On Sunday, the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall was visited by and regaled with timeless ballads and the unmistakable standards of Canadian music legend Gordon Lightfoot.
To attempt to categorize this durable and well-loved musician, one must employ terms such as minstrel, troubadour and, yes, folk legend. A career spanning nearly half a century and featuring the release of some 35 albums and 45 singles has endeared him to a loyal fan base around the world.
The near sellout crowd was enthusiastic in welcoming the 72-year-old Lightfoot as they listened in an unsually and respectfully quiet fashion to the all-acoustic repertoire. Upon looking around the hall at intermission, it was impossible not to notice the salt and pepper hair of a decidedly middle-age and older crowd.
He charmed concert goers with staples such as "Sundown," "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," "Carefree Highway" and so many other old classics. During introductions of various works, Lightfoot displayed a playful and engaging sense of humor. For example, before the song "A Minor Ballad" he said, " I used to get some of those [minors/underage girls]."
For those who grew up listening to his ballads (seemingly all in attendance), mutual affection and respect flowed to and from the stage. Accompanied by another guitarist, a bassist, a keyboardist and a drummer, Lightfoot delighted those in attendance, delivering a musical journey back to a time when music was elegantly simple yet completely unforgettable.
The opulence and acoustic excellence of Kingsbury Hall provided the ideal space and only further accentuated Lightfoot's still amazingly soulful vocals. He encored and closed with the famous, toe-tapping "Old Dan's Records." In a world of overproduced, undertalented acts and egotists, this show was a breath of fresh mountain air and well worth the wait.