Air Canada Centre

Holdin’ My Own: Eric Church Takes Toronto

Eric Church’s Holdin’ My Own Tour is well underway, and after his Thursday night stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, we’re glad the Chief put these wheels in motion.

I’ve seen Eric Church once before, at Boots & Hearts 2015… and if it weren’t for some really crappy weather I would have seen him again in 2016 at CMT Music Fest. But the memories from that summer night set in front of 40,000 gave me all the buzz and anticipation I needed to get ready for this show.

With a packed house (from the GA on the floor to the last seats of the 300 level) Church stomped around the stage singing hit after hit for 3+ hours. There was no opener, there hasn’t been and won’t be on the tour, just two solid sets of the man and his band blasting their brand of country music.

After playing through his first few songs, Church addressed the crowd and promised to give them everything he had – but that he expected them to do the same… and if they did, they’d have a night they wouldn’t forget. And those fans, the ones in plaid and boots and hats and denim and aviator sunglasses, held up their end of the bargain. They sang and cheered and screamed for Church as he moved from song to song, mic stand to mic stand, and from melody to memory. And for those in attendance, it will be a concert and a night they won’t soon forget.

With a set list that included 37 songs… Church reminded us of the legendary shows Bruce Springsteen has been known to play. From the opening chords of Mistress Named Music, he was into it. If you’ve seen Church live or have watched any of performance videos, you know the signs.

☞ The fist pumps
☞ The snarled smiles
☞ The shouts and yells
☞ The extended arms

They were all there on Thursday night at the ACC.

Note: Eric Church also ingratiated himself to the Toronto crowd by bringing up his love for North Carolina Tar Heels and Raptors’ alumni, Vince Carter. He told us that his little boy has a retro Carter jersey, and he was eager to exclaim his love for Vincanity. It’s been a long 13 years since VC was traded… but to many fans, he’ll always be our guy.

Here’s the deal, Eric Church is a bad ass. He’s a rebel. And he does things his way. It’s why a tour without an opening act works for him when it wouldn’t for a lot of artists. And it’s why his fans love him.

And it’s why Church was able to play seven songs from 2006’s Sinners Like Me, and all 10 tracks from 2015’s Mr. Misunderstood. AND, that still left 20 more tracks from all the years in between!

The show had it’s share of goosebump inducing moments. From insane singalong sessions during tracks like Record Year, Kill A Word, and Give Me Back My Hometown, to the Toronto sized pop Church got when he draped a Maple Leafs scarf around his neck – there was no shortage of electricity or excitement in that crowd of country music fans.

It was a rock and roll show when the songs called for it. It was a singer/songwriter country show when the songs called for that. But more than anything, it was an Eric Church show from start to finish. No filler. No distractions. No questions. This was Mr. Misunderstood and The Outsiders and Chief and Carolina and Sinners Like Me. It was the kind of country show that makes you wish you went to more country shows.

And it was a night that we won’t forget.

You were right again Eric.

See you all back at Church soon.

Eric Church Set List – Holdin’ My Own Tour Toronto, March 2, 2017

⍟ Mistress Named Music
⍟ That’s Damn Rock & Roll
⍟ The Outsiders
⍟ Knives of New Orleans
⍟ Drink In My Hand
⍟ Carolina
⍟ How ‘Bout You
⍟ What I Almost Was
⍟ Cold One
⍟ Round Here Buzz
⍟ Mr. Misunderstood
⍟ Talladega
⍟ Like a Wrecking Ball
⍟ Pledge Allegiance to the Hag
⍟ Smoke a Little Smoke
⍟ Ain’t Killed Me Yet
⍟ Guys Like Me
⍟ Lotta Boot Left to Fill
⍟ Record Year
⍟ Homeboy
⍟ Chattanooga Lucy
⍟ Two Pink Lines
⍟ Kill a Word
⍟ I’m Gettin’ Stoned
⍟ Hung Over and Hard Up
⍟ Don’t Do It (The Band)
⍟ Give Me Back My Hometown
⍟ Jack Daniels
⍟ Before She Does
⍟ Mixed Drinks About Feelings
⍟ Creepin’
⍟ Three Year Old
⍟ Keep On
⍟ These Boots
⍟ Springsteen
⍟ Holdin’ My Own
⍟ Like Jesus Does

Damn, I used to love this view, sit here and drink a few

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Unbelievable artist, easily one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. #EricChurch

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Never Say Die: Marianas Trench Live at Air Canada Centre, Toronto!

With a HUGE POP from the crowd, Vancouver’s Marianas Trench took the Air Canada Centre stage and kicked off a headlining set that left no fan wanting for anything but more of the same when it ended.

High Energy ✓
Polished Production ✓
Crowd Connection ✓
Great Sound ✓
Fun ✓

Marianas Trench ACCWith a jam-packed set of 18 songs, the 4 dudes who make up Marianas Trench left everything they had dripping on stage… and over the enthusiastic crowd of Trenchers.

