Orillia, ON
Opera House - December 15, 1989


Gordon Lightfoot brought the crowd to its feet twice and then left them standing there, wanting more and more and more.

His homecoming disappointed no one last night when he played to a sold-out crowd at the Orillia Opera House.

Except maybe Gordon Lightfoot.

"We would not be working at 100 per cent tonight because we haven't played for a couple of weeks," Lightfoot said following the benefit show, staged to raise money for the Soldiers' Memorial Hospital and programming at the Opera House.

"I felt good about it. We'll have it tightened up by tommorrow."

The veteran folk musician put on a good show, belting out Lightfoot classics to a responsive audience.  Backed by a tight band, he gave his audience a spine-tingling rendition of The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald which stood out from a long list of favourites.  Pussywillows, Cat-Tails stirred the audience when Lightfoot talked about childhood days on the North River.

He revved up the crowd when he said hello to his mother, Jessie, an Orillia resident who attended last night's show.  He also introduced his new wife Elizabeth and their five-month-old son Myles, bringing them out on stage.

The crowd ate it up.

He ended the concert with Canadian Railroad Trilogy.  A guitar string broke just a few bars into the classic, prompting Lightfoot to stop and fix it.  He could be the first Canadian musician to receive a hearty round of applause for re-stringing his instrument on stage.

Accidentally or not, it was a homey touch that the audience appreciated.

They called him back to the microphone twice, giving him a standing ovation both times.