The third annual Rock The Park, Gone Country took over Harris Park in London, ON last week. You would have never known it was a Wednesday & Thursday as the park was packed with eager fans. Everyone was ready for some good country music and to party like it was a Friday or Saturday. Jones Entertainment Group has put on this event for over a decade and in 2014 they decided to add country to appeal to London’s very large country fan demographic. Fans not only get to enjoy some of their favourite artists but get to do so for a good cause! JEG has put on the event over the past few years in support of Bethany’s Hope Foundation. This years proceeds went to support four local organizations. We got our country on for, Make A Wish Southwestern Ontario, Big Brothers and Sisters of London and area, Children’s Health Foundation and Western Football.
Old Dominion kicked off the party, right off the hop they got things going with their hit Snapback. They kept rolling through hits off their album Meat and Candy, Half Empty, Beer Can In A Truck Bed and Til’ It’s Over. They got all the girls going wild with Crazy Beautiful Sexy and Going Nowhere Fast. They had everyone singing along, rocking Tyler Farr’s A Guy Walks Into A Bar and Blake Shelton’s Sangria. They wrapped up their killer set with another hit single, Break Up With Him and all the Wrong Turns. There was nothing wrong about these guys as they made all the right turns cruising through their show!
High Valley asked us all to Come On Down with them and right from the first note we got our country on with these boys! Curtis gave a big shout out to Old Dominion for rocking the park and getting things off to a great start. Stating “They are basically Canadian, Trevor showed up at the rink in Nashville and turns out our kids are on the same team!” I’m quite alright with giving them honorary Canadian status too! With that he said, “Nothing makes you feel older than having kids, but tonight let’s stay Young Forever!” After playing their hit Love You For A Long Time, the brothers shared with us that when they were young, their sister had come home with John Michael Montgomery’s album and with that they learned how to play their very first song. They had got everyone up on their feet to dance to that one. The brothers dedicated the next song, On The Combine to all the farmers in the crowd. They then thanked the most important farmer in their lives, their father who mortgaged his farm so he could send his boys down to Nashville, they then played A Fathers Love. The next part of their set is what they called “The Hoe Down part of our show”. Not before thanking BX93 for being the first radio station in Canada to play their hit single Make You Mine and thanking all the fans for requesting it. Wrapping up their fun energetic set with Dirt Road Side the boys finished with the crowd singing along.
Dallas Smith was next to perform and he came out strong with Wasting Gas and Slow Rollin’, but there was nothing slow about these two songs or the way Dallas moved around the stage! Giving a big shout out to London he said; “I normally don’t do back to back shows, but I couldn’t pass up this one. It’s such a fantastic show!” They rolled through hit after hit, A Girl Like You, Stone Cold Killer, Nothing But Summer. After playing his current single hit One Little Kiss, he brought us back to the good old days of Default. Rocking out to his first hit song, Wasted Time which has brought him to where he is today. Then bringing it back to current times, everyone was singing right along with him to What Kinda Love, Jump In and Kids with Cars. He then strummed on an acoustic guitar so beautifully to Somebody Somewhere, before the band kicked in and he switched back to his electric guitar. We were then living it up in The Cheap Seats and with that Dallas wrapped up his killer set.
Running on stage yelling “what’s up Canada”, Jake Owen eagerly took the stage as the final act of the night. Jake’s music and stage set up are meant for hot summer nights just like it was on Wednesday night in London. His stage was set up similar to a lot of Jake’s beach themed music, with a tiki bar, giant palm trees and lots of lighting. He kicked off with the title track from his new album, America Love. After playing one of his big hits, The One That Got Away, he played his fun new hit single VW Van. Some lucky fans got M&G’s with Jake and got to checkout his touring VW Van. He shared some more new music with us Good Company and After Midnight. He then had the whole crowd singing along to his hit Real Life. Jake had some fun playing Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire and as the rain began on this hot summer night he said “With this rain let’s amp it up!” and kicked of Alan Jackson’s Chattahoochee. He did a few other covers and got into another new song that’s just been released If He Ain’t Going To Love You. Unfortunately Jake had to cut his set early due to a storm that rolled through, apologizing but wanted everyone to be safe. With that RTP Day 1 concluded and the skies then unleased.