Lampedusa at Massey Hall
Photo by Front of House Photography
The lights dimmed and the hair on the back of my neck stood up straight. My second time at Massey Hall just solidified the fact that there is something amazing about this venue.
Lampedusa is a concert put on to raise money for the Jesuit Refugee Service by several musicians…several AWESOME musicians. I went with my friend Olly who wanted tickets to see The Milk Carton Kids. I was eager to tag along when I heard Emmylou Harris was at the helm. Imagine my VERY happy surprise when two weeks before the concert it was announced that Robert Plant was going to be there. Yep…you read that right.
The concert started with Emmy Lou introducing all the musicians: Steve Earle, The Milk Carton Kids, Ron Sexsmith, Robert Plant and of course herself. Before everyone sat down, a seventh musician snuck onto the stage (unfortunately I still don’t know his name but he must be incredibly modest). The group sat in a half-round and spent the rest of the night dazzling the audience with incredible music. Part way through the set, we were also treated to the talented music of Daniel Langois who has produced a few of Bob Dylan and Emmylou’s records. He’s also kind of a badass.
Since the entire night was amazing…I picked my top five songs off the set to tell you about:
1. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down- Robert Plant
This is seriously why everyone loves Led Zeppelin. Robert Plant to this day STILL has such and amazing voice. It’s haunting, it’s weird and it’s enough to make me listen to his records on repeat.
2. Charlie- The Milk Carton Kids
This song is written about Kenneth’s (of the Milk Carton Kids) unborn daughter, Charlie. The deadpan humour on the intro to this song was enough to make me love these guys but followed up with one of the most touching songs ever and some really bad ass flat picking…I was sold. If you haven’t heard of these guys now- go! Run! YOUTUBE!
3. Sneak out the Back Door- Ron Sexsmith
Ron Sexsmith’s voice is so moving and tortured. The song Sneak out the Backdoor is currently on repeat in my car and I absolutely love it. He also performed There’s a Rhythm and Hard Bargain…both of which are so amazing. My only complaint is that I cannot find his vinyl in any record store!
4. Gone Gone Gone- Robert Plant
Normally performed with Alison Krauss, Plant and Harris did an awesome rendition of this song, showcasing amazing voices. This song definitely had the audience up!
5. Every Grain of Sand (Bob Dylan Cover)- Emmylou Harris and Daniel Langois
Daniel Langois has a talent for taking a song that is already amazing and making it mind blowing. His garage-type, distorted guitar parts made this song what it is. Emmylou’s beautiful voice floating on top of the song made it all the more beautiful.
Overall, Lampedusa 2016 was a night of memorable, crazy-amazing, goosebumpy music. Yes, those are all real words.