Last night I was lucky enough to have won tickets to see Madeline Merlo, Jess Moskaluke, and High Valley perform as part of Sirius XM House and Canadian Music Week.
The venue was a good trek from downtown Toronto, but definitely worth it. The Great Hall is a beautiful venue that suited the occasion perfectly. With its large floor area, and two-tiered balcony, it was the a great size for a concert such as this.
Madeline Merlo opened the night, playing her hit songs from "Free Soul," including: Whatcha Wanna Do About It, War Paint, and Honey Jack. Madeline makes performing onstage look like an easy feat for all, and needless to say I was mesmerized. Her vocal talents captured every single person in the audience, and was a perfect way to open the night. PS, if you're reading this Madeline - where did you get your romper from because it was SO CUTE!
About halfway through Madeline's set I was lucky enough to have met the High Valley brothers, Brad and Curtis. It was much different than other M&G's I've been to, in that we were taken to the coat check room where we were told the guys would be out soon. Once they arrived, it was super casual and they proceeded to shake everyone's hands and personally thank them for coming out. I admired how humble Brad and Curtis were, and how they truly wanted to get to know and talk to everyone. After brief introductions, we got to take our picture with them, talk a little, and then we were off.
Special mention to Tami Smitten, who we met while waiting to meet Brad and Curtis. Tami is what I would consider a country superfan, and was more than excited to share her stories with us. I love meeting passionate fans, and Tami was definitely one of them. Her granddaughter Emma is also a country superfan, and it was the most adorable thing ever when Curtis and Brad made a personalized video for her. Check out Tami's poster board to the right, where she is trying to get all CCMA artists to sign it. I'd say she's well on her way to accomplishing that!
After the meet and greet, it was time for Jess Moskaluke. Jess is yet another gorgeous country singer with unbelievable talent. I highly recommend checking her music out, whether it's live, on Spotify, or Apple Music. Jess played for us her classic Cheap Wine and Cigarettes from 2014 album "Light Up the Night," her new-ish single Drive Me Away, as well as many others. The ladies both started off the night with a bang, and it's hard to believe I still had a voice left for High Valley.
Once the quick set change was done, it was time for High Valley to come on the stage. They started out with Dear Life, followed by Come on Down, Rescue You, and County Line from their albums "Dear Life" and "County Line." I have never seen a crowd dancing and belting out the lyrics like I did last night.
They followed up some of their originals with a hit cover of Be My Baby Tonight by John Michael Montgomery. Next up on the setlist was Young Forever, which is featured in EA Sports Madden NFL 17 game.
My personal favourite, Every Week's Got a Friday was the next song High Valley played, and not one person could be caught standing around. After that was Roads We've Never Taken, followed by Brad and Curtis having a personal moment with the crowd and talking about how they got started by placing a microphone hanging off their ping-pong table. Nothing I love more than when you're at a concert and the artists go back to their roots.
They decided to keep us on an emotional rollercoaster by playing A Father's Love (The Only Way He Knew How), from 2010 album self-titled High Valley. Up next was a cover of I'll Fly Away, followed by Love You For A Long Time.
The guys weren't done yet, as they continued on down their set list with She's With Me and Make You Mine. This was followed by an encore performance of I Be U Be, a smash hit from their newest album "Dear Life."
It's safe to say that I left this concert a little more in love with High Valley than I was before. They never failed to keep the audience engaged and dancing, and were true performers up on stage. Thanks for a great night guys, and I can't wait to see and hopefully meet you again!