Tim Hicks Shake the Walls at Budweiser Gardens
In 2014, I had a vague idea of who Tim Hicks was…..I could have probably belted out the chorus of a couple of songs from Throw Down, but it was an uncommitted type of fandom. It wasn’t until almost an entire year later that the conversion to smitten fan was complete, when I happened upon Tim’s promotional performance at a local radio station in Hamilton for the release of 5.01
It was on that date, in September of 2014, as he belted out “Young, Alive, and in Love,” I officially added Tim Hicks to my concert bucket list. The fates, on the other hand, had other ideas. Over the course of the last year and a half, despite the purchase of two sets of tickets to two entirely separate shows, circumstances colluded to prevent me from ever experiencing Tim in a live concert setting. That all changed last night as Budweiser Gardens gave me the ultimate in second chances and sent me to his “Shake the Walls” Tour.
Not being a local to London, I had every intention of enjoying local fare before the show, but a very foggy drive from Barrie quickly changed those plans as we rushed through the gate at Budweiser Gardens and hit our seats with minutes to spare before River Town Saints took to the stage for the first of two opening acts. I love being introduced to new up and coming acts, and the boys from River Town Saints didn’t disappoint, energizing the growing crowd with their selection of catchy and upbeat tunes. “Cherry Bomb” was added to my playlist in very short order at the conclusion of the show, and I look forward to hearing what is to come in the future from this talented group.
Up next, playing to a now packed house, was Jason Blaine, a young artist I have had the privilege of seeing live previous to last night. I have been a fan since the first time the music video for “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore” first choked me up, so I knew in advance what a natural performer he is. He proved that again last night, keeping the crowd engaged and laughing through a brief technical glitch with his guitar, and finishing off with a rendition of “Cool” accompanied by the entire arena.
After a quick drink top up, we made our way back to our seats, eagerly awaiting the headliner’s arrival, and his immediate launch into “Shake the Walls” brought the crowd to its feet and set the tone for a set list hat was an excellent blend of old favourites and new hits. Tim’s energy level was contagious to both his band and the crown alike, ripping through everything from “So do I” to “She Don’t Drink Whisky Anymore.” Bringing Jason Blaine back out to do “Got a Feeling” with him was a particular highlight, and for a second, I almost forgot that Blackjack Billy was the original artist featured in the song. From the opening song to the encore of the clear crowd favourite “Stronger Beer,” Mr. Hicks…..thank you to you and your friends for a night that was truly a hell raising good time…..FINALLY!