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Capitol 10th: Kieran Gardner Wraps Up Anniversary Celebrations

Updated: Jun 9

Article and Photos by Melanie Macpherson

The Capitol Music Club wrapped up its 10th Anniversary Celebrations this weekend with a final musical performance headlined by Kieran Gardner and The Blucher Boys, with Evan Baxter and Janna McLean opening the night. It was an all-ages show, and the room was packed with enthusiastic fans, most of which were teens or very young adults.

Janna McLean opened the evening, supported by her sister Cait on vocals and Jason Yanke on guitar. Their set, comprised mainly of covers, had the crowd singing along to every word. The harmonies between the sisters were lovely, and McLean’s admiration for the Chicks was evident as she performed "Wide Open Spaces," "Landslide," and "Cowboy Take Me Away." Taylor Swift’s "Our Song" and a rousing sing-along to "Mean" closed her set, keeping the audience engaged and entertained. Taylor Swift was a favourite with "Our Song" and "Mean", which was her final song and was a massive sing along.

Evan Baxter followed, accompanied by Matthew Facca. Baxter's rich, gravelly voice gave him an unexpected maturity. He played some original songs like "The Show" and covered a wide range of genres, from traditional country to Goo Goo Dolls, Foo Fighters, and CCR. His voice suits both rock and country well, and it was enjoyable to sing along to all the familiar tunes. He ended his set with a fun rendition of Sturgill Simpson's "You Can Have the Crown," leaving the crowd in high spirits and ready for the main event.

The headliners, Kieran Gardner and The Blucher Boys, brought a mix of original songs and covers to the stage. Gardner, a 17-year-old country crooner from Clavet, Saskatchewan, is clearly an emerging talent in the local scene. His backup band, featuring Jason Yanke on fiddle and drums (sometimes at the same time), Brad Yanke on bass guitar and standup bass, and Trey Goebel on lead guitar and backup vocals, provided solid support.

He played some great original music, including his first song "Last December", his most recent "Whiskey", and my favourite "Strangers Again", which really shows off the buttery smooth tone of Gardner's voice. He even showcased a new song called "Liquor Can't Replace" which will be his next big release. Gardner seems to write and sing with the soul of someone much older, giving his music an unexpected depth. The covers were a hit, particularly his fantastic rendition of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Cadillac Ranch" and a surprising mashup medley that included "I Should Have Been a Cowboy," "Heads Carolina, Tails California," Billy Idol's "Mony Mony," "Sweet Home Alabama," "She's Country," "Fishin' in the Dark," and "Beer Never Broke My Heart."

Trey Goebel took over for a couple of songs, performing "Broken Halos" and "Don’t Tell Me No Lies," giving Gardner a brief rest. Gardner returned to lead the crowd in sing-alongs to classic country hits like John Michael Montgomery's "Sold" and Tim McGraw's "I Like It, I Love It," before closing the night with Zach Bryan’s "Revival."

After the show, the performers mingled with fans, taking pictures and chatting, showing their appreciation for the support. It's clear they have a dedicated following of young, enthusiastic fans. As we left the venue and headed out into the rain, I couldn’t help but think about how many of the songs played were ones I grew up with; the soundtrack of my own youth. It was amazing to see the equally young audience know every word to so many songs that were popular long before they were born.

Overall, the night was a great showcase of young local artists with plenty of potential, and It will definitely be interesting to see where their roads lead in the next few years.

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