On another beautiful, unseasonably hot Friday night in Banff, 1500+ people gathered in the Shaw Amphitheater at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for a sold out show. Canadian music fans showed us that you don’t need to go to the Calgary Stampede for a rockin’ good time on a Friday night.

The sun beat down and the Big Rock beer was flowing. This kind of heat is uncommon in Banff, so much so that the crowd actually applauded when a scarce cloud made an appearance. In true Canadian fashion, a crowd is never deterred by the weather – hot or cold – and the audience sprung to their feet at the first strum of the guitar.  No Canadian has ever turned their nose up to a good tune and they weren’t about to start now.

Lucas Chaisson kicked off the evening by reminding us how well gin and love songs go together. Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Chaisson brought his earthy folk style to the heart of the Rockies and did not disappoint. He was certainly the winning choice to kick off an evening of pure Canadiana.

I’ve always assumed that as a Canadian, an unwritten rule to keeping our citizenship has been to see Blue Rodeo at least 5 times in your lifetime.  I think this marked No. 6 for me, but the amount of Canadian beer consumed at these shindigs makes it hard to keep count. Young or old, their music resonates through generations and everyone in attendance is always guaranteed to have a good time.

Considering the amount of time I spend complaining about “youth” (yes, I’ve gotten quite crusty in my ripe old age of 29), I can’t be upset about being at the kind of concert where it’s the 45 yr old woman screaming “Hold my drink, I just wanna dance!”. Mothers and daughters, swaying to the beat, going drink for drink. I had no complaints with this crowd.

As the smell of the good green stuff waifs through the air I was quickly reminded that this isn’t just a bunch of old folks in lawn chairs, these are the people who paved the way for the rock scene I cherish so dearly. We owe them a debt of gratitude. This is the kind of music that takes you away; away from your job and the little stresses of life and encourages you to let go and just live. I couldn’t help but smile as beach balls started bouncing through the crowd. Mind you…they could use a little more practice with the hand eye co-ordination. But maybe we can blame that on the aforementioned green.

As Dave and I stood on the sidelines to enjoy the rest of the show, it was explained to me that the thing that keeps drawing the ladies back time and time again is Jim Cuddy’s ability to make every female in the crowd believe he’s singing right to them. There were at least 500 women in attendance that firmly believed that Jim Cuddy would be their second (or third) husband by the end of the night. I could tell that this undying love wouldn’t necessarily resonate with me, but for a band who’s been at it this long and keeps selling out venues time and time again, they must be doing something right. Keep ’em thirsty boys!