The former front man of Max Webster and the current front man of Kim Mitchell is not dead or stunned.
At Petit Champlain in the heart of the old Quebec City on March 31st, Kim Mitchell was very much alive and a tad nervous.
Alive? Yes because a couple of years ago the nation almost lost this national treasure due to a heart attack. Nervous? Yes and even Kim did not know why as he started his show in the small confines of the historic room.
Perhaps the reason was because it was his first time to Quebec City as a solo artist. The last time he was in the city he ‘had hair and got girls …’ Max Webster was the room number.
Mitchell 2018 is fit in voice, fit in body and thankfully; not-so-fit in mind. Slightly ‘mad’ is what made Kim Mitchell the artist he is. Max Webster and the solo artist. Equipped with that instantly recognizable Canadian humor and an edgy sarcasm, Mitchell is a pleasure to watch and listen to. Think of Howie Mandel with a guitar.
Unlike Mr. Mandel however, Mitchell is on stage and not judging his performance. Although, given the perfection of the set- list and the musicality from his band; maybe Mitchell is the most critical judge of himself.
Mitchell is in his mid sixties and that age was mirrored within the crowd (which was a crime). Prancing through the Max Webster hits ( High Class in Borrowed Shoes, Diamond, Diamonds and The Party) and into the Mitchell solo stuff ( Go For a Soda, Patio Lanterns, I Am a Wild Party) – Kim’s two hour show puts most young rockers to shame. The absence of kids in the audience – not good for the future of Rock. The torch is being passed and the recipients had one foot in the grave.
Mitchell’s band ( David Langguth drums, Peter Fredette Bass and Sam Pomanti Keys) are a well oiled machine.The cogs are turning smoothly with just enough ‘noise‘ to indicate Rock n Roll. Real music from real people is flawed and that in itself creates a ‘ feeling ‘. The Kim Mitchell ‘experience’ is filled with feeling and then some …
Langguth is a beast behind the kit. A human metronome on speed. Hard hitting and feathery soft when needed. Pomanti ( his Father played with Mitchell once upon a time ) filled in the rhythm and added the leads with integrity. Intelligent and respectful of the catalog. Shining when ‘the nod’ came …
The surprise to many on this pre -Easter night was the vocals of Mitchell’s ‘Glimmer Twin’; Peter Fredette. The song All We Are took on an entire different meaning.
Fredette is chilling with his voice. Drilling deep into his soul and in turn, showering the punters in wealth. Seldom can any singer demonstrate the power and passion at the drop of a note ( Breen LeBoeuf another one). Vocalists get better as the show goes on as their vocal muscles start to work with each song. Fredette a welcome ‘freak’ of nature. The capacity crowd were on their feet with appreciation. The hairs on the back of the neck; on their feet with provocation.
Kim Mitchell is Kim Mitchell and his performance is a little toned down compared to his younger days. Not unlike most performers getting ‘ up there ‘ who realize that pacing goes a long way in a long race. Pacing goes a long way in life …
Kim Mitchell is not dead and the only ones stunned are the audience following the show.
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