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Press

Just for Laughs: the Young@ Heart Chorus

by ill Brownstein - Montreal Gazette
June 05, 2010

This is rich: Lou Reed may have made many miserable by not performing his trademark '60s hit, Walk on the Wild Side, at the jazz fest.


This is rich: Lou Reed may have made many miserable by not performing his trademark '60s hit, Walk on the Wild Side, at the jazz fest.

 

Flash-forward nearly two weeks at the same venue, Salle Wilfrid Pelletier in Place des Arts, but different fest, Just for Laughs: the Young@ Heart Chorus, seniors ranging in age from 70-something to 90-something, got down and gave a righteously soulful rendering of the Reed anthem to a packed house Tuesday night. And received a thunderous standing ovation for their efforts.

 

Nor was that the only standing O the group got. Pretty much everything they performed following intermission got the same reception. No surprise.

 

This group of golden-agers from Northampton, Mass., absolutely captivates with a repertoire top-heavy with the Ramones and Sonic Youth, as well as the Stones and Springsteen. Accompanied by a dynamite combo of musicians - not yet ready for retirement -and energetic choir-master Bob Cilman, they not only sing but also do some mean strutting -some with canes in hand.

 

You haven't lived until you've caught them croon You Can't Always Get What You Want, Dancing in the Dark or I Want to Be Sedated. Or Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit and Somebody to Love. Or Hendrix's Purple Haze. And, if you are not moved by their interpretation of Dylan's Forever Young, you have no heart.

 

But they forever endeared themselves to the hometown crowd with a medley of Canadiana that included Neil Young, the Band and, best of all, Robert Charlebois. Their recitation of the latter's Lindberg, in perfect French, brought the house down. Again.

 

bbrownst@thegazette.canwest.com

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