Davenport, IA
Orpheum Theatre - November 20, 1983


When Gordon Lightfoot stepped onto the Orpheum Theater stage Sunday night there weren't any of the flashing lights, blaring trumpets or shouted introductions that greet many performers.  Instead Lightfoot appeared without an introduction, took one bow and began playing. 

There isn't much glitter at a Lightfoot concert, just excellent music that ranges from pop ballads and country-western to rock 'n' roll. 

That blend pleased the near capacity crowd that came to hear the concert, a benefit for the River Center for the Performing Arts.  Proceeds from the concert, which will amount to more than $15,000, will be used to renovate the Orpheum Theater.  The theater will then become part of "Super Block" along with the city's new Civic Activities Center. 

Lightfoot appeared at the concert for free and told the audience that he also contributed $5,000 to the theater renovation. 

Although Lightfoot was performing for free, the Canadian-born performer didn't cheat the audience. 

The first half of his two-hour show showed Lightfoot's versatility as a performer and during the second half he played many of the numerous hits he has recorded over the years. 

In the first half Lightfoot, backed by an excellent five-man band, played many of his lesser known songs, but mixed in a couple of his hits - "Sundown" and "Carefree Highway." 

But it was the songs in the second half that the audience came to hear. 

After the eerie "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," Lightfoot moved into what he called his "ballad salad." This string of songs included many of the ballads he's famous  for, such as "If You Could Read My Mind," and "Rainy Day People." 

He closed the regular portion of the show with his song about the building of the Canadian railroad, but was called back for two encores and sent the audience home to the strains of "In The Early Morning Rain." 

Although Lightfoot rarely talks between numbers he did at one point ask the audience, "Isn't this more fun than watching 'The Day After'?"  The audience agreed it was. 

by Gary Sawyer - Quad-City Times