Published Dec 08, 2008Some people are just born entertainers. After Friday night's show at Toronto's Cadillac Lounge, Wanda Jackson proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was made for the stage.
Still wildly energetic and beautiful, the "Queen of Rockabilly" performed in joyful defiance of the number of years she has spent on this planet. "I just had my 71st birthday and I am having the time of my life!" she admitted to the audience in her warm Southern drawl.
Clad in red sequins (and red lipstick to match), the living legend riled up a crowd of mostly youthful rockabilly revivalists; pin-up girls and greased-up teddy boys cheered, shrieked and danced to the musical stylings of the stylish geriatric who continues to bring her special brand of glamour to country music. Jackson's unique voice has aged, but retains that unique trademark growl that would almost be off-putting if it weren't so damn compelling.
Backing band the Rizdales were visibly tickled pink at standing behind the rockabilly icon once again, and played hits like "Mean Mean Man," "Fujiyama Mama," "Let's Have a Party" and "Right Or Wrong" with panache and professionalism (despite them being punctuated by the occasional dopey grin). Jackson's between-song banter was funny and charming, lending cultural and personal context to the songs they played.
Show highlights included the seductive and well-received "Funnel of Love" (a semi-obscure B-side only recently popularized with its inclusion on the girl groups box set One Kiss Can Lead To Another) and a set of well-known songs originally popularized by Jackson's old flame, Elvis Presley.