Thunder Bay Bluesfest 2017….Day 1/Friday July 7th 2017


I know I know I said yesterday I was out of here for a few weeks but I thought I had better review this weekends shows and strike while the iron’s hot! Once these 3 Day/ Nights are reviewed I will be on holidaze….

Pics done by D.S.P.S (Deke’s Shitty Photography Skills)

You have to hand it to the press in this town as the Headline’s read this morning”New Attendance Records Set” Well how about a whoop D who F’in cares. The organisers of this Festival go through this song and dance all the time with the amount of people  strolling through their gates.

Hey man do you think for a moment the press has to pay to get in? (Grease more palms please) . We paid and after my last post or should I say rant let’s see whats happening down at the old waterfront where the Festival takes place! Birch Tree’s included!

Now as I make my return to this festival after a 4 year sabbatical will it be a better experience for myself and Suzi or will it be “Meh!”

A few acts had already played by the time we got there which  was pretty much when Kim Mitchell  was about to take the stage and Akimbo still at around or over the age of 60 can bend those six  strings and when the sun is shining and you open your set with Lager & Ale followed by Rocklandwonderland you know you are gonna have the crowd on your side.

Kim over the years has built up an impressive solo catalogue of material as well as from his 70’s act Max Webster to which if I’m correct Kim and crew went 4 songs in this set with Webster material! (I can hear Mikey Ladano saying “WHAT!” ) High Class In Borrowed Shoes/Check/Diamonds Diamonds/Paradise Skies.  Props to Kim for shaking up the set list as he could have totally played it safe but choose to dig deep in the rock vault.

Kim also told the story of “technical issues” when he opened for Boston (Which I reviewed a ways back) and saying that Boston guitarist Tom Scholz had issues with his equipment that he monkeyed around with for about 4 hours! Quirky…comes to mind…..

Course some great Kim solo tracks were played like That’s A Man a real stripped down borderline acoustic country like  rendition of Easy To Tame.  The band than  rock’s  it up with I Am A Wild Party. 

All We Are featuring long time sidekick Bassist Peter Fredette was a standout as I have always loved the vocal trade off between the Pete and Kim on this song.

To top it off comes more blazing Rock Guitar in the form of Rock N Roll Duty and final tune Go For Soda! Just some good ol fashioned hard  rock nuggets with a ton of excellent axemanship on the six string left the crowd wanting more.

To which Kim and the boys headed back to the stage and ended there set with the mega hit Patio Lanterns.

Kim at this stage showed up and rocked it out as well as not playing it safe with his set list!

Atta Boy Akimbo!

This fella below needs to Go For Soda!

Next up was the Sam Roberts Band. These cats I have heard tons of on the local radio and in Canada they sell a ton of albums.  First things first I do not own any of these guy’s music so I will tread carefully with this one.

For starters there all clean-cut dudes from my vantage point who can play their instruments but the first three songs played to me sounded like one big tune that just floated about in the air down at the festival. Kinda U2’ey in spots. Fair enough as a lot of folks here are into them.

Sam did say that by being in Tbay it would be a great time to play   the tune  An American Draft Dodger In Thunder Bay.  I will give him a ton of props for really making a move to make me notice!

Course the biggie rock radio tracks like Were All In This Together  and  Brother Down did totally resonate with me and they are well crafted rock tracks.

To end the set Kim Mitchell joined the Roberts band and they from which I suppose did some collaborating and Kim once again laid down some guitar law. Pretty cool end of the set jam out!

Sam Roberts was good and perhaps I should give this dude some listens. But as I stated earlier he sells a ton of music and has his own Beer Line… Lets put it this way my good pal CHUCK D at one point asked “Who are we clapping For?” Haha…

Amanda Marshall was the closer for  night one of the Festival.  She showed up with a pretty decent light show and a real good 5 piece backing band but for some reason her pacing of the concert was left to be desired. Amazing that she has not put out any new recorded material since 2001 yet her 3 albums all sold well in Canada so I assume its comeback time.

Her set started off pretty rockin and no doubt the lady can still sing and she has a ton of airplay here in Thunder Bay.

