Simple Minds – Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver – October 29th, 2018

Simple Minds brought their Walk Between Worlds Tour to the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver on Monday night. The tour, supporting their latest album started in February in the UK, before finally making its way to North America in late September.

It hasn’t just taken the tour a while to get here, it has taken the band more than 32 years to make their way back to Vancouver, having last played the Pacific Coliseum in 1986. I think it is fair to say the audience was more than ready for their return.

The band clearly knows their crowd, a selection of a great tunes from the ‘80’s was playing as the crowd was filing in, helping to build the sense of nostalgia. Not surprisingly the audience was predominantly 40’s and 50s and they were clearly out for a party. I am not sure if it was a sense of revisiting their youth, the recent legalization of weed, or the giddy excitement of seeing the band, but whatever it was they were ready for fun.

From the moment the band hit the stage it was clear that fun is what they were going to have. For a couple of hours, I don’t think a single person sat down. The band was clearly feeding off the buzz, and Jim spent the entire evening working the stage, with pretty much everyone in the front row getting some one on one time.

Since getting together in 1977 and starting Simple Minds shortly after Jim Kerr and Charlie Birchilll have always surrounded themselves with good musicians, and the current band is no exception. A solid backline of Gordy Goudie on guitar and Ged Grimes on bass, was complimented by the silky voice of Sarah Brown, and the frantic drumming of Cherisse Osei, all of which shone in their own right on the night.

Despite beginning the set with with The Signal and the Noise from Walk Between Worlds, this was one of only four songs from the latest album. It was great to hear Sense of Discovery and the title track Walk Between Worlds during the evening. The reminder of the set being pulled from across the bands previous albums, with the evening broken into two sets.  Which, as Kerr joked, gave the band and the audience a chance for a cup of tea.

The first part of the evening had a more soulful vibe, although it did include hits Promised You a Miracle, and The American, and ended with a wonderful rendition of The Pogues Dirty Old Town on which Sarah Brown provided lead vocals.

After the break the mood was more rock oriented. Charlie pulling out the stops with a great solo on the instrumental Theme for Great Cities. Jim returned to the stage the bluesy She’s a River, and quickly had the audience singing their part in Someone, Somewhere in Summertime.

By the end of the second set the crowd where in full voice for an extended version of Don’t You (Forget About Me), and New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84).

The band returned for a four-song encore including Alive and Kicking and Sanctify Yourself.

By the end of the night everyone left happy, but really hoping that it will not be another 32 years before we see the band again.

Photos: Stewart Johnstone

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