TicketMOMster Review: Sam Roberts Band @ Burton Cummings Theatre
Last week a friend asked me if I was excited to see Sam Roberts. I replied, “No, he’s always the same.”
Excitement for me is when I don’t know what to expect. I know exactly what to expect with Sam Roberts. I know there will be songs I know and don’t know (I don’t buy all of his records), the band will play well and Sam will sing and it’ll all have that “Canadian Rock/Sam Roberts” feel.
Then he’ll dance around and I’ll admire his moves and wish I was dancing with him, because there’s nothing sexier than a man with rhythm who can dance.
But my point is this: I buy a ticket every time he comes to town because I know what I’m going to get, and I like his style. For me, that’s worth the price of the ticket.
Hollerado opened the show and I remember them coming by Power 97 when I worked there, but that was many moons ago. I’ve since forgotten everything I know about them, including what they sound like.
They sound…young. If you closed your eyes while they were performing tonight, they sounded almost Beach Boy-ish with two singers singing simultaneously; kind of like teenagers. But when you opened your eyes, they weren’t teenagers; they were grown men. If you like that and that works for you, then that’s cool. But it wasn’t really for me.
The second song they played was “Americanarama” which I remembered because of their Ok Go-ish video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whv1tLqKZig).
Later in the set they played “Juliette” and I had a few Power 97 flash backs; we played the snot out of that tune. Most of their songs were fun and toe tapping, but I just couldn’t get past their young sound.
The only song I’ve heard off Sam Robert’s new album (Terraform) is the single “If You Want It”. I thought it was alright, but I didn’t need to own it.
The band started their set with the title track off that album and it completely blindsided me. It was synth heavy and had this floaty/airy feeling, which is not the Sam Roberts I’m used to.
The lyrics reached me and I struggled with all my might not to cry because I just want to get through ONE show at The Burt without crying. Yes, I’m going through a lot of hard stuff, but I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
The lyrics really touched me though, and I did have to wipe away a few tears. That was a first for me with Sam Roberts and I’m downloading that song as I type this review.
None of the other songs touched me as deeply as that one, but they all felt good. Sam mentioned the band was in the USA recently and urged us (Canadians) to rally together to make sure these events don’t occur in Canada. He advised that we act as a unified force, as opposed to a dividing force, and then launched into an energetic version of “Where Have All The Good People Gone?”, which was fun, as usual.
He also spoke about his love of the Canadian music scene and then dedicated “Bridge To Nowhere” to The Guess Who.
The band played a good mixture of new and old tunes, but I enjoyed the newest ones the most; which is unusual for me.
The encore included “FIEND”, “We’re All In This Together” and then “Brother Down”. They played an extended version of that song so Sam could shake everyone’s hand near the stage and on the periphery on the floor. It was classic Sam Roberts, grateful and humble, and I love that stuff.
This was a fun show, as I knew it would be. It was a nice surprise to be blindsided, I never expected to be swept up like that during this show. Maybe next year there’ll be other surprises…I’m sure it’ll be worth another ticket.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters