November 26, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 49  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Roberts educates the London learners

Sam Roberts
Centennial Hall
Nov. 21, 2003

Universal Music/2003
DON’T WALK AWAY, LONDON. The super scruffy and sexy Sam Roberts performed an expected energetic set at Centennial Hall last Friday night

With a Heineken in one hand and a guitar in the other, Sam Roberts was ready to rock the crowd at Centennial Hall on Friday night. But before the ladies could throw their panties on stage and the guys headbang with their '70s style locks, the crowd was forced to endure the whiny crooning of opener Peter Elkas. Fortunately, his strikingly similar appearance to Roberts kept the audience eager for the man of the hour.

As the lights dimmed and the prevailing strum of a guitar sounded, out stepped five guys ready to awaken the crowd that had been sung to sleep by the opening act. It was show time.

Roberts came out with a force as he belted out emotionally raw tunes from the band's newest release, We Were Born In A Flame. The band, made up of guitarists Eric Fares, James Hall, Dave Nugent and drummer Cory Zadorozny, shook their mop-top hair and played hard and loud. Joints meandered through the mass as the boys rocked with "Brother Down," "Don't Walk Away Eileen" and "Hard Road."

Clouds of illegal bliss weren't the only things filling the concert hall; there was also a resounding feel of Canadian pride among the spectators. Raised in Montreal, Roberts demonstrated his local satisfaction by making reference to Highway 401 and including a few French lyrics late in the set. Roberts and the boys had previously shown their support for Toronto as one of the acts to share the stage with the Rolling Stones this summer at "SARSstock."

Though Centennial Hall was sparsely occupied by fans, Roberts performed with high-intensity and drive. One of the highlights of the night was the band's powerful delivery of "Canadian Dream," as fists pounded high in the air and the crowd chanted, "S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M is the only way."

Not far down the list of memorable moments was the body surfing frenzy that resulted in a few bad falls, while another surfer discovered that wearing a skirt may not have been the best choice when leaping above a crowd.

The 90-minute show left concert-goers yearning for more. The band was back on stage for an encore and Roberts played an extended set which featured an astounding guitar solo.

Roberts' Higher Learning Tour will be making several American stops in Philadelphia, New York and Boston throughout December.

The boys have had a busy year searching for the answer to their infamous question, "Where have all the good people gone?" After Friday night's performance at Centennial Hall, many would argue they found the answer.

-Nicole Abreu

 

 

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