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L.A. Beat

Big show of peace and love with Big Sugar

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Big Sugar’s acoustical show, Feb. 23 at the University Theatre was all about peace, love, reggae music  compared to the big, loud rock and roll they are best known for.Big Sugar played  the U of L for the Geomatic Attic. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Geomatic show had a decent turnout, though I expected the show to be sold out.

The centre aisle was full but there was still room on the sides.
 They played much of their new Yardstyle acoustic album plus reggae classics  during the first set.

Frontman Gordie Johnson sat centre stage, surrounded by his band who were all dressed in white, while switching between a variety of guitars and banjos including a 12 string guitar, tenor banjo,  6 string banjo, dobro and a couple of acoustic guitars.

 His band  played an array of hand drums. Bassist Garry Lowe plucked an acoustic bass, while  Kelly “Mr. Chill” Hoppe added bluesy harmonica and saxophone.
 The first set included all of their reggae influenced songs including “Little Bit of All Right”, “Revolutions Per Minute” “ Turn the Light On” and “Eliminate Ya.”
 “Freedom Train” was a highlight,” as was a reggae version of Grady’s “West Coast Hobo in a Boxcar Blues.”
 The band was completely lost in the groove of the music.

Friendlyness raps with Big Sugar. Photo by Richard Amery
Being an all acoustic show, DJ Friendlyness slapped a snare drum and blew in to his melodica, emerging to the front of the stage for one of his fast paced raps. “Capitola Stress” was one of the Yardstyle jazz tinged highlights.

They ended their first set by plugging World Vision, thanking  their fans for sponsoring  all the children of Jarso, Ethiopia, to be able to go to school. So Johnson noted the band decided to sponsor another village Enemay,  for which they hoped to have completely sponsored by the end of the Alberta leg of the tour.

Everybody soloed, and all of them drew applause from the audience. 

While the first set was all about good vibes and reggae music, the second set was  all about good vibes and the Delta blues, not to mention the hits.
They opened with a blues classic “Talk to Me Baby” and delved way back in to their back catalogue with “100 Cigarettes” which is also on “Yardstyle.” They also played another early hit from their “Hemi-Vision” album.

 he talked about working with the Trews and  played the song they write for “Yardstyle.”
They played a beautiful acoustic version of “ All Hell For a Basement and ended the show after being called back after a standing  ovation  for an encore of a jam on “ Dear Mr. Fantasy” and  “Digging a Hole.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 March 2015 12:15 )  
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