Andy Kim’s Christmas Show @ Corona Theatre

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There aren’t too many performers that begin a concert with their very biggest hit but then again, there’s only one Andy Kim.  On Saturday, December 10th, with his California tan, dangly silver earrings and Wayne Newton jet black hair, at 76, Kim returned to Montreal and proved once again that he is still very much a rock star.

Not wasting any time, he got us all dancing and singing along to “ Rock Me Gently” at the Corona Theatre for his annual Christmas Show.  (The Andy Kim Christmas show actually began in Toronto in 2005).

He then gave a heartfelt speech about the importance of health and family, especially during the holidays. Passionately declaring that “music will save your soul.”

 Ken Connors from CJAD joined him on stage for some clever banter. They thanked all of the incredible artists that volunteered their time and talents for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. 

First up was Chris Murphy from Sloan, who kept the casual vibe going in his Charlie Brown Christmas sweatshirt and wry sense of humour with quips like, “I love Montreal between May and September.” His two tracks were “The Rest of My Life” and “The Other Man.” They both sounded great, accompanied by Andy Kim’s phenomenal band.

Montreal’s very own Cinzia and The Eclipse was next. She only sang one song (“Little Italy”) but impacted the crowd with her sweet vocals and vulnerable lyrics. 

Choir Choir Choir did “Here Comes The Sun” and  “Hallelujah”, getting everyone to sing along.  

When The Dears hit the stage, it got loud. They sang “Christmas Love,” “Lost In The Plot” and “The Death of All The Romance,” and their performance intensified with each song.   

Then surprisingly, Andy reappeared and treated us to two more hits. “So Good Together” and “Amour,” which he dedicated to the audience.

Ron Sexsmith followed, singing “ Driving Home For Christmas” and “ Maybe This Christmas,” which sounded even better than the originals. Andy’s musicians and vocalists made everything sound better. 

When Molly Johnson with introduced, Andy made sure to mention her long list of accolades, including a Juno Award and an officer of the Order of Canada. Smiling sweetly and humbly, Molly casually came to the stage, dancing and chatting with the other musicians.  Striking,  with her long, silver hair and bright red lipstick, she eased into “Inner City Blues” like a seasoned pro (which she is) and then did “Rain.”  I can’t believe I’ve never seen her perform live before. If she comes back to Montreal, I definitely need to see her.

Bouncing onto the scene like a psychedelic hurricane, The Damn Truth brought that rock and roll energy that completely transformed the room; Lee-la flashing her megawatt smile, PY waving to a fan who screamed, “I love you PY, while Dave and Tom prepared to blow the roof off the Corona.  I looked up to the older crowd sitting in the balcony area and thought… now would be a good time to adjust your hearing aids!  I think this was my fifth time seeing them perform live, either as a supporting band or headliner, so I knew what to expect. They never disappoint and always bring the same passion every time. They played “Don’t Look So Innocent” and “Tomorrow,” and my ears are still ringing.

You would think that following that performance would be daunting, unless… you were the incomparable Sass Jordan. Bringing even more energy with that raspy, iconic rock ‘n’ roll voice, Sass proved that she could still belt it out like she did 40 years ago. Surprising us with a heartfelt cover of John Lennon’s “War Is Over,” she had us all singing the chorus, which was a perfect Christmas song. She closed with a fiery performance of “Make You A Believer,” her long blond hair flying wildly around her face. 

The night ended with all of the singers and musicians joining Andy to sing that old-school classic “Sugar Sugar” (made popular by the Archies in 1969.) This was my second time attending Andy Kim’s Christmas Show, and I plan to attend again next year. It’s not simply a great cause but a fun night where everyone wants to make the world a better place through the healing power of music. 

More on the Starlight Children’s Foundation here:

Review & photos – Annette Aghazarian 

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