By Tiffany Williams
The infield and grandstand were filled on the evening of June 26 as people were out to enjoy two great country music acts at the 72nd annual Ponoka Stampede.
First to hit the stage was hometown boy Shane Yellowbird. The crowd was very excited to see Yellowbird enter in from the east side of the arena atop the Ponoka Stampede Stage Coach and walk down through the crowd. After a few adjustments backstage he hit the stage singing and smiling.
He opened the night with his song ‘Life is Calling My Name,’ also the name of his ablum. As he chatted up the crowd he informed them that he was glad to be home playing on the first stage he had ever performed on. He was a little nervous and retold the story how people tell you when you are nervous to picture the audience naked. He said that he couldn’t do that because half of the audience were his cousins.
He played all of his big hits including ‘Pickup Truck’, ‘I Remember the Music’, Beautiful Concept’, ‘Here’ as well as a few covers including some Garth Brooks and a special song dedicated to his mother. He also played a new song that will be on his upcoming album titled ‘Barefoot on Blacktop’, which was a fun foot stomping song.
Yellowbird also talked about filming his new video for ‘Summer Day’ at the Ponoka Stampede. There were lots of fans with signs in the crowd as well as an overhead camera that was shooting the entire concert for some of it to go in the video.
Yellowbird didn’t disappoint the hometown fans and the crowd was smiling just as much as he was.
George Canyon took the stage after Yellowbird as the skies darkened and the stage lights lit up the infield. Canyon did everything right and more. He had the crowd’s attention from the first step he took on stage. He sounded clear and crisp as his beautiful voice made its way through the crowd.
He started off his set with the song “Somebody Wrote Love,’ which had the crowd swaying to the music and singing along.
He said that he got to watch the cowboys and cowgirls compete in the rodeo action and he said his hat was off to them for all the hard work that they do.
He talked about how when he just moved to Alberta almost 12 years ago that he considered himself a fair-weather cowboy and that was his inspiration for the song ‘Good Day to Ride,’ but now he says he enjoys riding anytime.
He played a lot of songs from his ‘Classics’ album including ‘Okie from Muskokie,’ ‘Faulson Prision Blues,’ ‘Ring of Fire and Walk the Line.’
He also sang his hits including ‘Better Than You,’ ‘Who Would You Be’ and talked about his trip to Afghanistan and sang a heartfelt ‘I Want To Live’ about the hard work Canadian Troops do.
His rendition of Conway Twitty’s ‘Hello Darlin’ and ‘Kiss an Angel Good Morning,’were perfect and priceless.
Both shows were great for different reasons and the crowd had fun as the evening ended with the bang of fireworks lighting up the sky.