Holy Cow: You Can Hear Good Music at the Stampede. Since When?

by Carey Rutherford

We know it’s coming. Anyone who’s been in this city for a decade has it carved into their forehead by now, and if you’ve lived in Calgary for your whole life you’ve moved from love to ecstasy to disenchantment to avoidance and back to acceptance. It’s like a 12 step program, but with fewer steps. The Stampede is coming, and it’s out of your hands. No use in hiding; no use in closing your doors and barring your windows. You might as well enjoy it. And, holy cow (!), there’s some great tunes to be had, if you can stand the rest of it.

4 men posing on a gloomy background
Default is from Vancouver, and they’re playing the Cowtown!
Promotional image from http://www.myspace.com/defaultcanada

As all veterans of the grounds know, the Coca-Cola Stage is ALWAYS there, our own little “Stampede’s Got Talent”, playing music of the past and the future every day, and sometimes it’s worth going just for that particular event. A great band, after all, justifies anything else you may need to endure. Remember Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees? If you can imagine. Pick your winner.

Scattered around the omnipresent hypnotist (who’s onstage everyday, so he’d best be up to it), there are some surprisingly good bands playing this year, And I’m not just being nice. How the heck did the Stampede get such a crew together to play sets outside in the summer heat and rain? Perhaps my memory from Coke Stage history is jaded . . . .

With bands like Theory of a Deadman, Faber Drive, Martina McBride, Down With Webster and Doc Walker, the Coke stage will be showcasing gold and platinum-recording artists, Juno nomiinees and award winners, and national “Performer of the Year winners, all within the last decade.

Alternatively, you will also have the chance to see artists whose fame occurred before any fans of those mentioned above were even born. If you’re into the nostalgia thing, Glass Tiger and Loverboy can still be heard echoing off of the Roundup Centre on the 14th. Good luck with that.

Hey, don’t get me wrong: I rocked harder to Loverboy in the passenger seat of Alan’s 1970 Mustang coupe with it’s little AM radio speaker than can be reasonably explained. I’m not embarrassed by such a fact. Canadian guitar-rock that kicked out the jams, . . . in 1982.

Hmm, let’s see, 2010 – 1982 = . . . . old band.
It’s up to you. Tell me if the hypnotist is any good.

Coke Stage Music (and the hyphotist)
July 8, 2010 hypnotist, Down With Webster
July 9, 2010 hypnotist, Theory of a Deadman
July 10, 2010 hypnotist, OK Go
July 11, 2010 hypnotist, Barenaked Ladies
July 12, 2010 hypnotist, Stereos, Faber Drive, Marianas Trench
July 13, 2010 hypnotist, Three Days Grace
July 14, 2010 hypnotist, Loverboy, Glass Tiger
July 15, 2010 hypnotist, Raul Malo, Doc Walker
July 16, 2010 hypnotist, OneRepublic
July 17, 2010 hypnotist, Crash Karma, Default
July 18, 2010 hypnotist, Martina McBride

Posted by Paul Verhaegh

Author: Carey Rutherford

Swallowed by the mutual loves of words and music (but far too chicken-shit to perform them with a band), Carey’s writing career started slowly as a freelance writer in 2003, starved him nearly to personal bankruptcy until 2008, and changed directions while writing for FastForward, Beacon Calgary, GayCalgary, and Examiner magazines. With the death of many old-school periodicals, and the explosion of musical diversity in Calgary, the modern approach to writing about live music performance in the Calgary region presented uncluttered landscapes for the focussed passion that Carey’s conversations with musicians, drag queens, festival producers and small animals has uncapped. He was moulded by the brilliance of paper-based periodicals old and new (Life, rolling Stone, Swerve! and Adbusters etc.), and sees the info-verse as needing creative, empathetic, but clear-eyed Agents to communicate these performances.