Friday nights are perfect for live music. So when Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three, and Lauren Alaina rolled into Oshawa to play at the Tribute Communities Centre, we knew we were set up for a good time.
The Side Effects Tour was already in full flight before it got to town, with shows from Halifax to southern Ontario, so there was no surprise that things were firing on all cylinders in Oshawa. From Lauren Alaina kicking things off, to Dallas blowing the roof off the joint, this was the show fans were expecting – and they loved it.
The crowd filed in early, and those who took their seats were rewarded with the opening set from American Idol alum, Lauren Alaina. The 22 year old Georgia native wasted no time getting into her groove. Alaina showed off the power in her voice and paired it well with the rock and roll vibe that her band pumped out for the crowd.
With just a half dozen songs in her set to share with the Canadian country fans, Lauren made the most of things. Between tracks she was charming as hell, funny, and sweet as she told stories, cracked wise, and looked like she was truly enjoying the opportunity.
The two highlights of the set were Lauren’s performance of her #1 hit (with Kane Brown), What Ifs – and her crowd work during Next Boyfriend.
Before she played her 2015 top 40 single, Alaina invited a dude named Ryan up on stage to dance with her, and neither performer was a disappointment. Ryan grooved along with Lauren Alaina as she sang – and when she directed him through the basics of the Whip & Nae Nae – he gave it everything he had. And after a brief giggle fit from the singer (and the crowd), there was a hug and a smile and the set wrapped with Lauren Alaina’s first #1 single, Road Less Travelled.
She’s young, talented, and knows how to perform – we know it’s no secret – but Lauren Alaina’s got it, and we’re sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.
Lauren Alaina Setlist, Oshawa 2017
🍑 Georgia Peaches
🍑 Barefoot and Buckwild
🍑 What Ifs
🍑 Next Boyfriend
🍑 Doin’ Fine
🍑 Road Less Travelled
Next on the stage, all the way from Nashville, Tennessee (and Kelby’s birthday party in Kingston the night before), The Cadillac Three took over and let it fly.
These boys, with all of the hair, attitude and energy that you could ever hope for, pumped out a full sound that filled the arena and turned Friday night into a full-fledged party. Yes, they play country music. And yes, there’s a slide guitar up there on the stage. But man, The Cadillac Three are as rock and roll as most of the bands you’re going to hear on rock radio – and country fans are totally okay with that!
The band opened their set with Dang If We Didn’t from their brand new album, Legacy, and didn’t let up until their time was done. In their set we heard Jaren, Kelby, and Neil roll through seven songs that had fans thrusting their beers into the air, singing along at the tops of their lungs, and singing/dancing/grooving along track by track.
Note: As The Cadillac Three ripped up the stage in their set and brought forth their brand of southern rockin’ country music, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would sound like if these boys plugged in and played a little Foo Fighters. Maybe All My Life or The Pretender… I’m just going to hold out hope for that in the future.
If you’ve seen The Cadillac Three play live, you know that they are balls to the wall and pedal to the floor. If you haven’t seen them live, get on it – it’s a show you don’t wanna miss.
The boys brought it when they played Oshawa on Friday night, and if you wonder at all about their passion and appreciation for what they get to do for a living, here’s a quote from Jaren to ease your mind…
“Cheers, beers & hallelujah, we get to do this shit for a livin’!”
The Cadillac Three Setlist, Oshawa 2017
⚡ Dang If We Didn’t
⚡ Tennessee Mojo
⚡ American Slang
⚡ Party Like You
⚡ White Lightning
⚡ The South
The main event of the evening, the man with the #1 hits, one of Canada’s biggest stars in country music, Dallas Smith was next and last to hit the stage in Oshawa on Friday night. And the fans were ready for him.
With a stage full of sound, Dallas and his band (three guitars to go along with bass and drums) were ready too. And from the moment they kicked things off with the tour’s title track, Side Effects, it was impossible to deny the energy and excitement in the room.
A few things became very clear as Dallas Smith’s set played out in Oshawa…
1) He works hard for the crowd – and they love him for it. Whether it’s taking selfies with phones that are handed to him from the front rows, or bouncing from one side of the stage to the other to make sure that everyone feels involved, he’s on it. He owns the room.
2) The only reason Dallas Smith isn’t fronting one of the most successful rock and roll bands in Canada is because he chose country. In the middle of the set Dallas played Wasting My Time and Count On Me from the Default library, as well as Something Just Like This from The Chainsmokers/Coldplay and the crowd was all over it. But, as Dallas told the Oshawa crowd before his encore, he chose country because that’s what felt right, that’s who he is as an artist, and the country music community is lucky to have him.
3) His voice – damn! Before the show we had a chance to catch up with Andrew Hyatt, and when Dallas came up in our conversation Andrew correctly pointed out that “he’s got a voice that never quits.”, we’re not sure we could say it any more effectively than that.
4) He’s a big softie. For the second time we saw an on-stage proposal at a Dallas Smith show, and it was just as sweet this time as the last. Dallas helped a super happy and in love dude propose to his (now) fiancée with a sweet surprise that included the man’s son – and then, after the smiles and hugs and her Yes, Dallas stepped to the side and sang Autograph while the happy couple took centre stage and had a dance.
During the set Dallas, while he was entertaining the hell out of Oshawa, Dallas took the chance to invite a couple friends up on stage with him. First we got to see Andrew Hyatt jump out to join Dallas Smith and the band for a duet performance of his first top 10 hit, On Me. We also need to note the cheer Hyatt got when he asked who was hitting The Corral, the local country bar, to party Friday night. From the sound of it, the bar had a heap of customers on the way after the show.
The second emerging artist called out was Shawn Austin, who has a top 30 hit of his own with Paradise Found, and came out to sing a duet version of A Girl Like You. Smith’s fans did a great job supporting both of these young dudes, and both of them sounded great with the Canadian star who invited them to share the stage.
Canadian country music is in great shape these days. There’s a ton of talent. And with dudes like Dallas Smith leading the way on radio and on stage, things are only going to look brighter. And, if Dallas can continue to do what he’s done on Side Effects, his future is only going to continue to look brighter too.
In 2012 when Dallas released his debut country album, Jumped Right In, he may not have known that he’d end up headlining nationwide tours with rowdy fans that would sing along to his songs all night… but that’s what’s happening right now on the Side Effects Tour. It’s what happened in Oshawa on Friday night. And we’re damn sure that it will happen again!
Dallas Smith Setlist, Oshawa 2017
🔥 Side Effects
🔥 Sky Stays This Blue
🔥 Wastin’ Gas
🔥 If It Gets You Where You Wanna Go
🔥 Slow Rollin’
🔥 Sleepin’ Around
🔥 One Little Kiss
🔥 Wasting My Time (Default)
🔥 Count On Me (Default)
🔥 On Me with Andrew Hyatt
🔥 Nothin’ But Summer
🔥 Kids With Cars
🔥 Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay)
🔥 A Girl Like You with Shawn Austin
🔥 Jumped Right In
🔥 Somebody Somewhere
🔥 Tippin’ Point
🔥 Cheap Seats