Well, It was the last day of the bid weekend. Most say they save the best for last. It’s pretty tough to top Eric Church and Dallas Smith as headliners. But when you get Thomas Rhett & Florida Georgia Line ya at least have a shot. And lets just say these guys came to party. I am a HUGE Thomas Rhett fan and have been for years (5 or 6 now at least) I can still remember seeing him take the stage in Chicago at Joe’s on Weed St. Performing after Brad Paisley’s big Wrigley Field gig as the after party to maybe 300 people and then witnessing the show yesterday.
Day 4 saw some pretty amazing artists take both the Front Porch Stage as well as the Main stage. Trinity Bradshaw hit the main stage at 1pm and she put on one hell of a show for the fans. For those of you who haven’t been to Boots in the past. Trinity won the Emerging Artists Showcase last year and had the opportunity to play the Main Stage on Sunday. I had a chance to sit and chat with Trinity on Saturday and she is an absolute riot to chat with. And you can see that it spills into her performance. Word of mouth travels fast and when speaking to some of the B&H fans they had said they just loved her set and spunkiness. So I would have to say job well done Trinity.
We caught the tail end of Wes Mack’s main stage performance sorry no pics to share on this one as I was a little late for the pit. BUT. I can tell you Wes definitely knows how to work a crowd. My favourite song of his from his set was The Way You Let Me Down. And with a new album to drop early September you could tell Wes was pretty damn excited to be back on the big stage at Boots.
Then we move to the always lovely Kira Isabella. This was Kira’s 2nd time at Boots and Hearts stage. Kira has one hell of a summer to be honest. Playing both Bluesfest & Boots is a pretty sweet. She didn’t disappoint the crowd at boots playing through a solid 60 min set. Kira has really blossomed over the last 12 months and her stage show has been impressing me more and more each time. Boots was no exception she rocked it.
Now, I didn’t get over to the Front Porch stage on Sunday due to some interviews etc. But I can tell you that from anyone I talked to Canaan Smith lit it up! I had a chance to chat with Canaan back in April and he was looking forward to his performance then and I can report that the fans loved it. Next up on the main stage was Canada’s own Emerson Drive. Having just seen the guys a couple of weeks back at a very wet Stampede the sun was shining and the heat was turned up. When the guys hit the stage the crowd had grown to what I would say to be about 25,000 people. Brad and the boys were fantastic. This was their second stint at Boots and Hearts as they played the kick off show 2 years back but this time on the big stage with a HUGE crowd you again could tell the guys were lovin’ every minute of it. The highlight of the guys set was when Tebey hit the stage to sing Wake Me Up. You could just tell the guys on stage were feeding from it. Great set by a fantastic Canadian band.
When Emerson Drive left the stage it was time to announce the winner of this years Emerging Artists Showcase put on by Sirius XM. The James Barker Band walked away with the title this year BUT… I have to say I believe that Eric Ethridge will be the guy that will have the stay power over time. Not that I wasn’t a fan of JBB but I just think that Eric Ethridge has the ability to make it a long career.
The it was time… Next up, Thomas Rhett
I was so excited to see how this guy was going to perform for 40,000 consider last September we sat in a bar in downtown Toronto and saw Thomas hammer out a few acoustic songs This venue was NOT the Rockin’ Horse but it was Rockin’. The folks at Boots and Hearts just LOVED this guy. From the minute he walked out on stage in his Hawaiian shirt and Blue Solo Cup in hand. Thomas has the IT factor in my personal opinion. He has the voice, the songwriting and the personality. To make it in this crazy industry you need all of thee above and it showed on stage on Sunday night that this guy is going to be around for a long time. From the groovy tunes to him jumping into the audience to chat with high-five anyone and everyone he could. The fans ate it up. Personal favourite from his set was Crash & Burn. The swagger he has during this song is just awesome. Don’t forget we had a chance to sit down with Thomas a couple of weeks back and the new album hits this September. Thomas mentioned in that interview how excited he was to finally play Boots. With all that swagger on stage you could tell he was right at home with his closest Canadian friends.
Finally the last act of the night… Florida Georgia Line. I have never had the pleasure of actually meeting Tyler or Brian but what I can say is these guys know how to put on a show in epic proportions. From the risers to the stage show to just saying the right things. Hard to believe that 4 or 5 years ago these guys were relatively unknown. Ahhh.. the power of XM Radio and the John Marks. To see 40,000+ standing in front of that stage on Sunday night was pretty special. I know that the folks over at Big Machine Canada were ecstatic to have them up to wrap up the amazing weekend of music. Sorry I don’t have any FGL photos at the moment to post but hope to have some for the final review on Thursday.
Sunday may have been the best night of the weekend. Although Chad, Dallas and Eric sure put on one heck of a show on Saturday night. Tough to pick.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76