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Live music at The VAT! Wait, what?


4 minute read

Yes! Local legendary live music venue has it’s first show in months and it was me!

The last couple months have been trying to say the least and yesterday it felt like I had awoken from a bad dream. Finally I had a gig to get to. At last I was getting to connect with my musical brothers. It was surreal to put it lightly. The catch? No audience allowed in the room. Huh? Play a gig to nobody? Nope, the whole show was live streamed in real time on YouTube.

“The Marshall stack screaming behind me with joy.”

What a trip! Almost unbelievable how much went into building the show. Dylan Cave and Calvin Bellows set up the coolest mission control a guy could ask for. Pete Stone was my first call for sound (one of my personal favourite guitar players and an incredible tech) and as usual his mix was pretty much epic. As to be expected. All in, with the crew we had about 13 people in the room. Every single one of us simply floored to be in the Vat about to catch a show; yet so many rules, guidelines and unease about this new normal in getting back to life. We did it tho. Behind closed doors with only the crew and us, we did it. It felt SO GOOD!

Man alive it felt good, looking across the stage and seeing Scotty in his natural habitat laying down the foundation that somehow rumbles and cuts simultaneously. Feeling the kick drum in the floor every time Sammy puts his foot down. The Marshall stack screaming behind me with joy. It was a proper night, the stars were aligned and we threw down. At the Vat.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU to the team that put this together. Thank you, thank you, thank you. In a time where we need each other more than ever, I’m humbled that anyone would choose to put their time, talents and effort into my show. Live entertainment may not be the same for quite some time. Last night tho? that was as real as ever. Terry Cave you’ve got a legendary stage. I’m eternally grateful I get to perform on it.

For me performing is life, it’s been overwhelmingly challenging to watch my shows drop off one by one without any real sign of  when they could possibly return. This show was so important for my mental health. I hope in some small way we were able to connect and help escape a tiny bit of the intensity and stress that is now our “normal.”

In short, stay cool, fam stay kind and who knows? Maybe we’ll see you from the stage somewhere sometime soon. Until next time as always, peace, love and kindness. On purpose, with purpose.

  • Jesse Roads – Vocals/Guitar
  • Scott Wiber – Bass
  • Sam Leszczynski – Drums
  • Pete Stone – Sound
  • Calvin Bellows – Videogrophy
  • Dylan Cave – Stream Technician
  • Terry Cave – Bud King
  • Duane Rolheiser – Todayville

#RedDeerStrong – Can’t go to see art? Enjoy Red Deer’s 2020 Online Arts Festival!

Jesse was born in the city of Lethbridge and raised to his teen years in the southern Alberta farming communities of Raymond and Fin Castle, AB. Jesse's early inspirations include the hypnotic sounds of big-name artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Black Crowes, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, City and Colour, Jack Johnson, Guns 'N' Roses, and Pink Floyd. Jesse is a Blues/Rock/folk/Indie performer who has done his fair share of "paying his dues" opening and touring with such acts as: The Lazys, One Bad Son, Doc Walker, The Odds, The Northern Pikes, The Grapes Of Wrath, Monster Truck, The Age Of Electric, The Wild, Holly McNarland, Econoline Crush, Coal Creek Boys, Wild T & The Spirit, Cara Luft, Carson Cole, Clayton Bellamy (of The Road Hammers), Tupelo Honey, Retrograde, The Smalls, and Mcquaig to name just a few. In 2015 Jesse was awarded the title "Master of Blues Folk Rock" for the 6th Annual Black American Music Awards. Jesse is known for his funky heavy jam style guitar. Big riffs, an impressive vocal sound all his own and the ability to captivate the crowd with ease. His fans have coined the term "no string solo" as he can be consistently found ripping strings off the guitar like they aren't supposed to be there in the first place.

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Matt Swainson (Vice President & General Manager, Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram) -left , Lori Rechlo (General Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta – Red Deer House) – right

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