Bourbon West played host Thursday night to April Wine, "the best Canadian rock band of all time" as one fan put it. He might not be far from the truth.
The bands popularity was well apparent as we pulled into the parking lot and couldn't find one empty parking space. It was further evidenced by the fact that the club was sold out, with over 500 people in attendance. It was a mixed crowd of young and old(er) who came out to enjoy this band that has been around for over 30 years.
The crowd was adequately warmed up by Carl Dixon, who played an acoustic guitar set with songs ranging from Pagliaro to The Guess Who. He then joined April Wine on keyboards and guitar.
April Wine opened their set with the appropriately titled song The Band has Just Begun and then got right into Drop your Guns. The crowd was very responsive, and were particularly pleased with the old favourites such as Say Hello and Bad Side of the Moon.
Despite a flu that almost cancelled the show, the band was tight, and the vocals strong, especially for Weeping Widow, where the bands signature harmonies and guitar riffs were spotlighted.
Jim Clench performed 21st Century Schizoid Man where his distinct voice resonated throughout the crowd. This was followed by a rocking drum solo by Jerry Mercer. The band ended their relatively short set with Could've Been a Lady and I Like to Rock.
After considerable applause, the band came back on stage for an encore. Myles Goodwyn thanked the crowd, observing how nice it was to "see so many familiar faces". He also invited the crowd to sing along for Tonite's A Wonderful Nite To Fall In Love, and then they ended the night with a rousing rendition of Oowatanite, with sirens and all.
Surprisingly, the band did not play any songs from their latest release Back to the Mansion, their first studio album since 1994, featuring such hits as Talk To Me and Won't Go There.
Bourbon West was a great venue to host a truly great Canadian band. Small and intimate, (if you could call over 500 people intimate), the sound was great and a good ventilation system kept the smell of cigarette smoke at bay.Set List
The Band has Just Begun
Drop your Guns
Cum Hear the Band
Big City Girls
21st Century Schizoid Man
Just Between You and Me
Bad Side of the Moon
Could've Been a Lady
I Like to RockEncore
Tonite's A Wonderful Nite To Fall In Love
Myles Goodwyn – guitar and lead vocals, writer, producer and leader of the band
Brian Greenway – guitar and background vocals
Jerry Mercer -Drums
Jim Clench – Bass guitar and vocals
Paul Dixon – Keyboard, guitar and background vocals