On to London Canada:
Jackie Greene opened the show again but to a much smaller crowd (2,000). They had the arena set up like a small theatre. Poor ticket sales in this town apparently. The floor crowd was a bit noisy for the size which was a good thing but the feeling from the stage was rather subdued for the most part.
Considering I was the first customer to buy tickets to this show and had front row dead centre seats 1, 2 & 3, sitting directly in front of MK at 3 metres from the stage with my wife and 11 year old nephew (his first ever concert), it would have been difficult not to enjoy the show from there. But yet, there was a very solemn feeling coming from the band (understandably with all that went on that morning with the UK bombings). It was hard not to notice the difference after being at the Toronto show. The bonus for me and what made it all good was the fact that I spent most of the show standing at the stage half a metre from MK watching and feeling his every expression. Took some amazing photos (over 100), man can that Danny sweat! Mark's guitar tech' gave my nephew a pic, you can't imagine the thrill that gave him. Also, I forgot my cap which I needed to clip my microphone onto so I bought a Tour cap for 30. $ Cdn. which I later gave my nephew after the show. I hope we have inspired him to practice his keyboards more. I have a beautiful Shangri-la mug plus a nice T-shirt and my wife picked up an overpriced key chain, lol.
Considering we were literally centimetres in front of monitors, my MD recorder was set to auto record levelling and did a great job of not distorting (what I should have done in Toronto). In fact, the sound was amazing and although the volume goes up and down noticeably in a few spots, we should be able to fix that in mastering.
Now, as for the quality of the performance, I must add that the band was not quite as tight and in fact just didn't really seem all there with us. Physically they were there yes, but one could tell their hearts were with there loved ones back home and I could not blame them for that. Everyone looked noticeably saddened and as much as I hate to disclose this, MK even hit a wrong note off-key during the final solo of WAM; you should have seen his expression. He was a little disgusted with himself I think for letting that happen especially in the first song of the show and it seemed to throw him off a little. Vocals were not the best I've heard to date either, there was considerable more mumbling and a lot less feeling to the words. They seemed to be playing on auto-pilot. They were obviously much more tired this night, yet, as I said earlier, being this close it was impossible not to be totally mesmerized by the man on stage. Much to our appreciation, they finished the show with MCM and Going Home. Sadly, no Shangri-la and our hearts were left hanging a little, just a little.
I think that will be the title to the next song I write, "No Shangri-la" !! lol j/k
London set list: WAM, WOL, W-it-is, STP, R & J, SoS, DwB, SfS, Rudi, BLT, Speedway, TR, BiA, MfN, SFA, The Mist Covered Mountains and Going Home.
Dan Lapierre - Toronto