Opening up for Hedley were, MuchMusic’s disBand winners, These Kids Wear Crowns and the laid back, reggae-influenced rock and roller, Daniel Wesley – both also local acts.
The cold, wet weather wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of kids, teens, moms, and dads who were out in full force, all anxiously awaiting Hedley. The band hit the stage at Deer Lake Park promptly at 8pm all dressed in black – possibly paying tribute to the victims of 9/11. Jacob sported a moustache that I’m sure many thought may have been a gag, but in the end looked oddly adorable on the always charismatic Hoggard.
The band opened with “Cha-Ching” – the first single off the new record, The Show Must Go On followed by “On My Own” – their first ever single off their self-titled album. Hoggard, in his own lovable, slightly over-the-top stage persona ways, waved his arms flamboyantly back and forth, conducting the eager crowd to sing along.
The show continued with “She’s So Sorry”, and “Shelter”, which segued into a cover of “You Sexy Thing”. A piano was brought on stage for Hoggard to play “Amazing” and “Perfect” – fitting as amazing and perfect are two adjectives any fan would surely use to describe the band.
The first performance of Hedley’s new song, “Colour” was unveiled to great fan reception. The catchy hook of the song, “say, say, say you love me” has hit written all over it. The band also played “Beautiful”, another yet-to-be-released song.
As the night went on, the temperatures dropped enough to see cold breath, but a quick stage change with evergreen trees and a make-shift campfire warmed up the mood. The boys returned on stage, huddled together on logs with acoustic guitars and brews in hand for “Gunning” and “Friends”.
After a short intermission, which the band cleverly disguised with an amusing news parody video, the band was back on stage for “Don’t Talk to Strangers”. Next they performed “Hands Up”, a song in which Hoggard declared, “Vancouver, we wrote this song about you!”
The band was sending out a lot of love to the audience, and there was no shortage of love being thrown right back on stage by the fans. Once Hoggard launched into “3,2,1” he also launched himself into the crowd, singing, “hold me, hold me/closely, closely.” And yes, the fans were all too eager to accommodate.
The show came to a close with “Never Too Late”, “For the Nights I Can’t Remember”, “Trip”, and the quirky dialogue-based, “Sweater Song”. Hoggard genuinely thanked the audience several times for all the support and for coming out to the shows, listening to the records, and requesting the songs. He so heart-warmingly declared, “If you stay in our lives, we promise to stay in yours.”
Hoggard wrapped up the show requesting a binding agreement from the fans. He asked, “If we come back, you come back?”
The screams in response can only indicate that the fans were more than okay with this deal. And with his chest out and head held high, Hoggard proclaimed, “We are Hedley and we love you!”
It’s blatantly clear that wherever these boys may wind up finding fame, they will forever reign in Vancouver.