What a weekend at this year’s Sound of Music (SOM) Kickoff Concerts!
We have all your Country Day details here, but if you want to read up on Saturday’s jammed-packed 90’s Rock line-up, with the likes of Sublime, Simple Plan and Everclear to name a few, be sure to head over and check out our pals at The Rock Source for all those details.
As Sunday rolled around, however, The Bus had the tank topped up and were ready to roll to Burlington for our first festival of the season, and this lineup did not disappoint. For just $55, it was easily the best bang for your buck for any one-day country festival in Canada.
Things kicked off shortly after 1 p.m. with Calgary duo Leaving Thomas. It had been a while since we last caught them live, but not only do these two have an amazing stage presence, but they were so much fun to photograph thanks to a solid performance and some fancy stage dancing to boot.
Following the energetic set came Cold Creek County, one of the last bands added to the line up — and all we can say is THANK YOU Sound of Music. Hometown-boy Jordan Honsinger got to play for the first time in Burlington with Cold Creek and the boys brought their A-Game early, rockin’ a 45-minute set with hits like Our Town and Beer Weather. Be sure not to miss the fellas when they take over The Kee to Bala Saturday, June 16, if you’re in the Muskoka area.
Next up, it was BC-native Madeline Merlo’s turn to wow the SOM crowd, and needless to say she did. Having watched Madeline grow over the last couple years, it was fantastic to see how she really has come into her own the last 18 months. Her set was a home run with some fantastic music that brought a whole lotta fun to the SOM TD Stage. When she broke into Motel Flamingo, I may have rushed back up to the stage as it’s such a fun song and you can tell she has fun singing it. Be sure to check out the new single Neon Love, out now.
The next band was hit the stage was Emerson Drive, and let me tell you right from the first note you could tell they were there to please, playing all the hits while the crowd sang along to the entire set. I remember the first time I saw the band live, about six years ago, and wondering how they could get any better. Well, just like a fine wine, Emerson Drive has surely gotten better with age. The energy frontman Brad Mates has performing is endless. My personal favourite of the set would have had to be Just Got Paid. I loved hearing that one live, and getting to hear the fans singing along was pretty cool.
Next, Chad Brownlee made his return to Ontario, and boy was it a beauty. Chad hasn’t been around much as he has been locked away writing new music — some of which he played for fans at Sound of Music, and they seemed to eat it up. We think it was September last year when we caught Chad’s last show and the brief hiatus over the summer brought a recharged Brownlee, firing on all cylinders and having the crowd join along for the ride. It was great to see Mr. Brownlee again, and we can’t wait to hear the new music.
You now, Lee Brice is one of those singer/songwriters you just want to sit and talk about life with for hours, and when he took the stage on Sunday night the fans let him know just how much Canada loves him. It also happened to be Mr. Brice’s 39th birthday, and well, who doesn’t wanna have fun on their Birthday? Performing a string of hits, mixed with some new stuff, it was another sing-a-long for over an hour. Brice took notice of a little guy in the crowd that was singing right along and awarded him with a signed acoustic guitar, which just shows the kind of person he is. My favourite tune during this one had to be the anthem Parking Lot Party, with the entire crowd erupting from the first chord and carrying on throughout the entire song.
Wrapping up the night was Kip Moore — more than typical country guy, he’s a rocker masked in the country genre. While his songs still have lots of story, the guy knows how to put on one hell of a show. I won’t go on and on about how great the live show is, but I can tell you you need to see him live if you haven’t. Kip has invested a pile of time in Canada over the last year, and his fan base continues to grow North of the border. I’ve been telling people about Kip for years, and it was great to see him headlining the Country Day kickoff at this years SOM.
There’s lots of music to be played in Burlington this week, so be sure to head over to the festival’s webpage for the full schedule, including their upcoming FREE WEEKEND. You won’t want to miss The Washboard Union on Saturday night when they take over the OLG Stage, along with a killer lineup of multi-genre artists.
Edited by Whitney South