Country fans from all generations were treated to a one of a kind show on Saturday night, from Canada’s own, Paul Brandt.
Decked out in plaid, wranglers and the classic wide brims, fans showed up ready for a good ol’ fashioned bush party — and of course, the Albertan cowboy and his crew of hype men/women delivered just that!
The second stop of his “The Journey” tour, saw the decorated country star burn through a hit slathered setlist that treaded steadily in his latest and most recent releases.
Brandt and his band quickly walked on stage in the pitch black before a single spotlight illuminated Brandt, promoting the launch into awe-inspiring new Track “The Journey.”
Brandt sounded on point, his baritone voice in key, making it without a doubt the highlight of the evening.
Stand out points of his performance would have to have been his authentic homage to the golden era of country, with an encore cover of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”, the modern and pop-doused single “All About Her,” along with signature Brandt songs “My Heart Has A History,” “I Do,” and “Convoy.”
Despite having a shining near three-decade career, along with a slew of chart-toppers on every record, Brandt’s demeanor is far from what one might expect when thinking of Canada’s most awarded male country artist.
Humble, excited, and genuinely happy to be with his fans, Brandt’s positivity radiated through the arena and boy, was it contagious.
From the moment he hit the stage, Brandt was atop speakers reaching to his fans, grabbing cell phones for selfies and bouncing his way across the entirety of the stage.
His unexpected youthfulness during his performances of iconic tracks “Small Town Big Dreams,” “I’m Gonna Fly,” and “Alberta Bound,” kept the crowd energized and cheering for more, to the point where they sang along with new tunes just as effortlessly as the classics.
You could tell the show was as much for him as it was the fans. With a beaming smile, silly jokes, and cameo’s from his openers, Brandt proved that not only has he made a legacy for himself with a solid discography but as a selfless and exciting performer.
An impressive selection of upcoming Canadian country acts served as support for Brandt, including small town Saskatchewan group the Hunter Brothers, Juno winner Jess Moskaluke and popular brother duo, High Valley.
Up first, country outfit the Hunter Brothers, who dazzled fans with their neotraditional sound, absurdly impressive musicianship and heavenly harmonies.
Following the Hunter Brothers Canada’s next Shania Twain, Jess Moskaluke conquered the stage.
A powerhouse voice and a true future queen of Canadian country stage presence, it is not hard to see how Moskaluke earned her spot on the coveted tour.
From the slow build of “Take Me Home’ to the national, sure-to-get-stuck-in-your-head hit “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes,” Moskaluke proved herself Juno worthy from the very first note.
High Valley made for the third and final opener, bringing their Nashville sound to the South Okanagan.
Despite gaining international success, the love for their home country and Canadian fans was made evident. Whether they proclaimed it themselves, reached over the barricade to serenade lucky fans or ran onto the floor to hug them, there was no shortage of love to go around.
After just one song in, the Rempel brothers dropped crowd favourite “Dear Life,” followed by a tidal wave of others including “Young Forever” and impressive renditions of Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” along with Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.”
Saturday night proved that the “Journey” tour is not just a clever name, but a way to share a story. The story of Brandt’s rich musical career, his roots and what is to come not only for him but for his supporting acts and Canadian country music.