The New Year’s Eve concert at Queen Victoria Park is one of the biggest events of the year. Niagara Falls, long known for being a great party venue to bring in a new year, runs the concert as a free event. Up to 35,000 people attended for the 2015 New Year’s Eve bash, and that number might grow this year – especially with some old favourites headlining the musical line-up.
So who are the main headline acts for the 2016 New Year’s Eve concert? They’re both played the concert before, and are both major national acts.
2017 Niagara Falls New Years Concert Artists
Ryder won the Juno Award for ‘Best New Artist of the Year’ in 2008, but she had already been making waves for years before the accolade. Her first studio album, 1999’s indie-produced Falling Out, got the Ontario native noticed and cemented her presence at 2001’s Peterborough Rock Festival, where she was honoured with their Emerging Artist Award.
By 2005 Ryder was with a major label and releasing both cover tracks, original music and live albums. The 2008 Juno Award was only the first of several – to date she’s received five more from the Junos alone, ranging from 2009’s Adult Alternative Album of the Year (for Is it OK) to a double-up of both Songwriter and Artist of the Year in 2014 (the same year she co-costed the award presentations).
On a side note, her music videos have become part of her commercial and critical appeal, with songs like ‘Little Bit of Red’ and ‘Stompa’ (itself a triple-platinum hit and one of Ryder’s most iconic songs) picking up accolades for their production.
As of late 2016, Ryder has released five studio albums. In the past couple of years she’s toured heavily; her single ‘Together we are one’ was the anthem of the 2015 Pan American Games, which she performed at the closing ceremony. She has also made a business in itself of teasing her upcoming sixth album, which is just around the corner now.
The Sam Roberts Band
Any fan of Canadian rock has heard of Sam Roberts and his eponymous indie rock band. They’ve dominated Canadian airwaves for the 21st century thus far, and Sam Roberts himself, a multi-talented musician and award-winning songwriter, is one of the most recognisable names in the North American music industry.
Roberts already had an indie reputation with previous bands throughout the 1990s, but he would enter the public arena proper with 2001’s EP, The Inhuman Condition. It was a surprise hit, becoming one of the highest selling albums in Canadian music history – singles like ‘Brother down’ and ‘Where have all the good people gone’ were massive radio hits.
The success of The Inhuman Condition was also Roberts’ ticket to further success and a more ambitious scope for future albums. In 2003, We Were Born in a Flame became Roberts’ first full-length studio album and picked up two Juno Awards (Album of the Year, Rock Album of the Year). It also garnered Roberts the Artist of the Year accolate for 2004.
Finally, We Were Born in a Flame was the first album to bring together many of the musicians who would become the core of the Sam Roberts Band – notably guitarist and backing vocalist Sam Nugent, keyboardist Eric Fares and bassist James Hall.
2011’s Collider would be the first album to use the moniker ‘Sam Roberts Band’. Two more albums have followed since then: 2014’s Lo-Fantasy and 2016’s Terraform. Every album has been met with huge acclaim – the band’s self-styled attitude of seeking to make every studio release bigger and better than the last has served them well.
Canadian Country Music Award Winners, High Valley is a Brother duo from Peace River, Alberta. The Juno nominated act bring their unique country sound to the Niagara Falls New Years Eve stage for the first time.
NYE Concert in Niagara Falls
Serena Ryder, the Sam Roberts Band and High Valley have been far from idle leading up to the New Year. When their involvement was announced earlier in the year, both headlining artists had new charting hits – Ryder’s ‘Got your number’ was released as an early taste of her upcoming album Utopia, and Roberts releasing ‘If you want it’ from the now-released Terraform.
The concert starts at Queen Victoria Park on December 31 at 7.30 pm. Free entry, a big party atmosphere and some of Canada’s biggest and most acclaimed acts – it’s a perfect mix to say hello to 2017.
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