Dave’s Disc Dive – Blue Rodeo Live at Massey Hall

BR_MH_CoverLargeI’ll admit, I didn’t have to dive to deep for this one. I just picked it up on vinyl because I thought I might have actually been at this concert. Turns out it was recorded a year after the show I was at, but what the hell, right?

Recorded on February 20th, 2014, Live at Massey Hall is yet another example of why Blue Rodeo is still strong as it enters its third decade. My first grown-up concert was to see Blue Rodeo at Massey Hall back in December of 1989, and I spent much of the ’90s seeing them two or three times a year at such venues as The Ontario Place Forum, The Horseshoe Tavern, and many other indoor and outdoor venues across the GTA and beyond. The 2013 show I went to was the first time I’d seen the band live in over a decade and, if anything, the band has only gotten better in the ensuing years.

Trying to pin down any stand-out tracks on Live at Massey Hall is impossible for me. All the tracks on all four sides of this vinyl are stone solid, with Cuddy, Keelor and the gang not missing a single beat or hitting one sour note. “Practised ease” is the best phrase I can come up with for the vibe that permeates this album. Playing together with no studio edits, autotune or multi-track trickery, Blue Rodeo has not just put out one of the best live albums in my collection, but one of the best, period. This album is both a gift to long-time fans as well as a great introduction to this Canadian institution.