Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Gord Downie and The Country of Miracles @ Mississauga City Centre (July 1, 2010 - Canada Day)

  Gord Downie: photo by Michael Ligon

Yes, my 'hood of Mississauga has been stepping it up these last few years with some decent free concert fare at Mississauga City Centre and for the second year in a row I spent my Canada Day evening there taking in the free show. Last year it was Sloan, and this year it was with Canadian icon, as MC and Mississauga resident Mike Bullard referred to him, Gord Downie and The Country of Miracles entertaining the crowd. With renovations being done to the Mississauga Library Square where past shows have taken place, the stage was moved to the street at an intersection at the back of Mississauga City Hall, bordering the Living Arts Centre and Square One Shopping Centre. Quite a few people were in attendance, mostly for the fireworks later that evening, but there was a good crowd in front of the stage early awaiting Mr. Downie.

Sporting glasses and a bald-shaven head, and decked out black shoes, jeans, t-shirt and sport coat, him and The Country Miracles (featuring The Dinner is Ruined's Dale Morningstar on guitar, John Dave Clark on drums, and I think John Press on keyboards, as well as Julie Doiron on guitar and vocals and The Skydiggers' Josh Finlayson on guitar), the band stepped onto stage to an appreciative response. Gord started almost immediately into what seemed liked stream-of -consciousness poetic verse, perhaps catching some Mississauga residents off-guard who might have been expecting some Hip tunes, but then the band segued into more conventional territory with the band's fantastic first single "The East Wind" off Gord Downie and The Country of Miracles' new album The Grand Bounce. The band played songs off their most recent album including "Yellow Days" (their ode to summer), "The Hard Canadian", and "The Drowning Machine". Although comparisons of his solo work to The Tragically Hip are hard to escape mostly because of Gord's vocals, I guess the main difference for me is that the new solo material feels less focused on the Hip-isms(Downie's somewhat affected vocals at times, guitar-based song arrangements), for a looser band feel, more subtle vocal technique and more straightforward lyrical content. A shame that the band didn't play longer than an hour - I was quite enjoying it - nor did they play an encore, but in any case, the set we got, plus the fantastic fireworks afterwards was a great way to celebrate Canada Day.

Photos: Gord Downie and The Country of Miracles @ Mississauga City Centre (July 1, 2010 - Canada Day)
Video: Gord Downie and The Country of Miracles - "The East Wind" (live @ Mississauga City Centre, July 1 2010)
Video: Gord Downie and The Country of Miracles - "The East Wind" (music video)


  1. Anonymous11:50 am

    Correction: Gord's drummer's name is Dave Clark (from The Rheostatics and Dinner Is Ruined). Thanks, -Tom

  2. Thanks for the correction, Tom.