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Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts combine for historic night in Toronto

Last Updated Aug 25, 2019 at 9:27 am EDT

Under a sky that was lit purple as the sun went down and a cool breeze blew through the crowd history was made at the Budweiser Stage. Legendary Canadian country-rock band Blue Rodeo played their 20th show at the venue since it opened back in 1995.

“It’s the audience at these shows that make these concerts so special for us,” Jim Cuddy told CityNews backstage before the show.

“It’s an annual event for a lot of people and there is a vibe in the room that you are at a huge reunion, people sit in their same section every year, people camp out on the lawn and you get to ride this wave of celebration with the crowd.”

It wasn’t just a reunion for fans but also Jim Cuddy and Juno-Award winning Montreal rocker Sam Roberts whose band performed before Blue Rodeo.

“Our paths cross at various Tim Horton’s around Canada and we find each other,” said Roberts. “Jim and I have done a lot of travelling outside of our career and I know the guys in Blue Rodeo for a long time so we’ve all forged friendships that go quite a ways back and a night like this is a reunion of sorts that’s not just for the fans but us as friends and musicians. And you know what I’ve never performed with Blue Rodeo before so this is a real treat for us.”

“We sold out the first show we did here 25 years ago and haven’t sold it out again until this weekend,” added Cuddy. “So I think Sam is the difference {Laughs}.”

Blue Rodeo has had a string of number one hits over their storied career but one of the main events at their shows is when they perform the encore version of their hit song “Lost Together.” At this time it’s a moment of pure Canadiana as they bring on stage the acts that opened for them which on Saturday included Jim’s son’s band, The Devin Cuddy Band, and of course Roberts who was visibly emotional during the song.

“I’ve only played here once and it was in 2002,” Roberts said. “It was the first big show that we ever played, it was at this venue. And of course at the beginning you never know if you are going to get another opportunity to play at the venues so I’m really glad that 17 years later we are back here again.”

Blue Rodeo holds the record for the most shows at the outdoor venue since is opened 25 years ago.