Great Lake Swimmers: Live in Lancaster, PA

Great Lake Swimmers

Kicking off their current US winter tour here in Central PA, Toronto-based contemporary folk-rockers Great Lake Swimmers made their long overdue return to Tellus360 in Lancaster to share many new tunes from their latest “Uncertain Country” album. 

We last caught up with Tony Dekker (vocals/guitars/harmonica) and co., back in the summer of 2023, during the first phase of this album tour – joined at that time by long-time collaborators Bret Higgins and Erik Arnesen (both unavailable for this 2024 leg). Touring the US as a quartet, Tony is joined on this road trip by frequent bandmates Ryan Granville-Martin (drums/bass/vocals) and Colleen Brown (keys/guitar/vocals), with Nick Zubeck (bass/guitar/vocals) rounding out the ensemble. 

Great Lake Swimmers

“This is the first show of our tour, and what a pleasure it is to kick it off here in Lancaster,” Tony announced. “We have a new record that came out last year called Uncertain Country and we’re still on the road supporting it and playing songs from it.”  The band would share seven cuts from the new album, including “Riverine,” “Swimming Like Flying,” and the popular single “When The Storm Has Passed.” 

Offering a similar set list to that from their Guelph show, Great Lake Swimmers mixed old and new material nicely throughout their 80-minute set – including revisiting their 2005 “Bodies And Minds” album to deliver a flawless acoustic version of “Song For The Angels.” The omission of Erik’s traditional mood-setting banjo licks to open “Your Rocky Spine” was replaced by some stellar acoustic guitar work from Tony, presenting us with a unique variation on this crowd-pleaser. 

Great Lake Swimmers

As witnessed at their show last year, it was fun to once again watch Tony re-tune his guitar on the fly as his bandmates extended their instrumentation to close out “Put There By The Land,” before all four musicians progressed seamlessly into “Pulling On A Line.” Both unexpected and impressive to observe the first time around, it proved equally jaw-dropping once more, and it was nice to see this become a permanent fixture of the show. 

Adding popular hits “Zero In The City,” “Still,” and “Everything Is Moving So Fast,” Great Lake Swimmers would close the show with a rousing performance of “I Am Part Of A Large Family,” thanking the room for welcoming them back to this town once more, before bidding us all a good night. It’s always a pleasure to experience this band live – it’s always a pleasure to welcome them into our backyard to share their music here in PA. Here’s hoping they have a great road-trip across the US and return to our corner of the country again soon. 

Set List: 

  1. Everything Is Moving So Fast 
  2. Put There By The Land 
  3. Pulling On A Line 
  4. Uncertain Country 
  5. When The Storm Has Passed 
  6. Zero In The City 
  7. Your Rocky Spine 
  8. Alone But Not Alone 
  9. Still 
  10. Respect For All Living Things 
  11. Riverine 
  12. Song For The Angels 
  13. Am I Floating In The Air 
  14. Flight Paths 
  15. The Real Work 
  16. Swimming Like Flying 
  17. I Am Part Of A Large Family 

Photo Credit: Official Poster – Band Website 

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.

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