Four days of incredible music with world class headliners and a rising group out of the Ottawa area stole the final day of Boots and Hearts with an incredibly high energy, Main Stage worthy, show on the Front Porch Stage on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday brought with it some cooler weather and some incredibly hot entertainment on the stages at Boots and Hearts. It would also be the day that more women took to the stages than any other. The day started out with an emotionally charged, inspirational performance by Jessica Mitchell in the Sirius Fan Fair Village. At the same time 2014 Emerging Artist finalist Kaitlin Kozell took to the Front Porch stage and last year’s Emerging Artist winner James Barker Band kicked off the party on the Main Stage.
Ottawa’s own Jordan McIntosh picked up the Main Stage party from where the James Barker Band left off, followed by Jason Benoit. While Benoit was rockin’ the Main Stage we made our way over to the Front Porch to catch our good friends the River Town Saints in their Boots and Hearts debut.
Although the crowd started on the small side, likely due to Benoit’s set, but quickly grew to fill and overflow the covered area of the Front Porch stage. I’ve had the luxury of seeing the River Town Saints a number of times now and their show keeps getting better and better as they mature as artists and hone their performance skills and the Boots and Hearts performance was by far the strongest show I’ve ever seen them put on to date, they even gave one lucky fan a guitar.
The Canadian talent being staged at Boots and Hearts this past weekend was second to none and the downside, like with any multi-stage festival, was that it was impossible to catch them all and unfortunately I missed out on Jason McCoy’s performance at the SiriusXm Fan Fair Village which overlapped the River Town Saints show.
Lindsay Ell put on a killer set on the Main Stage after the River Town Saints wrapped up, she even brought Jessica Mitchell up on stage for a surprise duet of Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” which blew everyone in attendance away.
As Lindsay was commanding the crowd at the Main Stage Dylan Scott, an emerging Louisiana talent, took to the Front Porch Stage.
Ottawa Valley Native, Jason Blaine, was next up on the Main Stage teeing up the headliners for the night with yet another incredible performance leading into a short set by Chase Rice on the Coors side stage, while Vanessa Marie Carter was announced as the winner of the 2016 Emerging Artist Showcase over on the Main Stage.
Chase Rice took to the Main Stage shortly after Vanessa’s set and got the crowd well pumped for the final headliner of the weekend, Tim McGraw.
This was my first time seeing Tim McGraw on stage live (not including video performances etc..) and I have to say from a sound perspective he was bang on note for note like his recordings. I just found his overall performance was more laid back and mellow compared to some of the other acts throughout the day, some fans even went so far as to say that Tim looked and acted as though he wasn’t well. We thoroughly enjoyed his performance and didn’t hesitate to sing along with our favourites but from a performance aspect I just felt that it wasn’t his best night.
In all, the incredible Canadian talent was the highlight of the weekend. We should be incredibly proud of the talent that comes from the Great White North. Big thanks to events like Boots and Hearts that give these artists a platform to showcase themselves!
That’s a wrap for another year at Burl’s Creek and what a year it’s been. Special thanks to Republic Live for their hospitality and to all of the artists who joined us for interviews and Boots Sessions and especially to all of our fans who took the time to come up and say hello and introduce themselves to us.
Stay tuned, plenty more pictures to come!
Boots and Hearts will be back in 2017 running from August 10-13 at Burl’s Creek, we’ll be there…will you? Watch our site and of course www.bootsandhearts.com for full details as they are announced!