By Keith Sharp
Timmins’ Stars and Thunder Day Four: So what do you do when one of your two star performers for that day’s concert calls in sick and you have no hope of replacing them in time. This was the predicament facing site manager Josh Clark when he got the call at midnight Wednesday that Brampton Ontario’s Alyssa Reid had been hospitalized and would not be available for her scheduled appearance Thursday afternoon.
So with a 75-minute slot to fill and no one to fill it, the onus was on the four remaining acts to plug the gap by expanding their sets. Easily done when the headliner happens to be Vancouver’s Hedley who saved the day with a riveting performance which included four encores.
But for two local DJ’s; Static Sound’s Josh Rivera and Jonathan Rosa, to play two extended dance mix sets in the middle of the afternoon was probably an excruciating experience for a large portion of the crowd even though the attending youngsters lapped it up. Although it turned out be a pleasant 23rd birthday present for Rivera.
Even Otttawa’s , the Superlative band, featuring Timmins’ native guitarist Kiel Burwell enjoyed an elongated set, and impressed with their alternative rock styling which featured a seated bassist Alex Tait, due to a broken femur bone which didn’t prevent him from performing.
So if the entire day was focused on Hedley that was fine by them. Lead vocalist Jacob Hoggard, lead guitarist Dave Rosin, bassist Tommy Mac and new drummer Jay Beni were definitely up to the task of getting their youthful audience involved in their repertoire.
Whether it was a hit single or just an album track, it seemed every song Hedley sang involved some form of crowd participation be it a sing-along tracks like “Hello”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers” “Lost Control” “Heaven In Our Headlights” or “Cha-Ching” or choreographed jumping and waving, Hedley and their devoted fans made an instant connection.
At one point Hoggard noted some young girl texting during one of the band’s songs, so he instantly commandeered her phone and made a connection with an Ottawa friend of hers, ran her through what must be a regular stage ritual of chatting with her friend, asking if he was interested in marrying her, before inviting his female victim on stage to take some snapshots of herself with the band.
Songs like “Perfect” and “Old School” did allow Hoggard to show off his vocal chops and the band returned for a four-song encore which included key hits like “Kiss You Inside Out”, “Crazy” and “I Can Do Anything”.
Final word of the night was that Reid had been released from hospital and concert organizers were attempting to squeeze her on to Thursday’s Classic Rock lineup with April Wine, Alan Frew The Box and local band The Shaftmen. For the third straight night, inclement wind conditions prevented the firework display from taking place.
Phone-tography by Keith Sharp