Foo Fighters in Toronto

Stadium rock show! And no mention of antidepressant withdrawal beyond this introductory paragraph! Progress!

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Grohl!

Set:

  • All My Life
  • Learn to Fly
  • The Pretender
  • The Sky is a Neighbourhood
  • Rope
    • Drum Solo (which was spectacular)
      • Sunday Rain
  • My Hero
  • These Days
  • Walk
  • Under My Wheels [Alice Cooper] (Chris Shiflett on vocals)
    • Another One Bites the Dust [Queen]
      • Imagine [John Lennon]/Jump [Van Halen] mash-up (“Imagine” music, “Jump” lyrics; it worked oddly well)
        • Blitzkrieg Bop [The Ramones]
  • Under Pressure [Queen] (Taylor Hawkins and Luke Spiller from the Struts on vocals, Dave Grohl on drums – which, though I’ve seen it a few times already, will never get old)
  • Monkey Wrench
  • Run
  • Breakout
  • Dirty Water
  • This is a Call
  • Best of You

Encore:

  • Big Me
  • Times Like These (alas, not the acoustic version)
  • Everlong
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Robert Plant

Set:

  • New World…
  • Turn It Up
  • The May Queen
  • Rainbow
  • That’s the Way [Led Zeppelin]
  • All the King’s Horses
  • Please Read the Letter [Page & Plant] (the highlight; sadly, no Alison Krauss)
  • Gallow’s Pole [trad.]
  • Carry Fire
  • Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You [Joan Baez] (in which a young lady, seated to our left, had a meltdown when she apparently realized she wasn’t actually at a Led Zeppelin concert)
  • Little Maggie [trad.]
  • Fixin’ to Die [Bukka White]
  • Misty Mountain Hop [Led Zeppelin] (brilliant reworked version)

Encore:

  • In the Mood
  • Bring it On Home [Led Zeppelin] (opening riff)
    • Whole Lotta Love [Led Zeppelin]
      • Santy Anno [trad.]
        • Whole Lotta Love [Led Zeppelin] (continued)

Arcade Fire in Toronto

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PANFLUTE!!!!!!

Set:

  • Everything Now
  • Signs of Life
  • Rebellion (Lies)
  • Here Comes the Night Time
  • Haiti
  • No Cars Go
  • Electric Blue
  • Put Your Money On Me
  • Neon Bible
  • My Body is a Cage
  • Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
  • The Suburbs
  • The Suburbs (Continued)
  • Ready to Start
  • Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
  • Reflektor
  • Afterlife
  • Creature Comfort
  • Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

Encore:

  • We Don’t Deserve Love
  • Everything Now (Continued)
  • Wake Up

Win dedicated the show to Gord; ditto Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene, who opened (Drew produced both the Hip’s Man Machine Poem record and Gord’s posthumous solo album).

Live at Massey

Sam and I saw the New Pornographers at Massey Hall a couple weeks ago, the latest instalment of that hallowed venue’s “Live at Massey” concert series. And as the band played on, my mind, as it’s prone to do, began to wander.

It settled on June 1, 2017, when I saw Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at Massey. Chris Cornell had died two weeks earlier; I was still devastated by his death, still unsure when (or even if) live music would matter to me anymore. Right before the show started Pearl Jam Heather got up and started toward the aisle – then wheeled around and said to me,  “Gord Downie.” I stood up, and there he was, walking right towards us. He looked good; he looked healthy. He walked past and went backstage; a few minutes later he re-emerged, then took a seat near the back.

Every so often during the show I’d check up on Gord. It takes a lot to detract from Nick Cave – but Gord could do it. Gord could detract from anyone.

And then the encore started, and during “Stagger Lee” I looked back at Gord. And he was gone.

I never saw him again.

No One Sings Like You Anymore

Today, for the first time in exactly two months, I was able to listen to Chris Cornell’s voice and remain relatively unaffected. I knew it’d be tough; I honestly didn’t think it’d be this tough.

The week he died I erased almost all my Chris Cornell and Soundgarden related writing in a fit of grief-stricken pique – a decision I now regret. I won’t erase this. It’s hard listening, but dammit I won’t lose this man’s music or his voice from my life. And so I’ll continue to listen, continue to mourn, until I’m able to forget how he died and remember instead what he gave me and millions of other people while he was still alive.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in Toronto

Set:

  • Rockin’ Around (With You)
  • Mary Jane’s Last Dance
  • You Don’t Know How It Feels
  • Forgotten Man
  • I Won’t Back Down
  • Free Fallin’
  • Walls
  • Don’t Come Around Here No More
  • It’s Good to Be King
  • Crawling Back to You
  • Wildflowers
  • Learning to Fly
  • Yer So Bad
  • I Should Have Known It
  • Refugee (which, alas, didn’t really turn into a Mike Campbell firework display; his playing last night, while brilliant, was understated)
  • Runnin’ Down a Dream

Encore:

  • You Wreck Me
  • American Girl

Next up: Blondie (with Garbage!) and X.

U2 in Toronto

Set:

  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • New Year’s Day
  • Bad
    • Suzanne [Leonard Cohen] (this was superlative; also, in the name of full disclosure, for the second straight time the opening notes of “Bad” reduced me to tears)
  • Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree:

  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • With or Without You
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Running to Stand Still
  • Red Mill Mining Town
  • In God’s Country
  • Trip Through Your Wire
  • One Tree Hill
  • Exit
  • Mothers of the Disappeared

Encore:

  • Miss Sarajevo
  • Beautiful Day
  • Elevation (surprisingly awesome!)
  • Vertigo (surprisingly really awesome!)
  • Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
  • One

…and then Bono shouted, “One more!” and…

  • I Will Follow

It wasn’t quite Moncton or Vancouver 2015…but it was damn close, and The Joshua Tree live was incredible top-to-bottom.