Trooper front man Ra Hughes signs an autograph for Logan Kendze at the Memorial Centre on Saturday afternoon. About 50 Eastview Middle School students were able to sit in on the band's sound check before their evening show with April Wine.

Grade 7 students take in Trooper sound check

About 50 Red Deer students got a lesson in raising a little hell on Saturday. Veteran Canadian rockers Trooper did the teaching in the extra-curricular lesson in rocking out at the Memorial Centre.

About 50 Red Deer students got a lesson in raising a little hell on Saturday.

Veteran Canadian rockers Trooper did the teaching in the extra-curricular lesson in rocking out at the Memorial Centre.

The multi-platinum-selling rock group welcomed the Grade 7 students to take in their sound check on Saturday ahead of an evening concert with April Wine.

It all came together thanks to teacher and big Trooper fan Kelly Goheen, who grew up with the Vancouver band’s music in B.C.

“They just bent over backwards to make things work for us. It was phenomenal,” Goheen said.

The brush with home-grown rock greatness went over well with his students.

“I was just telling Ra (McGuire, Trooper lead singer) I think he’s got a whole new generation of Trooper fans that just got hooked today.

“There’s a bunch of these kids who will never have an opportunity to get to a concert. And I don’t know anybody who’s ever gone to a sound check before.

“It’s a pretty unique opportunity.”

There was even some educational value to the afternoon as well. Watching the many players behind a rock concert opens students’ eyes to careers they may never have considered. It also was a nice fit with the school’s current curriculum.

McGuire said the sound check mini-concert was unique for the band as well.

“I’m glad they’re interested. I mean they had to be interested to come on a Saturday,” said the genial rocker.

He’s happy to see more young fans, but adds the band has always been successful in finding new audiences. The first 15 rows of any show are 18 to 25-year-olds while their original fan core, who would have been snapping up their hit albums in the 1970s, are still there, further back in the crowd.

McGuire doesn’t hesitate when asked to explain their timelessness.

“It’s definitely the songs. I mean even these kids know (the hits). They were calling out for Raise a Little Hell, and how old are they?”

Trooper’s track record is incredible. They are one of Canada’s top five selling bands of all time, according to their website. Their greatest hits album, Hot Shots, is six times platinum.

Student Logan Kendze was well aware of Trooper’s music before Saturday.

“My parents love them so I kind of grew up listening to it.

“It was awesome,” Kendze said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be at a sound check.”

David O’lane also gave them an “awesome” grade.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” he said, adding it was interesting to hear how they got from being typical teenagers to where they are now.

Alex Dehod, who does sound work at his school, was interested in the work of the band’s sound crew.

“It’s definitely very modern equipment and very well run,” he said.

Trooper and April Wine are performing as part of a 100.7 CRUZ FM special free show for their listeners who won tickets.

Among the band’s hits are Good Ol’ General Hand Grenade, Two for the Show, We’re Here for a Good Time, Three Dressed Up As a Nine and Drive Away.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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