Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald
Playing in Prince Albert on the Honkytonks and Dive Bar Tour felt different for drummer Chad Melchert and guitarist Robin Pelletier.
They met while growing up in the city back in their early teens—when their air was filled with heavy metal over country music.
Melchert said he met Alberta-born country artist Gord Bamford when he was in Red Deer for college, and everything aligned almost seven years ago when Bamford was looking for new members.
Now they’ve travelled the world together playing in front of crowds of country lovers.
Standing on the stage of the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Wednesday increased the excitement, but also the nerves.
“On average, you don’t know anyone in the crowd. You might see the odd fan that you’ve seen before or something like that, but when you’re playing to a bunch of friends and family, it’s way different,” said Pelletier.
Now that the band’s home base is in Alberta, Melchert said there’s things he misses about P.A.
“I get to go home and eat my mom’s cooking, so that’s the best part,” he said with a laugh. “I love coming home to Saskatchewan and Prince Albert specifically because I like fishing.”
Both of their families continue to live in the city.
“I don’t get here that often, maybe once or twice a year. Get back here for Christmas or whatever so it’s nice to actually have a show at home because it doesn’t happen very often, maybe once every three years,” added Pelletier.
Prince Albert was the perfect Saskatchewan fit for this tour’s honkytonks and dive bars theme.
Out of the 18 shows they’ve played so far across British Columbia and Alberta, this is the first one that’s been in a theatre.
Bamford said they adjusted the stage to give it that tone with lighting, video and song choices.
“Our whole idea on this tour was to go into these honkytonks and be bringing an arena type show,” he said. “The way they’ve translated over the years, it’s pretty easy to switch back and forth.”
He added he knows the feelings that Melchert and Pelletier are experiencing playing in their hometown.
“It’s kind of nice and nerve-wracking to come back to your hometowns. I played in Red Deer a few nights ago, kinda my hometown. I know they’re enjoying being here,” he said.
Prince Albert is the only Saskatchewan stop for this tour, which began on Oct. 17 in Calgary.