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coverpic flag Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 19 - 05/11/98

Hayden and Howie Beck
Live at the Gordon Best Theatre, Peteborough ON, April 25th

This show was held in a little no-seats theatre in isolated but charming Peteburough, Ontario, the second of two shows to be held there that sunny but cool spring weekend. It started at about 9:45pm, and there was a crowd of mainly 20 something Trent University students, and record company weasels who were left over from the nearby Sloan show the night before. Howie started off by playing some very wonderful songs off of his Pop And Crash CD. Howie is a well-known Toronto solo artist, who is playing quite a few dates with Hayden this spring. I thought Howie was exceptionally good, his songs were honest and simple; his on-stage presence was humble and contented. The crowd did not seem to be as appreciative, many people talked during his set but overall they were reasonably well behaved. They sat down for Howie's set, with the exception of a few rude people who stood at the front. Howie is certainly living up to the good reputation he has earned back home in Toronto as a talented solo musician and I am looking forward to seeing him play some more dates back here when the Hayden tour is over. (I just wish he'd do all ages shows.) Hayden came out after a while, and started off on a rather authoritative note, cudgeling any potential comments about his new hairdo right off the bat.

He began by playing a few acoustic songs by himself, including a new song from the soon to be released The Closer I Get called Between Us To Hold. I was particularly impressed with this one, I thought it was in typical Hayden style, with great lyrics, gentle theme, and it had an extra intimate and personal feel to it live that some of Hayden's songs occasionally lack in such an environment. Hayden also graced the crowd with some older material from the Moving Careful EP and Everything I Long For.

Hayden quickly added his accompanying band of ex-Poledo members Mitch Roth and Joshua WM! and also John (Daemon) Richardson, ex-Change Of Heart. Throughout the show, each member played various instruments, switching from bass to keyboards to accordions, from drums to bass, from guitar to shakers to banjo and so on. Each switch was done seamlessly, without so much as a bat of the eye or a second of fiddling with equipment. I was very impressed with the clean-edged way this whole performance was done, the instrument switches were almost constant and rather complicated, but each occurred without any problems. Maybe I'm just not used to bands who rehearse this intensely but I thought it was beyond admirable.

The set was almost two hours long, with a short encore, and it had unquestionable variety, sincerity, and intensity throughout. Each of the musicians showed a passionate precision during every song. I highly recommend checking out this tour, I am a big fan of all the musicians involved, they are all very talented and Hayden writes some of the best music coming out of this country right now. It is well worth going to some trouble to see. Look for Hayden playing shows in Quebec and Ottawa, as well as some more Southern Ontario and US dates really soon.

Copyright © 1998 Laura Bowman e-mail address

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