CONCERT REVIEWS

Toronto, ON
Massey Hall - March 14, 1980

Gordon Lightfoot is a reviewer's nightmare.

The man oozes talent, reeks of perfection and doesn't even have the decency to let it go to his head.

Not only that, but there's almost nothing you can say about Canada's number one male folksinger that hasn't been said before.

Until he tries to whistle that is.  For that is Lightfoot's only flaw.  He can't whistle - live.  He proved it Friday night during the first of seven concerts at Massey Hall.

The whistling came during the chorus of The Ghost Of Cape Horn, a cut from his newest album, Dream Street Rose, released just last week.  It was, to put it bluntly, lousy whistling.

But that's all that's new - or negative that can be said about the man.  From here on in it's nothing but [ure praise for the 41 year old artist who never gets older, just better.

His concerts at Massey Hall have become an annual tradition.  So much so that Lightfoot could be tempted to take his audience for granted.

But he enjoys his work too much for that.  It shows in the way he sings his songs, putting life and excitement into even the oldest favourites such as The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald and Canadian Railroad Trilogy.

He's a musical magician who can make a couple of thousand people in a three-level hall feel like a few intimate friends gathered in his living room.

"It's nice to be back on these hallowed boards," he told the receptive crowd.  "This is my hometown and it's the most important engagement of the year."

Whether he's singing the blues, the ballads or the love songs, Lightfoot entertains with warmth and sincerity.  On Friday in a touching gesture, he dedicated a special song to "Mike Sweet (the Metro policeman who was shot and killed that morning) and his family."

One of Lightfoot's biggest assets is his four-member band, a tight, professional group who ooze as much talent as the man himself.  Lead guitarist Terry Clements was in particularly fine form.

"I'm so proud of these guys," Lightfoot told the audience, and rightly so.

If there's a secret to Lightfoot's success, it can only be one thing: giving his fans their money's worth - and then some.

He'll be doing it again tonight and March 20 through 23.