By: Tracey Lukasik
The evening was billed as ” An Acoustic Night of Triumph…and More,” and fans could not have asked for more than what was delivered this past Friday night. With the exception of “Hold On,” a Triumph favorite that Emmett regularly performs at the end of most of his live shows, a bevy of the Canadian Trio’s most well known songs were offered in a refreshed and acoustic format. Rik’s current band mates, Dave Dunlop (guitar) and Steve Skingley (bass/keyboards) enraptured the crowd with rousing renditions of “Fight the Good Fight,” “Lay It on the Line,” and “Magic Power.” The biggest crowd pleaser of the night was “Ordinary Man,” that earned Rik a thunderous standing ovation.
The intimate setting of the Bears Den allows for a fairly interactive audience experience and also encourages a playful and comedic dialogue between the boys in the band. Fans were part of the fun as Rik and Dave often traded barbs in jest, and tattled each other’s personal idiosyncrasies to the crowd.
The comedy act continued through the instrumental, “Midsummer’s Day Dream.” During a small break in the song, which was played with jaw-dropping precision, Dave took it upon himself to add a full bodied “burp.”Rik erupted in laughter and even expressed his hope that someone in the audience captured the impromptu prank on video (Rik, we’ll be in touch…wink, wink).
Emmett, who recently welcomed his first grandson to the world, explained that age has indeed affected his ability to hit notes of certain octaves on many of the original Triumph classics. However, this has also afforded him the opportunity to “grow” these songs into “adulthood,” as he put it. The versions turned in this evening by Rik, Dave and Steve rivaled those performed in arenas worldwide during the magical 80’s. Emmett briefly reflected on Triumph’s 2008 reunion and fondly dedicated a song to his former band mates in Triumph, Gil and Mike.
As the set continued, the guys also played two cover songs off of their recently released “Recovery Room 9” CD, which is a collection of 9 diverse tunes hand picked by both Rik and Dave. Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer,” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious,” were effortlessly worked into the evenings repertoire.
Rik Emmett consistently honors his loyal followers with his awe inspiring fret work. His genuine love and respect for music, in addition to his fans, resonates with every note he strums or sings.