They lit their fire with Astoria, and closed out their 3 song encore with End Of An Era. And from start to finish they put on a show in every sense of the word. From wardrobe changes (which rarely included a shirt for Josh) to smoke and confetti cannons and animated videos playing on the huge screen at the back of the stage and Josh himself channeling Peter Pan as he flew out over the crowd – flipping, diving, and gliding through the air while singing Stutter and End Of An Era. This was theatrics and music and everything that a reunion tour rock band standing still and playing the hits isn’t.

Marianas Trench Set List, Never Say Die Tour Toronto

🔥 Astoria
🔥 Yesterday
🔥 Celebrity Status
🔥 Burning Up
🔥 All To Myself
🔥 This Means War
🔥 Desperate Measures
🔥 Pop 101
🔥 Shut Up
🔥 One Love
🔥 Fallout
🔥 Who Do You Love
🔥 Stutter
🔥 Wildfire
🔥 Cross My Heart
🔥 Encore: Dearly Departed
🔥 Encore: Haven’t Had Enough
🔥 Encore: End Of An Era

Related: Astoria: Marianas Trench Album Review and Q&A

Note: We love that the guys shouted out their 1st Toronto show, 10 years or so ago at the Cameron House… one of our fav spots in the city for music.

And if the theatrics aren’t your cup of tea (too bad, ‘cause they were awesome) the music was on point all night too. The combination of tight musicianship and harmonies that comes with a decade of playing and singing together + Josh’s ridiculous pipes makes for live music that does not disappoint when compared to studio records.

In fact, Josh’s voice is so ridiculous I don’t know who to compare it to. And usually that’s a thing that I can do.

Kieran Mercer ACCNote: I can compare show opener Kieran Mercer’s voice to a mid-80’s Phil Collins. And that’s a good thing! Mercer and his band did a great job of warming up the stage and crowd as fans filed in to their seats. And the matching red jackets may have had a little movie theatre look, but the music was all their own. Job well done boys!

The crowd, heavy with teens and early 20-somethings, stood throughout the set, and crowded the small stage in the middle of the floor when Josh took to a piano on a small B stage to belt out One Love, with the support of a lot of enthusiastic voices.

These Toronto Trenchers loved the Marianas Trench show. They were excited, screaming, singing, dancing, waving their hands, and generally having the time of their lives. We loved seeing it. It’s the best part of live music… and it was on full display.

Walk Off The Earth ACCNote: We also have to shout out Walk Off The Earth who played between Kieran and Marianas Trench. They killed it with a mix of musicianship and showmanship that was far above any expectations we had going in. Our hats are off to the entire band, and their techs who sing and play drums, all while doing their other jobs. Nailed it!

Related: Walk Off The Earth: Live at Air Canada Centre, Toronto!

It was a loud night at Air Canada Centre and we loved it.

In the end there really isn’t an end to the combination of adjectives we could use to describe this show.

The band was 100% in. The fans were 100% in. The emotion ebbed and flowed. The love openly passed from the seats to the stage, and back again… and we have 0 doubt that it will be the same in Winnipeg, Regina, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Kamloops, and their hometown of Vancouver as the Never Say Die Tour continues.

Congrats to Josh, Matt, Mike, and Ian on a great show… they killed it.

Now, check out the awesome pics Trish snapped in the pit and go listen to Astoria!

Marianas Trench at Air Canada Centre Toronto!

Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCMike Ayley Marianas Trench ACCMatt Webb Marianas Trench ACCIan Casselman Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCMarianas Trench ACCMike Ayley Marianas Trench ACCMarianas Trench ACCMarianas Trench ACCMarianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay and Matt Webb Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCMarianas Trench ACCJosh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACC

2 years ago

Walk Off The Earth: Live at Air Canada Centre, Toronto!

Tuesday night in Toronto we were treated to a whole lot of musicianship and good times when the pride of Burlington, Ontario hit the stage at the Air Canada Centre in support of Mariana’s Trench and the Never Say Die Tour!

YouTube sensation Walk Off The Earth has come a loooong way since they blew up the internet with their cover of Somebody That I Used To Know… you know, the one with 5 peeps on 1 guitar.

Walk Off The Earth ACCIn the 4+ years since the band has continued to pump out awesome covers of the songs people love, and also dropping two Top 10 records of their own pop songs. Seriously, check them out if you dig the covers.

Tuesday night they showed us a bunch of awesome – using the entire stage, more instruments than you can shake a stick at (including some instruments that aren’t instruments),  showcasing some sweet harmonies, and generally putting on a show.

If there’s a single word you could use to describe Walk Off The Earth’s show… it’s ENTERTAINING.

The band played favourite covers Happy, Hello, Cheerleader, and of course, Somebody That I Used To Know (with Wrecking Ball, Rude & Wake Me Up mixed in) + originals Rule The World, Hold On (The Break), Home We’ll Go, Red Hands, the new album’s title track, Sing It All Away, and more, more, more…

Note: Really loved the call and answer throughout the show in prep for Sing It All Away. Prepare yourself for the next time you see the band…
WOTE: Oh oh sing it all away
Crowd: Sing it all away my darlings!

Yes, Walk Off The Earth was opening for Mariana’s Trench, but do not for 1 second think that they didn’t own that stage, control the crowd, and give everyone what they came for… Entertainment!

