WOW! What a year it has been for Dallas Smith and his fans.  After releasing his Side Effects album late in 2016, with six songs topping the charts to date, Dallas announced he would be headlining the Side Effects tour. An across Canada tour – 27 shows in 38 days starting in Halifax, NS and ending with a hometown show in Abbotsford, BC. But before the tour was to start in October there were festivals, the Annual Boys of Fall Charity event for JRfm’s Basics for Babies with Chad Brownlee and the CP Holiday  Train through the States.
I was so happy to have been able to attend the Abbotsford show but when Dallas and SiriusXM announced he would be doing a show at the Commodore in Vancouver along with Shawn Austin and Andrew Hyatt, I knew I had to be there. There’s nothing better than an up close and personal concert from Dallas Smith and the Commodore is the best place to do just that.   I have been following Dallas since 2014 when I first started listening to Country Music. He was one of the first artists on my radar. I believe Tippin Point was just hitting the airways. But I still didn’t know anything about Dallas. It was just a song that I really liked, it was fun to dance and party to.
A few months later, Dallas was performing at a  fundraiser for a local Cloverdale boy who was sick. A friend brought me along. Standing in line there was quite a buzz….Dallas,Dallas,Dallas was all I heard. I remember thinking to myself who is this Dallas Smith guy that everyone was so excited to see. LoL. Well, I quickly learned how amazing he is  and not just as an artist, singer/songwriter but as a person.  That day started my obsession. I needed to know everything about him and see him perform as much as possible.
Reading up on Dallas, I found out that he was the former lead singer of Default before his Country Music career. I laughed to myself. It was no wonder why I was drawn to him and his voice. I was a huge fan of Default as well.  So in 2014, I followed Dallas from my 1st Boys of Fall event to a concert at the PNE  the infamous Florida Georgia Line cruise, a Live Lounge performance at JRfm and a SiriusXM party. I continued over the next few years to see Dallas perform as much as possible and to buy all his music.
So, fast forward to the night at the Commodore. It was a very cold chilly night. The day after a snowfall in Vancouver. Which was funny that this concert was called SNOWEDIN. I stood in line for about an hour, making sure I got right in front at the stage.  Standing in line, right behind me was Shawn Austin’s Dad. Well, how cool was that. We chatted a bit and it was clear what a proud father he was and why wouldn’t he be.
Shawn, a young local guy from North Vancouver seemed to have come out of nowhere. All with the help of Dallas and Scotty Chops signing Shawn to their record label Steelhead Music.  If you don’t know Shawn’s story here is the short version. A friend of Dallas’ gave him a demo of a song called Nashville and Dallas knew Shawn had something special. So he was signed and then it all went crazy. Shawn’s Song Paradise Found was released and the Country Music world loved it. Bringing it to Top 40, 20, 10 and it held the #1 spot on the JRfm countdown for a couple of weeks.
It was genius for the Dallas camp to bring Shawn on the Side Effects across Canada tour. Amazing exposure and Shawn handled like he’s been in the business for a long time. Shawn opened the show at the Commodore. He had many fans and friends in the audience cheering him on. Some of his friends were standing behind me and when Shawn finished, I over heard one guy say how emotional he felt. So proud of Shawn and what he had done in a short period of time.
Watch for Shawn Austin in the new year as he will be releasing a new song soon. I look forward to following his bright future. He couldn’t have a better Team behind him and a great mentor in Dallas and Scotty. Next up was Andrew Hyatt from Sudbury, Ontario. Andrew has been around for a couple of years. He released his first EP Never Back Down in 2015 and his newest album was released earlier this year Iron & Ashes with the huge hit On Me.  Andrew had a busy year with the album release, Boots and Bourbon festival and touring with Dallas Smith across Canada.
Andrew’s songs are personal and about real life situations. His voice is clear, strong and smooth. He really knows how to work the audience as well. Getting everyone amped up for Dallas.  Andrew’s new meat song Do It With You is out now. 2018 is going to be an even bigger year for him. It’s so great to see all this up and coming talent from Canada.
Now the fans were pumped for this SOLD OUT SiriusXM show which was being filmed for an airing sometime in the near future. The beat of the Music started. Spotlights moving to the song, the upbeat song Shut Up and Dance. The crowd singing along. The band walked out onto the stage taking their places. The song ends and Dallas starts singing his album titled song Side Effects.  Song after song, hit after hit. Dallas sang a range of songs from all of his albums. His first hit Somebody Somewhere from his debut album Jumped Right In. Songs from his 2014 EP Tippin Point and from albums Lifted and his newest Side Effects.
Dallas also sang his ever popular Default song Wasting My Time. A crowd favorite. For 75 minutes, the songs didn’t stop. The fans sang along with every word. The band consisted of drummer Flavio Cirlo and guitarists Darren Savard, Travis Switzer, Jer Banks. Missing was Scotty Chops but was replaced by a you guy who’s name I do not know but he did great. They rocked it out hard.  Whenever you go to a Dallas Smith concert, you know it’s going to be a high energy, professional yet personable and oh so fun.  It was definitely the best way to end my 2017 concerts. I cannot wait to see what comes in 2018. I’m sure we will see Dallas at the JUNO Awards here in Vancouver in March.


Justin Ruscheinski
Justin Ruscheinski
Justin was born in Burnaby and now resides in Richmond. He was given his first camera at the age of 13 and has since turned his passion for photography into a career. His favorite part of being a photographer is helping people capture those precious moments.

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