Canaan Smith at Kanza Hall
by Kathleen Bee
As summer concerts are coming to an end, the fall concerts are just kicking into high gear. On September 21, Canaan Smith performed an awesome concert at Kanza Hall as part of the 106.5 The Wolf – Howlin' At the Hall 2016 concert series in Kansas City. Tim Montana and The Shrednecks opened, and they country-rocked it, getting everyone pumped up setting the stage for Smith to perform shortly after.
This was my first time seeing a concert at this venue and Kanza Hall was the perfect intimate space for Smith’s performance. He has such a great stage presence and tons of energy. Smith started the concert with “Hole In a Bottle”, the second single off his new album, Bronco. As the concert was getting started, Smith announced that we were going to hear some old favorites and some new tunes. He said, "He was going to take us through a story, and with every flip of the page, a different emotion would be experienced through the music."
With that backdrop, Smith shared songs based on his own personal experiences: love, heartbreak, memories, and fun summer times. Smith played songs from his album including, “Good Kinda Bad”, “One of Those”, and “Night Back.” He even performed a throwback with the 90's song “Iris” from the Goo Goo Dolls. We then rocked out to “Summer and a Six Pack” while celebrating the last night of summer.
There were two songs of the night that really stuck out. One was a song inspired by his hero, Johnny Cash, titled “Mad Love.” It's a song written about relationships, with Johnny and his wife, June, in mind.
The song that hit me was the one that Smith wrote about his brother, Nathaniel. Before beginning, Smith explained that he normally doesn't perform the song and then told us the story of his brother who had passed away in a car accident and how he came to write the song, titled “Bronco.” The performance was very touching and the stage setting was just perfect for the moment.
The last song that Smith played was “Love You Like That.” Before he performed the song, he shared with the audience that he is part of the Smash Cancer campaign, which raises money for kids fighting cancer. Every night on stage, Smith will destroy an instrument, sign it, and auction it off at the merchandise table at the end of the show. All of the proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It is such a great act of kindness to witness and be a part of.
I went to this concert only knowing two of his songs and not really knowing much about Smith. At the end of the night, I discovered that he is an artist who loves what he does and enjoys making country music that takes listeners on a heartfelt journey. It was a joy to see how everything really flowed together with his set list and the venue.
Throughout the concert, I could tell the audience was captivated by the music. People were singing along and dancing on the dance floor, enjoying every moment.
This was a great show and I would definitely recommend! If you have not seen a Canaan Smith concert yet, check below for Smith's 2016 Sundown Ready Tour dates: