Johnson’s Creek – All Photo by Glenn Rodger
Johnson’s Creek is positioned behind mobile sheets of plexiglass. The audience of 100 patrons (maximum allowed) spread out on the lawn in designated squares, each 10 feet apart, everyone wearing masks. Is this the future of concert activity in the current age of COVID-19?
Well, this was the set-up Wednesday, August 19th when these Southern Ontario country-rockers performed a 90-minute set at Aurora Town Park (located just north of Toronto) playing before an appreciative audience which had been previously starved of live concert activity.
A concept initiated by the city’s recreational supervisor, Shelley Ware, who is staging a series of these events, each Wednesday through August, people wishing to attend the concerts pre-register online on the city’s website and those unable to attend can view the concert live-streamed online or on the local television channel.
For band members; vocalist Glenn Code, guitarist Mike Lanteigne, bassist Mike Crombez and new drummer Jake Adams, it was a chance to brush off the cobwebs of having not performed live for about five months and road test new material to go along with their regular setlist of original songs and an assortment of standards by the likes of Zack Brown, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church , Dean Brody, Gord Bamford and Tim Hicks.
And as well as songs like “Toes” by Zack Brown, Chris Stapelton’s “Tennessee Whiskey”, Dean Brody’s “Good Goodbye” and Eric Church’s “Drink In My Hand” went down with this appreciative audience, it was the band’s own material which continues to shine. The set’s stand out track is the rocking “I Like It Dirty” which also combines The Tragically Hip’s “Blow At High Dough” with a shout out to Kim Mitchell’s “I Am A Wild Party” while “Boots” is a truly stand-out melodic number and “Ocean Fantasy” is as good as anything other established performers are recording.
Johnson’s Creek also showcased a new song “Burn It Up” which is the result of their enforced quarantine but shows they have been putting this downtime to good use.
Concluding their set with a rousing cover of Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places” certainly kept the locals happy and with a future outdoor date set for Sauble Beach Sept 12, Johnson’s Creek are fast moulding themselves into a serious recording band with a slew of key concert appearances set for 2021.