This past Saturday night the folks over at KICX 106 had wee shindig at Mavricks Music Hall to help support the Radio For Cardiology at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario.  The amazing people at KICX throw a couple of events every year to help support such a great cause and this event was a beauty.

The night kicked off with the Rob Watts Band getting the country faithful warmed up, but by gauging the crowd they were some already pretty primed and ready to rock.   This was my first time seeing Rob and have to say was rather impressed with his set.  Mixed with some great covers and some original music

Rob Watts performs at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Dani Strong was next on the bill and let me tell ya, if you have never seen Dani live please add it to your bucket list.  This girl can sing and has such a great personality that just shines on stage.  Wether it’s the banter between her and the band or just letting you in on a snippet of her life with a funny story she is such a hoot onstage. And lets not forget about the music.  As I mentioned her voice is so strong and has a really cool rasp to it.  (Not talkin’ Colter Wall / JJ Shiplett Rasp folks) but just something that I haven’t heard from some of the ladies currently being blasted at Country radio.   And not to discredit her album but Dani needs to be seen LIVE!  Her CD is great but it’s that live performance where you get that real personality that draws you in.  And on this festive night Dani was nothing short of spectacular, running through 45 mins of great music with the highlight for me to no surprise was Where The Heck Is Dixieland? And a huge thanks to Dani for the shout out before she played it.

Dani Strong River performs at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Dani Strong River performs at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Then it was time crank it up a notch or two… If you haven’t seen the foot stompin’  arm thrashin’ River Town Saints yet then you better add that to your bucket list as well.  These guys bring a party to EVERY show.  It doesn’t matter if there is 100 or 10,000 in the audience these fellas have a blast on stage which only feeds the crowd to have a kick ass time.  I have seen a boat load of acts over the last 6+ years but I still think that RTS has some what of an edge.  Front man Chris Labelle brings a lot of spin to the stage movin’ and shakin’ and just has HUGE stage presence.  But to be 100% honest everything just flows so well on stage with RTS.  Sometimes bands seem stale and just not into it.  Not RTS. It’s all out for these guys.  And from the 1st note of Jump On In the crowd was hooked.

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

The band does this really cool medley of tunes that includes It’s A Great Day to Be Alive, Dirt on my Boots, Shape of You, In Da Club Ignition (remix), Here I Go Again, Top Gun Theme, Hit Me With Your Best Shot which had a pretty cool moment half way through.  The Grey Cup winning Toronto Argos joined the band on stage for a drink from the cup.

And what’s a night at Mavricks without having local yokel Jason McCoy join River Town Saints for the encore of Born Again in Dixieland & Chattahoochee.  Then  Dani “Santa” Strong and Rob Watts join for the big finale Slay Ride

Jason McCoy & River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Dani Strong & River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

It was a hell of a way to kickoff the holiday season.  Huge thanks to Impact Live and Mavricks for having us out.

Words – Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76

Photos – Scott Burns / @ScottBurnsImages

More Photos…

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Rob Watts performs at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Dani Strong River performs at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Dani Strong & River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

Rob Watts performs at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

River Town Saints perform at the Radio For Cardiology Benefit Concert, Mavricks Music Hall, Barrie. Photo: Scott Burns Images

 

 

 

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