Concert Reviews

Emerson Drive Delivers Big in Akron

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If you call yourself a country music fan and you weren’t at EJ Thomas Hall in Akron on Friday evening (Sep 13), then shame on you! Canada’s own Emerson Drive and special guests The Buck Naked Band put on what just might be one of the area’s best country music shows so far this year. Despite the heavy rain and threat of severe storms, fans who ventured out were rewarded with an evening of some of the best contemporary country music played on any stage, anywhere.

From humble beginning in the western Alberta town of Grand Prairie, to gigging throughout Canada on a refurbished old school bus, Emerson Drive has done the work and paid the dues that have allowed them to become highly regarded and critically acclaimed in the world of contemporary country music. Their work ethic was clearly displayed on the EJ Thomas stage as they delivered an exceptionally high energy and heartfelt performance that really connected with the crowd. Their set was a terrific mix of both old and new that highlighted their evolution and artistic growth during a nearly twenty-year career. Songs like “Moments,” “Just Got Paid,” “I Should Be Sleeping” and “She’s My Kind of Crazy” had fans on their feet and singing along with every note. Front man Brad Mates was non-stop perpetual motion. From his interaction with his band mates and their interaction with each other, it was clear that these guys really do enjoy performing together. A lot. In fact, there were times when Mates and lead guitarist Danick Dupelle reminded me of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora’s stage antics back in the day. It was just so much fun to see!

An Emerson Drive concert is a hand-clapping, finger-snapping, toe-tapping and foot-stomping event that’s not to be missed. We recommend that all CCM readers make a point of seeing this incredibly talented band live whenever the opportunity presents itself. They put on a heck of a show, and we promise that you’ll have a damn good time.

Emerson Drive Set List (9/13/19)
“Notion”
“The Road”
“That Kind of Beautiful”
“Who We Are”
“She Always Gets What She Wants”
“Countrified”
“Fall Into Me”
“The Extra Mile”
“I Love This Road”
“Country People”
“Moments”
“Just Got Paid”
“I Should Be Sleeping”
“A Good Man”
“She’s My Kind Of Crazy”
“Wake Me Up”
Encore:
“Fishin’ In The Dark”

Emerson Drive w/Buck Naked Band at EJ Thomas Hall in Akron (9.13.19) – Photos by Gerard Hilinski

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