Bright Lights, Big Country: Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo, The Lovelocks & Friends in Toronto

On a Thursday night, at the start of the Holiday Season, country music fans from across the GTA packed The Phoenix Concert Theatre for a busy night of music from new artists, radio favourites, and free pizza.

The Bright Lights, Big Country show (hosted by KX96, KX94.7 & Pizza Nova) brought 7 artists to the stage, including 2015 CCMA Rising Star, Madeline Merlo and 2014 & 2015 CCMA Female Artist of the Year, Jess Moskaluke – and from 8 to 11:30 the place was in a constant state of happy as fans sang and clapped and danced along to the songs coming from the speakers.

Note: We sat down with Madeline Merlo pre-show to talk about 2015 highlights, plans for 2016, Christmas, whiskey, and more. Check it out HERE!

Eric Ethridge Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixThe Bright Lights, Big Country show did a great job of keeping the action hot on stage by bringing up 3 emerging artists for showcase opportunities. Eric Ethridge, Dani Strong, and Sykamore all hopped up to sing one song each for the crowd, and none of them disappointed.

Keep any eye on Eric Ethridge in 2016, this dude has got the sound and energy and look to end up on more stages and more venues, and in front of more people as he continues to make a name for himself. And here’s a little shoutout to Travis Wood and Gavin Slate for writing the song that Eric sang on Thursday night, Lips Don’t Lie. Keep an ear out for that one.

The night of country was kicked actually kicked off with a little acoustic fun from another rising star, Jesse Labelle.

Labelle came out to greet the crowd, guitar in hand, and did a great job of warming up the crowd. Why Wouldn’t We and Heartbreak Coverup for feet moving and smiles on faces… and then the big pop came when Jesse invited an old friend up on stage to turn up the heat.

Mike Robins (one half of Autumn Hill, who had a HUGE 2015) added his voice and guitar and screaming fans to the mix, and together with Labelle, belted out Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and Keith Urban’s Somebody Like You. It was a treat for the fans, and it certainly looked like the boys enjoyed it too.

After Mike left, Jesse finished things off with Some Kind Of Good. A pretty apt description of his set.

Also with a full band set, playing a hometown show, and doing a great job of it, were The Lovelocks.

Ali and Zoe have been hard at work making new music, playing shows all over the place, and sending out Christmas cards to supporters over the last little while, so it was extra nice to get a hello and hug backstage before the show… but the real treat, as always, came when they took the stage.

With a nice selection of songs we’ve heard the girls sing before, including I Do Not, Dance, and Born To Love PLUS a cover of Joni Mitchell’s River, we got songs we could sing along to and a little taste of Christmas.

We can’t wait for the new music coming from The Lovelocks in 2016, and for more live shows to enjoy.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixNext in the feature spotlight was 2015 CCMA Rising Star, and overall sweetheart, Madeline Merlo.

Madeline took the stage with her band and got a nice pop from the country fans in attendance, which must have made an impact because it didn’t take long for her to look out and say, “Wow, there’s a lot of people here!”.

Madeline mixed her songs with a little cover action to put on a fun little set at The Phoenix. Originals including I’m Alive, Sinking Like A Stone, and Honey Jack, paired well with a taste of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind and a funky mash-up of Miley’s We Can’t Stop and Sam Hunt’s House Party.

There are bigger stages coming for Madeline, and a new record in spring 2016 is going to give her more fuel for the fire, and the crowd more to sing along to.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixLast, but 100% certainly not least, was the Bright Lights, Big Country headliner, back-to-back CCMA Female Artist of the Year, Gold Certified, sweetheart of a person, Jess Moskaluke!

It was easy to see that this was what the crowd had been waiting for when the noise level and energy in the room found new heights as Jess grabbed her microphone. And she didn’t waste any time getting in gear and rewarding them for waiting for her turn.

We’ve seen Jess a few times, on stage and off, over the last couple years, and we can tell you that she is getting better and better and better each and every time. The power in her voice rings through the speakers and right to your music loving ears, her energy reflects that of the crowd, giving it back and not just taking what she’s being given, and she looks happy to be doing what she’s doing.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixThursday night was Jess Moskaluke’s first headlining show in Toronto, and much of the MDM Recordings family was there to see it. It was a celebration of success and love for a woman who is leading the way for a new generation of female singers in Canadian country. It’s pretty safe to say that they’re all pretty proud of her – and it won’t be the last time she anchors a concert in the GTA.

Before we get to the set list we have to tell you the little secret Jess told us all… the new single, coming in the not too distant future, will be Elevator, which is an awesome choice from the Kiss Me Quiet EP. AND to close out the show, during the encore of Cheap Wine & Cigarettes, Ms. Moskaluke got an assist from labelmate and crowd favourite, Chad Brownlee. It was a great way to end a great night of country music in Toronto.

Jess Moskaule Bright Lights, Big Country Set List

♫ Night We Won’t Forget
♫ Used
♫ Kiss Me Quiet
♫ Good For You
♫ Good Lovin’
♫ Light Up The Night
♫ If You’re Not In it For Love
♫ When He’s Drunk
♫ Strong As It’s Ever Been
♫ Leave The Night On
♫ Lightning Bolt
♫ Take Me Home
♫ Elevator
♫ Alone
♫ Cheap Wine & Cigarettes

More Photos from Bright Lights, Big Country

Dani Strong

Dani Strong Biright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Eric Ethridge

Eric Ethridge Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Madeline Merlo

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Jess Moskaluke

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

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Bright Lights, Big Country: Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo, The Lovelocks & Friends in Toronto

On a Thursday night, at the start of the Holiday Season, country music fans from across the GTA packed The Phoenix Concert Theatre for a busy night of music from new artists, radio favourites, and free pizza.

