Steppin’ out

Recent Grammy award winner Joe Jackson performed in o­nly two Canadian cities (Montreal and Hamilton) o­n this tour. Jackson, wearing a full-length, skin tight black leather coat, kept his avant-garde cool in plain view. Jackson and his six-member band (drums, percussion, keyboards, cello, violin, bass) concentrated o­n a number of his biggest hits and several  selections from his 1982 release, Night And Day as well as its successor, Night And Day II.  Dimmed lights encasing the stage, the instrumental Prelude opened the show.  Jackson captured the crowd with his intelligent fusion of diverse styles.  After nine songs and a short intermission, he opened the second set with  three unaccompanied numbers.  From behind the keyboard o­n a mid-stage platform, white spotlight shining brightly, Jackson announced, "At this point in the show, I feel like doing someone else's song." He then introduced a Walter Becker and Donald Fagen tune. Two very familiar encores followed this diverse and entertaining second set. The concert drew to a dramatic and brilliantly executed close in the rare but fine tradition of  Haydn's "Farewell Symphony"; Jackson's band left the stage o­ne by o­ne until the o­nly remaining presence was a lone rhythmic bass. The magnificent Olympia theatre was the ultimate setting for an evening with Joe Jackson. The jam-packed house was enthralled throughout his two hour plus performance. This show will certainly rank among the highlights of this year's concert landscape.  Wow, Jackson still rocks, despite his recent forays into classical, jazz and soul.  I can't wait till this multivariate muscian returns "one more time."  Thanks to the House Of Blues for bringing in another tremendous show.

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