‘One heck of a show:’ Prince Albert gets a local taste of rock and roll

Taras Kachkowski performs 'Smoke on the Water' at the Prince Albert Winter Festival's The Rock Show Experience at the Exhibition Centre on Feb. 8, 2020. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Friday and Saturday’s The Rock Show Experience had the room chanting the most recognizable classics.

It may have been the fourth annual show as part of the Prince Albert Winter Festival, but emcee Taras Kachkowski said they’re keeping it fresh.

Also on the Winter Festival board, he said the team as a whole has been working hard to change people’s perceptions of the two-week long event.

“We don’t want people’s reaction to be ‘Oh yeah, I saw it last year. I’m good.’ We want it to be ‘Man, I had so much fun. I can’t wait to go again,’” said Kachkowski.

“I think by and large we’ve accomplished that with a lot of the events.”

Kachkowski is known for dressing up as KISS vocalist Gene Simmons, embracing black and white face paint, spiked shoulder pads and platform boots.

This year, he knew he had to switch it up.

Dressed in a curly blonde wig and a ripped-style black and neon pink outfit, Kachkowski was none other than Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. He performed ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ but also ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple.

“I do community theatre, so for me, I look at it from that perspective. It’s another character that I get to inhabit for a couple of days, and rockstars happen to be really fun characters,” he said.

While Producer Dennis Adams encourages the cast to dress up as the accompanying performers, Kachkowski said he’s “probably the one that’s sort of taking that to heart the most.”

“We’ve got a really wide range actually this year—everything from The Eagles and Billy Joel all the way up to Metallica and Twisted Sister,” he said.

“When we were in rehearsals we were all kind of looking at each other going ‘Wow. This is going to be one heck of a show.’”

For Adams, The Rock Show Experience is important to keep going to bring a different style of music to the city.

The Rock Show Experience Producer Dennis Adams plays guitar on night two of The Rock Show Experience at the Exhibition Centre on Feb. 8, 2020. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

“There’s lots of country shows, so (we’re) just going after a different demographic. People like rock and roll,” he said.

“They can kind of sit back, there was people dancing on the sides and clapping their hands and cheering after guitar solos.”

Adams is also on the board of the Winter Festival.

The Rock Show Experience, like many Winter Festival events, is a platform for youth to showcase their talents. This includes the members of the band Method 2 Madness.

Guitarist and backup vocalist, 17-year-old Kirsten Aubichon, described her emotions before the show.

“Being up on stage, it’s kind of nerve wracking, but it’s also really exciting and if you let the excitedness overcome the nervousness, then it’s really great,” she said.

Method 2 Madness guitarist and backup vocalist Kirsten Aubichon plays ‘Enter Sandman’ at The Rock Show Experience at the Exhibition Centre on Feb. 8, 2020. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

The group played ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica.

“All of us really play a part in it,” she said.

Aubichon has been a member of the local band since spring of last year.

Hundreds of people came out to watch the rock tribute show each night. The Rock Show Experience kicked off with ‘We Will Rock You,’ followed by performances from Samantha Burnouf, Travis Beatty, Gary Ostafichuk, Kim Villeneuve and LJ Tyson Kimbley, to name a few.

It concluded with a medley of Canadian rock classics.