Shannon Lyon, Rob Szabo, Danny Michel Help Celebrate C'est What

Rob Szabo Shannon Lyon
C'est What
August 7, 2004
Reunion, celebration, farewell? Saturday's show at C'est What was perhaps all three. Shannon Lyon and band, the World Record Players, headlined; Rob Szabo opened. Billed also was 'Dirk Diggler'—not, in fact, the character from Boogie Nights, but Danny Michel (whose scheduled appearance at Taste of the Danforth prohibited him from publicizing another weekend gig in Toronto).

With the club doomed to close in two weeks, the mood might have been funereal. But the careful work of soundman Crispin Giles helped propel the music—and the mood—into the stratosphere. The crowd drenched happily in gorgeous sound, mourning seemed inappropriate, indecent, even. And besides, negativity is not Lyon's, Michel's, or Szabo's thing.

"Welcome to the Walper," Szabo joked, and anyone focused on the encroaching future was sent reeling back into local music history: the three K-W natives gigged together in the early 90's at downtown Kitchener's Walper Pub, honing their skills as performers.

It shows—each of these guys projects a real presence on stage. Saturday's audience was treated to recently written material as well as inspired renderings that made the familiar new again. Lyon, best known as an "alt country troubadour", rarely gets credit for knowing how to rock. This show was evidence that beyond the solid songwriting and deep, expressive voice is a skilled and inspirited guitarist who can play as though exorcising demons.

That's the beauty of live music. No moment in time can be repeated. Although we'd like these guys to have endless opportunities to try.

Writer: Aviva Luria

Photo:Sarah Hallman

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