the outdoor amphitheatre was flooded by terrential rains.  In all, 36 concerts were performed in 35 cities, with a two month break between mid-July and mid-September.  The shows from May-July will be considered the spring/summer leg and the September-October shows will be the fall leg for the purpose of this summary.

The spring/summer leg ran from Boise, ID on May 20 to Baltimore, MD on July 15.  The fall leg ran from Indianapolis, IN on September 19 to Orillia, ON on October 18.

SPRING/SUMMER LEG
(May 20 - July 15)
The spring/summer leg of the tour was an interesting mix, with some varied setlists.  While 14 Karat Gold opened every show and the usual songs such as Early Morning Rain; Canadian Railroad Trilogy; If You Could Read My Mind; A Lesson In Love; Restless; The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald; I'll Prove My Love; Sundown and In My Fashion made it into every setlist, there were a number of surprises.  Songs such as Bitter Green; Ghosts Of Cape Horn; Fine As Fine Can Be and Did She Mention My Name.  Don Quixote, which is usually a standard made it into every show other than the short Baltimore, MD one set show. Cotton Jenny, a regular the last number of years, only got played four times during this leg.

Only three new songs were played during this leg, which was somewhat of a surprise in that he was doing at least 6 new ones per show last fall.  Ringneck Loon got the most play (13) followed by A Painter Passing Through (10) and Boathouse was trotted out once in Casper, WY.  Another surprise was that not one non-original Lightfoot song was played during the spring/summer leg.  In recent years Farewell To Nova Scotia and Ring Them Bells were staples of his live shows, but this time around it was pure Lightfoot!

Several medleys were played, the most unusual being Spanish Moss/Ode To Big Blue,  the other being Spanish Moss/ShadowsOde To Big Blue was a welcome addition to the regular sets, being played part way through the first half on most nights.  Knotty Pine was also reinstated, opening the second half on all but one night.  Only one studio album was shut out, as not a single Endless Wire cut was performed.

Only one show did not have at least one new song performed, that being the Livermore, CA concert.  All but three of the concerts were the typical "An Evening With Gordon Lightfoot" format, that being two sets with an intermission.  Several venues stipulated no intermission, so those nights were held to one set and therefore somewhat shorter.  The one set shows were in Livermore, CA; Las Vegas, NV and Baltimore, MD.

Lightfoot was less predictable during his encores during this leg as well.  Old Dan's Records only got played three times, while took the honors on many nights.  But there were quite a few summer evenings when Lightfoot and the guys gave the crowd two or even three encores, with some gems such as Cold On The ShoulderBitter Green; Ghosts Of Cape Horn and Alberta Bound being dusted off and sending the audience home happy.


FALL LEG
(September 19 - October 18)
The fall leg opened on September 19th in Indianapolis with some songs that had been long absent from live shows, most notably, The Watchman's Gone.  Other surprises were Triangle; Ghosts Of Cape Horn; Cherokee Bend and even Make Way For The Lady turned up in Milwaukee.  14 Karat Gold again opened every show except Kalamazoo where Don Quixote kicked things off.

Lightfoot again reinstated some covers into the program, unlike the spring/summer leg, as Ring Them Bells made numerous appearances.  New songs were slightly more prominent than during the first leg, with Minneapolis seeing the extremes, with a minimum of one new song the first night and the tour maximum of four new songs being played the second night.

The most unusual concert of the year - and probably the most unusual in many a year - was the final show of the tour in Orillia.  On a day when the hall in Orillia was renamed in honor of native son Lightfoot, Pee Wee Charles returned to the band on pedal steel to fill in for the evening for an ill Mike Heffernan.  Lightfoot chose the setlist accordingly, relying on material Pee Wee was familiar with as they only had one rehearsal to prepare.  Therefore for the first time since 1991, no Waiting For You material was performed.  However, a couple of new songs Pee Wee is rumoured to have played on for the new album got trotted out that night - the cover I Used To Be A Country Singer and Boathouse.

All in all, 1997 was a most interesting year of touring, with a greater variety of songs getting played than in recent years, which bodes well for 1998 when the new album will most likely be released and a busy year of touring will result in support of it.


SONG SUMMARY BY ALBUM

In all, Lightfoot played 48 different songs during this tour.  By album, the most popular seemed to be If You Could Read My Mind; Don Quixote; Summertime Dream; Shadows and Waiting For You with each of them garnering at least 2 and as many as 4 songs in regular rotation.  The Waiting For You album was noticeably less represented in the fall leg, as it appears to be becoming part of the natural succession since it will soon no longer be the current album.

Here are how the setlists break down by album.

All of this information is based on a sample of 27 out of a possible 36 setlists that were posted for the tour, so if anyone heard anything that isn't listed here, I'd be more than happy to add the song to the list.  In brackets following the song is the number of times the song appeared in the 26 setlists to give you an idea of their frequency.


LIGHTFOOT (26)
Early Morning Rain (26)

THE WAY I FEEL (30)
Canadian Railroad Trilogy (27)
Song For A Winter's Night (3)
DID SHE MENTION MY NAME (1)
Did She Mention My Name (1)
BACK HERE ON EARTH (7)
Bitter Green (7)
SUNDAY CONCERT (0)
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND (63)
If You Could Read My Mind (27)
The Pony Man (9)
Sit Down Young Stranger (24)
Minstrel Of The Dawn (3)
SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE (4)
Cotton Jenny (4)
DON QUIXOTE (88)
Don Quixote (26)
Christian Island (22)
Alberta Bound (4)
Beautiful (12)
Ode To Big Blue (24)
OLD DAN'S RECORDS (7)
Old Dan's Records (7)
SUNDOWN (58)
Sundown (26)
Carefree Highway (23)
The Watchman's Gone (9)
COLD ON THE SHOULDER (35)
Rainy Day People (9)
Cold On The Shoulder (18)
Fine As Fine Can Be (3)
Cherokee Bend (5)
SUMMERTIME DREAM (47)
The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (27)
The House You Live In (15)
Spanish Moss (5)
ENDLESS WIRE (0)
DREAM STREET ROSE (26)
Sea Of Tranquility (16)
Ghosts Of Cape Horn (6)
Make Way For The Lady (1)
SHADOWS (109)
14 Karat Gold (26)
In My Fashion (27)
Shadows (5)
Blackberry Wine (24)
Baby Step Back (20)
Triangle (7)
SALUTE (21)
Knotty Pine (21)
EAST OF MIDNIGHT (26)
A Lesson In Love (25)
Morning Glory (1)
WAITING FOR YOU (90)
Wild Strawberries (3)
I'll Prove My Love (26)
Restless (21)
Fading Away (18)
Waiting For You (18)
Ring Them Bells (4)
UNRELEASED (45)
Boathouse (4)
A Painter Passing Through (16)
Ringneck Loon (23)
I Used To Be A Country Singer (1)
Drifters (1)