Billy Talent w/ The Static Shift @ The Calgary Stampede

Billy Talent
w/The Static Shift
Calgary Stampede
Coca-Cola Stage
July 15, 2018

Photos Courtesy of J. Dirom Photography

The final night of the 10-day Calgary Stampede was another hot one.

Just as the previous nine days before, crowds gathered at the Coca-Cola Stage to take in an evening of free, open-air music.

Calgary has a rich and diverse music scene, which is something the organizers at the Calgary Stampede are starting to recognize – inviting several local acts to perform this year.

The Static Shift is one of a handful of local acts to perform on the Stampede grounds this year.

With the release of the single, “Wide Awake”, this young trio has been on a whirlwind of stops across Canada. They just finished up the western leg of a tour with Collective Soul, and now were back home to open for Canadian punk rockers, Billy Talent.

Their 30-minute set of stripped down, blues-infused rock was well received by the several hundred gathered at the Coke Stage. This was clearly a home town crowd for a home town band. They bring a freshness to a genre that has been around for decades, and I hope for nothing but great success for these guys!

After a short break it was on to the main event. Billy Talent started their almost 90-minute set with the 2006 hit, “Devil in a Midnight Mass”. By now, the crowd had swelled to little to no standing room around the stage.

Known for their high energy shows, frontman, Benjamin Kowalewicz was animated, as always, while bandmates, Ian D’Sa, Jonathan Gallant and Aaron Solowoniuk were on point and feeding off the energetic crowd.

There was plenty of crowd surfing, and at one point, a stuffed animal (I think it was a dog), won on the midway got into the crowd surfing action. I found it quite comical as the poor critter kept losing stuffing with each toss, which added a heightened sense of chaos to the scene.  A chaos that seemed fitting for a no-holds barred Billy Talent concert.

Billy Talent Setlist:
Devil in a Midnight Mass
This Suffering
Big Red Gun
Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats
The Ex
Saint Veronika
Diamond on a Landmine
Stand Up and Run
This Is How It Goes
Rusted from the Rain
Pins and Needles
Bulls on Parade
River Below
Surprise Surprise
Afraid of Heights
Try Honesty
Devil on My Shoulder

Viking Death March
Red Flag
Fallen Leaves


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