July 7, 2017


Lanois 1 Scotty Evil nightMair Creative

written by Scotty Evil

Fans were lined up early to get into the Commodore on a warm July Wednesday night. And like the music of Daniel Lanois, you would be hard-pressed to lump them together in one description.

“I first saw him playing solo on a lap-steel in Montreal, late 70’s” one fan regaled to me. “Followed his music ever since”.

“I’m a songwriter and a music producer. His music directly inspired me” shared another, excited to be at the front of the stage, mere feet from the Canadian icon. Behind us, young women who were likely carded on the way in, would later dance up a storm, flinging their hair wildly during the performance.

The openers were Twin Bandit, a female duo hailing from here in the Lower Mainland. Daniel came to the mic to introduce the girls who were clearly honoured. Lanois was all smiles as he hugged them. One got a very clear sense music was something he loved to share. The folk style and harmony of Hannah Walker and Jamie Elliot immediately brought you back to the 60’s and 70’s with faultless harmonies and twin acoustic guitar accompaniment.

Lanois himself was a dichotomy of styles. Black boots, jeans, faded jean vest with a backwards ball cap over a bandana and Elvis style shades. He looked like the interesting grizzled character in a road-trip movie who dispensed sage advice to the protagonist.

Then he took the stage with his gold-top Les Paul and owned that guitar. He started off with what was a heavy instrumental jam, at points directing the bass and drums to change things up as they went. This was the case often during the night, with Lanois quickly adjusting effects, pressing pedals, twisting pots. After a few songs, he took the time to talk to his fans.

“It was fun getting here. I swear every ethnicity was at Pearson airport, so busy. Maybe next time I will get Justin to lend me his jet. We’re good buds you know.” He also expressed gratitude to the Commodore on their sound system and staff. “These guys don’t like anything and they even liked the girls here.” He dedicated his next song to the missing women of the “Highway of Tears”.

Lanois then turned to new material, putting the guitar down and manipulating a variety of effects…going from a guitar jam to more of a DJ set. This is the irony of the title for his new album, “Goodbye to Language”…despite the lack of lyrics, he does indeed evoke language from his guitars and lap steel.

The audience sang along throughout the show and those who couldn’t, hung on every word…or in many cases every note where words did not exist.

Daniel Lanois throws himself into his music and is not afraid to experiment, to the point of challenging himself to do so at every turn. This show was a bucket-list checkmark for me and should be also for music fans. An amazing artist in a great venue who left his fans sated yet wanting more.


Lanois 2 Scotty Evil nightMair Creative   Lanois 3 Scotty Evil nightMair Creative Lanois 4 Scotty Evil nightMair Creative Lanois 5 scotty evil nightmair creative Twin Bandit w Daniel scotty evil nightmair creative

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written by Scotty Evil / photos by Scotty Evil/Red Lens Photography



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