This past Saturday night took us to North Bay ON, for Summer In The Park Festival. It was a beautiful summer’s night perfect for a festival, with a mid-way, vendors, beer garden and one amazing line-up, including a hometown artist.
I had this one on my calendar since March, when I interviewed Cory Marquardt he told me he would be playing the festival and how excited he was to be playing his hometown stage! Then when I heard Tim Hicks would be the headliner, I knew this would be a night not to miss and it truly was an incredible summer’s night in northern Ontario. During my interview Cory and I were talking about Canadian artists and I brought up Tim Hicks and this is what he had to say, “Tim Hicks is one of my favourites, he keeps on the rock side of things and he keeps it real. He’s a really nice, humble guy that I have met a few times and have performed with him. So Tim Hick’s is my Canadian guy for sure. I think it would be cool to go on tour with him, I think we would mash great together.” That is a very true statement as they definitely did mash amazing together!
Well it was absolutely sublime to see Cory playing in his hometown and his excitement showed through his energy on stage, it was unreal! He kicked off his set with Don’t Count Saturday Night and there were lots of beers going “pop pop, pop pop” on this hot summers night! He played his first hit Being Stupid On A Smart Phone and his current single which is such a great summer jam, No Where Without You. Cory then yelling to the crowd “I love my country but I sure do love my rock & roll” pumped out some good old rock & roll! He then went straight into a cover of Footloose. Cory absolutely let loose and put the necessary energy that belongs in this song! Running off stage to the runway down the middle section of the crowd, he ran up and down it not only once but twice dancing and singing and interacting with fans. You could tell he was having a blast during his set in front of his family, friends and fans in his hometown! He thanked everyone and said how incredible it was to be up on stage at this festival that he had watched many times growing up. He closed out his energetic killer set with a rockin’ country tune How We Made It To 21. Leaving the stage to the crowd chanting “One more song!!!” You know this had to be an epic and unforgettable night for hometown boy, Cory Marquardt!
I was looking forward to the next act as it was my first chance to catch Keifer Sutherland live. I was excited to see what the hype has been all about. I gotta to say you can certainly tell he’s loving the country music scene and so thankful for the opportunity to be able to pursue his dream. Thanking the crowd many times from the bottom of his heart and stating “It’s my honour to be up here playing for you” he was so humble to be up on stage doing something he loves. He was a class act remarking “It’s my pleasure to be playing on the same stage as North Bays own Cory Marquardt!” Keifer played many songs from his debut album, even joking about how many are related to drinking like Not Enough Whiskey, Going Home and All She Wrote. He even did a great tribute to the late Merle Haggard with The Bottle Let Me Down. He concluded his set with the song titled album, Down In A Hole. It was a great opportunity to check him out and I now see what everyone has been talking about, he put on a great show!
North Bay was Tim Hicks StompinGround Saturday night and as always he put on one hell of a show! Tim and the boys always bring the party and this was no different from the many times we have caught them before. Kickin’ off his set with So Do I, these guys are always Hell Bent on a Hell Raisin Good Time and so was North Bay. Tim is set to release a new album come the fall and he played another new song from it, Shake These Walls. Based on the couple singles I’ve heard thus far, this album is going to be another hit for Tim! I’m really looking forward to the album release! Which has since been announced, mark on your calendars September 9th, titled Shake These walls!!! Well he kept the party going and played more hits and we all raised our glasses to A Little Drinkalong, followed by She Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore and I Got A Feelin’. Tim also full of energy jumped off stage and ran up the middle of the crowd and played his Friends Round Here at the back. Interacting with fans and singing his heart out Tim looked like he was having a blast. Returning to the stage and giving a huge shout out to Gordie and the boys, “Gordie we are gonna miss you!” rocked Bones, it was an awesome tribute! A storm rolled in and Tim electrified the park with Thunder. Then leaving the stage the backdrop that was in place was ripped down to unveil his Stronger Beer flag and finished off this killer set with the crowd singing along. Always an epic night with these boys!