Everybodys Got A Story is a pretty cool tune about Tattoos and Booze and well its  a song about when  shit happens.  But for some reason the set kinda limped along a little on the light side of things for my liking. Amp it up Amanda as you do have the vocals and the stage presence….

So Day 1 is in the books…

So shall we do a rating system like I did last year when me and Suzi went to Rock The Fort? 

Ok let’s do this…

Suzi’s Score –

Kim Mitchell ..7/10 ( Suzi deducted One point for Guitar Wanking…hahaha… but she did add that was  personal preference)

Sam Roberts Band- 5/10 ( no comment)

Amanda Marshall-5/10 ( Sound had too much bass)

dEkE’s Two Cents…

I agree with the Boss’s score on this show. The Festival Organisers would call this a diverse bill. I call it that yes but Kim Mitchell should have headlined this night as Kim has that driving loud guitar rock along with a mix of good ol fashioned Beer Drinking Tune’s that spike Beer sales! I can’t really say that about the other two acts. Albeit good acts in regards to musicianship and vocals but lacking in the  pace department!

Up Next Day 2……



22 thoughts on “Thunder Bay Bluesfest 2017….Day 1/Friday July 7th 2017”

  1. That’s a pretty cool line-up, Deke! Super-awesome Kim pulled out some Max tunes for you. Hahaha “who are we clapping for?” Oh man, poor Sam Roberts. He’s got some great tunes, I think you’d dig him.

    I do find it odd that Marshall closed out, not Kim and the boys. Ah well, somebody’s favourite probably.

    And hey James, Deke can confirm that Amanda Marshall has, in fact, not died! 😉 … You see, Deke, James said between her last album and now, she disappeared (as you mentioned). How do you prove she didn’t die (I mean, other than obviously we would’ve heard about it but this has no bearing on the discussion, apparently)? Then it became a whole Paul Is Dead thing, and… well, now we know she’s alive and well! Hahaha oh man.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds fun.

    Who are we clapping for? Classic.

    I could have told the organizers to Amanda Marshall on, then Sam Roberts, then Kim Mitchell.
    Anyone with any musical knowledge could have seen that a mile off. Kim knows how to play a crowd.
    However, maybe that is why he was in the middle so people did not leave early.
    My question is “Is that the real Amanda Marshall?” Perhaps Mikey can answer that.


      1. Yeah sorry we missed all the local stuff same as today. Were getting there at 330 jsut before Bental plays….You Know I Got Something To Live For! ha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I saw him for free a few years back in Western New York state.
        They like him there due to influx of Canadian radio stations.
        They put on a good show.
        I also saw what may have been the last Max Webster reunion show at Lulu’s.
        That was awesome.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Now thats cool as Kim did name drop Hangover last night but didn’t play it…glad he dug into the back catalogue. Would have loved to heard Kids In Action….
        Still though he rocked

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. It’s an all Canadian Bill. It seems to be the rage at this festival. Right now there selling a ton of tix but the real sign will be in a few years when these acts return as you can only go to water so many times….
      The organisers here won’t figure it out til its too late as they are counting my money I spent last night…haha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder if Sam Roberts and Amanda Marshall got paid more coin than Mitchell and/or demanded to go later.

    If it was 2000, maybe Marshall headlines. Not 2017 though in my opinion. Comeback or.not. she’s old news and not in a good way. I honestly can’t remember one of her songs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew a few of them when I heard them but yeah it’s been a long time..Put it this way I wouldnt go out of my way to see her if she returned..
      Lots of people were leaving during her set as we did towards the end…


    1. Nice play on Akimbo dude! Hope your travels with the family are going fa-ok! By the looks of it on social media it looks like it is…
      Safe travels!
      My traveling today will be when me and Sue hop the bus down for Day 3 of this festival. When you buy a weekend pass Transit all weekend is free…..
      Today is Guitar rock with Wide Mouth Mason/Big Sugar and Bachman. Should be great!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a successful day, Deke. Without being familiar with the artists, I can’t help but feel it would be a bit flat after a smashing rocking set from Kim Mitchell. Hope day 2 is a belter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J for reading. This is an all Canadian weekend. Just working on Saturdays Review as I type this….
      Kim Mitchell owned Friday!


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