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Blue Rodeo fits right in

A couple of beers, a lot of balmy sunshine and one loud banjo. Not to mention a beautiful backdrop of the Niagara River.

Not bad for a night of summer music.

Having survived cooler temperatures last week, Artpark's free music festival, Tuesday in the Park, had a much warmer second week of operation -- and much more twangy sounds.

Opener Elliott Brood strummed along on a guitar and banjo for much of their hourlong set, bantering with the crowd in between songs, taking song requests and making dedications. Brood played a longer set than most openers, and listeners were able to enjoy an up-tempo, energetic performance as they settled in.

Headliner Blue Rodeo took the stage shortly after, opening to a crowd estimated at around 6,000. The Toronto natives opened with "Till I Am Myself Again," following up with "Rose Colored Glasses."

Fans were treated to a great rendition of "Better Off as We Are," complete with clear, funky keyboards. Later, the band slowed it down with a soft, jam-filled version of "Side of the Road." Rodeo appeared to truly enjoy playing to the swaying crowd, which showed its appreciation with loud and frequent applause.

Other light-hearted fan favorites included "What Am I Doing Here?" and "Head Over Heels," which showcased breezy harmonicas and more of Rodeo's country flavor. The band tapped its rock roots later on "Diamond Mine," which ended in a heavy guitar solo.

Overall, the band's laid-back, fun family style complimented the park's atmosphere perfectly. Blue Rodeo offered a little taste of music for everyone -- rock, country and jam-band fans were all satisfied.

e-mail: mhirschbeck@buffnews.com

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>Concert Review

Blue Rodeo

Tuesday night as part of Tuesday in the Park series at Artpark.

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