David Foster, 16-time Grammy-winning renowned Canadian musician, songwriter, composer, arranger, producer, and the man behind a huge list of hit songs since the 1970’s, stepped away from his studio and onto the stage for his first ever Canadian tour with a thrilling stop at Caesars Windsor on Sunday night (June 9). The tour is dubbed The Hitman Tour: An Intimate Evening With David Foster.
“Now anyone that knows me knows that I am the hugest flag waver on the planet, I am Canadian through and through,” David told the crowd early in the show. “I’m so happy to be doing my first ever real Canadian tour even though I’ve been to Windsor before.”
Nothing could be more Canadian than David opening the show with the uplifting theme song he composed for the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games while a video played above the stage.
“The reason why I do it is because I just like the way I look in that video, I was so young. The song was easy to play 31 years ago, it’s not so easy to play anymore, so I’m always relieved when I get through it without making a mistake.”
David’s show, filled with joking around with the audience, interacting with them, and storytelling about the songs he performed made for an “intimate evening.”
After the first song, David joked about a few empty seats in the front row, saying he was going to bring people from the back to fill them. In fact, some audience members arrived at their seats to find people sitting in them. David told them they might as well take the other empty seats. He also joked about the Toronto Raptors. “We did a show the other night and The Raptors game was on,” David told the audience. “They kept showing the score which was just amazing, so the crowd didn’t care what I did, they were just happy because we were winning.”
Keeping with a Canadian theme, just before his second song, David talked about Celine Dion. A photo appeared on the video screen showing “a very young 19 year old, Celine Dion, and a young David Foster too I might add,” David said. “We had so much success together and she was such a great vehicle for me because she always did exactly what I wanted vocally, there was no end to her talent, we all know she is a great Canadian national treasure, so our first number one hit together was a song called The Power of Love.”
“I have a young girl here who is amazing and she is an American Idol alum,” David continued. “She has her own show on Netflix called Westside, she sings with J.Lo (Jennifer Lopez), that’s pretty impressive.” David is speaking of the beautiful and incredibly talented singer, Pia Toscano.
“The most impressive thing about this young lady besides her incredible talent is that I made a huge mistake eight months ago, I introduced her to Andrea Bocelli, bad mistake, now he’s all about Pia, he’s taking my girl around the world, the only good fortune for me is Andrea does not like to work that much, and I do, so I get to have her when he doesn’t have her. If I was her I’d go with him too. But tonight she’s here with us.”
Pia blew the audience away with her vocals as she performed The Power of Love. The crowd cheered loudly when David asked what they thought about Pia’s performance. In addition to touring with David Foster and Andrea Bocelli, Pia, according to her website, will have new music released this year.
Next David began sharing a story about the musical score he wrote for the 1985 film, St. Elmo’s Fire, which became a piece of Canadian history. Director Joel Schumacher requested a piece; “I wan’t you to write a song, a love theme, that will fit the entire movie and I want it to sound like East Coast, Fall, Autumn crisp bite in the air, Georgetown Washington D.C. College kids, Rob Lowe throwing the football, slow motion in the park,” explained David. He was very proud of the melody but Schumacher called to say he hated it!
So how did this melody become a piece of Canadian history? That same day Quincy Jones called David to tell him about the American’s putting a song together called We Are The World in support of African famine relief. Jones wanted David to be the Canadian ambassador for the cause and write a song for Canada. David called his friend, and neighbour in Vancouver at the time, Bryan Adams, to help out. Bryan asked David if he had “anything sitting around melody wise?” David told the audience, “as a matter of fact I have something that I was going to give to St. Elmo’s Fire but I’m going to hold it, I didn’t tell him (Bryan) the part about the director hating it.” So the song became Tears Are Not Enough. Some names that sang on the track include Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchel, Neil Young, Anne Murray, and Loverboy. The song raised $2 million dollars for the Red Cross putting Canadian music in the history books.
Ironically, David told the audience, the director called the next day to say how wrong he was and how perfect the song was for the movie, but it was too late. Instead, Schumacher said, according to David, “you got to write something again right away and it’s got to be even better.”
And as David says, he nailed it. He began playing the theme song from St. Elmo’s Fire, part way into the beginning of the song, Kenny G. featured on the original track, popped up on the giant video screen above the stage. Through the magic of technology David Foster joined by Kenny G. from his studio, played the iconic love theme song from the film. Kenny G. made sure to plug his new album set to be released this fall.
These first three songs, the storytelling and joking with the audience set the tone for an incredible Intimate Evening With David Foster on The Hitman, first ever Canadian, tour stop at Caesars Windsor.
On a side note, David Foster is not only a Canadian music gem, he also is known for his lifelong dedication to philanthropy through his support of hundreds of charities, including his own non-profit organization, The David Foster Foundation, which raises organ donation awareness and provides financial support to Canadian families in need of life-saving transplants. He was recently awarded the 2019 Humanitarian Award presented by Music Canada at the recent JUNO Awards.
For more about David Foster including his current tour visit https://davidfoster.com
For more information about Pia Toscano visit https://piatoscanomusic.com
Upcoming shows at Caesars Windsor include Country music sensation Old Dominion (June 13), American rockers Collective Soul (June 27), Multiple Grammy award winner Jason Mraz (July 3), American post-punk alternative rock band, The Killers (July 9), Canadian comedian Howie Mandel (July 21), Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirator (July 26), and Ringo Star and His All Starr Band (Aug. 1).
For all upcoming shows at Caesars Windsor visit https://www.caesars.com/caesars-windsor/shows