Lowest of the Low Take Their Loyal Fans to the Highest Heights

by Eco

The Toronto band Lowest of the Low got together for a couple of sold out shows at Lee’s Palace this past weekend (Dec 3,4) in Toronto in support of their remastered, re-released debut album “Shakespeare, My Butt”

I can say without reservation, that this is the best concert I’ve ever attended. Yes, I know – I am letting nostalgia and simple love for lyric and sound ‘colour’ my review – so let me say up front that I have been a Lowest of the Low fan since the initial release of Shakespeare, My Butt. Over the 19.5 years since, the LotL sound for me has continued to haunt my playlists – adding some new material now and then, but always including some and any of the ‘Shakespeare’ tracks. Surprisingly, I have never had a chance to see them play live so when I heard that they were planning 2 shows, on nights that I could attend, it did not take long to have my tickets in the mail!

The Show at Lee’s was outstanding. The opening act was a combination of Jim Bryson and John K. Sampson (of the Weakerthans), accompanying each other on an array of their eclectic folk tunes. The Low kicked off the first set with a straight through run of “Shakespeare, My Butt”. At times, in fact most of the time, it was a MASSIVE sing along, with the crowd knowing and belting out every word of song after song.

Salesmen, Cheats and Liars

Rosy & Grey

Ron Hawkins commented at one point that there really was not much challenge in the set-list when everyone in the crowd knows it by heart.  The band was extremely energetic – playing with passion, and sharing that passion with the 300 or so fans who shared their own passion right back. After finishing Shakespeare, the Low moved on to a variety other songs pulled from all of their albums, as well as some unrecorded songs as well. Ron closed the show with Black Monday, one of my personal favourates.

The Full setlist:

Shakespeare My Butt in order:

4 O’Clock Stop

So Long Bernie

Just About “The Only” Blues

Salesmen, Cheats and Liars

Rosy and Grey

Kinda’ the Lonely One

Eternal Fatalist

For the Hand of Magdelena


Bleed a Little While Tonight


St Brendan’s Way

Letter from Bilbao

Under the Carlaw Bridge

The Taming of Carolyn

Gossip Talkin’ Blues

Henry Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Bit (Thanks Correction!)

Crying Like a Postcard

3am Taxi Ride

Things I Wish I’d Never Seen


Motel 30

Unbearable Lightness of Jean

Kill the Lights

Dark Horse

Last Recidivist

Black Monday

I can only hope that the Low will continue to get together and share their music with their fans. Even if it is only to continue to reissue all of their albums in sequence, as Ron laughingly suggested during the show, I don’t think there was a person in Lee’s Palace that would object. I also hope that they can find some way to work together again, perhaps leveraging the life journeys that each of them has followed since 2004’s Sordid Fiction. I can’t wait until next time!!

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