Live Review: Vince Gill @ Casino New Brunswick, Saturday August 24, 2013

Vince Gill Photo (08/23/13) by Clayton Morrissey for www.show-stoppers.ca © 2013 All Rights Reserved
Vince Gill Photo (08/23/13) by Clayton Morrissey for www.show-stoppers.ca © 2013 All Rights Reserved

At Casino New Brunswick on Saturday night, Vince Gill proved to be the ultimate entertainer. Performing before a sold-out crowd on the second night of his two-night stay in Moncton, Gill and his amazing seven-piece band (including his Bakersfield partner in crime Paul Franklin) touched on virtually all corners of Gill’s 30-plus year recording career.

Before getting into specific highlights from his 28-song set list, let’s talk about how stellar Gill’s band was. From the word go, Vince’s band hugged every corner of every song, offering even the smallest nuances that some might take for granted. No slouch on the guitar himself (Vince’s picking on “Oklahoma Borderline” was simply sublime), Gill afforded his band plenty of room to breathe on stage, falling precisely in line with exactly what Vince told me last week of how every instrument holds equal importance in country music.

His band’s unquestionable versatility came into play while performing The Notorious Cherry Bombs’ song “It’s Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long”. At the beginning of the second verse of the song, Gill had to step away from the microphone for a brief period however his finely in-tune band continued to play on, taking a cue from Gill and flawlessly getting the song back on track in no time.

In some cases of last night’s show, the between-song banter during Vince’s show held as much weight as the songs themselves. While he was more than happy to acknowledge the various accolades and random romantic proposals coming from the rather chatty audience gathered before him, Gill’s quick wit and ability to run with whatever was happening at the time was at times hilarious and disarming.

For all of the laughs however, there was also a significant amount of poignant moments between songs.

After performing his hit “Pocket Full Of Gold”, Gill singled out an audience member who happened to be wearing a hat that was like one that Gill’s late brother wore. Whether intentional or not on Gill’s, the 2000-strong audience was brought into an intimate part of his life that not all entertainers would be as comfortable opening up. Later in the set when Gill told the crowd of the tragic circumstances surrounding his brother’s passing, his song “Bread and Water” took on an additional poignancy and, understandably, touched upon some raw emotions in Gill. Recognizing the significance of Gill allowing himself to be open to that emotional vulnerability while on stage, the audience rewarded Gill with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Once Vince had regained his composure, he told the audience mostly amusing anecdotes of his late father, joking that the performance had entered the “razorblade” portion of the show. Entertainers tend to be put onto pedestals by the rest of us; seeing a human, personable side to Gill helped make both him and the show all the more endearing.

The timelessness of Gill’s music, as evidenced by the multiple generations of people in attendance at the show, is something that will live on forever. And that, my friends, is no small feat in today’s world of disposable pop and country stars. Vince’s willingness to continue to embrace the traditions of country music will always have a dedicated fan base, not only here in Moncton but right around the world.

SET LIST

One More Last Chance
Take Your Memory With You
Tryin’ To Get Over You
Rita Ballou
Pocket Full Of Gold
Real Mean Bottle
High Lonesome Sound
Some Things Never
What You Give Away
Look At Us
The Old Lucky Diamond Motel
Bread and Water
The Key To Life
It’s Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long
When I Call Your Name
Foolin’ Around
Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down
Together Again
I Can’t Be Myself
The Fighting Side Of Me
What The Cowgirls Do
Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away
I Still Believe In You
Pretty Little Adriana
Oklahoma Borderline
Go Rest High On That Mountain
Liza Jane

Encore

Whenever You Come Around