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Elements No Match For Rock Classics

Elements No Match For Rock Classics

 

By Keith Sharp

The elements finally caught up with the Timmins Stars and Thunder Festival Thursday with persistent showers throughout the day putting a damper on early crowd turnouts. Yet the day’s Classic Rock theme meant that seasoned vets got to perform and the likes of Montreal’s The Box, Newmarket Ontario’s Alan Frew and Montreal’s April Wine weren’t going to let a few drops of rain spoil their collective performances.

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The day’s good news was that Brampton’s Alyssa Reid managed to make a recovery from her previous day’s hospital mishap and  bravely battled the elements to turn in a concise 45-minute set which included “Talk Me Down”, “Dangerous”, “Rollercoaster” “Hurricane” and her big hit “Alone Again” before racing off to fulfill a Canada Day commitment in Ottawa.
 She came on after a spirited set by local bluesmiths The Shaftmen which featured a solid vocal performance by Timmins  Free Press music scribe John Emms, especially on the band’s cover of Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin”.

It was still raining when Montreal’s The Box took the stage for their one-hour set but Jean-Marc Pisapia and his

Jean Marc Pisapia
Jean Marc Pisapia

crew revived their 1980’s hits “Carry On” “Crying Out For Love”, “My Dreams Of You”, got Timmins’ francophone element involved with “L’Affaire Dumontier”, showed their vocal chops with Pisapia’s duet with Isabelle Lemay on “So Beautful” before bringing the slowly building crowd to its collective feet with a trio of solid hits including “Ordinary People”, Closer Together” and their superb cover of Men Without Hat’s “Safety Dance”.

Glass Tiger front man Alan Frew has taken a busman’s holiday by organizing a touring band to support his “Rewind” 80’s Hits album and his selection of standards were instantly recognized by the Timmins’ faithful.

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Kicking off the set with Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” Frew then launched into spot-on covers of Tears For Fear’s “Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Paul Young’s “Every Time You Go Away”, Yes’s “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, John Waite’s “Missing You”, Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning”, his own Glass Tiger hit “Someday” and INXS’s “New Sensation” before finishing off his regular set with Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best”
Frew’s band then returned with an encore that featured a classy tribute to The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie with his cover of “Blow At High Dough”. Of course the crowd knew every word of every song and were in full voice to sing along to another Glass Tiger hit “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone”
Myles Goodwyn
Myles Goodwyn

By this point, the crowd had swelled to around 18,000 brave souls, the rain had stopped and April Wine put the perfect cap on the evening  with an aggressive set of their more rock oriented hits with “Could Have Been A Lady” and “Fast Train” reflecting the band’s early roots while “Say Hello”, “Enough Is Enough”, “Rock N Roll’s A Vicious Game”, “Sign Of The Gypsy Queen”, “Roller” and their sole encore number “Oowatanite” showing that lead vocalist Myles Goodwyn still has the vocal chops and guitarist Brian Greenway can provide the lead guitar power while capably supported by bassist Richard Lanthier and drummer Roy ‘Nip” Nichol.

And yes, the fireworks were finally triggered after a three-night postponement with what looked to be both Team Ukraine and Team Finland’s pyrotechnics put to use.

Friday is Country Music Night at the Timmins Stars and Thunder Festival with hot new Country bands; Brighton Ontario’s Cold Creek County and Vancouver’s Washboard Union sharing the stage with Blackie Jackett Jr and local artist Mike Trudell, Fireworks to be provided by Team UK.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday’s Canada Day Extravaganza featuring Keith Urban, Johnny Reid and Meghan Patrick can still be obtained by contacting www.starsandthunder.com.

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