Thursday, March 30, 2017

Leeroy Stagger Live in Edmonton March 24th 2017

On Friday my buddy Buzzard, Cuz and I went to the Leeroy Stagger concert at the St. Basil's Cultural Centre part of the New Moon Folk Club concert series. This was my tenth time seeing Lerroy Stagger in concert. It had been almost two years since I had last seen him play, so I was looking forward to this show. Especially knowing that Leeroy has a new album coming out on April 7th called "Love Versus" on True North Records.

We go to the venue early enough to get a good seat right up front. Leeroy seems to have had a hard time drawing a good crowd here in Edmonton, but on this night he had a great turn out for his show, which was really good to see. When I first heard about this show I was expecting it to be a Leeroy solo show being at the folk club and all, but much to my surprise about a week before the show I read it was going to be with full band, so I was stoked about that. Not sure what a lot of the people in the audience were expecting, but I am sure there were a few people surprised when they walked in to the venue to see all the gear on stage.

Opening the show was Edmonton's Rebecca Lappa. She is a folk musician and has won a Canadian Fold Music Award for her 2015 album Tattered Rose. I had never heard of her before and was there early enough to catch her set, her short set at that, only four songs. She was accompanied by a keyboard player. I thought her first song was good, with Rebecca showing a strong voice. After that I found her other three songs to sound all a lot a like. Four songs was about enough for me.

Rebecca Lappa.

Next up was Leeroy Stagger with his four piece band. In his band this time around was Nick Stecz on drums, Ryland Moranz on guitar, Michael Ayotte on keys and long time bass player Tyson Maiko. An awesome band that was tight, I really liked Michael Ayotte on keys he really added a cool element to the band.

The band came out minus Leeroy, doing a little polka and singing about perogies, and going mmmm mmmm, as before the show there was a Ukrainian buffet that they always serve at the shows at this venue. I found this be surprising and funny. Then of course Leeroy made his entrance and they did the polka one more time. Then it was onto the Leeroy songs.

The third song of the night was a new one from his Love Versus album and the single "I Want It All" which again surprised me as I didn't expect him to do the single so early in the set. Leeroy and band played some older stuff like "Dirty Winshields" and "Maria" from his Radiant Land album. He also did a lot from his last album Dream It All Away "New Music Biz Blues", "Poison The Well", "Happy Too", "Something Beautiful" and "Living In America". Another old one he did that I just remembered was
"Break My Heart" from his Truth Be Sold album.

Leeroy did two sets on this night and during these sets he pretty much did the whole new album. The second set opened with a new song called "Crooked Old World" that he recorded with Joel Plaskett. Other new songs done were "Little Brother" in which he dedicated to his brother who was in a bad accident last year in B.C. He wrote that while being bedside while his brother was in a week long coma. Also played was "Run Rabbit Run", "Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone" as well as "Living In The Future". I think there was only one song from the Love Versus album that he didn't play, but I could be wrong.

This was a great rock n' roll show, I believe Leeroy held back from the Crazy Horse rockin' jamming he tends to break into sometimes, but that could be because of the venue and it being a folk club. I thought some people might leave because of the loud rock n' roll, but I saw very few people leave early. All and all a great gig for Leeroy and all those in attendance. Good times!!!

Leeroy Stagger.


New Album "Love Versus" on True North Records available April 7th.

In concert news...Leeroy Stagger has a couple more Edmonton dates coming up here in the month April. The first being a free show at the CKUA studio on Friday April 7th and then a show on Saturday April 29th at The Almanac. If you are fan of Ryan Adams, Steve Earle and Neil Young do yourself a favour if you are in Edmonton and get out to one of these shows.

Also keep your eyes and ears open for upcoming dates across Western Canada and beyond.

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