Trooper in Toronto

Trooper in Toronto

CNE Bandshell, Toronto | August 25th, 2012
Photography by: Ted Van Boort

When Rick Mercer decreed that “Raise A Little Hell” should be adopted as Canada’s national anthem, he wasn’t far off the mark. A song guaranteed to ignite a feel-good spirit with any Canadian audience, Trooper’s ode to the ultimate party ignited a 10,000 capacity crowd on a warm Saturday night at the Ex, proving again that the veteran Vancouver outfit still possess a capacity to entertain the masses. And with a hit-laden song list going back over 35 years, Trooper have the material to deliver a killer set.

Kicking off the performance with the appropriately titled “Here For A Good Time” Trooper then solicited the first audience sing-along with “Three Dressed Up As A Nine” with guitarist Brian Smith stretching out the arrangement with some blistering fretwork. “Two For The Show” presented lead vocalist Ra McGuire with the opportunity to spotlight his vocal prowess and the feel-good crowd even allowed the band to perform lesser known tracks like “Boy With A Beat”, “$100,000” plus a solid new track “Cold Water”. But the band’s ultimate weapon is their hits which they rolled out in rapid succession with “Round Round” (bassist Scott Brown handling Frank Ludwig’s vocal slot), “General Hand Grenade” “Santa Maria”and the melodic duo of “Janine” and “Pretty Lady” before concluding with “Boys In The Bright White Sports Car” and the guaranteed show-stopping finale of “Raise A Little Hell” followed by a well-deserved two song encore led off by Crowbar’s “Oh What A Feeling” and concluding with a reprise of “Here For A Good Time”.

McGuire and Smith are wily veterans who know how to deliver a concert. Aside from being outstanding performers, they know how to communicate with their audience on stage and how to inject a feel-good atmosphere on stage. Only drawback is that Smith and McGuire are so dominant, members Brown, keyboardist Gogo and drummer Clayton Hill are relegated to background support roles.

Still the presence of many youngsters mixed in with more veteran fans was a healthy sign that Trooper can still pull a crowd. Now all we have to do is get the industry to induct the band into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame. Their absence from winning this honour is scandalous!

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7 thoughts on “Trooper in Toronto

  1. Trooper is definitely a high energy, ROCKIN’ Canadian band. With the talent of all 5 of these boys, they really put on an amazing live show. Each member brings something absolutely special to the shows and although Ra and Smitty are in the fore front of things, they each complete the next. Founding members are always the driving force in bands like this, but you wouldn’t expect anything less. Anyone that has ever seen Trooper perform live knows that they are a group that loves to perform for their audience and they love the communication as well. This line up for the band is strong and they work amazingly together. With each, Clayton, Scott and Gogo doing their solos through out the show brings them to the fore front and not leaving them, as you say, relegated background support.

    For anyone that feels as strongly about Trooper’s absence into the Hall of Fame scandalous, then may I suggest you all sign the petition to help get them inducted with the honour they all deserve.

    You can sign the petition here:

  2. Rob Fleming

    First saw Trooper in Montreal back in 1979 and now I make a point of seeing Trooper at least once a year (twice this year). Amazing entertainers, incredible music and a fantastic concert!

  3. Peter

    Trooper is a great band and deserve to be inducted, Note to true fans..Frank Ludwig has released a new album “It’s About Time” with a “new” version of “Round Round We Go”………

  4. Thanks for the great review of our favourite band TROOPER. If anyone would like to sign the petition started on the Left Coast – here is the link

    Dave Chesney – The King of White Rock

  5. Dallas Hinton

    Fabulous group — it’s a shame Frank isn’t still with them but I’m enjoying his latest album (“It’s about Time”)!

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