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L.A. Beat

Aaron Pritchett plays a little bit of country and a little bit of rock and roll

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Aaron Pritchett, the Kenny Chesney of Gabriola  Island, brought his newer nautical themed hits and plenty of old favourites to Average Joes, Nov. 17  to the delight of an exuberant crowd.Aaron Pritchett singing his many hits at Average Joes. Photo by Richard Amery
 Unfortunately I missed Julian Austin’s opening set and had to wait until 10 to see Pritchett.

 While they were setting , up the band members graciously posed for selfies with the audience, already gathered in front of the stage waiting for the show to begin.
 It is a strange feeling to go to a “country” show and see the drummer (Jayson Brinkworth) wearing a Ramones shirt, the lead guitarist (John Sponarski) wearing a KISS shirt while Pritchett himself wore his worn Doors shirt. The bassist Shane Hendrickson wore a  Johnny Cash shirt for a touch of traditional country.

“Do you guys know any country,” chuckled Pritchett to his band mates before beginning a set ending encore medley including a few bars of Kiss’s “ I Want To Rock and Roll All Night,” Bon Jovi’s “ Living on a Prayer,” Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “ The Tragically Hips’s “Blow at High Dough,“ Metallica’s “ Enter Sandman,”“Nirvana’s “ Smells Like Teen Spirit” and ended with one of Pritchett’s biggest hits “Hold My Beer (While I Kiss Your Girlfriend).”

No matter what they wear and even if their influences come more from rock and roll than country music, an Aaron Pritchett show always equals a good time. Priitchett’s son Jordan wielded a beautiful black Les Paul as he held down rhythm. His guitar looked almost exactly like lead guitarist John Sponarski’s Les Paul who stepped centre stage, making some of his best guitar faces to play solos, switching for a Telecaster for more country styled songs like “Hell Bent for Buffalo.”

Before that, Pritchett began with one of his new hit singles “ Dirt Road In Ya,” which the excited crowd was immediately singing along with.

But after playing “Light it Up,” he quickly went for a smorgasbord of  some of his earlier hits and crowd favourites like “New Frontier” and “Lucky for Me.” He sprinkled in the new more nautical themed hits like his latest, reggae flavoured single “ Out of  The Blue, ” and “Boat On the Water.”
He paid tribute to  the many musicians who passed away this year by playing a cover of the Band’s “The Weight.”

Pritchett gave his band a bit of a break to play  “ Warm Safe Place,” on his own, accompanying  himself on acoustic guitar. His band returned to add beautiful three part vocal harmonies to the end of the song, which were prevalent throughout the set.
 He dedicated  a cover of the Eagles’ “Seven Bridges Road” to Glen Frey of the Eagles, one of his biggest influences.

 He finished strong with big hits ”My Way,” another island influenced hit “ Sun Tan City” and showstopper “Let’s Get Rowdy,” which ended the show before he returned and asked the audience if they were ready for one more song, which lead to the classic rock medley and “Hold My Beer,“ which, of course, had everyone singing along.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 November 2016 11:33 )  
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