What does it feel like to jam into a SOLD OUT venue with 1,100 rabid country music fans on a Saturday night? Well, if you’re talking about James Barker Band’s Game On Tour hitting Guelph on Jan. 20, it made for a pretty amazing time. The last show I can remember hitting the Guelph Concert Theatre for was another sold out beauty, with Tim Hicks and Cold Creek County, over a year ago. It was cool to be back in Guelph at the same great venue — one that really doesn’t get enough country shows, considering the last two have packed them in. But here’s hoping with this latest sell-out, we get a few more stops in Guelph. The night kicked off with B.C.’s own Jojo Mason. This guy has a suitcase full of great tunes, and jammed in as many as possible during his 30 minute set, including a countrified version of Backstreet’s No Diggity that had the fans bouncing. There’s just something infectious about Jojo — his personality on stage just beams, and the crowd can’t help but sing along.
Following Jojo’s set was Ontario’s own Meghan Patrick. Now, unless you’ve been living in seclusion for the last month or so, you’re no-doubt aware Miss Patrick has a smokin’ hot new album that just hit the streets called Country Music Made Me Do It, and damn, it’s amazing. Meghan commands the stage from the minute she hits it, and it was her rousing rendition of Jolene that had the crowd boot stompin’ and whistling at the tops of their lungs. Meghan made mention she was a little under the weather, but from what we could tell, she didn’t miss a beat.
It was soon time for the James Barker Band to take the stage in front of a hot and sweaty crowd, and let me tell you, it has been one hell of a ride watching these boys go from emerging artists at Boots & Hearts, to headlining their very own Nationwide Tour. And with a brand new single dropping this past week called Good Together, these boys seriously are Living the Dream…
Whether it was James taking the stage solo mid-point through the set to belt out a fan-picked tune, or hearing the crowd singing along to EVERY SINGLE song, it one of those nights you just didn’t want to end. With some festival dates already booked south of the border for 2018, we have a feeling this is just a little warm up run for what is sure to be the best year ever for the James Barker Band. And be sure to grab tickets to one of the remaining dates on the tour. Trust us, this is one you don’t want to miss.
If you are wondering where the tour is off to next…. Well, tonight they hit London, Ont., then it’s off to Sudbury, The Soo, Winnipeg, Brandon, Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary, Grand Prairie, Lethbridge and finally Vancouver. So there’s still time!
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76
Edited by Whitney South
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