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Mike and the Mechanics at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Mike and the Mechanics at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Mike and the Mechanics at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Lee-Ann Richer

Co founder and original member of the band Genesis, Mike Rutherford is back on tour with his side project Mike + the Mechanics. It has been 25 years since they have played in North America.

Tuesday March 10th brought his "Hits Tour 2015" to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at the Canadian National Exhibition Fairgrounds in Toronto. 

It’s interesting in that often when a member of a group starts a side project they are usually unhappy with the group they are in. According to Rutherford, they were having a great time in the super band Genesis. The formation of Mike + the Mechanics in 1985 was more of an expansion rather than a change. In the end he said that it helped keep Genesis together, longer. 

Mike and the Mechanics have always had two lead vocalists and Rutherford has not deviated from this pattern. Original singers Paul Carrack and Paul Young (who died in 2000) have been replaced by Tim Howar and soulful singer Andrew Roachford. 

The 15 song set list was about 90 min in length and opened with Howar singing "A Beggar on a Beach of Gold". This is the title song from their 1995 album. Next was "Get Up" (1991) where Roachford took over lead vocals. The attention was definitely on the two front men with Rutherford stepping up here and there for leads. The band members showcased their talent during the evening by frequently switching from one instrument to another. The vocalists sounded great and gave the band a slightly different sound from the Mike + the Mechanics we may have been expecting.  

The band went on to play "Silent Running" which we were told that was the song that started it all. "Another cup of Coffee", "Seeing Is Believing" and "Try to save Me" were very well received from the polite crowd. But it wasn’t till the band played the first of two Genesis songs, "Turn It On Again" (1980), did they get a standing ovation.  The second Genesis song was "I Can’t Dance" (1991). Howar and Rutherford imitated the dance moves from the video for a few moments, and then burst into laughter. 

The vocals were very good but the sound was quite different from the original versions. Sometimes when you are hear a classic song, sung by someone other than the original artist; your brain expects the singer to sound like who you are used to hearing.  Their versions were great, though! Different, but great!  

The band backing Rutherford, Howar and Roachford was made up of Irish born Anthony Drennan on bass and guitar,  Luke Juby on keys and the longest member of the band after Rutherford,  21 years, Gary Wallis on drums. 

After "Over My Shoulder" and "Nobody’s Perfect", Roachford got a chance to sing one of his originals, "Cuddly Toy". During the song there were stops: 1 time, 3 times and yes 21 times where his teasing the crowd got him another standing ovation. 

The evening closed with "The Living Years" and "All I Need Is a Miracle", two larger hits for Mike + the Mechanics. The encore was "Word of Mouth".

I would like to send a special thank you to Brian Kehoe for the hospitality at the Queen Elizabeth Theater! It was a fun night!

© Liveinlimbo, by Trent Richer

Last modified on Friday, 13 March 2015 17:54

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