Komal's Highlights from Boots and Hearts 201916 August 2019 / by Komal Nawaz (author)
I am an avid fan of country music and I will continue to be until forever. The entire weekend was full of the biggest names in country music back to back with some veterans like Jason Aldean returning for a second round! That is why when I got the opportunity to cover the Boots and Hearts 2019 festival, I was beyond thrilled. I will be talking about this weekend for a long time that is without a doubt.
My festival journey started on Friday with the powerhouse that is Maren Morris hitting the Main Stage closer to sunset. She used the entire stage, dancing all around and walking the catwalk to interact with the crowd. She sang songs from her studio albums Hero and Girl including her hits My Church and 80s Mercedes. In between her songs she took breaks to talk to the audience and in one instance she shared that headlining the festival was a goal of hers. Aside from all the rocking and full-on party vibes the "hard-to-get startlet" brought her fellow country singer husband, Ryan Hurd, on to share the stage with her. Hurd performed on Front Porch Stage earlier in the day. Maren Morris let us know that this was the first time they have done that together and now the festival and that moment holds a special place in her heart. How cute! Not to mention she also tweeted about how much she loves our Canadian summers. Safe to say she will be making a comeback to the #BOOTSLIFE right? The gap between the artists allowed time for roaming the large and spacious event grounds full of food, merch, artist merch and also rides! For a small price I was able to enjoy a nice ride on the ferris wheel with stunning views of the sun setting. After that I grabbed a fresh poutine from one of the many food trucks selling the classic dish and treated myself to an ice-cold drink. To end an absolutely perfect day, next up was Cole Swindell taking stage close to 10 pm. His setlist had the audience singing along to his biggest hits and more familiar records. Swindell did an excellent job of keeping the energy high first set by country crooner. He closed off the night and it was a perfect wrap up to the Friday.
Saturday marked the middle of the festival weekend as I tried not to think too much about how quickly everything was coming to an end. The grounds opened at 1:30 pm and the first thing we did was get an airbrush tattoo from the Jack Daniels booth to give ourselves a different look for the day. There were games, lots of activities and little freebies like hair scrunchies from Bastiste Dry Shampoo that everyone could get their hands on. I made a point to pick myself up some merch from the station table that seemed to always have a big line. It was no surprise because the merchandise was quite nice and in fact you can still buy it online. RaeLynn hit the Main Stage at around 4 pm with a lot of energy in a fully Canadian tux (jeans all around) as she excitedly announced to the crowd. RaeLynn rose to fame in the second season of the Voice but unfortunately lost in the quarterfinals. Second last was Kip Moore making the country fans cheer loudly as his band began playing Somethin' Bout A Truck. The night ended with the most amazing and highly awaited Miranda Lambert. Like many of the artists preceding her, she played her biggest hits. However, there was a twist when she debuted her newest single It All Comes Out in the Wash for the Boots and Hearts crowd which was released a few weeks prior to.
Sunday was sadly the final day of easily the best weekend of the summer (yes, I said it again) and also the most exciting day. When the grounds opened for another day of country music magic, I made it a goal of mine to use of the genius free resources of dry shampoo and makeovers to tidy myself up and get me ready for one last hurrah! Companies like Batiste and also Shoppers Drug Mart had stations where people could get cleaned up which is perfect for a weekend of camping and such. I had to check it out for myself and I'm glad I did and it completely freshened me up. Next, I headed on over to grab myself a nice lemonade perfect for quenching my thirst. As the day went on, I saw some of my most favourite artists including Morgan Wallen with his hits Whiskey Glasses and Up Down. A lot of people, including myself were surprised to see Morgan Wallen on the Front Porch Stage instead of the Main Stage but hey, maybe that will change the next time he comes around? Next we had the amazing Kane Brown, as the second last performance on the Main Stage, singing his famous records! My personal favourites are Heaven and Good As You. Out of this entire weekend, I was most excited to see Brown but also Jason Aldean on the Main Stage. The country music veteran closed off the entire festival singing his a good majority of his long list of #1 hits. His vibe was great and he was quite funny reacting to the crowd, calling us all country fans a wild party. Oh yeah! I loved it when he sang Dirt Road Anthem, My Kinda Party, Rearview Town and She's Country, a song that he has said before he loves performing.
No words can truly explain how enjoyable the entire experience truly is until you have experienced it yourself. So if you are thinking about heading there next year, you are in luck because the dates are set. I hope to see you there!