Kendra Kay kicked off the night, getting the crowd warmed up with some upbeat tracks. The Manitoba native had everyone singing along with her rendition of Strawberry Wine, and it wouldn’t be a concert in Alberta without a good many couples tearing up the dancefloor. Kay brought out some classic country, and her fiddle player practically set his bow on fire with Devil Went Down to Georgia.
Kay was followed by the Edmonton’s Blue Norther dance group with some two step, six step, and country swing.
Washboard Union took the stage in matching white denim jackets to open the show with I Run on Country. They got the crowd singing along with Our Time to Shine and That’s What We’re Made Of. The band got their start at Cook County Saloon and were excited to be back in their old stomping ground.
The crowd sang along with enthusiasm to a mix of Washboard Union hits and classics like Fat Bottom Girls and Mountain Music before the band segued into Drinking Love, an unreleased song that was so catchy it had everyone singing along by the end.
The BC natives led into Dock Rock with some stories about their time in the Okanagan, making everyone in the place forget about the winter wonderland outside (which is a feat, because snow in October is a tough pill to swallow, even in Alberta).
The band then spoke about how much they love music and singing together, playing some of their favourite shower (ahem, campfire) songs like Lonestar’s Amazed, Dobie Gray’s Drift Away, and Maren Morris’ My Church.
The crowd was told to get their lights out for the next song, because ‘to us, it looks like stars’. More Memories Than Wishes was written and released during COVID and expresses the home that at the end of your time, your list of things you’ve done is longer than the things you wish you’ve done. The song has everyone swaying along with their flashlights on.
The band wrapped up their set with some favourites like Never Run Outta Road and Shut Her Down that had everyone singing along before retaking the stage for an encore featuring Don Henley’s Boys of Summer and their hit Shot of Glory.
Make sure to keep an eye out of the release of Drinking Love!
Growing up, I was an avid country music hater. Dean Brody won me over in my 20s and my enjoyment of the genre has steadily increased since then, especially after moving to Alberta. I'm a lover of music, explorer of new places, asker of questions, admirer of nature, and socializer extraordinaire.