Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Paul Weller pleases Toronto crowd with versatile show

Even a middle-aged Modfather remains cooler than most musicians half his age.

Yes, 57-year-old Paul Weller of The Jam and The Style Council fame brought his ever-changing, genre-hopping music of the last four decades - retro-British rock, soul, blues, psychedelia, dance, folk (frankly, he’s great at it all) - to the Danforth Music Hall on Monday night. 

The show was sold-out but you could also watch it being live-streamed on Yahoo. 

“How lovely it is to be back here in Toronto - I mean that," said Weller, stylishly decked out in a purple shirt, grey dress slacks and black and white spats while camera men scrambled around him to get a killer close-up. 

Touring in support of his loud and hard-rocking yet still experimental 12th solo album, Saturns Pattern, Weller and his five-piece band, with special mention to fellow and equally impressive lead guitarist Steve Cradock (Ocean Colour Scene), kicked off the hour-and-50-minute, three encore show with White Sky from that new disc released just last month. 

With five blazing lights behind them and a wall of sound blasting at the crowd, there was no question Weller and his band came out swinging for the rafters. 

But because he’s versatile, Weller constantly changed up the mood as the night progressed, playing both electric and acoustic guitar before heading to keyboards at the side of the stage. 

Highlights in a set list that wasn’t big on hits included older songs Come On/Let’s Go, The Olde Original, Into Tomorrow, From the Floorboards Up, The Changingman and new tunes the title track from Saturns Pattern, Going My Way and City Streets. 

“It's hard to introduce new songs but that’s why we’re touring,” said Weller. 

The three standouts of the night were varied, from the epic, jammy psychedelia of Porcelain Gods, with plenty of solo work from Weller and Cradock, to the intimate love song You Do Something To Me, with Weller on keyboards, to the surprise third encore song, The Jam’s A Town Called Malice, with Weller letting the crowd handle the chorus. 

All that was missing was The Style Council’s Shout It To The Top.  

White Sky
Come On/Let’s Go
Long Time
I’m Where I Should Be
When Your Garden’s Overgrown
The Olde Original
Into Tomorrow
Saturns Pattern
Going My Way
Above the Clouds
The Attic
From the Floorboards Up
Friday Street
Porcelain Gods
Brand New Toy
You Do Something To Me
Peacock Suit
Whirlpool’s End 

Out Of the Sinking
These City Streets 

Broken Stones
Foot of the Mountain
The Changingman 

A Town Called Malice

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