On Sunday November 3, 2019 the legendary Canadian country group Emerson Drive played at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton. It was such a great show filled with great country music.
Morniville, Alberta native Justin Hogg opened the show with his song “Just Drive” before infusing the crowd with energy, encouraging them to dance while singing “Footloose”. Hogg then introduced his latest single, “Suntans and Beer Cans” before launching into a medley of favourites including “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate”, “500 Miles” and “Living on a Prayer”. Hogg wrapped up his set with his song “Smoke Signals” and a cover of Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”.
Emerson Drive took the stage, opening with a mix of new and old including “The Road” and “That Kind of Beautiful”, with lead singer Brad Mates giving it his all while belting out “Who We Are”.
Mates segued into “Good Hurts”, saying that while the song didn’t gain much traction on the radio, it is one of his favourites.
Mates mentioned that the last time he was in Edmonton, he and his son were waiting for their luggage when they bumped into an old friend of his, Phil Pritchard (keeper of the Stanley Cup) and took some time to catch. Phil was waiting at the oversized baggage claim for – you guessed it – the Stanley Cup and when it arrived Mates’ son (an avid hockey fan) was able to see it for the first time. The Grand Prairie, Alberta native’s eyes shone as he spoke of his son’s excitement and he was met with cheers when he admitted to being an Oilers fan.
Recently the band had the opportunity to travel to Kuwait to perform for the military members serving abroad. Fourteen different countries were represented at their concert, and Mates explained what an incredible opportunity it was to get to know some of them. He then dedicated the song The Extra Mile to all those who have and are currently serving in our country’s military.
The band launched into their latest song, “Country People” after which Mates mentioned that keyboardist Dale Wallace just turned 50. Mates proceeded to lead the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday”, teasing them for not remembering Wallace’s name.
Mates then introduced the band’s first number one single, “Moments”, saying that it’s a song that’s helped many people through tough times – including the members of the band when they lost their bassist shortly after the song’s release.
Following the poignancy of “Moments”, the band picked the tempo back up with favourites like “Just Got Paid” and “A Good Man” before getting everyone on their feet dancing and clapping to “Testify”.
Their final number was an energy-filled rendition of Avcii’s “Wake Me Up”.
The crowd demanded an encore and the band returned to the stage, jamming on their instruments before performing their cover of everyone’s favourite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song – “Fishin’ in the Dark” as the crowd sang along with smiles on their faces.
Setlist for Emerson Drive’s Show on Nov 3, 2019 at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton
- The Road
- That Kind of Beautiful
- Who We Are
- Good hurts
- She Always Gets What She Wants
- Countrified soul
- Fall into me
- The Extra Mile
- I Love This Road
- Country People
- Just Got Paid
- Should Be Sleeping
- A Good Man
- She’s My Kind of Crazy
- Wake Me Up
- Encore: Fishin’ in the Dark
In country music, the Front Porch has long been a place of reflection. A place where you can look at the life you have inside that front door. A place where time almost seems to stand still, where you can get away. It’s also a place where you can go to observe the world as it passes by you. To think about your place out there beyond the driveway.