It’s Star Wars weekend locally; that means there is plenty of fun planned — both Star Wars- and non-Star Wars-related.
The Children’s Festival at Exhibition Park features plenty of family friendly Star Wars-themed activities in addition to booths, rides, laser tag, dog shows, costumed characters, food trucks and much more on May 4 and 5 at Exhibition park. Admission is five dollars at the gate.
Local rock band Biloxi Parish and pop/keyboardist Vandendool play a May The Fourth show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 4. Admission is by donation; no word on if they will be playing any music from Star Wars.
Local roots country band Rancho Deluxe make a long-awaited return to the Slice, May 4 as well with Steve William Foord. Admission is $10 for that show.
It’s starting to feel like summer which means there will be lots going on at Galt Gardens.
One popular festival in the Gardens is the classical music festival, the Centric Festival.
Organizers are holding a fundraising cabaret, May 4 at the Lethbridge Lodge with Erinn Evdokimoff-Roberts, Megan Wittig, Tony Zappone and pianist Zain Solinski performing the music of Piaf, Britten, Weil, Bolcom and more. Tickets are $60. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
Yuk Yuks Comedy returns to Average Joe’s, May 4, with comedians Scott Dumas and opener Brett Forte and host Randy Webb. The laughs begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on the day of the show. More laughs are at Club Lime on Monday, May 7 as comedy duo Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice, best known as Kenny vs. Spenny, perform beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.95 pre sale, $37.50 general and $95 for a meet and greet.
The other big weekend celebration is Cinco De Mayo, so there are a couple of big shows planned to celebrate featuring Latin music. Average Joe’s features a Mexican feast, May 5 beginning at 6 p.m. and live music by Anthony Bobadilla and DJ Tizio. Tickets are $21. Dinner is at 7 p.m.
Rigo the Latino returns to Mocha Cabana for Cinco De Mayo.
Blues rock fans won’t want to miss George Thorogood and the Destroyers at the Enmax Centre. He is touring in support of his new CD, “Party of One.” Thickets are $68 and $78
Damon Fowler opens the show at 7:30 p.m.
For people looking to get a little weird, local post punk/art rock band Body Lens release their new CD with Calgary’s Janitor Scum and Grand Prairie’s Postnamers and local duo object-option. Admission is $10.
On Monday, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra presents Youth and Fireworks at Southminster United Church, at 7:30 p.m. They will feature 2016 Young artist winner, violinist Yan Li. Selections include George Frideric Handel Music for the Royal Fireworks; Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D and Antonín Dvořák Symphony No. 8.
Toronto-based pop quartet Weaves kick off a busy May for the Geomatic Attic on Tuesday, May 8. They are touring in support of their latest CD “Wide Open.” Tickets are $27.50 in advance, $30 at the door. The show begins at 8 p.m.
The Weaves have been on the road steady for three years in support of two full-length albums they released back to back. They are looking forward to being back in Canada, including a show at the Geomatic Attic, May 8.
“We actually play the United States more than we do Canada,” observed lead singer Jasmyn Burke, from a hotel room in Bloomington, Indiana.
“We barely ever cross Canada. In the United States, the cities are a lot closer. There are more of them and the population is bigger,” she observed, adding they enjoy playing for American audiences.
“It depends on the city but there are usually more rowdy people in the U.S.,” she said, adding they have been able to do a lot of touristy things as well as touring.
“I like to do that. We went to Nashville to mix a song. Though I don’t know what we’ll do with it.”
Their most recent album “Wide Open,” which was released last year, was inspired by touring the U.S.
“It feels bigger, not more refined, but different. We really like it. We’re playing a lot more from it. It’s nice to have two albums of music to play,” she said.
“We were touring the U.S. during the election, when everything was happening and everyone was so heated and the young people were motivated. So we felt a lot of that,” she said, adding that made it’s way into the songs.
Nunavut throat singer Tanya Tagaq performs on “Scream.”
“I met her at a festival and we became really good friends. When we wrote that song, I thought she’d be great on it. She’s the best person so I asked her to be on it. Hopefully we can perform it together,” she said.
They haven’t started work on the next album.
“I don’t like to write on the road. So I’m just looking forward to going home and relaxing and writing there. We’ll finish this tour and then go home. We’ve been touring steady for close to three years straight and released two albums back to back. This year we’re going out for shorter amounts of time,” she said, adding they have a couple festivals booked as well as three and a half week long bursts of tour dates sprinkled throughout the year.
Weaves formed six years ago by Burke, fellow Torontonian Morgan Waters and transplanted Vancouverites Zach Bines and Spencer Cole.
