Country band rocks Cochrane
Emerson Drive takes to the stage and entertains
Emerson Drive was almost too much for small-town Cochrane to handle. Power-wise, anyway. The band headlined the town’s Canada Day celebration, July 1 at Mitford Park.
Originating from Grande Prairie, Alta., the five-piece band consists of lead singer Brad Mates, drummer Mike Melancon, guitarist Danick Dupelle, keyboard player Dave Wallace and fiddle player David Pichette.
After 14 years together, the band released a greatest hits compilation album, which features singles from its four studio albums, and there was hardly a hit left off the band’s 16-song set list.
The band kicked off the evening concert with “Fall Into Me,” one of its earliest hits from its 2001 self-titled album. However, four songs later in the middle of the band’s new single “My Kinda Crazy,” the power cut out and would two more times before the concert carried on uninterrupted.
The hits kept coming, including the summertime anthems “Still Got Yesterday,” “If You Were My Girl” and “I Love This Road.” Sprinkled in the middle were “Everyday Woman” and “Moments,” two of the band’s most popular ballads. The latter, which is the band’s first and only No. 1 single, was bookended by an extended, emotional guitar solo by Dupelle. “When I See You Again,” another ballad off of the band’s 2009 album Believe brought tears to a young concert-goer’s eyes.
Once the ballads were put away, the rest of the set flew by in a flurry of the band’s signature uptempo songs, new and old. “Countrified Soul” and “Testify” both highlighted Pichette and his fast, bluegrass-tinged fiddling before the band ended with its very first single “I Should Be Sleeping.”
The band’s returned for an abbreviated encore, zipping through “Use Somebody” by the Kings of Leon and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which was a shortened version that didn’t do justice to Pichette’s fiddle solo.
It won’t be long before Emerson Drive is back in Alberta. After stops at the Sarnia Bay Fest and Craven Country Jamboree, the band will play at the Calgary Stampede’s Nashville North tent, July 15.