Now, check out the pics Trish snapped in the pit – and be ready for more from the Never Say Die Tour in Toronto coming up!

Walk Off The Earth at Air Canada Centre Toronto!

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2 years ago

Keith Urban Lights The Fuse, Blows Up Toronto

Keith Urban, Toronto Maple Leafs JerseyLast night I started my 2014 live music year at the Air Canada Centre with Trish, in an executive suite thanks to Boots & Bourbon and Diageo.

We won the tickets at Boots & Bourbon on Wednesday night, not a bad way to punctuate a first visit to a new country spot in the city. And a big thank you to Trish who pushed me to go when I was cold and not feeling it so much earlier in the evening. I’ll be back to Boots & Bourbon for the Molson Stock Ale, Fried Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Snow Crab, Desserts… and country music.

I felt spoiled all night. There was food in the suite, we had front row seats in the box, drinks were included, encouraged and poured for us. And, the music was awesome.

Brett Eldredge, Toronto January 24, 2014Brett Eldredge opened the show. He’s a young country singer from Illinois who is picking up steam in his career, and with good reason. His music was catchy and fun and on stage he did a great job of engaging the crowd that was pouring in steadily.

The sound was also great thanks to the 5 piece band on stage with Brett. His 2 guitars, bass, keys and drums all pulled their weight. I was also drawn in by his cover of Let’s Stay Together. I’m a sucker for covers done country, and this was the first one of the night – and it didn’t suck.

The set closed with the very tall ( 6’5″) Eldredge and his band playing his biggest hit, Don’t Ya. Dude did good. Keep an eye on him in the future.

Little Big TownNext on stage was Little Big Town. Award winning, great sounding, fun energy, very talented, big favourite of mine, Little Big Town.

Side note: Big ups to the stage crew who tore down Eldredge’s set and got things ready for Little Big Town in less than 15 minutes.

As Trish and I watched their set I realized that there were only 2 acts I could think of with 2 female and 2 male voices playing a feature role like these 4 do. The only names I could come up with were ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. Clearly they are more Fleetwood Mac than Abba, and I’m totally okay with that.

The set opened with Little White Church, a great option with the clapping and singing and harmonies that make this band who they are.

We also got to hear Bring It On Home (thanks for the feels guys), Tornado, Pontoon, a sweet cover of The Oak Ridge Boys’ Elvira, Your Side of the Bed,

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, and they ended the set with Boondocks, the song that made me fall in love with the band more than 8 years ago.

I loved every minute of the set and desperately hope that I’ll see Little Big Town on stage again someday… maybe even at Boots & Hearts.

Keith Urban Light The Fuse Tour, Toronto January 24, 2014Next, last, biggest, and best was Keith Urban. The reason that we were all packed into the Air Canada Centre. I’ve been at the ACC for hockey, basketball, lacrosse, wrestling and now this concert – and I have never been part of such an enthusiastic, engaged, amazing crowd as I was last night.

Country music fans love Keith Urban. I love Keith Urban. His music has been better than solid since his first album in 2000 – hell, the guy has gone to #1 on the country charts 16 times. I bought his greatest hits album earlier in the week, before we had tickets to this concert – and you need to know that there is going to be another one of those before too long.

And that’s the only problem, with 16 #1 hits, a ton of other fan favourites, and a new album (Fuse) to tour, there was no way that we were going to hear every song that we were hoping for from Keith Urban.

But he tried his best.

Keith Urban, Light The Fuse Tour Setlist, Toronto, January 24, 2014The irony was not lost on me when he opened the set with Long Hot Summer… real funny dude. The set list was full of great songs and amazing performances. I don’t know how to tell you what the highlights were. There wasn’t a song that I didn’t like. There wasn’t a miss.

We had highlights like his walking through the floor crowd to get to a small stage during the interlude and then banging out a couple songs for the fans at the back of the arena. Coming out for his encore in a Maple Leafs jersey with Urban, #1 on the back – and the captain’s C on the front. He’s now my favourite Leafs’ captain since Wendel Clark. And I know 1 girl’s highlight of the night was Keith Urban pulling his guitar off his shoulder, signing it with a black sharpie and handing it to her. Yup, that happened. She cried.

I’m currently in love with Keith Urban’s duet with Miranda Lambert on

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– and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town did not disappoint when she came out to sing the #1 hit 2/3 of the way through the set. Loved it.

It was also cool to see all of Little Big Town come back out to sing on You Gonna Fly and it must have been a rush for Brett Eldredge to come out and sing Kiss A Girl with a guy who has a career that he has got to dream about having some day.

I need to say this too, Keith Urban could play lead guitar in pretty much any band, in any genre. He is amazingly talented and we all got to see it up close when they put a GoPro camera on his guitar and projected the video onto the big screens.

I sang along so much last night that my voice started to go near the end. It was a concert experience that I couldn’t have hoped to be any better. Heck, it was a concert I didn’t know I was going to until less than 48 hours before Brett Eldredge, Little Big Town and Keith Urban took the stage on Friday night.

If you love country music, go see any of these 3 acts when you get the chance.

You won’t be disappointed.

Trust me.

4 years ago
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