CONCERT REVIEWS

Nashville, TN
Jackson Hall - June 5, 1982

Having appeared in Nashville several times in the past decade, Gordon Lightfoot might have expected a receptive audience here anyway.  But that didn't cause him to cut any corners in his near sellout show in the 2442 seat Jackson Hall of the Tennessee Performing Arts Centre, and the two rousing encores of the two-set, 29 song show were fully deserved. 

Lightfoot is widely perceived - perhaps unfairly - as an MOR artist because of ballads such as "If You Could Read My Mind."  But for years he has worked with a crew of top musicians and the five member group proved in this concert as they often have on record that they can belt out rock with the same clarity and perfection they render on Lightfoot's other styles.  The show ran the gamut including the punchy "Blackberry Wine," folk-flavoured "Don Quixote," country "Cotton Jenny" and his trademark, the thoughtful ballad, exemplified by the new "Heaven Help The Devil." 

Most notably on "All The Lovely Ladies," "Song For A Winter's Night" and the tense "Endless Wire,"  Lightfoot and the band hit stride on that rare territory where music alone builds to a power greater than words.  Another high point was "The Auctioneer," to which the audience clapped in rhythm.  The only noticeable omissions from his 18 year repetoire of famous songs were "Ribbon Of Darkness" and "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," and afterwards Lightfoot said tuning problems were the reason. 

Acoustically, the quality was mixed.  The audience on the main floor of the theatre enjoyed a near perfect sound balance, while some in the mezzanine and loge complained of poor mixing. 

Lightfoot says he hopes to release a live double album culled from recent performances, and it's little wonder, because he and the band provide a proper mix of styles from his long career, and his stage presence is entertaining, with most numbers preceded by humour or explanations of the material. 
- Carter Moody