Photo Credit: Orest Dorosh
Everything is always better when the sun decides to shine, and the sun did shine (almost) all day at day two of Trackside Music Festival. With the continuation of Canada Day Weekend festivities, festival goers and organizers alike were still decked out in support of their favourite country and ready to have a good time. Another day full of great music and good weather puts a good mark on another successful year as a brand new festival in London Ontario.
This Canadian brother-sister duo has been around for quite some time but really started to make their mark when they won the Boots and Hearts 2013 Emerging Artists contest. Ever since then they’ve been making their rounds all across the country and building a super supportive fan base. These guys are the biggest fans of country music and their fans and you can tell every time they hit the stage. Playing their songs “Seeing Stars” and their new single “Hometown Kids” with a mix of cover songs, these guys did a great job to kick off the second afternoon of the festival.
These guys are a borderline mix of multiple genres of music mixed together and polished up as a country band. Don’t mistake that as a bad thing however because their energy and music made for a great set. They’re songs like “Cherry Bomb”, and “A Little Bit Goes a Long Way” have been all over the radio and it was nice to be able to see them in person. Their energy is infectious and it’s hard not to have a good time while watching them on stage. I find stage presence can make or break a set for an artist and they definitely didn’t have any issues with that. I look forward to seeing them live in the future!
Ever since this group of guys came onto my radar after winning the Emerging Artist Contest at Boots in Hearts two years back, I’ve been absolutely in love – and I don’t mean that in a creepy way! They have such an amazing energy and know how to make a crowd get lost in the moment. Every time I see them live it’s never long enough and always kept me wishing for more. And while they sang their hits “Lawn Chair Lazy”, “Chills” and “Just Sayin’” I think their most memorable songs had to have been “Living the Dream” and their long mash-up of cover songs. Actually, I think the mash-up was probably my favourite moment of the afternoon. Showcasing their ability to be able to go above singing country music, and guitarist Taylor Abram’s uniquely raspy voice they definitely went above and beyond with their set. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for this great group of guys from Peterborough!
I got the pleasure of seeing Meghan Patrick perform at an artist’s showcase a little while back and she’s captured my attention ever since. She’s got a fiery personality and a no-bs attitude that makes her such a joy to watch on any stage. Her voice is a beautiful mix of country with a little bit of rock and it’s makes for some great listening. This Bowmanville native rocked the guitar while performing radio hits like “Grace and Grit”, “Still Loving You” (sans Joe Nichols sadly), “Be Country with Me”, and “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”. I find myself drawn mainly to male country singers and bands, but Meghan is definitely one of my favourites!
Brett Kissel to me is like today’s version of Paul Brandt. He’s hella Canadian proud and Canadians love him back. He’s got such a passion for country music and his country and it shows every single show he performs at. I love his passion and his love for his fans just as much as the music itself. Ending the day of Canadian country artists, Brett drew in the largest crowd of the night, performing all of his fan favourites as well as a few great covers thrown in. I think the two best moments of the night involved him bringing up his young fan Elliot on stage to present him with a signed guitar and bringing up the James Barker Band and Meghan Patrick onstage to help sing. I can’t even begin to list all the great songs we got to hear but favourites like “Canadian Kid”, “Airwaves”, and “Raise Your Glass” in the hour and a bit long set.
These guys were the first American act to hit the stage on day two. The vibe they gave me seemed to be along the lines of Eric Church. It felt as if it were just one big long jam session and the entire crowd was invited to witness it. They had a cool vibe that meshed in between rock-and-roll and country and I think everyone was cool with that. The lead singer’s no BS attitude came through multiple times by calling one fan an idiot for having their name tattooed on his ass and threatening to personally search for another fan to throw him out of the venue if he got caught throwing another beer can. Only knowing their main radio hits, I was in fairly unknown territory. So instead of trying to critique what I didn’t know, I just got lost in the moment and enjoyed the show.
Kip Moore had an energy and passion for the music the moment he stepped onto the stage. He owned the entire space, moving around and having fun. As the other American act of the night, he had his dedicated followers waiting at the front of the stage for over nine hours. Singing favourites like “Beer Money”, “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck”, “Wild Ones”, and “Hey Pretty Girl”, mixed with many other hits throughout the night. He’s got a sexy raspy sound that reminds me of Eric Church once again – but more in voice and not in attitude like Brothers Osborne. Kip was another artist that I wasn’t all too familiar with, and after hearing him perform I instantly regretted not knowing him before Trackside. Even now, after the show is over, I’m still wishing I could listen to his vocals live just one more time. Instead I’ll have to just keep my spotify list on repeat until this feeling has passed.
Day two of Trackside meant another day for the up-and-comers to showcase their talent and get their lyrics heard. Each and every performer were responsible for keeping the crowd entertained during each of the acts on the mainstage but also to show everyone what their made of. Stages like the Track-Side stage are the best ways to follow new talent and keep an ear out for who could be great. Our photographer Orest was there too on day two to capture every moment they were on stage performing their hearts out. I look forward to seeing who comes out on top and on the radio in the months and years to come.
Overall my feelings on Trackside Music Festival are nothing but great. Even though there were a few things from a festival perspective that I would have focused on, those are issues that can and will be fixed as years go on and the festival gains some tenure. The staff was always friendly, the music always loud and the overall vibe pretty damn awesome. You can’t beat music like festival music and London did the country music crowd proud. Looking forward to years head when they gain more notoriety and more fans.
For more photos from both days of the Trackside Music Festival, head to our Facebook page!