The Bright Lights, Big Country show (hosted by KX96, KX94.7 & Pizza Nova) brought 7 artists to the stage, including 2015 CCMA Rising Star, Madeline Merlo and 2014 & 2015 CCMA Female Artist of the Year, Jess Moskaluke – and from 8 to 11:30 the place was in a constant state of happy as fans sang and clapped and danced along to the songs coming from the speakers.

Note: We sat down with Madeline Merlo pre-show to talk about 2015 highlights, plans for 2016, Christmas, whiskey, and more. Check it out HERE!

Eric Ethridge Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixThe Bright Lights, Big Country show did a great job of keeping the action hot on stage by bringing up 3 emerging artists for showcase opportunities. Eric Ethridge, Dani Strong, and Sykamore all hopped up to sing one song each for the crowd, and none of them disappointed.

Keep any eye on Eric Ethridge in 2016, this dude has got the sound and energy and look to end up on more stages and more venues, and in front of more people as he continues to make a name for himself. And here’s a little shoutout to Travis Wood and Gavin Slate for writing the song that Eric sang on Thursday night, Lips Don’t Lie. Keep an ear out for that one.

The night of country was kicked actually kicked off with a little acoustic fun from another rising star, Jesse Labelle.

Labelle came out to greet the crowd, guitar in hand, and did a great job of warming up the crowd. Why Wouldn’t We and Heartbreak Coverup for feet moving and smiles on faces… and then the big pop came when Jesse invited an old friend up on stage to turn up the heat.

Mike Robins (one half of Autumn Hill, who had a HUGE 2015) added his voice and guitar and screaming fans to the mix, and together with Labelle, belted out Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and Keith Urban’s Somebody Like You. It was a treat for the fans, and it certainly looked like the boys enjoyed it too.

After Mike left, Jesse finished things off with Some Kind Of Good. A pretty apt description of his set.

Also with a full band set, playing a hometown show, and doing a great job of it, were The Lovelocks.

Ali and Zoe have been hard at work making new music, playing shows all over the place, and sending out Christmas cards to supporters over the last little while, so it was extra nice to get a hello and hug backstage before the show… but the real treat, as always, came when they took the stage.

With a nice selection of songs we’ve heard the girls sing before, including I Do Not, Dance, and Born To Love PLUS a cover of Joni Mitchell’s River, we got songs we could sing along to and a little taste of Christmas.

We can’t wait for the new music coming from The Lovelocks in 2016, and for more live shows to enjoy.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixNext in the feature spotlight was 2015 CCMA Rising Star, and overall sweetheart, Madeline Merlo.

Madeline took the stage with her band and got a nice pop from the country fans in attendance, which must have made an impact because it didn’t take long for her to look out and say, “Wow, there’s a lot of people here!”.

Madeline mixed her songs with a little cover action to put on a fun little set at The Phoenix. Originals including I’m Alive, Sinking Like A Stone, and Honey Jack, paired well with a taste of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind and a funky mash-up of Miley’s We Can’t Stop and Sam Hunt’s House Party.

There are bigger stages coming for Madeline, and a new record in spring 2016 is going to give her more fuel for the fire, and the crowd more to sing along to.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixLast, but 100% certainly not least, was the Bright Lights, Big Country headliner, back-to-back CCMA Female Artist of the Year, Gold Certified, sweetheart of a person, Jess Moskaluke!

It was easy to see that this was what the crowd had been waiting for when the noise level and energy in the room found new heights as Jess grabbed her microphone. And she didn’t waste any time getting in gear and rewarding them for waiting for her turn.

We’ve seen Jess a few times, on stage and off, over the last couple years, and we can tell you that she is getting better and better and better each and every time. The power in her voice rings through the speakers and right to your music loving ears, her energy reflects that of the crowd, giving it back and not just taking what she’s being given, and she looks happy to be doing what she’s doing.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixThursday night was Jess Moskaluke’s first headlining show in Toronto, and much of the MDM Recordings family was there to see it. It was a celebration of success and love for a woman who is leading the way for a new generation of female singers in Canadian country. It’s pretty safe to say that they’re all pretty proud of her – and it won’t be the last time she anchors a concert in the GTA.

Before we get to the set list we have to tell you the little secret Jess told us all… the new single, coming in the not too distant future, will be Elevator, which is an awesome choice from the Kiss Me Quiet EP. AND to close out the show, during the encore of Cheap Wine & Cigarettes, Ms. Moskaluke got an assist from labelmate and crowd favourite, Chad Brownlee. It was a great way to end a great night of country music in Toronto.

Jess Moskaule Bright Lights, Big Country Set List

♫ Night We Won’t Forget
♫ Used
♫ Kiss Me Quiet
♫ Good For You
♫ Good Lovin’
♫ Light Up The Night
♫ If You’re Not In it For Love
♫ When He’s Drunk
♫ Strong As It’s Ever Been
♫ Leave The Night On
♫ Lightning Bolt
♫ Take Me Home
♫ Elevator
♫ Alone
♫ Cheap Wine & Cigarettes

More Photos from Bright Lights, Big Country

Dani Strong

Dani Strong Biright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Eric Ethridge

Eric Ethridge Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Madeline Merlo

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Jess Moskaluke

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

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