In November 2007, I tried a little (OK, big!) musical experiment (since I like to challenge myself and push my limits, musically and otherwise). I had only started writing reviews about concerts I had attended a few months earlier (man, I wish I had had this epiphany so many years earlier when I witnessed the best acts in the world perform! Their greatness and glory were recorded in my heart and my musical soul but the specific exquisite beauty that they imprinted on me are now chiefly lost in the mists of time because memory is a fickle friend, especially as one grows older).
I had a little time off, the weather was getting cold in Canada, I hadn’t been to a concert for a bit and I was a little music-starved, I hadn’t seen my long-time friend, The Professor, for a while and I want to both treat myself to something special and grow from the experience. So, I decided I would be a ‘professional’ music critic for some 12 days and I would follow an artist on the road to 7 different concerts in two different provinces and see what would happen.
The artist I chose to experience in this way was an up-and-coming Canadian musician and lyricist named Lukas Rossi, reputed to ‘change it up’ at every concert and known for giving his fans an always unique experience. He was on a swing through Western and Eastern Canada on his so-called Love & Love Extended Tour (or Love & Lust II Tour). Of course, artists live the concert experience in this way, i.e. performing one night, then packing it up and moving on to the next venue for as long as the tour lasts. And professional music critics must also experience music to a certain extent in this way, although I doubt they usually see the same artist over and over again over a two-week period.
So, this was going to be a rather out-of-the-ordinary adventure. I wondered though: would I be disappointed in the artist after this experience or gain an entirely new and healthy appreciation for his craft? Would he be able to keep me interested over the span of 7 concerts? Would I see him grow before my very eyes? Would I notice him improving a little something here, a note or an inflection there, adding tiny subtleties that, when put together, make the difference between a good and a great performance? Would I run out of things to say from one concert to the next?
The following reviews are the result of that self-imposed experiment…