Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings
Friday, June 19, 2009
Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
Abbotsford, BC Canada
***Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland
Sitting in the crowd with several thousand others, one couldn’t help but feel a sense of patriotism as Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings emerged for their encore with a huge Canadian flag in hand. Symbolically, the two artists united Canada in the late sixties and early seventies as members of The Guess Who, reaching international fame and popularity that few Canadian musicians had attained at that point. In a truer sense, Bachman and Cummings held a lot of animosity towards each other for years following Bachman’s departure from The Guess Who in 1970, his Mormon beliefs conflicting with the band’s rock and roll lifestyle. But seeing the two artists happily on stage together again—each now well into their sixties—with differences settled, it was a moment that made everyone proud to be Canadian.
Backed by The Carpet Frogs, the Toronto-based band Burton Cummings used during his solo run last fall (read review HERE), Bachman and Cummings packaged their forty-plus year musical legacy into a non-stop, two-hour run of Guess Who hits, Bachman-Turner Overdrive classics and solo favorites. This being only the second date of a short stretch of shows billed under the “Bachman Cummings” moniker, Cummings admitted right off the bat that he was nervous but it never showed as his voice is still in top form on “These Eyes,” “Break It To The Gently” and “American Woman.” Bachman added his classic rock radio staples “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Takin’ Care of Business” to the set, but it was his “Undun”—complete with flute solo by Cummings—that remained the shining moment. “Share The Land” and “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” encouraged crowd participation but digging up old chestnuts like “Bus Rider” and “No Time” clearly made the long-time fans happy. Carefully leaving the focus on the “hits,” both Cummings and Bachman played a new solo song each, proving that while their back catalogue remains etched in rock and roll history, the creative juices still flow. Cummings’ “Above The Ground” features a bouncy piano melody and catchy refrain, while Bachman’s new offering was a sit-down, acoustic affair drenched in bluesy nuances.
Running Back To Saskatoon
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
Clap For The Wolfman
Above The Ground
R.B. New Song?
Your Back Yard
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
Let It Ride
Roll On Down The Highway
Break It To Them Gently / Rock Medley
Share The Land
Takin’ Care of Business
Drugs, egos and religion ultimately severed the artistic ties between Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman nearly forty years ago, but age and maturity has brought the two together again. If not for the music, then certainly for the fans. These two Canadian icons have an undying chemistry together as the parade of hits attests but being able to witness it live is a uniquely Canadian experience that is not to be missed.
***Thanks to Jessica at Live Nation for the press pass.