November 7, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 39  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Travis is Fran-tastic

Travis
The Hummingbird Centre
Fri., Oct. 31, 2003

Halloween 2003 spooked the four Scotsmen known as Travis into putting on a “Fran-tastic” show at The Hummingbird Centre in Toronto.

Setting the tone for the next hour-and-a-half, Travis opened with “Happy to Hang Around” off their new album, 12 Memories.

As the first chords were strummed, silence fell over the crowd while the concert-goers stared intensely at the pitch-black stage, awaiting the initial glimpse of Fran, Dougie, Andy and Neil. As the first flash of light hit lead singer Fran Healey, the crowd snapped out of their trance of anticipation and waves of cheering and excited cries echoed off the walls.

With a number of past hits such as “Writing To Reach You,” “Side,” “Driftwood” and “Sing,” along with new songs like “Memories,” the setlist proved to be a better treat than the usual mini chocolate bars and molasses candies you would expect to get on Halloween.

Even sweeter was the always affable Fran, whose untimely mistakes regarding which songs to play and which verses to sing only proved to the legion of Travis fans these guys are still the same down to earth “Weegies” they were when their first album, Good Feeling, hit the scene back in 1997.

As always, the laid-back, hip-swaying bassist, Doug Payne, was entertaining to watch, with his enigmatic smile and smooth vocals in “Turn,” complementing Neil Primrose’s hypnotic presence on drums.

The highlight of the show may have very well come during the latter half of the concert from the seemingly shy guitarist, Andy Dunlop, whose impromptu acrobatics during “All I Want To Do Is Rock” and 180 degree transformation to extroverted rock guitarist furthered the crowd’s astronomically high level of enthusiasm.

Ending the show with possibly their most popular song, Fran encouraged the audience to sing along to “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?,” leaving fans with a feeling of pride as every brilliant performance should.

—Hidy Ng

Setlist:
Happy To Hang Around
Re-Offender
Writing To Reach You
The Line Is Fine
Quicksand
Love Will Come Through
The Fear
The Beautiful Occupation
Side
How Many Hearts
As You Are
Driftwood
Somewhere Else
All I Want To Do Is Rock
The Humpty Dumpty Love Song
Turn

Encore:
Flowers in the Window
Sing
Peace The Fuck Out
Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

 

 

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