Personally, we can’t think of a better way to start wrapping up the summer than a trip out to the country for some amazing live music. Fortunately, the bus made its way to Lucknow’s Music in the Fields Aug. 24-26, and we couldn’t have been more excited.
One look at the roster of talent spread over the festival’s three days of camping and crooning, and you would be too.
Kicking things off in a big way with the Thursday Night Throwdown, four-time CMAOntario winner Meghan Patrick got Graceland heated up the only way she knows now — rocking the stage and having a face-meltin’, boot-kickin’ good time. Belting out hits like Bow Chicka Wow Wow, I Believe in Beer, and of course, Grace & Grit, Patrick got the party revved, telling the sea of screaming fans they were the craziest crowd she had played for all summer, while Toronto’s DJ Rivex kept the tunes pumping late into the night.
Friday saw London’s Genevieve Fisher pull into Bruce County, excited to treat everyone to her brand new single, You Me We. The song may not have officially dropped until Monday, Aug. 28, but Lucknow fans were more than happy to get a sneak preview, in addition to tracks like Fisher’s own Take It On Home, as well as a couple covers including Maren Morris’s My Church.
Temperatures may have gotten a little chilly as the sun went down, but it was still Beer Weather for Cold Creek County, as the boys exploded onto the stage with their trademark high-energy antics, offering up hit after hit, from Till the Wheels Come Off to chart-climber, Homemade.
Finally it was Tim Hicks’ turn to rile up the crowd, and he certainly didn’t disappoint, making sure everyone had a Hell Raisin’ Good Time. The CCMA winner may have left the pyrotechnics at home, but that didn’t stop Hicks and the boys from setting Graceland on fire with tracks new and old, including Stompin’ Ground, Slow Burn, and crowd-favourite, Stronger Beer. After wrapping up She Don’t Drink Whisky Anymore, the evening took a memorable turn for one couple after a fan got down on one knee — on stage — and proposed to his girlfriend, as the audience watched in anticipation. Luckily, she said yes.
From the time two giant, turquoise tractor trailers pulled in to the Music in the Fields backstage ridiculously early Saturday morning, it didn’t take long to feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. Fortunately, there was more than enough talent ready and willing to warm up the over 6,000 fans expected to take over Graceland all day long.
In addition to an amazing performance by Edmonton’s rising star Alee, River Town Saints and The Washboard Union dialed it up to 11, pulling the crowd out of their lawn chairs and on to their feet.
Holding nothing back, RTS was full-on from the start, urging fans to clap their hands and stomp their boots to Like It Like That, while frontman Chris Labelle schooled the crowd on just when, and how loud, they were to sing along. Each track came hard and fast, from Cherry Bomb to Bonfire, before slowing things down with their latest single Woke Up Like This.
Not to be outdone, The Washboard Union kept toes tapping and hands in the air jumping right into Maybe it’s the Moonshine, and Alton Delmore’s Midnight Train before breaking into their newest single, Shine — a track all three have said they put their heart and soul into creating.
For anyone who has never seen Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, there’s really else nothing like it. And though everyone knows the songs, it’s another thing entirely to see them played with the kind of energy and passion Cochrane and the boys bring to the stage. From Sinking Like a Sunset, and Boy Inside the Man, to the iconic Life is Highway, there’s no better way to enjoy one of the country’s greatest musical commodities than to hear them perform live — and they didn’t disappoint in Lucknow.
Finally it was time to open the tiki bar and plug in the palm trees, as headliner Jake Owen hit the stage, much to the excitement of — well — everyone.
Running through a laundry-list of hits, including Beachin’ , Barefoot Blue Jean Night, and American Country Love Song, the Florida-native braved the brisk Ontario air, giving it his all to an ocean of adoring, and thankful fans.
One of the biggest things LMITF has done well with over the years is give emerging artists the opportunity to hit the stage, and this year was no different. This time around, Johnson Crook, Alessia Cohle, and Josh Ross all won the chance to rock out on the Howick Mutual Insurance Emerging Artist stage — and all three did a fantastic job.
We want to congratulate the folks at LMITF on another fantastic event. This festival continues to showcase a tangible, feel-good vibe, which could be — in part — due to the fact it continues to localize its profits to benefit the community that works so hard to bring this event together year after year. More specifically, the Lucknow District Kinsman have donated over $1 million over the last nine years. To all the remarkable volunteers and staff who help to make LMITF such a success, we are not alone when we say thank you from the bottom of our country-lovin’, boot stompin’, hell-of-a-good-time hearts.
Words: Whitney South
Check out our Interviews during LMITF….
Cold Creek County…
River Town Saints…
And don’t forget to book that time off work now for 2018… Because the 10th Anniversary is gonna be HUGE!!!