Hedley sails into town on ‘Shipwrecked’ tour

Tobias Romaniuk
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Hedley lead singer Jake Hoggard gets personal with the fans Thursday night at Mile One Centre. — Photo by Tobias Romaniuk

Forget everything you’ve heard about Hedley. Forget every song you've heard.

And if you’re one of those guys being dragged to the show because of a girl (and may your effort not be in vain) then just relax. Don't worry. It's a good show. It rocks harder than anything you'll hear from the band on grooveshark.com.

Say what you want about the lyrics, or the preteen crowd, or whatever other slight could be leveled at these guys.

Once the lights go down, and the guitars get plugged in, none of that matters.

They really are a rock band at heart, like the band members say, despite what comes out of the studio.

How can you tell? There was a drum solo. A good one, almost cinematic. Then dead, maybe stunned, silence.

Remember, this is a crowd where it's safe to announce what bar the band will be at later because 80 per cent are too young get in. Maybe they just aren’t used to hearing drum solos, and were unsure what to do after the initial applause.

After the silence — a couple of beats — out came the acoustic guitar and a new song.

Even the screaming fan behind me didn't know it. She just kept screaming ‘it’s a new one’ at me.

There’s a good chance it’s called ‘Long Way Down” if repetition is any clue. It has a guitar solo. Because this is a rock band.

Maybe it was the sheer volume or all the screaming fans packed into the curtained-off half of Mile One Centre Thursday night (tonight the show’s sold out) or maybe it was the way the band was obviously having such an good time, smiling and dancing around.

Whatever it was, Hedley entertained.

Watching singer Jake Hoggard hop around the stage like a rabbit taped to pogo sticks and juiced up on Pop Rocks, his kinetic personality really shone through.

The only time the guy stood still was when he had an acoustic guitar in his hands and had to stand in front of a microphone. Hoggard is full of energy and that makes him a blast to watch onstage.

One hand up in the air, backlit by a spotlight, leg off to the side in a classic rock pose, he brings the theatrics of Queen singer Freddie Mercury to mind. Or maybe it was just the moustache.

The band held it down, playing crowd favourites — at times it seemed like everyone in the place was singing — and new songs that were well received.

Guitarist Dave Rosin even rips off a solo on one of the new songs.

But the show was more than just a band on a stage.

It started with a video montage, with lights and sound.

A mid-concert interlude, a cheesy-good video skit, melded into an acoustic set.

They even brought out opening act Classified for the song “Invincible.”

That’s what the screaming girl told me it was called, anyway.

Speaking of Classified, he puts on a good show too. Raised on '90s hip hop, he’s proud of it and gave a nod to his roots with a cover of O.P.P.

For fans of hip hop, he’s one to go see.

For the rest, maybe those dragged unwilling to the show, remember you’re at a concert. Things could be a lot worse.

But they don’t get much better.


A typo in this story has been corrected

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Recent comments

  • Krysta
    May 25, 2012 - 12:05

    Loved the show, awesome energy and a great time had by all, including us non tweens. They apply to anyone that loves to rock and loves to hear a good tune and sing along.

    • hedley fan
      May 26, 2012 - 22:34

      what an awesome show and i am not a teen and enjoyed the show it was awesome and to have so much newfie enjoyment in the show it was great shows their love of the rock. would be even better if hedley could sign at my wedding this fall love you guys keep up your great job it enlightens alot of peoples lives especially mine way to go guys

  • MamaBear
    May 25, 2012 - 11:59

    I've been looking for a review of Johnny Reid's May 19th show at Mile One. Can't find one....did you review it? I know there was an article earlier in the week. Now there's an Entertainer. The Best in Canadian Music. His music crosses generations..from mere toddlers to 90 year old grannies. Not sure how many *grannies* saw Hedley *perform*.....Jumping around like a jack-rabbit does not make a performer, or an entertainer. If you want value for your ticket money you need to hear a performer who will make you laugh, make you cry and touch your soul all in the same night. Ask any of the full house at Mile One on May 19th, or any at the 30 Sold out arena shows across Canada, and they will tell you....Johnny Reid does exactly that.

    • coleen
      May 25, 2012 - 15:33

      You are so right about the Johnny Reid concert, i saw him in Hamilton, Ontario last month and it was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. i will be in line for tickets the next time he comes to town.

  • earl
    May 25, 2012 - 10:21

    If having a gaggle of tween girls as your groupies make you 'rock', then these guys are rock legends. I think Classified are in a different league than Hedley, and if they were the openers, thats why the show was good.

    • Robin
      May 27, 2012 - 15:09

      I'm in my early 30's & attended my first hedley concert Thusday night & it was amazing. There was so much energy & enthusiasm given in the performance making you feel as if you were on cloud nine. Jacobs singing was stellar, the lead guitarist Dave did and amazing job, and Tommy was great playing bass as well he would look up at us and smile. Tommy would occasionally give out guitar picks to fans which was really nice. The drum solo by Chris was freaking amazing WOW is all I could say & yes I was one of those "girls" who dragged there sig. other & he was actaully into it. He said they were great as well. I will definately be attending the next time they come back. My fiance did mention that Jacob had the Freddy thing going on...I prefer no facial hair but whatever makes him happy I guess.