In some sort of promotional scheme that made no sense to me, the Canal Concert promoters put the best band of the night on first, before many fans arrived.
No, actually, it probably wasn’t their fault. Flyin’ Blind Blues Band, fronted by Lockport natives, Damien Brady and Benny Provenzano, was originally scheduled to play second after the band Switch. But due to some kind of snafu, they were asked to play first and another band, Navigator, was brought in to replace the other band.
A lot of people told me that they were there mainly to see Flyin’ Blind and were disappointed to arrive late and miss some or all of their set. I arrived while they were playing, and they were in full swing bringing their brand of original blues to the concert series.
Flyin’ Blind has augmented their sound by bringing on board the legendary Jimmy Wozniak on Hammond Organ. It’s a great addition to their solid blues sound.
The second band, replacements Navigator, a progressive rock band, was forced to play a shortened set as well. It’s too bad they got the short set as well as no advance publicity – everyone was asking who they were – and Flyin’ Blind got bumped earlier all because of some mixup with the scheduled band. No word why they weren’t there.
The headliners, Nazareth, came on stage after what seemed like lengthy preparations. I don’t know what took so long. All their backline was set up in advance and all they needed to set up was mikes and a couple guitars. They could have let Navigator play on and have a full set…
Where are the pictures? Why, right here, of course!
But Nazareth, which I frankly, was never a fan of, played an energetic set and I suppose reasonable recreation of their heyday. I never got into the whole hair-band thing. I can enjoy the music to a point, but not as an exclusive diet. I’m sure those die-hard fans that came to see them were satisfied, as there sure was a crowd in front of the stage to see them.
It made for an interesting night, with the juxtaposition of Blues, Prog-Rock and Metal styles all thrown together. Flyin’ Blind would have been a better fit for next week’s show along with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Wanted By The FBI, but who knows why that didn’t happen. I can only imagine the juggling act putting together a series like this must be. But a party is a party and everyone seemed to enjoy it all.
The best part of the concert, as it is every week, is running into all the friends you meet there. Many I haven’t seen in months, or even since I retired. Every week you talk to someone you haven’t seen in an age. I don’t know if these concerts are bringing in a lot of out-of-town people. I don’t know how you’d tell. I’m sure some avid fans will drive in for any given headline act, but to me, it looks like it’s mostly bringing out the local population. That’s not a bad thing either, don’t discount that. There are a lot of Lockportians who rarely went to the North Tonawanda concerts, or to Thursday At The Square, or even Artpark. Oh, many do, but I think these concerts are bringing live music to local people who wouldn’t ordinarily – especially with todays gas prices – drive to another town to see a concert. Either way, it’s a good thing for the local community.
The weather was a bit cooler for this week, much better than the hot sun for the previous two. It even threatened rain with a few welcome drops once or twice, but nothing materialized and it was another great night. The concerts continue to be both trouble-free and reasonably hassle-free. The only incidents I’ve heard of have been several blocks away, and possibly not even related to the event.