For those about to rock, Sam Roberts solutes you

     Sam Roberts performed to what seemed to be a capacity crowd of well over 500 people at the Wave in UPEI’s community centre, on November 27. 

     By the time the night was over, the fans were provided with an excellent opening act and a double encore performance from the man himself, giving them an unforgettable experience.

     The night began as students and concertgoers alike flocked to the bar to buy tickets (as well as some adult beverages). At this time the opening act took to the stage to small crowd. The crowd would grow throughout their performance but it would not grow to be half as large as the crowd for Roberts, which is a shame because this band was incredible.

     Halifax imports, In Flight Safety opened the big show and performed for the show’s first hour. They began with a thank you to both the university for hosting their performance as well as Sam Roberts for giving them the opportunity to open for him.


   In Flight Safety visited from Halifax to perform at UPEI back in November, where they opened for Sam Roberts. 


    This was not the only time I have ever seen In Flight Safety perform live, it was also the first time I have heard them period and I would have to say without any shadow of a doubt, they put on a solid show and are a great band to be listening to.

     As I was listening to their performance, I didn’t think it was fair for them to have a lack of exposure. They have become a stable of the independent rock scene here in the Maritimes but after hearing them perform, I was reminded of how much I dislike the way the mainstream music scene operates and I think it is young bands like In Flight Safety which should be given attention from record labels instead of some of the packaged teen idols music fans have been given since the 1960’s.

     In Flight Safety began their set with some of their more recognizable songs from their previous albums, much to the delight of their fans in attendance.

     At the halfway mark of their performance, they were glad to announce how grateful they were to their fans for attending and paid thanks as only as they could.

     “We would like to thank all of you again for coming and we would like to play some songs you haven’t yet. They are from our new album,” said lead singer John Mullane.

     Fans cheered on with anticipation to hear the new material and they were not disappointed as the band continued with their emotional performance.

     They concluded their set with one final thank you for their loyal fanbase, as well as the university and of course to Sam Roberts.

     “Before we leave here tonight, I would just like to say thank you again to everyone here at UPEI for having us and again I would like to thank Sam Roberts for lettings us open for him,” said Mullane.

     The band played their final song and bided a found good night to those in attendance, as the roadies prepared the stage for the arrival of Sam Roberts.

     I would like to say, in this reporter’s opinion this was the better half of the show. Don’t get me wrong, Roberts put on show, which can only be described as pure awesome but this portion of the show had a more intimate and personal feel to it. It might have been the smaller crowd and having more freedom to move around and get closer to the band. Personally, I like having a quitter atmosphere like this one because it gives you better chance of connecting with the band on a more personal level.


  Montreal rocker Sam Roberts Perform to a packed and highly energetic crowd at The Wave in UPEI in November of 08.


    The room soon overflowed with people as Robert’s took the stage and with the first pluck of his guitar strings, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy that would not conclude until the very end of the second encore performance.

     One thing worth mentioning was the use of lighting, fog and lasers during his performance.  I would have to say these things could not have been used any better. There is nothing quite like rocking out with muti-coloured fog and lasers going off as your drowning in a sea of humanity.

     The concert began with some familiar favourites from his five previous albums, which were definite crowd pleasers but about half way through, much like his opening act In Flight Safety, he stopped to speak to the crowd.

     “How is everybody doing tonight? Now I would like to take the time to thank everyone for coming out and now we’re going to play some songs you haven’t heard yet.”

     The fans (myself include) marked out at this point because it is always a pleasure to hear new material from a favourite band. The new songs went over well with the crowd.

     I would have to say the two concert highlights came up after this. The first of the two was his performance of “We’re Have All The Good People Gone.” It was a great and explosive performance, with excellent guitar riffs, spectacular use of the lighting and laser displays, as well as an excellent fan reaction with the entire crowd singing along in unison.

     The other highlight would be the initial finale. His performance of “Brother Down” (which I think is his best song) was bar far the best part of his entire set. The use of the blue fog to match the “lost at sea” motif of the music video, his clapping and the crowds clapping to the beat of the music and of course, how could I forget the how the entire crowd (myself included) singing the “I think my life is passing me by” part of the song was a great moment.

     Roberts thanked the crowd for what he thought would be the last time but after he had left the stage, the crowed was whipped into a frenzy after one of the concert goers urged his fellow attendance to chant “One more time! One more time!” After about two minutes of this, Roberts and his band re-appeared on stage and performed an encore of three songs. The fans danced in triumph over this (again myself included after the one who started this grabbed me by the arm).

     Again Roberts thank the crowd for coming and attempted to leave but after yet another “One more time!” chant, he got back on stage and performed two more, with a extended instrumental portion added in for a final kickoff. He was tired and it showed but he did it anyway. Roberts should be thanked for doing this.

     “I would just like to thank you all for coming. We have to now but we’ll be back next time we’re on tour. Thank you UPEI. Goodnight.”

     I would have to say that this was an absolutely awesome show. The only reason why I said I preferred the opening act was because of the overcrowded nature of Roberts’ portion but that was not his fault nor that of the campus. He’s popular and that is a price to pay and a damn good one at that. So I would the opening set a 5 out 5 star rating as well as Roberts’ set. So it’s a perfect 5 score overall.

     Thank you Sam.                



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