Live Review: Alan Doyle @ Budweiser Stage, Toronto – August 10th 2023

alan doyle budweiser stage toronto august 10 2023

One week ago, I had the privilege of watching and photographing the wonderful Alan Doyle (former frontman for Great Big Sea) for the second time. The last time was 8 years in Vancouver at The Vogue Theatre, but it definitely didn’t feel like that much time had passed between shows. I met with the other photographers at the gate and got to chatting with them a bit and received some wonderful advice and knowledge from one of them named Tom who is a professional photographer for Live Nation and covers many of the major events around Toronto. I learned one or two things about how concerts operate when it comes the people reviewing and photographing the performers that I didn’t know before.

Like any live show, the audience was amped up and ready for Mr. Doyle. A sea shanty here or a pub song there, he manages to put Canada’s East Coast music on the map. Not a single person was out of their seat (particularly when it comes to the Great Big Sea classics) when Doyle played. This seems to be par for the course when hearing Alan Doyle solo or Great Big Sea in general. I will always be amazed at the speed in which he sings at the pace he does when singing “End Of The World” without a single stammer. The energy, joy and overall fun during his shows is something to write home about. Hearing him is also a consistent reminder that I need to visit Newfoundland in the very near future. His music is just so uplifting that you simply cannot be in a bad mood when hearing him play. His accompanying band mates were incredible as well, particularly his fiddle player Kendel Carson, who joined Doyle’s band in 2013.

To get a taste of Doyle’s performance at the Budweiser Stage last week, I recommend giving his live album from 2022 a listen: 

https://open.spotify.com/album/5ap0s1WJGHSmU2LruHrMwN (same set list, give or take a few in a different order)

Also, who doesn’t love a good sea shanty? 

Set time: 9:20PM 

Allan Doyle Setlist

“Come Out With Me”
“Captain Kidd”
“We’re Gonna Love Tonight”
“When I’m Up” (Great Big Sea)
“Laying Down to Perish”
“Welcome Home”
“Testify”
“Lukey” (Great Big Sea)
“We Don’t Wanna Go Home”
“Dancing Like We Did”
“The Old Black Rum” (Great Big Sea)
“Bully Boys”
“I’ve Seen a Little”
“Consequence Free/End of the World/The Night Pat Murphy Died”
“1,2,3,4” (with Ed Robertson)

Encore:
“Ordinary Day”
“Dancing With You”

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