Your Town Throwdown
by Michelle Fayant
Andrea Pearson opened the show with a half hour acoustic set. Originally from Kelowna BC, Pearson has lived in Nashville for years now writing songs for the likes of Celine Dion, Reba, LeeAnn Womack and LeAnn Rimes. Playing a few of her originals as well as some of her favorites that the crowd knew, she got the crowd ready for the show they had been waiting for.
You would never be able to tell that it was a Tuesday night as the Country fans started piling into The 40 in Brandon, MB. Proving that country fans love their live music, the concert was sold out regardless of the day.
The crowd was buzzing as it neared time for the show. With 3 big acts in one show, we were left wondering who would kick the night off. A welcome surprise as all three stepped on the stage together to start the night singing Garth Brooks Ain’t Going Down. It didn’t take long to get the crowd that wasn’t already on their feet, standing and singing along.
After finishing the song, Deric Ruttan and Jason Blaine left the stage leaving Chad Brownlee to keep the party going. Brownlee didn’t disappoint with vocals that seem to be better each time he performs. Interacting with the crowd, Brownlee had them singing along to hits like Love me or Leave me, Listen and the “Hey now” in Smoke in the Rain. Also getting cheers from the crowd for singing his new song Where’s the Party At, by kneeling down at the front of the stage to make some hearts skip a beat as he sang “your place or mine” . There was no time to wait as Brownlee introduced Deric Ruttan to the stage.
Ruttan kept the party going with his whole set, even when singing what Jason Blaine coined “his sexy song”, Take the Week Off, even when taking time to interact with the audience, and even when taking a shot and ‘cheers’ to the crowd.
Last but certainly not least it was Jason Blaine’s turn to keep the crowd going. Returning to the stage with a red solo cup in hand, Blaine didn’t skip a beat. He kept the crowd entertained with his high energy songs, as well as his slower, more touching songs such as Like They Used To, and showing off his guitar skills on more than one.
Blaine closed out the show by bringing back both Ruttan and Brownlee – and they all sang a song that they jointly sing on Blaine’s cd Friends of Mine. The crowd may not have been familiar with the song but it didn’t matter – it had the crowd bouncing.
Not wanting the night to end, the crowd loudly cheered until the trio came back on stage to do their version Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive. Taking time to acknowledge the display of bras beside their drum kit, Ruttan explained how after having a bra thrown onstage at a previous show, it gave the boys an idea to raise money for the Breast Cancer Society by donating money for each bra they received on the tour. Not only were they donating money to the cause, but also donating the bras to a women’s shelter. Before they could even finish explaining, more bras were headed their way being tossed on stage by lady fans.
Closing out the show, the trio sang Wagon Wheel which had the crowd singing along louder than they had all night.
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written by Michelle Fayant
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