#BGReviewer: Johnny Reid’s Revival Tour

Apr 10, 2018

I would like to start off this review by thanking Budweiser Gardens for letting me do this, even though I might be a little biased when it comes to Johnny Reid. Johnny’s show on April 8, 2018 marked the tenth time that I have watched this amazing performer. I have seen Johnny perform at small town festivals in Ayton, Lucknow and Clifford, ON and I was even able to see him in Toronto at The JUNO Awards. I hope that he will make an appearance when the awards come to London next year because Johnny truly shines on the Budweiser Gardens stage.

I was one of the lucky ones who were a part of his meet and greet, so right away, the evening started on a high note. Ladies of all ages were seen giggling as they left the meet and greet area. Even though each person had just enough time to say hello, Johnny made each guest feel welcomed and treated everyone like a friend, which is something Reid does wherever he goes. He treats fans like friends because they are his friends. He remembers them every time and he does his best to connect with every audience member, even if he can’t actually meet them.

Before Johnny arrived on stage, Jessica Mitchell made her hometown of London proud. She spoke of how good it was to be home. Jessica also mentioned that she had recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of releasing her debut album. Currently, physical copies of the CD are only available during The Revival Tour. Her set left me wanting to hear more of her songs, so I was excited when Johnny Reid brought her on stage to sing “Whiskey Kisses” with him.

When Reid and his band, “The Soul Providers” first appeared, he ran from one end of the stage and back again many times. Within the first few minutes, he made me tired just looking at him. I have no idea how he has that much energy to perform like that every night! Although the entire performance was enjoyable, the crowd seemed to appreciate Johnny’s older songs a little bit more, including “Fire It Up” and “A Woman Like You” which was dedicated to Mrs. Henderson, a 92 year old fan who had been coming to see Johnny since the early days of his career, when he opened for Dwight Yoakam. In between songs, Johnny had a mixture of lighthearted and heartfelt stories about his family, as well as what it was like to perform for The Queen. The band also paid tribute to their band mate, Mark Selby, who had recently lost his battle with cancer.

Glass Tiger also made a special appearance during the show. They did a medley of their greatest hits including “Someday”, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” and “My Town” followed by a new song they recorded with Johnny Reid called, “Wae Yer Family”. The song is included on Glass Tiger’s new album, 31, which Reid produced. Alan Frew of Glass Tiger said that Johnny approached the 31 project with the idea that the songs “should feel like family” and so they reimagined many of the band’s previous recordings in addition to creating the new track.

As the show concluded, Johnny and The Soul Providers still seemed to have as much energy as they started with and pleased the crowd with songs like “Darlin’” and a cover of “Sweet Caroline”. Johnny Reid promised that he will always come back to London and he is worth it every time, not only because of his talent but his kind and caring nature, his phenomenal band and amazing guests. If you have never seen a Johnny Reid show before, you are missing out and you should definitely come the next time he plays at Budweiser Gardens. I know I will.

#BGReviewer: Annette Dawm

Photography: Bill Woodcock

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