Photo Credit: Kristin Barlowe
rogers arena – vancouver
Being an opening act is a tough gig. Being an opening act for a musical legend, in a 20,000-seat arena takes a band with personality and confidence. JD and the Straight Shot have plenty of both, and brought it to the stage in support of the Eagles on Thursday in Vancouver.
JD and the Straight Shot play a pleasing mix of country rock and Americana, with influences as diverse as The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and The Beatles along with traditional Irish folk music. The band comprises vocalist/guitarist Jim Dolan (known to the sporting world as the Executive Chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company), guitarists Marc Copely and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, drummer/percussionist Shawn Pelton, bassist Byron House, and last, but most certainly not least, the irrepressible violinist/fiddler Erin Slaver.
The band wasted no time at all getting started and launched into Never Alone, a Mya Angelou inspired track from their latest album Good Luck and Goodnight. This was the first of many times in the evening we would be treated wonder harmonies from the voices in the band. Next up was the fast-paced Redemption Train, which featured some wonderful bass play from House, and a stirring violin solo from Slaver. Slaver’s almost acrobatic violin playing also featured heavily on melodic Moonlight.
Despite that fact that the audience was still slowly filling up, Dolan did a commendable job of engaging them, with a short story around writing the song Perdition for the famous movie Jane Got a Gun. Thankfully the song, with some wonderful mandolin playing and prominent drumbeat was likely more memorable than the movie (sorry Natalie 🙂 ).
Better Find a Church, featured a duet with Slaver and Dolan’s voices combining to fine effect, and topped off by a rousing guitar solo from Copely. Copley and Slaver also featured heavily on the next track the horse race inspired Run for Me, where they combined for an upbeat violin/guitar duel.
Having hit town during one of our first spells of hot weather, Dolan quipped that it was the perfect time for a Christmas song. The Ballad of Jacob Marley saw bassist Byron House swap the upright bass for the banjo, for what is probably my favourite track from the latest album. An upbeat foot tapping number, Marley even managed to get the Eagle’s fans clapping along.
After playing the song Glide a song which featured on the band’s first album Ballyhoo, and inspired by Dolan’s young sons love of the fair, the band closed out the evening with a solid rendition of the Three Dog Night classic, Shambala.
Overall the set was a great mix of newer songs, and some older favourites, delivered with level of enthusiasm and sense of fun that seemed to resonate with the crowd, and no doubt won over a few new fans along the way.
Follow JD and The Straight Shot at https://www.jdandthestraightshot.com/