By Carey Langsner, Rock At Night Ontario
Venue: Brantford Sanderson Center, Ontario
Friday night the American Country music band Diamond Rio played to a very enthusiastic crowd at Brantford’s Sanderson Center. Diamond Rio was formed almost thirty years ago and to this day they still has all six of their original members, Marty Roe (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Gene Johnson (mandolin, guitar, fiddle, tenor vocals), Jimmy Olander (lead guitar, banjo), Brian Prout (drums), Dan Truman (keyboards), and Dana Williams (bass guitar, baritone vocals). Over the years Diamond Rio has won numerous awards including four Group of the Year Awards, two Top Vocal Group awards and one Grammy Award for their album The Reason.
Opening for Diamond Rio was CCMA Discovery award winner Raquel Cole. Miss Cole is from British Columbia and was featured by the CBC as “25 Musicians Under 25 you need to know.”. During her set Miss Cole played a number of songs from her just released new EP “Personal Truth”. While it was obvious that most of the crowd had not heard of her before they seemed to really enjoy her music. Judging by the amount of the crowd that went to meet her and buy her new EP while there was a break between acts it was obvious that Miss Cole had made many new fans.
With the lights still off Diamond Rio took the stage to a loud roar from a slightly less than capacity crowd. They started their set with Unbelievable and took it straight into Norma-Jean-Reiley. After Norma-Jean Marty Row explained to the crowd that they have had so many hits over the years that they combined the next seven songs into a medley so the fans would get to hear the great harmonies of at least a little portion of their favourite song.
The band did take a break about half way through their set long enough for Dana to address the audience to acknowledge a “young lady” in the audience that has been a loyal fan since the band released their very first song almost thirty years ago.
A few songs later with Gene on the mandolin and Jimmy on his banjo Marty introduced us to another medley, this time some classic Rock and Roll. The medley included Layla, Walk This Way, Carry On Wayward Son and Born to be Wild.
The band finished their set with How Your Love Makes Me Feel and received a standing ovation from the crowd. As the house lights came on the cheering continued until the band retook the stage to play an encore.
Norma Jean Riley
Nowhere Bound / Night Is Fallin’ In My Heart / That’s What I Get For Lovin’ You / Imagine That / Sweet Summer / Wrinkles / Mirror, Mirror
One More Day
You’re Gone / In A Week Or Two / Mama, Don’t Forget To Pray For Me / Walkin’ Away / Holdin’ / Love A Little Stronger / It’s All In Your Head
In God We Still Trust
Layla/ Walk This Way/ Carry On My Wayward Son/ Born To Be Wild
Meet in the Middle
How Your Love Makes Me Feel