On a cold, crisp, clear night, a Canadian New Years Eve was celebrated on the Sparks Street Mall, Ottawa. The maple leaf, ringed in colour, was hoisted up overlooking the crowd ready to be dropped at midnight. The digital time clock shone from the side of a building. Morning DJ, Ryan Lindsay, from Ottawa’s newest station New Country 94 mc’d the show and threw out t-shirts and hats to the audience.
The opener, Harmony, an amazing vocalist with a pure, sweet voice, broke into beat-boxing! For those who may not have heard this style of singing, using your vocal chords as instruments, we encourage you to find a video. Harmony was mesmerizing.
604 Records recording artists, rockers Autumns Cannon, were up next in their winter hats. It truly was cold for instruments and musicians! This group has opened for several famous rock bands including ZZ Top and consists of lead singer, Shaun Francisco, Nick Beaton, guitar, Mark Laforest, bass, Marty Sobb, keys, guitar and drummer, Mike Hogg. Before the drum solo, Mike took off his hat, let his long hair flow, and showed us why folks in the audience were calling his name!
Up next was the headliner that we had driven to Ottawa to see, Tim Hicks! Sans his usual ball cap, and sporting a toque, Tim hit the stage with his usual energy and smile. Here Comes the Thunder folks! Tim chatted with us, apologized for having to tune more due to the cold, played his hits and cuts from his albums, and thanked us for making his career. He came down onto the monitors to hand out picks and for fans to take close ups. His finale was, appropriately, his greatest hit to date, “Stronger Beer” with everyone singing along.
We didn’t have to beg for an encore very long before Tim and band graced the stage again. Tim said he should play a Canadian rock anthem since we were celebrating New Years in Ottawa and struck up Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69”. Another crowd-pleaser to end a varied and entertaining New Years Eve concert.