Show Review – Johnny Reid, JJ Shiplett & Aaron Goodvin

Review by: Linda Heldman

Photos by: Nicole Wolfe (unless otherwise specified)

When: March 12, 2016
Venue: General Motors Centre
Where: Oshawa, Ontario

How to describe a night at a Johnny Reid concert on his What Love Is All About Tour? Words like stellar, phenomenal and spectacular come to mind. The man is a true showman. Every previous tour of his could be described the same way. You just don’t think it can get any better, and surprise, it does! It doesn’t matter whether you are a fan of country music or not, Johnny has a charisma that will grab you!

Reid hit the stage running from the very first song, “My Heart Beats Like A Drum”, and didn’t stop for most of the night, except for a few of those heart-melting ballads – “A Picture Of You”, “Dance With Me” and “Thank You” – that he has become known for. He joked at one point in the show about wearing a Fitbit and that he had put on 10,000 steps by the end of the third song. I wouldn’t be surprised!





Reid dedicated “A Woman Like You” to long-time fan and follower, Sherry Spofford; mentioning that she was there pretty much every night he used to perform at The Corral in Oshawa, back in the day. It was a very moving moment, not just for this young lady, but for all who witnessed his words about her.

Sherry Spofford

Photo credit: Linda Heldman

Natalie McMaster, a multi JUNO, CCMA and ECMA award winner, joined Reid and company on stage displaying her amazing fiddle talents and step-dance moves.

Natalie & Johnny

Photo credit: Linda Heldman

Just before breaking into “Today I’m Going To Try And Change The World”, Reid mentioned that for every ticket sold on this tour, one dollar is going to MusiCounts; an organization that he strongly stands behind.

The most powerful performance of the night was a duet with Reid and JUNO award winning, Senegalese-born musician, Élage Diouf, who is traveling on the tour covering percussion and vocals.  The co-written “Just One Day” is a deeply moving tune about love to all mankind sung in both artist’s native languages. During one of the last chorus breaks, the entire audience sang along. It was nothing short of a spiritually uplifting moment that gave this writer goosebumps and tears.

Johnny and Elage

Photo credit: Bernice Wilkes-Gray

One of the most fun songs in the set is a Caribbean flavoured tune called “The Peacock” that has some great follow-along dance moves. This has fast become a fan favourite on the tour.

The Peacock

Photo credit: Linda Heldman

During “Darlin’”, Reid threw himself into the crowd and toured around the arena, connecting with as many fans as he possibly could. He closed out the night with “Till We Meet Again”, bringing back Natalie McMaster and opening support, J.J. Shiplett and Aaron Goodvin, for a climactic wrap-up.

Both Shiplett and Goodvin wowed the audience with their own brand of music. Definitely, a couple of artists to watch.  Stay tuned for an interview with Shiplett coming up on Canadian Beats soon!

JJ Shiplett_DSC2046






Aaron Goodvin





If you get the opportunity to catch Johnny Reid at any stop on the remainder of the What Love Is All About Tour, you are in for a night that you will not soon forget.

For even more pictures of the night, visit our Facebook page.

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