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Lightfoot wows the crowd on 80th birthday

Hometown folk legend marks milestone birthday with concert at Opera House

Before Gordon Lightfoot got to sing Saturday night, the capacity crowd at the Orillia Opera House had a tune for the hometown hero.

As Lightfoot took to the stage, the crowd sang Happy Birthday to the folk legend, who was celebrating his 80th on Saturday.

“Welcome to my birthday party,” a smiling Lightfoot told the enthusiastic crowd.

With a 90-minute set, Lightfoot wanted to cram in as many songs as he could, so he shortened a few of them. The setlist included Carefree Highway, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Sundown, Rainy Day People and many more, including Couchiching, a nod to the local lake.

“I’m really sorry you’ve gotta find me with a vocal problem here,” he told the crowd about halfway through the concert.

No one was complaining. Lightfoot sounded strong on stage, even hitting the higher notes during A Painter Passing Through.

Lightfoot’s performance happened during Orillia’s annual Lightfoot Days celebration, a way for the city to mark the singer’s birthday.

Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is an experienced multimedia journalist and editor who covers Orillia and other parts of Simcoe County.
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