Canadian music icon Burton Cummings returned to Windsor for his fifth straight year this weekend. The legendary front man for The Guess Who performed for another massive crowd at Caesars Windsor on Friday night bringing along hits and deep album cuts that span more than 50 years of Canadian music history.
Cummings, who is now 71 years old, is a Canadian music gem. His passion for performing and for his songs is always evident when he plays, and tonight was no different. The legend not only performed the compulsory “radio records” like No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature, No Time and Clap For The Wolfman, he dove deep into his Guess Who and solo album repertoire to pull out rarities like Sour Suite, Timeless Love and a gorgeous piano version of his solo song You Saved My Soul, which he hasn’t performed in years.
Although he is slowly starting to show his age and his voice cracked a tiny bit here and there, he can still perform like a champ and is worthy of all the praise he still gets from critics and fans. His mini piano only session in the middle of the show was captivating and quite moving, but he’s always at his best (and happiest) when he’s rocking out. During the harder rock songs his voice was unstoppable, especially during the opening music of American Woman, which included a snippet of The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues where he had a strong growl to his voice.
Another highlight was his cover of The Equals 1968 song Baby, Come Back, which was recorded by Cummings with his former Guess Who cohort Randy Bachman on the 2007 Bachman Cummings album Jukebox.
Trouble In The City was a great opening track and quite the surprise. Cummings, who rocks the crap out of that song, brought the old J.J. Cale cover back to his 19-song, two hours set and set the tone for a lively evening. With some of the less popular Guess Who tunes tossed into the show (Star Baby, Guns Guns Guns, Sour Suite), it felt like a cool 1960s retro concert – almost like a Doors concert from the late 60s.
Every time he comes to town it’s a totally different show with a different song selection. For example, in 2017 he performed seven songs that were totally different from tonight’s choices – all unique. It keeps the show fresh.
He was, as usual, joined by his long-time backing band, Toronto’s phenomenal Carpet Frogs. These guys are his secret weapon. With powerhouse backing vocals and precision instrumentation, the music was on cue the entire show.
Cummings pointed out to the audience that he’s reached the age where most of his friends are starting to pass away and there was a sense of inner peace glowing from him throughout the show. That same statement can be said of the music legends from the 60s and 70s like Cummings – every year we’re losing way too many of them. We should be out there supporting and taking in these classic rock shows with love, admiration and excitement because when they’re gone, that’s it. Enjoy the live music from these icons are cherish the moments.
Share The Land.
All photos by Dan Savoie:
The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor
April 12, 2019
- Trouble in the City
- Hand Me Down World
- Clap for the Wolfman
- No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
- Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon
- Baby, Come Back (The Equals cover)
- Sour Suite
- You Saved My Soul
- My Own Way to Rock
- Timeless Love
- Guns Guns Guns
- Your Back Yard
- Star Baby
- Break It to Them Gently
- (Unknown Medley w/Doors ‘Roadhouse Blues’)
- American Woman
- No Time
- Share the Land