- "The Montreal Star"
- Written By David Freeston
March 11, 1976
- Courtesy of Charles Gauthier
CAT STEVENS FORUM CONCERT
PROVES PLEASANT SURPRISE
I must confess that I wasn't entirely prepared to delight in Cat
Stevens' Forum concert last night. During the course of the last four or five albums (has
it been that long?) he's come more and more to resemble a blissed-out zombie who's run out
of things to say and doesn't know it yet. Of course, I didn't actually delight in the
concert after all, but it at least held a few pleasant surprises and drove home most of
his redeeming features.
It was an extravagant concert by Forum standards. The bandshell-circus tent hung over the
stage was paired off with a good lighting system and, both to keep things light and lively
and in line with his current "Majik" phase, he had an intriguing magician
perform on and off throughout the show.
Thankfully, his development of the magic number was restricted to these effects and no
more than a couple of songs from the "Numbers" album. The majority of the 20-odd
songs were old standards such as "The Wind", "Wild World", "Hard
Headed Woman" and "How Can I Tell You".
With the stage show intermittently deflecting attention from the redundancy of his
material, we had a chance to appreciate how delicate and lively his melodies often can be.
Stevens was in energetic good voice, though occasionally breathy, as he alternated between
the piano and guitar. His band, while unexecptional, was proficient and provided a nice
contrast to the pristine Stevens recorded sound.
With bass, drums, percussion, two guitars, keyboards, and soul-chick singers behind him,
the music had a nice, unexpectedly rough edge that complemented his pretty but obtuse
songs, and Stevens ended up singing with
more verve than I would have hoped for. END