June 14, 1989: Ottawa Civic Centre Salons, Ottawa, ON
with Drew Nelson
The House Is a Rockin'
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Pride and Joy
Leave My Girl Alone
You'll Be Mine
I'm Leavin' You (Commit a Crime)
Love Me Darlin'
Couldn't Stand the Weather
Life Without You
Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
Vaughan's new complexity works
by Greg Barr The Ottawa Citizen
June 15, 1989
No makeup. No explosions. Just gut-wrenching guitar.
That's the simple explanation for the return of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble to Ottawa on Wednesday night at the Civic Centre.
On the other hand, there's a new complexity to Vaughan's music since his recovery from an addiction to drugs and alcohol.
The Texas guitar slinger boggled 1,500 fans with his wizardry on three guitars during the evening.
Vaughan, wearing a large silver crucifix, created his own near-religious experience. He'd hit a certain note, and guys in the audience - this was mainly a boys' night out - would turn and look at each other in awe.
He opened with The House Is Rocking from his new album In Step, and never looked back, naturally including his well-known version of Stevie Wonder's Superstition.
He saved the best for the encore. When he started the scratchy, wah-wah pedal beginning to Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile, the place went bonkers.
He ended with Riviera Paradise, the moody jazz-influenced piece that closes out the new album. Not the kind of way you'd expect the old Vaughan to finish a show, but it worked.
Ottawa blues guitarist Drew Nelson opened the show and won over some new fans as his 35-minute set progressed. Because he lacks the dominating stature Vaughan has, Nelson depended more on his band to project more than just a musical message.
While Nelson worked his growling vocals and tasteful guitar in a cover of Who Do You Love, for example, drummer Steve Lund took over in tunes such as Hip Shake, in which he played his drums with one stick, using the other hand to gesture and point as he spat out some mean-sounding lyrics.