Fred Penner entertains

On Friday night, childhood television favourite for all, Fred Penner took the stage at Chainsaw in Uptown Waterloo.

The show kicked off with local all-female trio, The Tra La Las. The upbeat ensemble entertained the growing crowd with their distinctive folk, doo-wop sound.

The seating area of the bar was packed by 8 p.m., but the musical talents of the up-and-coming Tra La Las brought the noisy crowd to attention and received well-deserved applause after their hour-long set.

When Penner appeared on the stage with his acoustic guitar, the group of rowdy adults were immediately reminded of childhood memories from nearly two decades passed.

He opened with a reprisal of the classic “What a Day,” which delighted the group.

Accepting song requests, Penner awed the audience with old favourites like “Sandwiches” and “The Cat Came Back” that called for the audience to excitedly sing along and participate by sharing their best cat sound effects.

His set consisted of a mix of his classic children’s songs and covers of folk ballads from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Pete Seeger.

To close his set, he performed his own take of “You Are My Sunshine,” inspiring an incredible moment in which the crowd sang along in unison, continuing after Penner had ceased playing.

The lasting impression that Fred Penner left on our childhoods by teaching and entertaining children through music was evident on Friday night, transcending a younger age group and having an equally positive effect on the crowd of nostalgic adults at Chainsaw.

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