Jelly Roll St Catharines first International show

In a night that will be etched in music history, Jelly Roll’s first-ever international performance at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario, on July 8, 2024, was nothing short of extraordinary. The air crackled with electricity as the tattooed troubadour took the stage, draped in a massive Canadian flag, his infectious smile and unbridled excitement setting the tone for an unforgettable evening. This wasn’t just any concert; it was a triumphant milestone for an artist who had previously been denied access to international shows, and a powerful demonstration of music’s ability to transcend borders and transform lives.

From the moment Jelly Roll launched into his opening number, “The Lost,” the packed arena erupted. His gritty, soulful vocals filled every corner of the venue, carrying with them the weight of his personal struggles and the hope of redemption. The diverse crowd, a mix of long-time fans and new converts, sang along to every word, their voices joining his in a chorus of shared experiences and emotions.

 

As the night progressed, Jelly Roll’s setlist took the audience on a journey through his musical evolution. From the raw energy of “Halfway to Hell” to the introspective “Son of a Sinner,” each song was delivered with an intensity that left no doubt about the artist’s commitment to his craft. The emotional highlight came during “Son of a Sinner,” when Jelly Roll, overcome with the significance of the moment, shed tears before launching into the powerful ballad.

The production values of the show were as impressive as the music itself. Smoke billowed across the stage, while bursts of fire punctuated key moments in the performance. The visual spectacle reached its peak with a massive sparking fireworks waterfall, leaving the arena shrouded in a haze that seemed to symbolize the transformative experience shared by all in attendance.

Jelly Roll’s pride in performing his first international show was evident throughout the night. He took a moment to humorously comment on Canada’s progressive stance on marijuana, noting the stark contrast with his home state of Tennessee. This lighthearted observation drew cheers from the crowd and underscored the unique nature of this cross-border cultural exchange.

Beyond the music, the concert served a higher purpose. As a fundraiser for the Heather Winterstein Foundation, the event grossed an estimated $2 million, with net proceeds going to support indigenous youth mental health, addiction services, and healthcare scholarships. This charitable aspect added an extra layer of significance to an already momentous occasion.

The venue itself, the Meridian Centre, proved to be an ideal setting for this landmark show. Despite its capacity crowd, the arena maintained an intimate feel, allowing for a strong connection between artist and audience. A mini stage set up near the back of the arena ensured that even those furthest from the main stage felt included in the experience.

Throughout the night, Jelly Roll demonstrated his versatility as an artist, seamlessly blending country, rock, and hip-hop influences. His mashup of “Same Asshole,” “Son of the Dirty South,” and “Wild Ones” showcased his ability to genre-hop, while covers of classics like Toby Keith’s “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” paid homage to his country roots.

The concert reached its emotional peak with the final song of the night, “Save Me.” As Jelly Roll poured his heart into this deeply personal anthem, the connection between artist and audience was undeniable. The song’s message of hope and redemption seemed to encapsulate not just Jelly Roll’s journey, but the transformative power of the entire evening.

Supporting act Allie Colleen brought her own brand of high-energy performance to the stage. A rocker at heart, Allie’s spirited set had the crowd on their feet, her powerful vocals and dynamic stage presence serving as the perfect warm-up for the headliner. Fans were treated to her popular tracks like Stones, Grass on The Grave, Tattoos, Oklahoma (Acoustic), While We’re Still Friends, Boys Like You, Wildflower and Halos and Horns.

Opening the show was Callie Twisselman, who delighted the audience with her unique flavor of country music. The crowd was particularly excited when she teased her upcoming single featuring the legendary Dolly Parton, adding an extra touch of star power to the evening.

As the last notes faded and the smoke from the pyrotechnics settled, it was clear that this was more than just a concert – it was a celebration of music’s power to heal, unite, and inspire. Jelly Roll’s first international show was indeed legendary, not just for the quality of the performance, but for the barriers it broke and the lives it touched. It was a night that will be remembered not only in the annals of music history but in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to be present.

Jelly Roll setlist:

  • The Lost
  • Halfway to Hell
  • Same Asshole / Son of the Dirty South / Wild Ones
  • Son of a Sinner
  • Should’ve Been a Cowboy
  • Liar
  • I Am Not Okay
  • Sweet Home Alabama / Smells Like Teen Spirit / 99 Problems / Killing in the Name
  • She
  • Bottle and Mary Jane
  • Need a Favor
  • Fall in the Fall
  • Boys in the Hood / Ruff Ryders’ Anthem / Lose Yourself / Ms. Jackson / Just a Friend
  • Simple Man
  • Save Me

All photos by Dan Savoie:

Jelly Roll:

 

Allie Colleen:

 

Callie Twissellman:

 

 

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