“Morgan met me at a gig and asked if I wanted to work with him and the other guys joined soon after,” she said.
She doesn’t like to describe the band’s music.
“It’s kind of pop, but we like to leave it up to the listener,” she said.
Weaves play the Geomatic Attic at 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 8. Tickets are $27.50 in advance, $30 at the door.
Johnny 2 Fingers at the Slice
It is easy to dismiss a band called Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities as a gimmick band until you see them live.
I always seem to miss the Moose Jaw blues/rock/ trio, but was glad I caught them at the Slice, Wednesday, April 20.
They are decidedly are not a gimmick as tiny, bearded, beaming frontman John Dale actually does have two fingers. He was dwarfed by towering bassist “Tangean ”Travis Geib as he bounded around the stage and into the audience by the end of the set, Gibson SG in hand, like AC DC’s Angus Young as the band blasted through a hyperactive set of gritty, riff-laden blues and blues rock and even added a touch of high-octane country. Drummer Cannonball Kelly Gower hammered the skins. The rhythm shouted gang vocals for extra power.
The trio played a very animated and extremely tight set of gritty, dirty blues rock music, focusing mostly on original music from their last aptly named EP “Built To Rock and Roll, as well as new music from an album to be release later this year, plus older songs from his previous albums.
Vocally Dale sounded like a mix of Ian Blurton and Robert Plant. Guitarwise he leaned more towards to AC DC. An early highlight was “We’re All In This Together.” He played some funky wah-wah pedal on one highlight.
The more straight-ahead rock songs were in the same ballpark as Black Thunder and Wolfmother.
He switched to another guitar to play some deadly slide while Geib played a really melodic bass solo,leading in to a highlight “King of the Underground” and another about working a terrible job.
Dale quickly broke a string on that, but he powered through that and traded it for his SG, which was n excellent excuse for drummer Gower to play a harp solo and segue into an amped up version of their “country” song “Singing Outta Tune.”
Dale and Geib wandered into the audience for “Built To Rock And Roll,” Dale climbed on top of a table for an extended solo which included a few bars of the Inspector Gadget theme, as Geib grooved at his feet and helped him down as the band called it a night around midnight.
Local alternative rock trio the Supervoid opened up a the show for about 20 people with a solid set of ’90s-inspired alternative rock along the lines of the Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins, powered by frontman Jon Vornbrock’s piercing screams and guitar.
They played a familiar set of original music, ending with “Take My Life.”
Pink F4reud at Average Joe’s
There’s not many shows at Average Joe’s where the audience actually sits and listens intently, but Pink Floyd Tribute Pink F4reud did the trick, Saturday, April 21. A close to full house got together to groove and get deaf together to the sounds of psychedelic rock of Pink Floyd.
I arrived at the end of the show and everyone was staring at the stage, mesmerized by the laser light show, smoke, and animation on the screen behind the stage as well as all around the room on the TV screens Instead of sports they were featuring quirky animation and graphics of Pink Floyd album covers. The band played pretty much note perfect renditions of deep Pink Floyd cuts, hits and more.
The four band members, guitarist, bassist, drummer and keyboardist, had a huge, full, arena rock, Pink Floydian sound that echoed throughout the room. They sounded really close to the real Pink Floyd.
The keyboardist played a mean saxophone for “Us and Them,” which wound down the show.
They ending things on a ferocious version of “Run Like Hell,” and were called back for a stirring version of “Comfortably Numb,” which they also ended with during their last visit.
Dave Quanbury at the Slice
It’s great to see Winnipeg musician Dave Quanbury back in Lethbridge albeit with an all new, more pop and keyboard based sound rather than his usual folk flavoured, guitar based sound. I missed him the last time he was at the Slice last May, so was glad to see hm again.
For once, I was thankful for a late-starting show, as I was coming to the Slice from the Pink Floyd Tribute at Average Joe’s, Saturday, April 21, at around 11:30 p.m. I missed the opening act, but was just in time for Quanbury and his band, Jamie Wright on keyboards and singing harmony and Alasdair Dunlop from Sweet Alibi playing bass and also singing harmonies.
They had a lot of keyboards and machines hooked up, but they had a pleasant, really laid-back, melodic, psychedelic indie pop sound happening. They even a had a touch of East Indian Bollywood music on one song. Quanbury did triple duty on guitar, vocals and on keyboards. The set mostly focussed in the new CD “Still Life With Canadian” including “Bollywood Ringtone” and “Maharaja.”
All three of them had appealing, melodic tenor voices. They ended their first set with the catchy new single “Ghost Daughters.”
