SUMMERSIDE — Blue Rodeo proved Thursday night just why they’ve been around for three decades.
The Canadian roots rock legends wowed the Summerside crowd as the multiple Juno award-winning artists performed for more than two hours to 2,500 appreciative and exuberant fans at Credit Union Place’s Eastlink Arena.
Warming up the crowd was The Devin Cuddy Band, whose namesake is the son of Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo’s frontman. The younger Cuddy, a standout on the piano, and his band a played a phenomenal half-hour set of their unique brand of jazzy blues and rockabilly roll, which included the tongue-in-cheek, “My Son’s A Queer.”
But it was the eldest Cuddy, along with singer-songwriter Greg Keelor and the rest of the band that the crowd came to see, letting out a roar and thunderous applause as they took the stage to begin a two-hour musical journey through the band’s 30-year repertoire, which began with their latest album, “In Our Nature.”
“It’s great, great to be back in Summerside,” said Cuddy, prompting applause, cheers and whistles from the crowd.
And Blue Rodeo didn’t disappoint, proving they still have the staying power, songwriting, musicianship and, in Cuddy and Keelor’s case, the chops to remain relevant, often chatting with the crowd and telling the story behind many of their songs, particularly those from their most recent album.
The first set was only the warm up for what was yet to come — an eclectic mix of the band’s hits that got the crowd to feet, singing along to an explosive version of “Diamond Mine,” which featured a breathtaking guitar solo by Cuddy; favourites like “Trust Yourself,” “Five Days in May,” and the song that had the entire audience sing along and get on their feet — “It Hasn’t Hit Met Yet.”
And Cuddy, with the spotlight on him as he sat at the piano, was flawless as he hit that recognizable high note in one of the band’s standout hits, “After the Rain.”
Even after more than two hours on stage, the band wasn’t quite finished, prompted by the cheers and applause, coming back with the hit “Try” before ending with the fitting “Lost Together.”