May 26th, 2018

Hedley is coming out of the cage and into Medicine Hat

By Chris Brown on February 10, 2018.

Valentine’s Day just got a whole lot sweeter for any singles going to see Hedley Feb. 14 at the Canalta Centre. But you’re going to have to share and play nice.

“If anybody’s coming that doesn’t have a Valentine just consider us your Valentine’s date, Medicine Hat,” guitarist Dave Rosin said this week.

Hedley is known as a band that takes the phrase “expect the unexpected” to heart when it comes to the live shows and the fans so who knows what the band may have cooked up to make the night an unforgettable one.

“Maybe we’ll hit up a flower shop and dust the crowd with flowers or maybe we’ll just use our poetry or maybe we’ll just kiss and hug as much as we can,” Rosin said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, we’re happy to be someone’s entertainment for date night.”

The Cageless tour, named for the album released last year, began this week in B.C. after about four months of rehearsals and planning. Better days is not only the name of the band’s latest single, but also the mood around the band in the first week of the new tour.

“I get this natural high of being on stage and playing in front of people. But more than that there’s this other feeling that I get on tour about five, six days in where everybody is packed and away from home because touring is a very set rhythm and a set schedule every day now it starts to feel normal again,” Rosin explains. “About that sixth day everyone starts to feel really relaxed and comfortable. Even the crew, you can tell everyone is having a good time. I think I really live for that moment, because that’s when it’s like everybody’s having fun, everybody’s relaxed and doing their job and it’s like ‘OK, let’s play tonight.'”

One of the most difficult parts of the preparation was deciding on a setlist. With seven albums and a dozen years worth of material to choose from it’s quite a task to squeeze in all the old favourites they and the fans love, like “Hello” and “Invincible,” plus the new material from “Cageless,” like the first singles “Love Again” and “Better Days.” Plus they’ve been having some fun with some of their older songs, giving them a “digital reboot” to bring them into 2018 and take their fans on a journey as they all grow together.

That journey and the relationship between the band — frontman Jacob Hoggard, bassist Tommy Mac and new drummer Jay Beni — and fans is a symbiotic one. As the fans fuel the band, the band fuels the fans and around and around it goes.

“If someone’s taking that night off of work, if they’re coming down with their best friend, they’ve learned songs, they’ve got a ticket, they’ve maybe bought a t-shirt, that means a lot to us, that is not lost on us,” Rosin said. “We’re going to leave everything on stage.”

And if Hedley has its way, Rosin said, there will be a lot of hoarse voices leaving the show.

“Maybe throat lozenge sales will go up the next day if everybody’s having to go in with no voice at work.”

Tickets for the Feb. 14 show start at $25 and are available at, by phone at 1-855-985-5000 or at the Canalta Centre box office. Shawn Hook and Neon Dreams open the show, set to start at 7 p.m.

Hedley was found in three categories when the 2018 Juno Awards nominations were announced on Tuesday. The band is up for Fans Choice Award, Group of the Year and Pop Album of the Year at the March 25 ceremony from Vancouver.

“Very fortunate, very proud,” said Dave Rosin. “Good on Jake, he wrote a heck of a record and the team that we have to help us pull off putting out the music is just fantastic.”

Rosin said they’re happy the record is speaking to people and that it’s on a high level with people and musicians they are fans of and consider peers.

He said they’re also looking forward to showing off their hometown of Vancouver, hanging out with other artists and seeing Barenaked Ladies and Steven Page inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, calling the band a big influence.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Rosin said. “We’re proud to be Canadian, we wear it on our sleeves wherever we travel and to be part of the Canadian music scene, I think it’s a very exciting time be a band in Canada right now.”

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