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Joshua’s 10 Top Moments and Memories of 2019

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

As the year comes closer to a close, I find myself looking back at 2019 and the moments and memories that stick out the most in my mind.

It wasn't easy to pick a list of only 10 moments to share with you here. In fact, I couldn't because I ended up with an A and B from one summer concert in Toronto. What I can tell you is that it was easy to come up with the moments and memories that made up the Top 10 list here. I remember them happening. I remember the feelings and sights and sounds. I'm fortunate to have had all of these moments be part of my year.

Check out the list, hit the links to see our full posts from these moments and memories, and leave a comment if you were there too, or with your favourite musical moment or memory from 2019.

moments and memories listed chronologically

1. Country Kicks Cancers Ass Fundraiser for Cadence Grace at Rock 'N' Horse Saloon - March 3, 2019

This was honestly one of the most emotional days of my entire year. The gathered fans, artists, and industry people all came together at the Rock 'N' Horse Saloon in Toronto to raise money in support of Cadence Grace of Runaway Angel.

Nine country acts took the stage on a Sunday afternoon, the crowd sang and cheered and had a great time. But in the background we were all thinking of Cadence. She was giving out and getting hugs. She was celebrated and shown the kind of love we know her to give out at every opportunity. Through the compassion, kindness, and giving nature of the Canadian country music community, significant dollars were raised for our friend Cadence.

When the video tribute played and then Runaway Angel took the stage, throats tightened and tears flowed. It was heavy and sad but also celebratory and joyous. It was a moment to remember.

Click the card to read the full review and see the photos.
Country Kicks Cancers Ass - Community Rallies For Cadence Grace

2. Lennon Stella Selling Out The Danforth Music Hall - March 19, 2019

We were introduced to Lennon Stella and her sister Maisy in 2012 when they posted their viral cover of Call Your Girlfriend. From there we watched as the pair moved onto our TVs on Nashville, we watched them perform with their parents at Boots & Hearts in 2015, and then in March 2019, I saw pop star Lennon Stella live at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto.

I was in the photo pit and the crowd as Lennon kicked off her Love, me Tour in Toronto. The sold out crowd loved her, they were ready for her, and she gave them everything they wanted. It was pretty amazing to watch this young woman stand front and centre in the bright lights and own it. Her evolution and growth was on full display, and if the journey so far is any indication of what might come next, we should all be ready for very big things.

Click the card to read the full review and see the photos.
Lennon Stella Opens Love, me Tour in Toronto

3. Judah & The Lion Kicking Off Canadian Music Week at The Hideout - May 7, 2019

Thanks to the invite from our pals at StubHub, I was able to hang out at The Hideout on a Tuesday night to kick off Canadian Music Week with Judah & The Lion.

The room as packed and it was sweaty and the band ripped through their setlist to the delight of the crowd. It's also cool to look back at that show after seeing them open in the summer for Arkells. At The Hideout, the fans were inches away from the stage.

Small room shows with big bands are often special. This was one of them.

Click the card to read the full review and see the photos.
Judah & the Lion Give Pep Talks at Canadian Music Week 2019

4a. Arkells Rally Cry Summer Night at Budweiser Stage - "Fuck Doug Ford, Everybody" - June 22, 2019

The Arkells Rally Cry Summer Night + Legendary Soul Revue at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto could have been a moment and memory all to itself, but there were two things that happened inside of it that truly stand out.

The first came during the band's performance of Relentless when an Ontario Autism Coalition sign made its way into Max's hands. The band had previously given permission to the autism community to use the song in their fight to regain funding and support from the Ontario Provincial Government - so when Max held the sign high and exclaimed loudly, "Fuck Doug Ford, Everybody!" the cheers were loud and heartfelt and for a good cause.

Watch the video of Relentless from A Rally Cry Summer Night HERE .

Click the card to read the full review and see the photos.
Arkells Sparkle in Toronto on A Rally Cry Summer Night!

4b. Arkells Rally Cry Summer Night at Budweiser Stage - The Nick Nurse Surprise - June 22, 2019

The second memorable moment from the Arkells show in Toronto this summer came nearer the end, during the Legendary Soul Revue. Just nine days after the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship in six games, Max introduced head coach Nick Nurse to the stage, gave him his guitar and the entire expanded band (including the Northern Soul Horns and The Arkettes) came together to cover Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

The energy at the amphitheatre was electric. The volume of the cheers was outrageous. The love for coach Nurse and the team and the fact that Toronto was a championship city once again all came together for something special. As far as surprises in a live show go, this one was way up there.

