Concert Review: The Trans Canada Highwaymen(TCH)

Supergroup. Is this the most overused word in music? 100% of the time the group part is right. Unfortunately the word super is usually not right. Whether it be lack of talent to begin with, overrated members, overinflated egos, or the end result being less than stellar, the supergroup rarely seems to live up to its name. Sometimes, like The Travelling Wilburys, it is just a group of friends hanging around and having fun. I would say TCH is the Canadian version of The Travelling Wilburys in 2017. TCH are just a group of musical friends that got together and decided to go out on the road. All are(were) members of famous Canadian bands, and it seems there are no egos between them all.

The members are Steven Page (formerly of Barenaked Ladies), Chris Murphy (Sloan), Craig Northey (Odds) and Moe Berg (The Pursuit of Happiness). Chris Murphy and Sloan have not stopped since the early 90’s, but Steven Page and Craig Northey have been out of the limelight for a while so it was great to see them back. However, I was there especially to see Moe Berg. His amazing talent has been behind the scenes producing, writing, and doing all the technical musical stuff for years. It has been a long time since he has performed though. He even said so on stage. I can’t say an exact date, but it may have been the TPOH reunion show one-off in 2014. Before that it may have been since the 1990’s. I did a write up of his old band last year if you want to read about them.

Where Are They Now – TPOH (The Pursuit Of Happiness)

Now enough of the introductions. On to the music.

Rotating vocal duties and instruments during every song was the theme tonight. As well, there was either funny banter or pre-recorded video snippets played on screen between each song. It made for a real fun evening. The songs were awesome. All 4 guys can still play, and their voices are as great as they were in the 90’s. The only miscue was when Moe seemed to forget the lyrics to his biggest hit, I’m An Adult Now. I was ok with it though. Shit happens when you play live, and he maybe has only played that song a few times in the last 20 years. The guys joked about it afterwards. There was no trying to cover it up or pretend it never happened. This led to a discussion about Moe needing a teleprompter, and some Axl Rose discussion.

Here are some videos from the show. Suffice it to say that it was a great night. I Hope to see them all again whether with this supergroup, solo or with their prospective bands, especially Moe with TPOH.

For those interested, here is the setlist from that night

  1. Someone Who’s Cool(Odds cover)
  2. It’s All Been Done(Barenaked Ladies cover) 
  3. Hard to Laugh(The Pursuit of Happiness cover)
  4. The Other Man(Sloan cover)
  5. It Falls Apart(Odds cover)
  6. Brian Wilson(Barenaked Ladies cover)
  7. Two Girls In One(The Pursuit of Happiness cover) 
  8. Underwhelmed(Sloan cover)
  9. Satisfied(Odds cover)
  10. Jane(Barenaked Ladies cover)
  11. Coax Me(Sloan cover)
  12. She’s So Young
  13. Make You Mad(Odds cover)
  14. The Old Apartment(Barenaked Ladies cover)
  15. The Rest of My Life(Sloan cover)
  16. I’m an Adult Now(The Pursuit of Happiness cover)

    Encore:

  17. Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy(Michel Pagliaro cover)
  18. Ready for You(Sloan cover)
  19. Alcohol(Barenaked Ladies cover)

The topping on the cake for me that night was the fact that the guys all came out into the lobby afterwards to chat and sign stuff. Some people had a ticket stub, others had bought the new Steven Page cd (as did I). We all stood in line. I was near the back and I had a ticket stub, I had the new cd, AND I had a crammed backpack. The guys signed all my stuff. Cd’s, cassettes and vinyl. Go big or go home.

10/10

 

 

 

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