This weekend marks the 100th Anniversary of the Grey Cup. Canada’s version of the Superbowl and later today the Toronto Argonauts will do battle with the, with Calgary Stampeders for the CFL’s biggest prize. I have always been a CFL fan and although my beloved Hamilton Tiger Cats wont be suiting up for the big game, my adopted home of Toronto is hosting one hell of a party filled weekend.
Last week my sister-in-law decided a night out was in order and picked up some tickets to a Grey Cup super party down at the Toronto Convention Centre. Being as it’s the 100th Anniversary game, fans of every CFL team have travelled across our country, descending upon Toronto for the big game and last night to join together to party. I expected to see plenty of Argo blue and Stampeder Red but it really seemed that tomorrows game will look like a smarties box as Tiger Cat yellow, BC orange and quite frankly every team in the league seemed equally represented and last night they were all ready for a rock and roll party!
And a Rock and Roll party they would get as April Wine took the stage to a warm welcome from the beer soaked crowd. April Wine have been rocking out since 1969. With 15 studio albums and years of years of touring, these guys played a set that was a classic rock juke box. Every song was a hit and they just kept coming, the crowd sang along and danced away with reckless abandon. Tonight was a night to let your hair down and join together in the fun. “Say Hello”, “I Like to Rock”, “Sign of the Gypsy Queen”, “You Coulda Been a Lady”, “Roller” and of course “Oowatanite” April Wine’s catalogue is nothing short of outstanding and some 43 years after getting together they can still lay it down live. A little grey on top doesn’t mean they cant still rock as Myles Goodwyn and Brian Greenway combine for a flawless twin guitar attack. Like a fine vintage April Wine just keeps getting better with age.
Up next was classic rock icon Kim Mitchell. Many nights I have rocked with Kim and his brand of fun loving part rock and he always delivers a great show. “Rockland Wonderland”, “In My Shoes”, “Ain’t Life Amazing” and of course “Patio Lanterns” kept the party rolling. Stepping back in time to his Max Webster days the band broke out “Paradise Skies” and “Battlescar” with bassist Peter Fredette taking over the Geddy Lee high notes. “I Am a Wild Party” had the crowd answering back “Rah, Rah Ole” as our should be Prime Minister rocked a blue stratocaster. Another great time hosted by Kim.
Closing out the party was BIG SUGAR who are back with their first album in a decade. They treated the football fans to a set of Big Sugar music. If you have never heard Big Sugar, it’s pretty hard to describe them but I will take a stab at it. Take a blender and mix one cup of the blues, half a cup of Led Zeppelin, half a cup of Bob Marley, and blend until smooooth. Run that through some distorted Marshall stacks and you’d have something close to Big Sugar. “Diggin a Hole”, “If I Had My Way”, “Better Get Used to It” and a great cover of “Dear Mr. Fantasy” rounded out a big and loud set that closed off the party in grand style. If the football game today is half as entertaining as the concert last night we are in for a treat. Oowatanite!
Be sure to check out the Videos from some of the songs performed last night