Hawksley is one of the few Canadian artists who have been on our “must-see live” list for a while now but through either timing or expenses haven’t been able to see. This all changed when we found out her was playing in Mount Forest (a small town around an hour north of Stratford).
The venue was the Old Roxy Theater, which as it’s name suggests is an old movie theater converted to a concert venus. The theater only holds between 100 to 200 people which makes for a nice intimate evening. We ended up scoring front row right side seats which was cool but I don’t think there was a bad seat in the house.
I didn’t know what to expect out of a Hawksley Workman. I enjoy his music and I know he is a little eccentric, though I was afraid that he would be a little divaish and only play music with no connection/conversation with the audience. Boy was I wrong to worry. The music was phenomenal, even the new stuff that is not as known by the audience, and the stories were hillarious. He played off of the energy from the audience telling stories, telling jokes, occasionally making us scratch our heads trying to figure out what he was talking about. He would even break into stories in the middle of songs – while his buddy Todd Lumley (“Mr. Lonely”) played accompaniment on the keyboards. The funniest story was about fusing drum solos with potato salad making (click here to see this song with the story that I took at the concert).
He even made references to being called Hawksley WORKSman by one of the old Roxy staffers who introduced him to the audience. A little inside joke for the people who were at the show 🙂
Since there was no opener we were treated to two hours of just Hawksley and Mr. Lumley. With one encore in which he played three songs selected by the audience.
He ended up playing many of my favorites and many new favorites from his albums including “Jealous of Your Cigarette”, “You Me and the Weather”, “Warhol’s Portrait of Gretzsky”, “Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off”, “Tokyo Bicycle”, “We Will Still Need a Song”, “Autumn’s Here”, “Rain” just to name a few.
As an added surprise during “Autumn’s Here” an audience member started playing his harmonica and Hawksley called him up on stage where they jammed for a while. The harmonica playing worked well with the song and Hawksley was really loving it and the audience enjoyed it as well – giving both Hawksley and the harmonica player a standing ovation at the end of the show.
Another Canadian artist off of the list – but this definitely will not be the last time I see Hawksley. Can’t wait for the next time!