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Concert Review

Johnny Reid

Let Love Live Again Spring Tour 2012

Johnny Reid is known in some circles as a country singer. Not any more. Backed by an eleven piece band and two back-up vocalists, this tour is more Rock, Pop and Las Vegas than Country with a four piece brass section adding a flavour of soul and funk.

And did I mention high energy. The crowd got pumped up even before the curtain literally “fell” by trying to make two noise meters hit the red zone.  From the opening song “Let’s Have a Party” until the encore the Winnipeg arena was crackling. Winnipeg audiences have a special affection for Mr. Reid who has played to a large and growing base of fans in this city. However, this was the first time he had played in the new MTS Centre, home of the WInnipeg Jets. People I talked to before the show were concerned that the less than intimate venue would not allow for the usual close relationship to me built between him and his audience. You judge. Three songs into the evening, he was off the stage and working the audience, first on the floor where he signed autographs, shook hands, gave out hugs and danced with one woman. Without warning he headed into the stands repeating the pattern.

We were in a box behind the north end “net”. A great view but also the farthest point form the stage. Reid made his way up the stairs asking hands, and greeting his fans - his body guard in tow. He stopped just below our box where he continued to sing and interact with everyone he could. Then it was back down t the floor, where he worked his way around to the other side of the arena and again up the stairs for more fan time and slow dancing. 

A little later in the evening he turned the stage over to local singer songwriters. When they finished, Reid popped up on a small stage in the middle of the arena. A child from the audience joined him for one song and then another came up for a spin around the dance floor to the song “Dance With Me”.  Back on the main stage he was joined by another future performer who hopped skipped and jumped with Reid having a hard time keeping up.

The encore was tune was “Till We Meet Again” with the band wearing Winnipeg Jets jerseys.I don’t know of any performer who can connect with his audience the way Reid does - especially in this city.

His tour runs May 1 to May 12 in Ontario, May 14 to 19 in Mew Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, and winds up with two July performances in Alberta.  For details click on Schedules.  


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