We first saw Dallas Smith as frontman for Rock band Default, at the Nakusp Music Fest in 2010 about a year prior to the band’s dissolve, and Smith’s left turn into Country music as a solo artist. Since releasing Jumped Right In, in May 2012, we’ve been hearing good things about him from fans and industry peers alike, and have tried to find a show to attend, but something always got in the way… finally, we saw Dallas Smith the other night at the Kelowna Community Theatre.
We had no idea what to expect. The self-professed stage shy Smith has some killer songs on radio right now, Somebody Somewhere, Nothin But Summer, Jumped Right In, What Kind of Love are all recognizable due to what Country artist Aaron Pritchett described to us as “a truly amazing voice.” (Pritchett and Smith did a few live shows at the same time last year and became friends.) We half expected an acoustic show, and were pleasantly surprised to find a full on band, drummer, 4 guitarists/bass and Smith ready to Rock it Country style.
Introduced by Roo Phelps of Country 100.7 FM Penticton and Country announcer Casey Clark, the crowd went nuts and the front of the stage was full to capacity even before the band had found their spots on the stage.. kicking it into high gear from the first chord, Dallas seemed much more relaxed than the first time we saw him.. smiling, pointing at people, stooping down often to touch hands with people in the front two ‘rows’, and even stopping to sign a poster for a few 20-something girls – the smile never left Smith’s face all night. He even ventured to our side despite the 5 teens/pre-teens beside me all playing with their cell phones rather than experiencing the moment. At one point, Smith stopped to sing to a 6 yr old girl sitting on the stage edge much to her embarrassment and her parent’s delight.
All 5 singles from Jumped Right In were sung with style and much singing back from the audience – Wasting My Time (from Default) sounded great but didn’t get near the response of Dallas’ new songs! The band was just as animated as Smith, playing to many in the audience, moving around stage to keep things high energy and interesting to watch for those nearer the back of the almost sold out venue. The sound was spot on, Smith’s voice (which he professes to take good care of), sounded great all night… and it was so nice to watch a band perform without being tipsy halfway through the show. (Smith doesn’t drink while performing.)
The overall feeling of the night was fun, engaging and entertaining! No pushing/shoving from anyone trying to squeeze up front, as everyone felt included in what was coming from the guys on stage -even those in the far back reaches.
At the end of the encore to many cheers, Smith made everyone’s night by announcing he’d be in the lobby to sign autographs and take photos with anyone who wanted to stay. The lineup was long but moved seamlessly as Dallas spent time with each person, the smile still on his face. The man loves what he does, and it shows.
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