John Hiatt lights up the Commodore

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 19, 2008

During his show at the Commodore last night (November 18), legendary American singer-songwriter John Hiatt’s wry sense of humour kicked in on “Old Days”, a track off his latest CD, Same Old Man. That mid-tempo rocker invokes comical memories of him touring with the likes of bluesmen Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, John Lee Hooker, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and includes a reference to our own fair city.

“Played a gig with John Hammond Jr. up in Vancouver, B.C.,” crooned Hiatt, “exotic dancer came into my dressing room, started dancing exotically. They were smoking somethin’ in the audience that night smelled exactly like cat pee; old days are comin’ back to me.”

While those exact words were leaving his mouth, Commodore bouncers were weaving amongst the floor crowd, gently detering concertgoers from spreading the odour of cat piss amongst themselves.

The vast majority of the Tuesday night crowd was content to sip on brewskis, however, and eagerly lap up the stellar roots-rock Hiatt and his crack band, the Ageless Beauties, delivered for nigh on two hours.

The set list included such gems as “Slow Turning”, “Drive South”, and “Tennessee Plates”. Hiatt opened the show with the rocking “Perfectly Good Guitar” and closed it with the tender “Have a Little Faith in Me”. The encore also included a rousing, extended version of “Riding With the King”, best known as the title track of a Grammy-winning album by Eric Clapton and B.B. King.

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