Story and photos by Emily Turner

‘I remember the first time I listened to The Sheepdogs, sometime in the eighth grade I believe. Up until that point in my young life, my experience with Canadian artists essentially began and ended with Justin Bieber. Don’t hate me, but I had come to the conclusion at that point in my life that not a lot of musical or artistic talent came out of Canada. But then I found The Sheepdogs, and my entire perspective changed. They were the first Canadian musicians who truly impressed me, that led me to think, wow, Canadian music really should be more recognized. They began my journey of discovering and enjoying Canadian artists. All these years later and I was equally as amazed by how talented The Sheepdogs are. I had no idea how much it would mean for me to see them live in action before last nights performance at the Community Auditorium. It was a show that will go down in my books as one of the best concerts I have ever had the privilege to experience.

The concert was opened by Ellen Froese, another talented Canadian musician, whose song “Sad to be Sad” was immediately added to my Spotify playlist. She told a comical story about getting a Robins Donuts donut and spoke fondly of the times she got to play at The Apollo. She did an excellent job opening up for the band, as her performance prepared the crowd to get up and out their seats the moment The Sheepdogs walked on stage – for which they were certainly grateful.They opened with “How Late How Long” and “I’ve Got a Hole Where My Heart Should Be,” and continued to play an even mix of their new stuff and  their famous hits as the show went on. In between the electric  light show and their energised dancing around the stage, there was never a dull moment. Even when they transitioned to a brief acoustic stint, when the whole band gathered around centre stage and sang in harmony with dimmed lights, it was totally captivating. All five members have a powerful stage presence, and I especially liked it when the drummer stood up on his stool and got the whole Auditorium clapping to the beat. In between their stylish fits, beautiful guitars, energized dancing, and their electrifying chemistry, it really was one hell of a performance.

Seeing “I Don’t Know” and “Nobody” performed live was everything I needed, the energy in the room as they played those songs was unmatched. I personally have never seen a crowd at the  Auditorium so excited. Though I would have liked to hear “I Aint Cool,” it was a brilliant set and the show was  everything I wanted it to be. I only wish I could have gotten one of the guitar pics that got thrown into the crowd, and I will probably always regret not buying one of the concert shirts that had literal sheepdogs on it that looked like one of those iconic wolf-howling-at-the-moon t-shirts. I definitely walked out of that show thinking, I really do have the best job ever.