By Whitney South, Best of London. 07.11.19
Not even a little rain could keep the crowds away from Start.ca Rocks the Park’s PURE Country 93 Night, which took over Harris Park July 10.
Featuring an all-star line-up including American heavyweights Old Dominion, Russell Dickerson and David Lee Murphy, as well as a Canadian country favourites Jade Eagleson, Tenille Townes and the James Barker Band, the return of RTP’s beloved country night welcomed thousands of festival-goers from the Forest City and beyond.
Kicking off the festivities, 2019 CMAOntario Rising Star Award winner Eagleson got everyone moving from minute-one, with everything from covering a couple great tracks from Luke Combs and Brothers Osbourne, to a few of his own toe-tappers, including Got Your Name On It.
Next up was Townes, who couldn’t help but exclaim how happy she was to be back in Canada.
Earlier this week, the Alberta songstress was nominated for three CCMA Awards, including Female Artist of the Year and Single of the Year (for her massive hit Somebody’s Daughter) — something she explained had been a dream of hers for quite some time. Townes’ RTP performance came smack-dab in the midst of her continuing supporting gig on Dierks Bentley’s Burning Man Tour, which is set to wrap up next month. Next up, she’ll hit the road with Miranda Lambert’s Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour in the fall.
Braving the elements seemed to be no big deal for country icon Murphy, who powered through his high-energy set with no shortage of back-up singers — the crowd just loved this guy. In addition to sharing some new tracks, Murphy treated fans to a medley of songs he’s penned for other big names including Big Green Tractor (Jason Aldean), Anywhere With You (Jake Owen), and Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not (Thompson Square), before closing it down with his biggest hit Dust On The Bottle.
Coaxing out the sunshine, James Barker Band rushed the Harris Park stage with a bang, belting out hit after hit, from favourites Lawn Chair Lazy, Throwback, and Just Sayin’, to samples from their recently-released sophomore EP Singles Only; There’s a Drink for That, and Keep It Simple.
Last up, headliners Old Dominion came out swinging, bringing with them a string of much-beloved tracks that had the crowd screaming from the first chord of Be With Me, straight through till the end. Basically, when it comes to getting a crowd fired up, Old Dominion has it down to a science. The hits just kept on coming, including Snapback, Hotel Key, Said Nobody, One Man Band, Written in the Sand, and more.
Start.ca Rocks the Park continues Thursday, July 11, with Pop Evil at 4:30 p.m., followed by I Prevail, Killswitch Engage, In This Moment, and Five Finger Death Punch.
Snoop Dogg will take over Harris Park for a sold-out show Friday, July 12 with support from Shaggy, MA$E, Ginuwine and Tone Loc kicking it all off at 5 p.m.
Wrapping things up on Saturday, July 13, Pitbull is set to take the stage at 5:30 p.m., with T-Pain and Flo Rida closing out the weekend.
Tickets for Thursday and Saturday night are still available and can be purchased online or at the door.
For a complete schedule of times, visit www.rockthepark.ca.
Overcast throughout the day.
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
Foggy in the evening and overnight.
Foggy starting in the afternoon.
Foggy in the afternoon.