Atomicos surf rock at the Slice
It appears spring has finally sprung, so naturally the mind might drift to beaches and surfing. And because it was 4/20 day, perhaps illicit substances. Either way, local surf rock band the Atomicos were happy to provide the soundtrack to such things at the Slice, Friday, April 20. I always seem to miss them, so was pleased to finally catch a peppy set up upbeat, groove filled instrumental music.
They were equal parts Ventures and Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet, so ran the gamut from traditional surf to more punk. I thought I hear d a few bars of the Supersuckers’ Sleepy Vampire.” There was plenty of ’60s style twang and plenty of bass groove.
Saskatoon indie pop duo Too Soon Monsoon opened the show with an enjoyable set of upbeat, keyboard heavy indie-pop featuring vocalist/keyboardist Greg and drummer Nathan focused on music from their EP.
Ashley Hundred/Makiisma at the Owl
I always seem to miss the Ashley Hundred, so I was pleased to catch their Friday, April 20 set at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Though the Calgary indie rock band wield a multitude of instruments, their sets seem to pass amazingly quickly. They sang pleasing multi-part vocal harmonies and had a lot of ambient sounds and catchy folk pop stylings. The sextet reminded me of Jessie and the Dandelions and many popular Vancouver based indie pop bands, though the banjo and steel guitar were a nice touch, adding extra layers of ambience.
I caught most of an opening set from Makiisma aka Megan Brown, bassist Steve Martin, drummer Keenan Pezderic and keyboardist T.J Waltho.
They played a heavier, more indie rock set than usual rather than more introspective indie pop.
It is always a pleasure to hear Megan Brown pay her own songs and fronting her own band. She got to show her more sultry, jazzy side as well as her more exotic side we know from her work with the Junkman’s Quire
Slice — Jarred and the Mill and Altamedia, and Ghostwoman, Altameda, Ghostwomen
Slice — open mic
Enmax Centre — Troyanda with Cree hoop Dancers, Red Star Women, Senator Buchanan Indigenous Dance Troupe $15 adults $12 students and seniors, $5 children under 12
Owl Acoustic Lounge — May the 4the Be With You — Biloxi Parish and Vandendool
Slice— Rancho Deluxe/Steven William Foord $10
Lethbridge Lodge— Centric Music Festival Fundraiser — The Cabaret featuring Erinn Evdokimoff-Roberts
Tony Zappone with pianist Zain Solinski
Featuring the music of: Piaf, Britten, Weil, Bolcom and more!
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Average Joe’s — Yuk Yuks Comedy with Scott Dumas
Enmax — George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Mocha Cabana — Rigo the Latino Cinco de mayo
Average Joe’s — Cinco de mayo $21 Legends Pub— Humbodt Broncos fundraiser?
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Slice—Body Lens, Janitor Scum, Postnamers=namers object-option, Owl Acoustic lounge—
Boys and Girls Club — Shayne Marie with Cody Hall 5:30-8 p.m. $5?
Club Lime — Kenny vs Spenny
Southminster United Church Lethbridge Symphony orchestra Sinfonia Allegro 7:30 Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra
Geomatic Attic — Weaves 8 p.m. $27.50, $30
Smokehouse — open mic
Slice — Windy City Opry
Canadian Polish Association — Spring to the Mountains with To The Mountains, Quickdraw, Extrados $10 7 p.m.
Slice — open mic
Average Joe’s — Dueling pianos with Cal Toth
Casino Lethbridge — Steve Keenan Band
Slice — Adequate with the Decadent Phase
Owl Acoustic lounge— FLIPfest Presents: Cartel madras, Blood Rez Crew T and TBA
Southminster United Church —Lethbridge Symphony orchestra with Janet Youngdahl Feel The Beat Friday, May 11, 2018
Doors: 6:30 PM – Concert: 7 PM
Southminster United Church
Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra
Janet Youngdahl, soprano
We are always excited to present a short, fun introduction to orchestral music. This year, we’re pleased to present a work that’s Canadian through and through – and lots of laughs, too! Dennis Lee‘s Alligator Pie is a mainstay of many childhoods throughout the English-speaking world, and that great poetry has now been set to music. Children of every age – and adults who are still kids at heart – will be tickled by this concert!
Casino Lethbridge — Steve Keenan band
Crossings Branch Library — Comicon
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Cope with Supervoid
Casa — Casa fifth anniversary with Musical Acts Playing Party on the Square with Dave McCann, Bryan Bradfield, Taylor Ackerman, Floyd Sillito Lethbridge Ukulele Jam group and more
Slice — Kevin Peters
Southminster United Church — The Reunion Beatles 7 p.m. $45
Casa — Ukulele jam 2-3 p.m.