Concert Review: Laura Stevenson, July 21, The Garrison


One of the first things I noticed upon entering The Garrison for Laura Stevenson’s Thursday night show was a note from the headliner posted near the entrance (and also on the men’s room door at the back) which said the following:

Dear fans:
We are so glad you are here.
Please wear your masks.

Love, Laura

It was a simple and polite request that served as a good reminder that while many may feel like they’re done with Covid, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and touring musicians are among those who still need to be pretty vigilant as getting sick can cause a lot of complications while on tour. And guess what? Pretty much everyone complied! Just goes to show what can happen when people actually care for and show consideration towards others.

While plagued by a few technical issues early on, they worked that out by the third song or so and put on a solid show. Starting things off with “State”, the first track off of her latest self-titled album, Stevenson and band seemed to be warmly received by those in attendance. with one fan shouting out “Canada loves you!” after the opening number.

“Thank you. I love Canada,” replied Stevenson, adding, “I’m trying to move here.” It’s not entirely clear just how serious she is in her intentions to move here, but she did say that she was looking into Waterloo, noting that they have the largest Oktoberfest in North America, so she’s done a bit of research anyways. And she’s at least somewhat intrigued at the idea of living in a city where once a year, one can have a big pretzel alongside a giant stein of beer while watching a polka band. If so, I can’t say I blame her.

While Stevenson’s band sounded great (and I must give a shout out to the guitarist’s excellent “Weird Al” Yankovic/MAD Magazine t-shirt), a highlight of the night came during Stevenson’s solo mini-set that came at about the midpoint of the evening.

Opening with “Lay Back, Arms Out” and moving on to “Baby Bones”, she closed out the solo set with “Moving Cars“, a beautiful tune and one of the strongest tracks off the latest album. She could have ended the show there and I would have walked away satisfied, but thankfully, she brought the band back out for a few more, noting near the end of the set how it was her first show of the current tour and that it was “nice to be here with nice people.” Amen.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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