The 702 theatre seats were full at the beginning of the twin Johnny Reid concerts at the Lester Centre on Sept. 12 and 13. By the second half, they were practically empty — with fans cheering at stage front and dancing in the aisles to the 50-time Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) nominee.
“I am freaking ecstatic. This is our first show of the 2022-2023 season,” Chris Armstrong, Lester Centre manager announced to the full house during show introductions on Monday.
Reid, a Scottish-Canadian performer scheduled a second show in Prince Rupert after tickets sold out in haste just four days after pre-sales started back in the early summer.
A third sold-out concert in Kitimat will be played on Sept. 14, at the Mount Elizabeth Theatre where fans can anticipate a triplicated show of well-known tunes complimented by comedic entertainment from Reid, and his three-piece accompaniment of pianist, backup vocalist and guitarist.
The “Love Someone - An Intimate Evening with Johnny Reid” was a season kick-off event for the Prince Rupert performing arts center’s entertainment line-up.
Reid’s national tour headed off in February and is set to be one of the longest-running artist tours in Canadian history with over one hundred shows once all tour dates are announced, the artist’s website stated.
“Boasting a stripped-down set and stops in smaller communities that rarely get to see an artist of Reid’s calibre during a National tour, Reid is making it his mission to connect directly with fans across the country,” the November 2021 tour announcement stated.
And that’s exactly what Reid did during his Prince Rupert performance, interacting with audience members and even reaching out to a youth whom he pulled on stage to present tour swag.
Reid who has sold more than 1.5 million albums, received more than 26 CMA awards and six Juno awards also announced the opening of a musical in April 2023 he has written as a tribute to his Scottish granny, Maggie who was a school cleaner and faced “unthinkable loss, during her life.” The musical set to debut in Hamilton, Ont. is claimed to be a “celebration of family, community and the joy and laughter that can be found, even in the darkest of times.”
“The pandemic has taught me a lot about the value of time. I’ve given a lot of thought about how and where I want to spend my time,” the musician stated.
“I’m really excited to bring this tour to as many places as possible. I can’t wait to reconnect with all of the people that have supported me all of these years in a more intimate concert experience,” Reid said.
Armstrong told The Northern View he thought the concert was “phenomenal”.
”I really liked how the crowd reacted. It was like it was a bit of release for the full house after so long.”
“The energy was great. It was palpable. You could feel it in the room,” Armstrong said.
As for the subsequent shows, “he’s his own tough act to follow,” the theatre manager said.
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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