By Carey Langsner, Rock At Night Ontario
The Sound of Music Festival 2019 kicked off their 40th year with their third annual Kick Off Concert taking place June 8th in Spencer Smith Park in Burlington Ontario along the shore of Lake Ontario. This festival has always been organized and run entirely by a dedicated group of volunteers. The Kick off concert is a ticketed event in support of the week long free festival throughout the park and the Burlington downtown core.
Approximately eight thousand fans crowded into the park to listen to seven bands who come from as close as hometown to as far away as from across the Atlantic Ocean. This year’s line-up consisted of; The Castor Troys, Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion, Crown Lands, The Headstones, Monster Truck, Live and Bush.
Unfortunately the gates were a little late opening as a couple of bands were delayed at the Canada/US boarder thus making them late for their sound checks. Once everything was ready to go the gates opened and the fans began to fill the field.
The show was hosted by “Randy” aka Patrick Roach from the popular show “The Trailer Park Boys”. Before introducing the first band Randy held a beer high and had the entire crowd join him in a salute to his friend and former co-host “Jim Lahey” played by John Dunsworth who passed away almost two years ago. The pair hosted the very first Kick Off Concert in 2016.
As the concert was late starting all of the opening bands had their sets shortened by one song. This worked perfectly as the concert was back on schedule by the time Monster Truck finished their set.
The Castor Troys opened the show to their loyal following of fans and about a half full venue. Following them was Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion’s load Southern guitar rock n country which was a big hit with the crowd. Crown Lands had the crowd singing and dancing along to their music.
The Headstones took the stage next and as usual they did not hold anything back. Hugh Dillon left the stage a couple of times to wander through the crowd while pulling the mic chord almost to its breaking point, creating a nightmare for the stage tech trying to feed the chord out enough. True to their form of not playing by the rules, Hugh mentioned that since the concert started late they were going to cut their set short, resulting in boo from the crowd. Since their set sheet still had three song left and they only had time for two, he let the crowd decide which two songs were going to close the show. The crowd chose “F___ You” ,a song very seldom heard on radio.
With bass player Jon on lead vocals and Jeremy on guitar backing him up, when he was not busy running around the stage, think energizer bunny with long hair, Steve on drums and Brandon on the keyboard. Monster Truck, a local band and a crowd favorite, had the capacity crowd singing to every song they played.
With everything back on schedule Live took the stage and was able to play their full song set. Included along with their own hit songs were a couple of covers such as “Losing My Religion” by REM and “Paint it Black” by the Stones.
Closing out the show was the English band Bush. Playing hit after hit for 14 song set the capacity crowd was on their feet and singing and cheering the entire time.
Thank you for letting Rock At Night be a part of this years event. Another successful Kick Off Concert by all of the volunteers again this year. Festival pictures and review to follow in the coming weeks.