Perfection is one of those things that is difficult to find and rare to come by. Unrealistic. Unattainable. But last night, Brian Fallon & the Crowes, accompanied by Chris Farren as the show opener, had a damn near perfect show in London, ON. The universe came together with the perfect venue and a wonderful group of people who were all unified for that moment in time, with no other agenda than to enjoy being in each others company and to experience some great live music.
Chris Farren was up first with yes, another perfect set (seriously, I don’t know how he does it). The crowd was extremely receptive and joined in on songs like “Song for Teenagers”, “Come to Brazil” (helping out with the ‘na na na’ background part) and “Bang!”, a personal favourite of mine and Ashleigh’s. There were definitely some Antarctigo Vespucci fans in the house, and their excitement was as contagious as Chris’ energy on stage.
Brian Fallon and the Crowes opened up with “Nobody Wins”, followed quickly by “Among Other Foolish Things” and the room was electric. The Canadian crowd quickly won over Brian, who in turn commented that Canadian girls have the best hair, always styled and curled (although the first example he picked out from the crowd was in fact American). He was very interactive with the crowd, commenting on some of his famous Twitter followers, including Boy George. This prompted a sing along to “Karma Chameleon”, which then led into “Ride Wit Me” by Nelly (honestly, scream-singing “Heyyyy must be the money!” was something I haven’t done in a very long time and now I’m not sure why it doesn’t happen more often). He was pretty impressed that the London crowd could keep up with this jump of music, so he issued a challenge: if we could follow along with the next song, we’d get a special treat and a shout out on Twitter. Spoiler alert- the next song was “You Da One” by Rhianna, and as an audience, we blew it. We also learned that Jared holds the monopoly on music memory; according to Brian, he’s got “Forgot about Dre” down. The more you know, kids, the more you know.
The set list for the London show was easily my favourite of the three shows I was able to go to on this tour, with an excellent variety of Horrible Crowes songs, tracks from Painkillers and some surprises thrown in for good measure. We were treated to a cover of “Bell Bottom Blues” that really highlighted Brian’s vocals and Ian’s skills on the slide guitar. They also added “The Runaround” from Jared’s album “Past Lives and Pass Lines” into the set for this show, with the full band supporting and Brian providing backing vocals. Having only previously heard his songs acoustically and via solo performances, this was a really great surprise, and it was nice to see him take center stage on a full song of his own at this show. Finally evening came to a close on “Behold the Hurricane”…or so we thought as we watched the band exit the stage. Brian remained with just his guitar, telling us that the song he was about to play was about as old as they come, and recollecting a time where it was being demoed and someone advised him to do something else. He imparted an important lesson worth remembering: you know yourself and what is best for you, so don’t let other people plant that seed of doubt in your mind if they can’t see your vision as clearly as you can. He then played “Navesink Banks” (from the Gaslight Anthem’s debut album Sink or Swim), solo and acoustic, joined only by the voices of the crowd who sang along to every word; and the evening ended as perfectly as it began.
(As an aside, I wasn’t even planning on going to this show. I ended up making a last minute decision to attend and I’m so very fortunate that I was able to be a part of this show. It truly was a magical evening! Moral of the story: buy the concert ticket. Go to the show. You’ll never regret it.)