THE WALTONS THE WALTONS THE WALTONS
at Ted's Wrecking Yard, February 23. Tickets: $10. Attendance: 200. Rating: NN it's risky business recording shows for a live album. So many things can go wrong. As if the Waltons weren't already nervous enough about playing their first show here in three years, they also had to contend with the reality that tape was rolling. Maybe that was why Friday's gig at Ted's -- the first of two performances by the reactivated Regina- and Toronto-based pop combo -- wasn't anyone's idea of a knockout.
It would have helped enormously if the assembled throng had shut the fuck up for five minutes and just listened. OK, so maybe it was a too-long set with too few chestnuts, but one would assume that just leaving would be preferable to incessantly yapping. Apparently not.
Certainly, the Waltons sounded fine, especially leader Jason Plumb, whose voice was as warm and pleasant as ever. Similarly, drummer Sean Bryson, keyboardist/accordionist Todd Lumley and bassist Keith Nakonechny were on their game, sharply unspooling stuff from their Empire Hotel and Lik My Trakter discs.
But it never felt like the set left the ground. They played, we watched and the minutes ticked by.
Those gathered the following night came back with a very different report -- the Waltons loosened up, toyed with the set list, and the joint went wild. It obviously pays to pick your nights.