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Music for all ages

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All ages gigs are a haven for youth who want to both hear and play live music, but are too young to get into the bars. So several Lethbridge youth are taking things into their own hands and setting up their own shows.
“There’s no greater feeling than being on stage,” said Jordan Davidson, frontman of local rock  band  Eyes Of Isis, who  has been organizing all ages gigs since he was in Grade 8 including  one at  the Moose Hall March19, featuring local bands Jesse And the Dandelions, Lock N’ Load and Eyes of Isis.Local band Guruth had fans rocking at the Zoo, March 26. Photo by Richard Amery
“If you’re too young to get into the bar, you don’t get a lot of that in Lethbridge,” said the 18-year- old, adding that gig was the last one for Eyes of Isis in the city for the band for a while as  they are going  on tour. However when they return, he hopes to have other all ages gigs under the Sandman Inn, where popular bar Dexter’s used to be.
 He likes the Moose Hall on the north side because  the rental price is right and because of the location.
“It’s nice to see younger people come out . It’s nice to see an all ages crowd coming out to listen to live music he said, adding the gig came together easily.
“You’ve got to have a good looking poster to attract the fans. And I’ve found that three bands is just enough because otherwise people feel ripped off and  more than that is just too much.”
Jesse Northey of local band Jesse and the Dandelions, who organized an all ages gig at Henotic in January, noted it is a good idea to get people excited about music when they are young.
“Younger people get more a lot more excited about things. So If you can get people excited about live music when they are young, hopefully they will be the ones forming bands and  going to shows in the future. So all ages gigs are investing in the future,” Northey observed.
“We had about 75 kids at Henotic and we didn’t do a lot of advertising, so we did pretty well. And we’re starting to see a lot of familiar faces and they’re telling their friends,” he continued.
“I lot of them haven’t seen a lot of bands before, so this is a new experience for them.”
Parents enjoy the all ages gigs too.
“I just like my son’s music,” said Don Rennie, working the door at the Moose Hall. He is the father of Eyes of Isis lead guitarist Chase Rennie.
“It’s better that they are doing this then out  getting into trouble,” he said adding all of their friends come out to support them.

Kerin Champion came all the way down from Edmonton to support her son, Ethan Champion, bassist of Lock N’ Load.
“It (all ages shows) give them a  chance to  express themselves through music,” she said.
Jesse and the Dandelions at an all ages gig at the Moose Hall, March 19. Photo by Richard Amery “Most of these kids grew up together so they like to support each other.”
The Lethbridge Headbangers Association has just completed their first year holding regular gigs  at the University of Lethbridge to give a chance  for young metal bands to get stage experience.
“The live music scene in Lethbridge is pretty healthy but there is a lack of places for more extreme types of bands to play. So instead of waiting for something to happen, we decided to do it ourselves,” observed Headbanger’s Society president Calvin Shiu, guitarist in local band Pathogen, who had never organized a show before starting the Headbanger’s Society. The Society’s last show of the year is this Friday, April 9 at the Zoo with Pathogen, Enceladus, Cranbrook B.C. death metal band Chaos Logic and Nelson B.C.’s Datura.

“These gigs are all ages, so most of the people there have never had a chance to experience a live band,” he said.

“We’ve met a lot of new friends we wouldn’t have met otherwise,” Shiu continued adding they try to have as much variety while maintaining their metal millieu.
“Our focus is to bring in many kinds of  metal  which wouldn’t be able to play most Lethbridge venues but at the same time appealing to as many kinds of tastes as possible,” said Enceladus bassist and  incoming president Andrew Tedder, who was vice-president this year, adding the Society is already looking at next year as they take summer off due to the students going back home for the summer.
 A version of this story also appears in the April 7 edition of the Lethbridge Sun-Times

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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