Last night was an ending of sorts. It was the last day of what I jokingly called Matt Cage week in an earlier post based on the fact that I saw him perform three times in four days; but it was also the last show that Doreen and Mary will be organizing after a nine year run. As they say, "Always leaving them wanting more." It was a great way to end, what I heard from others, was a series of successful shows for the duo. It was an evening filled with back-to-back entertainment. ETA Gordie McNeil started the evening with some beautiful songs, and was followed by the country stylings of Rose Cronin, who looked like Rosemary Clooney in her lovely outfit.
Brent, handsomely dressed in his tux, took the stage next as Buddy Holly. It is the first time I have seen Brent perform as the music legend. As expected, Brent added humour throughout his performance. I thought his story of how, as a kid, seeing a bespectacled Buddy Holly perform rock and roll gave a geeky kid hope that he too could be a rock and roll singer--black rimmed glasses and all, was a treat. Brent, who also is an award winning ETA (Collingwood, 2014, Non-Pro Early Years) will perform his tribute to Elvis on Friday, April 6th, 2018, at Flamboro Downs, Flamborough, ON. The show begins at 9 p.m.
Up next was ETA Matt Cage, who quite literally, sparkled on stage. The lighting hit the rhinestones on his jacket just right; but, of course, his performance dazzled too...lol. It is always a pleasure sitting with people who, like me a couple of years ago, are seeing a professional ETA's performance for the first time. I sat beside mother and daughter, Mary and Tammy LaPointe (pictured in the photo on the right), and it was wonderful hearing their comments throughout Matt's performance. Tammy, I think, was a little surprised when Matt knelt beside her and sang. It was fun being part of someone else's special ETA moment because it reminded me of a similar first experience I had with Matt last year. Even now, after months of shows, it is still a thrill when I receive a scarf or floral lei, or hear my name mentioned, or a comment spoken, such as, "I know you are having a good time," during a performance. All fans who have had similar experiences with a favourite ETA will understand the feeling.
After the intermission, the second half of the show continued with the same order of performers. Gordie and Rose continued their walk through music history singing popular Elvis and country and western songs. Brent wowed the audience with his tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis. Dressed in a white sports jacket, and donning a blonde wig, Brent enacted all the outlandish moves of Jerry Lee, and ended his second set with a rousing rendition of "Great Balls of Fire."
Matt, in his second set, looked splendid in his Elvis peacock jumpsuit with the spotlight emphasizing the jewelled details and design of the favoured suit. Matt asked show organizer, Doreen, if she would like a scarf or his Elvis belt. Doreen opted wisely, I think, for the belt. After presenting Doreen with the belt, Matt announced that he felt naked without it, and asked Brent for assistance. Once fully dressed, Matt and Brent, with scarves draped over his arm, made their way through the audience, making sure that Crystal, who is celebrating her 26th birthday today, received a scarf. Linda Sutherland, who wiped the sweat from both Brent and Matt's brows, was given an 8 x 10 photo of Matt with his song list on the back in appreciation for her kind gesture. Matt's set ended with him asking Brent, Gordie, Rose, and entertainer, Bobby Allan, to join him on stage for a the singing of "Johnny B Good".
After the show, the entertainers signed autographs and posed for photos. A few of us met at Tim's after the show for a chat about the show and other ETA related topics as per Wendy King's mandated post show follow-up...lol. (Those who follow my blogs will understand this reference from Wendy's humorous article she shared on my website.) Three dedicated fans had long drives back to Barrie, Brantford, and Burlington, and one entertainer had a very long drive to Belleville; but the four "Bs" didn't mind travelling long distances for such a wonderful evening. I was able to capture the evening in several photos that follow below. Some of the faces will be familiar as they often appear in my recaps of Casino Niagara's Silver Aces, Flamboro Downs, and Mohawk Raceway shows. Until next time, enjoy the photos. Cheers! C.M.