The air is electric as the crowd realizes that a Canadian rock legend is stepping on to the stage. He slowly surveys the crowd of both old and new fans, his calm demeanor hiding the more than four decades of music that he has spearheaded with the group known as April Wine. There are just no words for that kind of presence, and they haven’t even played a single note yet.
Hot off their recent induction into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame, April Wine roared into Vancouver for a show that sold-out months ago. An eruption of cheers breaks out as they start right into it. Myles Goodwyn leads things off by singing into the microphone while notes effortless float from his guitar. To his right stands Breen LeBeouf, whose fingers caress the strings of creamy bass that mixes with the powerful madness coming from the guitar of Brian Greenway on the opposite side while in the back Blair Mackay goes ballistic on drums. Although not the April Wine originally formed in 1969, this unbelievable quartet delivers a performance that shows exactly why they were recently inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The words “you just had to be there” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
But it’s not four guys playing music, it’s one sound that just makes even the most stoic want to dance, to clap their hands, to sing along even if you fake knowing the words. This is a sound, a power, that definitely moves you. Looking around the crowd, there isn’t a single person that isn’t just alive with what’s going on around them. We’re the event, and the event is just awesome.
The music flows seamlessly from ballad to hard rock to even blues in a way that makes it hard to believe it’s all the same show. They easily glide between many favorites, including Roller, Fast Train and I Like To Rock, all songs that has everyone having a great time and doing some air guitar. While no one song really stood out for me more than the other (they’re all awesome so don’t make me choose), certainly a powerful moment was when Myles Goodwyn switched gears doing a bit of a tribute with a slow tempo blues style tune. The mixed-aged crowd shows their appreciation by cracking out either a lighter or an app of one on their iPhone, holding it up in the air.
Long story short, this show was epic, the crowning touch being that it takes place at the Commodore, a place not only known for a great time, but is a legendary stage worthy to hold such legendary sounds. Rock on guys, thanks for a fantastic show and an amazing era that’s still going strong.
As Myles Goodwyn said, “Can I have more volume on my guitar please!”. I’m turning the volume up on my iPod right now Myles, honest.
April 24, 2010
By Jamie Cotes