(Niagara Falls, ON) – It was a cold and rainy November night outside but inside the Scotiabank Convention Centre things got a little crazy and heated with a sold-out concert featuring hometown country singer Tim Hicks on Nov. 27.
The night got underway just after 8 p.m. with up-and-coming country artist Jason Benoit from Newfoundland. Benoit and his band put on a great performance during their 30-minute set. This guy is definitely worth watching out for when he releases his debut album next year.
Next up was Cold Creek County. This Ontario country rock band has been getting a lot of hype. They released their debut album, Till the Wheels Come Off, in October 2015 with the first single, Our Town. These guys put on a great show!
Finally, it was time for Niagara’s own, Tim Hicks. Kicking off his set with Young, Alive and In Love, Hicks made it clear midway through the song that Wikipedia has it wrong.
“I was born and raised in Niagara Falls, not St. Catharines,” he told the cheering crowd.
This night was special in many ways. Not only was this Hicks’ first headlining tour (called Get A Little Crazy Tour) but this was his first major homecoming show as a country artist. A good portion of the audience contained family members and friends. Long gone are the days playing in a cover band at local Niagara bars. Hicks is in the big times now with three albums under his belt – Throw Down, 5:01 and 5:01+. Other career highlights include a 2015 SOCAN Award for the single Got A Feeling, a 2014 CCMA award for Rising Star and two JUNO Award nominations for the debut album Throw Down.
From start to finish, Hicks’ 90-minute set was full of music, fun and energy. Hicks and his band – rounded out by Chris Altmann on banjo, guitarists Graham Mallany and Geoff Torrn, bassist Doug Elash and drummer Rob Wells – seemed to be having a great time on stage. Hicks had a gun launcher which he used a couple of times to shoot t-shirts out to the crowd.
“I think I hit my grandmother!” he joked at one point while shooting out the shirts.
The set list that night included Young, Alive and In Love, She Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore, So Do I, Got A Feeling, A Little Drinkalong, Dust and Bone, This Is For the Underdog and Hell Raisin’ Good Time. He finished the night off with a three-song encore: Stronger Beer, Here Comes the Thunder and You Know You’re Home.
During the encore Hicks introduced a special guest to the stage – Jeff Coplan from the band Blackjack Billy. Coplan, who co-wrote some songs with Hicks and produced both albums, flew in from Nashville to be a part of the last two shows of the tour – Niagara Falls and Oshawa (the following night).
Overall, it was a great night of music and entertainment. Hicks did not disappoint in any way. Hopefully, we will see a lot more of this country superstar as he continues to have a long, successful journey.
Connect with Tim Hicks online: (Website) (Facebook) (Twitter)
Connect with Cold Creek County online: (Website) (Facebook) (Twitter) (Instagram)
Connect with Jason Benoit online: (Facebook) (Twitter) (Instagram)
All photos by Joel Naphin.
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COLD CREEK COUNTY: