Jacob Hoggard of the band Hedley performs at the Enmax Centrium on Sunday. The show was part of the Canadian pop-rock band's Wild Live Tour

Jacob Hoggard of the band Hedley performs at the Enmax Centrium on Sunday. The show was part of the Canadian pop-rock band's Wild Live Tour

Hedley rocks Red Deer

One moment he’s crooning poignant lyrics at the piano while bathed in white light, the next he’s battling a cranky old lady (really a bearded roadie in a wig and flowered dress).

One moment he’s crooning poignant lyrics at the piano while bathed in white light, the next he’s battling a cranky old lady (really a bearded roadie in a wig and flowered dress).

Hedley’s Jacob Hoggard took some 4,500 Central Alberta fans on a wild — and rather capricious — ride Sunday night at Red Deer’s Centrium.

It was one of last concerts of the pop band’s exhaustive, cross-country Wild Life tour, but you wouldn’t have guessed it from the group’s full-tilt energy level. Hedley came on like a whirlwind with a blinding light show and performance of the mega-hit Anything — complete with raunchy snippets from the hedonistic music video.

Hoggard got most of the young audience up on its feet, waving arms in the air from the get-go. Sporting a camouflage jacket, he stood briefly, hands on hips, before going into hyper-kinetic overdrive. Hoggard encouraged cheers and pulled off athletic dance moves, such as kicking a foot up and spinning dervish-like on one leg.

The wiry singer didn’t appear to have an off switch. He launched into One Life while busily strutting the length of the stage in the manner of a frenetic Loony Tunes character.

“I need you to scream!” he commanded, and the audience enthusiastically obliged.

During drummer Chris Crippin’s machine-gun-like intro to I’ll Be With You, Hoggard was seen lying on his back, feet up in the air like an overturned beetle. “If I don’t lose my mind, I’ll be with you,” he sang when upright again. And dozens of fans waved their light wands in approval.

The irate bearded granny came on stage threatening Hoggard and bassist Tommy Mac with a cane during Don’t Talk to Strangers. It was definitely a non sequitur.

The mood took another sharp turn when vintage seaside images accompanied a reflective new song called Dreaming’s For Sleeping.

Guitarist Dave Rosin came downstage to help Hoggard greet fans before things slowed down even more: the singer took a spotlight turn at the piano to croon Invincible. This was followed by his over-the-top rendering of All The Way, with steam jets going off for a Big Finish.

After a brief comic video-filled intermission, the musicians appeared on a satellite stage in the middle of the audience, dressed as a 1960s boy group in matching black jackets. “Chaps, I have a grand idea: let’s play a road trip song, why don’t we?” said Hoggard before striking up Heaven in Our Headlights.

For the Nights I Can’t Remember also got the torchy treatment, with glittery disco ball casting a flurry of lights around the arena. More of the same was delivered for Wild Life — and that’s when things nearly ground to a crawl.

Aside from the falsetto whimsy of Crazy for You and a rousing, real-action cheerleading demo (go girls!) during Cha-Ching, the second half of the concert suffered from too many slow numbers — too much of Hoggard alone at the piano, not enough of the Vancouver-based band.

Another what-the-heck? moment also cropped up when the singer affected a cornpone accent to muse about living on a farm near Red Deer with a couple of wives.

Hoggard, who did a medley of Perfect and Rihanna’s Stay, was more amusing when he forgot some lyrics and quipped, “At least I’m not lip-synching!”

Hedley’s encore included Kiss You Inside Out, and the sweet, simple Sweater Song. The latter proved that Hoggard’s colourful voice can be most affecting when he isn’t overstretching the theatrics.

The concert ended positively, with Hoggard promising to come visit again and the audience responding with a deafening roar.

The crowd was also supportive of the evening’s opening acts. East Coast rapper Classified, assisted by a DJ, musicians and hip-hop artist Mike Boyd, performed a tongue-in-cheek tribute medley to 1990s rap (including some Wu-Tang Clan numbers and “old Jay-Z’s” Hard-Knock Life).

“It’s the kind of music I grew up with,” said Classified, who also pulled off versions of his own tunes, That Ain’t Classy, Inner Ninja and O Canada.

USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) are a lively Toronto duo with a chart-topping single, This is the Best. One of the musicians managed something I’ve never seen before. He jumped up and down on stage while also banging a tambourine against his head — an original move that was also surprisingly entertaining.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quentin Lee Strawberry Photo from RCMP
O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

"They’re angry. They’re frustrated,” Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling says of his members, whose pension assets have been transferred to a provincial Crown corporation. (Photo contributed)
Only 17% of Albertans support draft curriculum: teachers’ association

Fewer than one-in-five Albertans support the provincial government’s draft K-6 curriculum, says… Continue reading

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man to apply to withdraw manslaughter guilty plea

Tyler John Campbell wants to change plea after judge rejected seven-year sentence

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being prepared at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the University of Toronto campus in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Canada to get two million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses as provinces expand rollouts

OTTAWA — Canada is scheduled to receive two million doses of the… Continue reading

File photo
Arrest made for armed robbery in Millet, Wetaskiwin RCMP continue to investigate

Wetaskiwin RCMP are investigating an armed robbery took place May 4, 2021 in Millet, Alta.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh listens to a question as he speaks with reporters on Parliament Hill, Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Ottawa. Singh says he believes there's a connection between anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests and far-right extremism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Jagmeet Singh says link exists between anti-maskers and far-right extremism

OTTAWA — Federal New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh is the latest… Continue reading

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Iqaluit elders home evacuated after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

IQALUIT, Nunavut — An elders home in Iqaluit was evacuated on the… Continue reading

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Boost in near-term funds, risk should lure more social-finance investors, Hussen says

OTTAWA — Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen says he expects changes to… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday May 7, 2021. Canada's justice and heritage ministers will be recalled to justify a change to the Broadcasting Act that critics warn could erode the rights of individuals users who upload content to social media. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Heritage committee to seek answers from ministers on C-10 changes

OTTAWA — Canada’s justice and heritage ministers will be recalled to justify… Continue reading

Young people line up for COVID-19 vaccines at Downsview Arena in Toronto on Monday, May 10, 2021. Ontario has just opened up vaccines for 18+ in high risk areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Vaccine rollouts expand, but COVID-19 caseloads still high in some provinces

There were signs of hope that Ontario and Quebec are making progress… Continue reading

Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after providing doses to customers at the Junction Chemist in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. Ontario will likely mix and match COVID-19 vaccine doses in light of uncertain future supply of all the shots approved for use in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Ontario likely to mix 1st and 2nd vaccine doses amid lack of AstraZeneca supply

TORONTO — Ontario will likely mix and match COVID-19 vaccine doses in… Continue reading

Opinion piece
Opinion: O’Toole’s carbon taxes would come with big costs for families

Erin O’Toole’s proposed carbon taxes would cost you more to heat your… Continue reading

Most Read