Wow, I'm surprised to not see a review yet. Here ya go:
Escape is at Hand
Then they did this video thing that I think will be how the actual shows start (or, if this is the layout they will use, just before the FC portion) because it lead right in to....
Looking for a place to happen
Locked in the trunk
We'll Go Too
50 MC (w/ Bill Barilko footage on the video screens)
Man machine poem
The venue was nice. I went with my 8 month pregnant wife, so we opted for the balcony (You were given a choice) To my surprise, some people went NUTS about people standing in the balcony, screaming at those who stood literally the second the did, screaming "This is a Balcony, this is why we are up here" etc. One guy near me literally told security every time someone got up and danced, including people in the VIP section where friends and family sat. But I digress...
The show featured 5 songs before and 5 songs after the FC part. I am hoping for the actual tour, for the price of the shows, that this is extended by a few on each side. There were SHORT breaks right before and after the album, with the second serving as more of an encore. Again, I don't know if this will be the format for the tour, so I will break the review down into three sections:
Pre FC: The band looked rested and happy, and sounded great. I love when they play Escape, but just don't love how Gord often changes the melody. I was SO HAPPY to hear Something On. One of my very favorites and a nice treat. I haven't heard that in a long time. After these songs, they quickly walked off stage. Video screens came down and they played an intro that lead nicely into Courage. I don't know if this will be how the actual shows will begin, or if they will put FC in the middle last night. Time will tell, but it would be a good way to start a show, which is very atypical of the band's usual, "just walk on to the stage"
FC: The songs sounded good in my opinion. Highlights for me were Lionized, Locked, Wheat Kings and The Wherewithal. Gord no longer plays acoustic on any song, even Wheat Kings. Part of me likes that, but part of me also misses watching him play and tear through guitar strings. Maybe they were no longer in the budget! The album part of the show featured video and lights very unlike previous Hip tours, but it was cool. Many of the videos featured old clips from the band. A highlight was 50 MC accompanied by Bill Barilko highlights, including the goal...that won the Leafs the Cup....in overtime... None of the other FC songs that were included in the reissue were played. As a big fan, the album being played took a little bit a way for me. My favorite part of Hip Shows, even when they aren't mixing their lists up, is that feeling of "I wonder what they will play next" that was obviously lost here. So for that reason, this part of the show was honestly a bit of a lull for me. It is cool in a way, but would make it hard for me to see multiple shows on this tour, which is something I usually love to do. (I'm not this tour, with a pregnant wife and high prices, but will be at the hometown Buffalo show) Last thought, is Eldorado isn't quite a "closing" song, so that came off a tad flat too. This is all sounding like I didn't love the show, which isn't the case. I just know how you all like a good, detailed, honest review
Post FC: I was in a bit of a lull, and then they came back with two of my least favorite Now For Plan A songs, which surprised me. Not that they chose those songs, but that they played them back to back and at that point of the show. But, then they came back with a GREAT version of Scared, a high energy (but Gord misplayed lyrics) version of Poets, and then a GREAT closing number of 3 Pistols, ending the show on a high note.
What a great way to spend 20 bucks. For me, seeing them in a small venue can't be beat, and in Canada, this was the only chance this year. I will be very interested to see the layout starting with the first show, and as I mentioned, I hope they add a few songs, or maybe do more of a real encore on the actual shows, but for the cost, no one can say they did not get their money's worth last night. I hope it all translates to the arenas.
Last note: They were selling a sweet ass poster of a goalie with a guitar instead of a stick, and the FC tour dates. Loved it. Hoping some more Hip Basers were there. I'm interested to hear other reviews!