Volume 93, Issue 50

November 26, 1999


Western alumnus proves she is better than good

Big Sea prompts waves of delight

Ashgrove reaps the rewards of hard work

Inaccuracies a cynical take on the gender gap


Big Sea prompts waves of delight

By Terry Warne
Gazette Staff

It was Melanie Doane and Great Big Sea who performed at Centennial Hall on Tuesday evening and together, it was everything a concert should be.

A sold out hall, an air of excitement, an excellent opening act and a headlining band who performed with energy and skill, pumping out two encores for almost two hours of music.

Opening her set with the summertime hit "Goliath," Doane proved she was up to the task of winning over the crowd. Punctuating her time on stage with strong numbers such as "Adam's Rib" and "Waiting For The Tide," Doane forced the audience to pay attention. Her playful stage presence and banter with the audience, put her in a class of performers all by herself. This native of Halifax has more talent in her little finger than Alanis, Shania and Celine combined.

In addition to her songwriting talents, Doane displayed her musical prowess by taking turns on the fiddle, keyboard and guitar.

Also deserving of mention is Doane's band. After laying down a disco-flavoured version of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5," an instrumental number during which the entire band jammed and traded solos, it was obvious that they enjoyed playing as much as the audience enjoyed hearing them.

By the time Great Big Sea took to the stage amidst fervid audience chants, the electricity in the air was obvious. This was an audience who proved their love early on by cheering, chanting, clapping and jumping at every opportunity.

And rightly so, because Great Big Sea are veterans who know how to please an audience. From commands to sing along with them to mentioning that London was the first city on the tour to sell out, they played as if everyone in the crowd was an old acquaintance.

In addition to providing a nice blend of traditional ditties, their own contemporary numbers and pretty ballads, the boys from Newfoundland ripped through all of their hits, leaving no stone unturned. From the opening chords of "When I'm Up (I Can't Get Down)" to the familiar intro of the set closing "Ordinary Day," the audience was never given an opportunity to calm down.

Where Great Big Sea really won over the crowd was with their traditional numbers. Songs like "Jack Hinks," "Trois Navires De Ble" and "Captain Wedderburn" were delivered with gusto and enthusiasm, demonstrating the band's passion and reverence for the songs of their island.

Alan Doyle's trademark voice elevated songs such as "Boston And St. John's" and "Consequence Free" to a level unmatched on their album. Other highlights included Sean McCann singing his song "Feel It Turn," a beautiful number which featured a nice harmony from other band members.

Doyle, McCann and bandmates Darrell Power and Bob Hallett are skilled live performers, delivering each song with precision. Adding to the band's repertoire was their vocal dynamic. Each band member possesses a fine singing voice and when blended together the results were impressive.

By the end of the performance, as the last notes of "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" danced through the air, it was apparent band and audience alike were indeed feeling fine.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999