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Gordon Lightfoot
Hot Springs Convention Center, Aug. 23

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Gordon Lightfoot still has work to do, and it seems that he lives to keep working. For him, singing is his work, and he takes it seriously. He proved that Monday night at the Hot Springs Civic and Convention Center, before a decent crowd with more energy than one might have expected on a hot August night.

If only the sound had been up to Lightfoot’s lofty standards and work ethic. As it was, his voice should have been louder than it was, which would have served a double purpose: making it easier to understand the Canadian way of pronouncing some words, and drowning out pockets of the chattering class in the audience, those who insist on making themselves heard above the performer on stage.

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But Lightfoot managed to serve up what he had promised: a two-hour show, minus a 20-minute intermission, that is. Unlike most concerts, there was no opening act, and at exactly 8 p.m., Lightfoot and his four-man band walked out and minus any pomp and circumstance, began to play, with Lightfoot looking slightly overdressed in a short red velvet coat. The show’s lighting was nicely understated throughout, playing off of some swaths of fabric that were nicely arranged.