Monday, August 27th I went straight from work to the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) in Vancouver. Traffic was mercifully light so I made good time. I decided to bite the bullet and park in one of the PNE sponored parking lots. The gate people were confused as to why the fair was so busy on a Monday night. The car before me informed them that there was a "major concert" going on that night which explained it to them. One of them asked who was performing and the other one said "I don't know. Some country band named 'Emerson Drive'". They were right!
Emerson Drive's lead singer Brad Mates (in the white shirt) is from Alberta, Dale Wallace (who plays keyboards) is from BC and the rest of the band is from Quebec. They have three cd's, "Emerson Drive", "What If?" and their latest "Countrified" From those cd's they have a long list of hits. They also hold the distinction of being the first Canadian group to hit #1 on the US Charts with "Moments".
They toured last fall with Shane Yellowbird but the closest they got to the Lower Mainland was Kelowna. I had seriously considered taking a road trip to see them but it never worked out.
When I heard that they would be at the PNE I knew I had to go. Sue got the "Coutrified" cd on the recommendation of a co-worker and when she heard I was planning to go to the show, she decided to join me. We met by the stage and secured a spot right up front, basically exactly where I was when I saw The Road Hammers with Jenna last summer. It's hard on the ears but great for photos and just so much fun.
Emerson Drive put on a great show. It is so high energy and Brad never stops moving. It's crazy. Shania Twain liked them so much that she had them open for her on her Up! tour.
Most of their songs like "Fall Into Me", I Should Be Sleeping", "If You Were My Girl", "Still Got Yesterday", "A Good Man", "Countrified Soul" and my personal favourite "Testify" are really up-tempo. They did slow it down for an acoustic set of rock covers and for "Moments" but the rest of the evening was rocking.
Our spot on the left hand side of the stage gave us a perfect view of David Pichette's smokin' fiddle playing. I have a soft spot for fiddles anyways and he is just amazing.
Sue & I
Our ears were ringing by the end of the night but we still added our voices to the crowd and encouraged the band to come out for an encore.
The concert was only an a hour and a half total. I still feel like I got a fantastic show, and for the $10 gate admission? You can't go wrong!!!