Last night, our moms finally got a chance to cash in the last of their Christmas presents. We had gotten them tickets to a Johnny Reid concert. Not to be left out, Amie’s dad also got himself a ticket at the last moment and came along also.
We started the evening with dinner at Amici restaurant where we had an awesome dining experience. None of us had ever been there before but vowed to return again. Amie and I had the Fettucine con Gamberi e Granchio which translated is actually shrimp, crab meat and grape tomatoes in a garlic herb cream sauce. It was delectable!
Then it was off to the MTS Center for the icing on the cake, the pièce de résistance, Johnny Reid. My wife and I saw Johnny for the first time just over a year ago at the Concert Hall which was a more intimate setting. After that show, we both wondered why he did not play at the high-profile MTS Center as he was good enough to put on a great show there. We were extremely impressed with his show and in my opinion, was one of the best concerts I had attended in terms of overall performance and that’s why we recommended it to our parents and got them tickets to last night’s show.
The lovely and also fellow Canadian, Carolyn Dawn Johnson opened up the show and did a commendable job. She encouraged the crowd to sing along to her hit and also my favorite, ‘Die of a broken heart’ and they eagerly obliged. Then Johnny took over.
He came onstage to the screams of adoring fans both young and old, looking and sounding everything like Rod Stewart. Wasting no time, he launched into hit after hit in between working, and I mean working, the crowd. During his second song, he abandoned the safety of the stage and made his way through the arena, even jumping over the wall to go dancing through the aisles on the upper levels. He made it a point of hugging and kissing the senior female citizens and little children. During his set, he would also haul random kids up on stage to join him, even jumping up and down with one exuberant little girl.
When he got to the song I consider not only his masterpiece but one of the best songs ever, ‘Today I Am Gonna Try and Change The World’ the crowd was already eating out of his hands and hanging on to his every word. He reminded me of a successful televangelist. He also made it a point to remind everyone how truly thankful he was that they decided to spend their hard-earned money to come and see him and he seemed genuinely thankful.
You cannot attend a Johnny Reid’s Concert and not be impressed with the performance of this man. His charisma and genuineness endear him to many. Even in a big venue, he manages to make you feel as if he was performing in your living room.
I have to add a blurb about his band, namely his back up dancer and percussionist. The two main backup singers were African-Americans and did a superb job adding their above average voices in accompaniment. The percussionist who was also an African-American, played just about anything she could lay her hands on. Her talent was on display as she sang, played drums, congas, washboard, gyrate and also engaged in a saxophone duel.
A show such as this deserves an encore and sure enough as the appreciative crowd stood and clap to chants of ‘Johnny! Johnny!’ Reid and his band obliged. Him and his band came back out clad in Jets’ jerseys. After doing his last song, Reid threw his Jets’ jersey to a lucky child. (An over zealous fella caught it and JR immediately gestured to him to pass it to the intended recipient).
Johnny Reid is awesome! If you ever get a chance to see him, take it, you won’t regret it.
- Review: Johnny Reid, Fire It Up (canada.com)
- Johnny Reid’s recipe for success: family, hope, no yes-men – CTV.ca (ctv.ca)
- Singer-songwriter Reid keeps it real – for real (canada.com)