Plaskett made reference to his St. Thomas show being the last on a string of tour dates before heading home to Nova Scotia for a break, and to the fact that the voice starts to get a bit craggy by the end of a tour. He then proceeded to play the audience for two non-stop hours and they were happy to play back. Plaskett may have been thinking it was time for a rest, but he definitely hadn’t shifted into that mode Sunday evening as he mesmerized, energized and entertained a very receptive crowd.
Plaskett’s lyrics, music and commentary reveal his feel for the music of places other than Canada and of times other than the present. However, Canadian place-names pop up in many of his songs and he built a feeling throughout the evening that his connectedness with the places of Canada would now include St. Thomas. Early in the performance he gave a nod to the playhouse, saying “This place is cool, St. Thomas, look at this place.” and later, “St. Thomas, who’d a thought,” to which many in the audience replied, “Ya, who’d a thought.”
Plaskett played with The Emergency, then alone, then brought them back, providing doses of intensity, humour, and pure entertainment. His little animated rock monkeys sprang to life at a few key points throughout the night. Plaskett made good natured references to St. Thomas’s trains and Jumbo. When he left the stage, the audience demand for an encore sounded very much like one of those trains was coming right through the building. Plaskett obliged with four more songs, ending with a free-wheeling ode to St. Thomas. Those in attendance Sunday seemed to be in agreement - they would definitely like to see a return of Joel Plaskett Emergency to St. Thomas and the Princess Avenue Playhouse.