5. Interview and 5 Quick Questions with Cone of Sum 41 - July 5, 2019

I was 18 when Sum 41 released Half Hour Of Power and I was introduced to them. 19 years later I was on the phone with Cone talking about the band's new album, Order In Decline, touring and the band's career over the last 20 years. As a music fan from a small town in Ontario, about half an hour away from Sum 41's hometown, and watched the band's music videos on MuchMusic it was a neat thing to be doing.

Opportunities like this don't come around every day, or even every year, so it was definitely memorable to interview a core member of a band that I feel like I've known for more than half of my life.

Click Here to check out the full post - and hit play on the video for our round of 5 Quick Questions with Cone.

6. Maren Morris at Boots & Hearts 2019 - August 9 , 2019

Maren Morris had a helluva a year, and when she played at Boots & Hearts 2019, I got to see a tiny part of it. It was the country music star's first time at the festival and my first time seeing her, and all of it was everything I could have hoped for and wanted and I'll remember it fondly and with hearts in my eyes.

Could she have headlined the night? Yes. For 19 songs I was all in. I wrote in the review that I would have listened to her sing 30. I also wrote that "In all honesty, the entire show was highlights." I stand by it.

Click the card to read the full review and see the photos.
Maren Morris at Boots and Hearts 2019

7. Ten Amazing Minutes For Morgan Wallen at Boots & Hearts 2019 - August 11, 2019

On Sunday afternoon, Morgan Wallen played the last spot on the second stage at the Boots & Hearts Music Festival, and he ended up with the most spectacular 10 minutes I've witnessed in eight years at the festival.

From the moment Wallen introduced Whiskey Glasses, the Front Porch Stage crowd went nuts. They sang every word of the song and cheered throughout. And it was awesome just for that. But then it got cooler. They cheered and cheered and cheered. It was long and loud and here's what I wrote at the time: "He took it all in with a look on his face that showed appreciation, shock, disbelief, and who knows what else. His eyes were wet. His band was smiling. At the side of the stage a group that included Kane Brown, Hardy, MacKenzie Porter, Boots and Hearts co-founder Stan Dunford, and more watched and clapped too. They all knew they were seeing something special."

I won't forget it, and I doubt Morgan Wallen will either.

Click the card to read the full review and see the photos/video.
Morgan Wallen at Boots and Hearts 2019

8. Listening to The Highwomen album for the first time - September 6, 2019

This album is everything everything everything I hoped it would be and listening to it for the first time was a special experience of voices and songwriting and feelings provided by Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, and Amanda Shires and their collaborators and co-writers and producers and the rest of their team.

From the moment The Highwomen announced that there would be an album, I was excited. To have four strong and talented women come together in country music and just do great things is an accomplishment of its own in the current climate. To have it be both loved by fans and critically acclaimed and overall awesome is the bonus. To have songs that make you want to dance and also cry is well done. To say that I like The Highwomen's debut album is an understatement.

Click the card to read the full review.
The Highwomen Album Review

9. Wes Mack Interview in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square - October 24, 2019

The second time I got to interview Wes Mack in 2019, it was in person in Toronto. After a phone interview while Wes in New York earlier in the year, we caught up at Nathan Phillips Square in October to talk about the release of his new album, Soul and a whole lot of other stuff too.

This was the third time I've interviewed the musician/actor and each and every one of them have been great. We get to talk about superheroes and villains, beer, writing, recording, music videos, and whatever else comes to mind. Doing all of that this year in the public square and being able to snap some photos while we did it was a lot of fun and we had a great chat.

with the interview, album review, and photos.

10. Lady Antebellum Secret Session by iHeart Radio - November 21, 2019

In late-November we were invited to an iHeart Radio Secret Session with country music superstars Lady Antebellum. We made our trip to Liberty Village and to the front of the stage where we stood just a few feet away from one of the most successful groups in modern country.

The trio did a short Q&A with Pure Country's Shannon Ella, and then got into a mini-set of acoustic songs. I've been in on Lady Antebellum since they released I Run To You a decade ago. And to be that close and to hear them sing Need You Now along with five other songs was truly something special.

Click the card to read the full review and see the photos.
Lady Antebellum Secret Session in Toronto

Honourable mentions go to Hollerado's 2nd last show at The Danforth Music Hall, The Launch Season 2 interview series , Kerri Ough Interview, T. Thomason Album Release Show & Interview , and more...

Joshua’s 10 Top Moments and Memories of 2019

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