Music » Livewire

The Guess Who

With Joe Cocker. Saturday, October 6, at Gund Arena.

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The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Guess Who turned early success in Canada into fame in the States after scoring hits with a multitude of singles ("These Eyes," "No Sugar Tonight," and "No Time"). Along the way, one of its founders, guitarist Randy Bachman, left and formed Bachman Turner Overdrive. As the years passed, a succession of other musicians filled in spots. Original singer Chad Allan's vocal duties were picked up by keyboardist Burton Cummings after Allan left the group in 1966. In its native Canada, the band is still an institution, a workingman's rock act that broke down the barrier of the American market so that others above the 59th parallel could succeed. The Guess Who helped pave the way for Canadians such as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Rufus Wainwright. A successful reunion tour with Bachman and Cummings last year has led to a lengthy go-round in the States. Despite success up north, it's strange that the band is playing a venue the size of Gund Arena. It's not as if classic rock stations give its catalog the kind of repeated airplay that they give to the work of Bob Seger, Pink Floyd, or Lynyrd Skynyrd. So expect this show to fall far short of a sellout, even in a classic rock town like Cleveland. At least you can look forward to its performance of "American Woman" -- which will undoubtedly be better than that godawful version by Lenny Kravitz.

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