Lifestyle Magazine

The 2018 Budweiser Country Throwdown – The Reklaws, Emily Reid, and Jade Eagleson

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

Country music took over downtown Toronto on Thursday night as the 2018 Budweiser Country Throwdown kicked off at the Rock 'N' Horse Saloon.

Jade Eagleson, Emily Reid, and The Reklaws drew in country music lovers and fans to the Adelaide Street West hotspot for a night of live music, high energy, and a lot of fun. And as the first night of the Thursday/Friday event progressed, it was easy to see that Toronto was ready.

A sea of cowboy hat wearing revelers sang and danced along as the three Universal Music Canada country artists took their turns on stage. Eagleson, Reid, and The Reklaws all showed off their talents, playing originals and covers to the delight of the crowd. Drinks flowed, feet moved, and it's easy to tell you that everyone in the saloon was having a good start to their pre-weekend.

Jade Eagleson was the first to take the stage at the inaugural Budweiser Country Throwdown. The 2017 Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase winner was backed by a full band that helped him fill the room with sound. The six men may not have had a ton of space to operate on the small bar stage, but they didn't let that stop them. At all.

From the opening lines of Eagleson's cover of The Brothers Osborne's Ain't My Fault to start his set, the small town Ontario singer showed that his deep country voice is the kind of throwback that we melt for.

One of our favourite moments of Eagleson's set (and the entire night) when he exclaimed...

"I love three things in life. God, my family, and Shania Twain!"

After a cheer, the band fired up and Jade Eagleson paid tribute to his one true Canadian country queen with a cover of Any Man Of Mine. It was awesome, smiles were plastered on faces, and it's safe to say that nearly everyone in the joint sang with Jade at some point during the song.

Eagleson also played a selection of originals, including future single, Still Gonna Be You, and his first release to radio, Got Your Name On It. The songs are a glimpse of what's to come from the Bailieboro native. And if he can continue on the track he's on, we'll all be hearing a lot more about Jade Eagleson. Be ready.

Emily Reid came to the Rock 'N' Horse stage in the Thursday night middle slot, backed by her band and ready to party.

In our pre-show Q&A, Emily told us that the Budweiser Country Throwdown audience should expect, "Some badass new music, and a super fun energetic show! We are ready to bring the heat and crush some beers!" - she wasn't kidding.

From the second Reid stepped on stage it was clear that she was pumped up. Her energy level was off the charts, and it matched her sassy, poppy, country vibe. She danced on the small stage, she played with the Toronto crowd, and from song to song (originals and covers) she lit it up, giving the downtown partiers something to embrace. The singer-songwriter played a handful of songs that we hope to hear on her next album, including If I Wanted Wine, Middle Fingers and Jennifer Aniston, and she kept the momentum going with rousing covers of Keith Urban's Somebody Like You and P!nk's Raise Your Glass.

After seeing Emily Reid wrap Toronto around her little finger on Thursday night, invoking all of the energy and sass that we loved from early Avril, paired with a smooth country voice - it's no wonder that The Lovelocks named her as the artist they think people should be paying more attention to in our recent 5 Quick Questions interview.

We have a feeling that Emily Reid is going to make some noise on the Canadian country music scene very soon. Keep your eyes on her!

Thursday night's headliners took the stage as a new crowd of country fans flooded in following the Lady Antebellum / Darius Rucker concert at the Budweiser Stage. And The Reklaws were ready for them!

The three-time 2018 Canadian Country Music Association Award nominees (Rising Star, Group or Duo of the Year, Video of the Year) came out firing with Jenna starting the show live from atop the mechanical bull and Stuart on stage with the band. And by the time the duo finished Hometown Kids to start the show, everyone was all-in. The energy that they showed on Thursday serves as another reminder of what they offer to Canadian country music. Add in the CCMA nominations, radio hits, and the love they're getting for Long Live The Night through their partnership with the CFL and TSN's Thursday Night Football, and things are looking up in a big way for The Reklaws.

The Budweiser Country Throwdown set was exactly what we know and love from Jenna and Stuart. They played covers like The Joker/Angel (with Stu breaking out his Shaggy impression) to go along with their own originals that are becoming more and more familiar to country fans in Toronto and across Canada.

Seeing country fans singing along to Long Live The Night, Last Call, and Wish You Were Beer from their recent EP is fantastic too. We know that the Walker siblings have been putting the work in for years, and to see it pay off like this, with more new music (be ready for Feels Like That) and more success on the way feels right.

Related: Long Live The Night - The Reklaws EP Review and Interview

It also feels right when they get the crowd fired up on a school night - that hasn't changed since we first met the duo. And on Thursday night they helped kick off the Budweiser Country Throwdown in a big way, rockin' the Rock 'N' Horse and keeping us excited for what comes next.

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