by Anura Guruge
>> Gordon Lightfoot: setup
>>— July 11, 2014.
>> Gordon Lightfoot, Wolfeboro,
>> NH, 2014 — June 15, 2014.
>> Devanee … Great Waters
>> — May 24, 2014.
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Gordon Lightfoot, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Friday, July 11, 2014, at the Kingswood Performing Center, was invigorating, refreshing and soothing.
He was majestic and magical.
You felt his gentle, evocative music, with its poignant lyrics, course through your veins cleansing you and making you feel blessed.
Thank YOU, Gordon Lightfoot for all you have done for all of us.
He sure did cast a magical spell over a 850 strong audience who not just appreciated his classic music, but realized that they were privileged to be seeing him perform in 2014 — especially when he reminded them that at least one of the songs he played was written, by him, in 1967. That was the year Deanna was born.
It was very special for me on multiple fronts. I have always, going back to the early 1970s, been a great fan of his. I saw him, in an open air amphitheater, in Mesa, Arizona during the Summer of 1980. It was indeed a kick yesterday to meet, work with and occasionally chat with his stage-manager of 36-years, the AMAZING Chuck, and learn that he was there for that concert.
It was the first professional, famous person concert where I helped with the setup (and then the takedown).
Given the four hours I worked in the morning I was allowed to be on the stage for the concert. Gordon’s crew had stage right, we had stage left. For 95% of the concert, I stood, in the wings, no more that 35′ from Mr. Lightfoot — behind him, to his right.
Though we had set up the mikes and the monitors I hadn’t really noticed that they don’t use any ‘foot’ monitors, at the front of the stage, pointed at them. The keyboard player, drummer and the lead guitarist have their own, very cute personal monitors. I got to know them well since I personally put them up, checked them for sound and then packed them up after the delightful concert. The lack of the ‘typical’ stage facing monitors meant that much of what I got to hear was unamplified. That was cool. Yes, there were bits I couldn’t properly hear, but it was worth it.
It was wonderful concert. It was soothing.
Suffice to say that at 75 Mr. Lightfoot sings somewhat softly. That added to the charm and ambience. I realized that he has a drone to his signing. It is amazingly melodious and tonally rich. Never realized until I was standing that close that he mainly uses 12 string guitars. He appears to have two 12 strings and one 6 string. Yes, the cover of his iconic ‘Sundown’ LP, the one that I had autographed, does show a 12-string. Never noticed it.
What last night was in Wolfeboro was really a very sophisticated, enchanting soiree.
I got to meet with him, and shake hands with him twice. No I wasn’t being greedy or selfish — depriving someone else of time with him. The first time was serendipitous. After the show, given that we had done the plug-in to begin with, Chuck tasked Devanee and I with unplugging all of the guitar and mike cables, winding them up, tying them and storing them in their case. So I was crouched down picking up a guitar cable when one of Gord’s crew members said “excuse us”, I stood up and I was face-to-face with Gordon. I always smile and I guess my face must have lit up. He stuck his hand out, we shook hands, I thanked him and he thanked me back. It doesn’t get any better than that. He then went down the side steps to meet the fans, including many that I knew (with Dr. Jack Polidoro chief among them), who had been patiently waiting for him. They were all getting their pictures with him and autographs. I had taken my LP and we did have a camera. I waited until everybody was nearly gone and it was just Jack with his family. Devanee and I jumped down from the stage and asked his crew chief whether it would be OK if we pestered him for a second. They had seen us all day working on the stage. So I guess they didn’t want to be rude. They said we can be the last — and to be quick. We tried but Gordon was wonderfully gracious. I thanked him again.
I want to see him again.
He is still magic. I hope he will continue to shine for many years to come.
He is in Burlington, Vt, tonight. It is probably sold out. But, if you can try and catch him. It will enrich YOUR life.