So, Last night I had the chance to witness what I was hoping to be an epic performance from one of country music’s elite. From the thousands that have flocked to his shows in the US with sold out dates in stadiums holding 70,000+. This guy (Kenny Chesney) has won multiple CMA Entertainer of the Year awards and numerous other accolades but he hasn’t frequented Canada that often and this was my first time hangin’ with the No Shoes Nation. But before we kick things off with what happened inside lets talk about the Street Party! Our good friends River Town Saints played to one heck of a party. For those of you not familiar with these guys we had the pleasure of seeing them few weeks back in Spencerville and they rocked it there and last night was no different. The boys played two 40 min sets that had the crowd of nearly 4000 strong raisin’ their glasses and stompin’ their feet. It was a strong set by one of Canada’s up and coming acts.
Now let’s get inside to where the rest of the evening’s entertainment was about to start. Chase Rice kicked things off inside. Chase has had a little success North of the border with a couple singles released to radio over the past 18 months. I only caught the last 3 songs of his set so can’t really give you a full review. Ready, Set, Roll was one of the tracks I did hear and thought Chase did a great job getting the crowd started.
Next up… JAKE OWEN. Now to be 100% honest. Jake was the reason I wanted to cover this show. After seeing him over a year ago at Casinorama he was a “Must See Again” artist for me. Tonight to play to just over 11,000 at First Ontario place, it was cool to just see Jake slide from side to side and just put a real fun vibe into the crowd. He always seems to be having fun on stage and that feeds back into the crowd. I loved his live version of his new single Real Life and from the reaction from the crowd I would have to say most of them liked it too! It was a Garth Brooks cover, that really let you see that Jake has depth and the boy can sing!!! Jake just killed his rendition of The Dance, a tough one to cover but he nailed it. If Jake Owen doesn’t play Boots and Hearts next year I would be really surprised. Come on Boots don’t make me look bad here!
The man of the hour, Mr. Kenny Chesney hit the stage just after 9pm and well to be 100% honest. Either Kenny was having an off night or maybe the hype was just that, hype. Kenny has a an amazing catalogue of hits. I know, I know. I am usually all positive and shit. But honestly, after seeing so many fantastic shows this summer (Florida Georgia Line, Dallas Smith, Tim Hicks and Thomas Rhett to name a few). I was really looking forward to this one, but was just a little disappointed in Kenny’s set.
I was having a hard time understanding why a guy that sells out Stadium’s in the states wasn’t able to sell out either of his Canadian dates (Ottawa or Hamilton). Kenny hasn’t spent the time in Canada like some of the other artists have such as Dierks, Darius and Blake to name a few. I know there are some of you out there that saw the show last night and thought it was out of this world. And I am so happy you enjoyed it. I did to. But it just didn’t leave me wanting more. The sing along with She Thinks My Tractors Sexy was fun and Summertime had the crowd boppin’. However, there were a few moments in the night where he pointed his mic out to the crowd to sing along and well, not much came back it seemed. I know I had him on the top of my list for Boots and Hearts next year but I may have to reconsider that one. Jake stole the night for me, the way he interacts with the crowd and his charisma on stage is just unreal. Another night in the books.
I would love to hear your thoughts on last nights show.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76