By Will Yannacoulias
SaskTel Centre Photos by Forges Photography
September 3, 2021, Amigos Cantina announced they would begin booking live music again after a pandemic-induced 18 month hiatus. The Amigos stage would re-awaken in style, with the dreamy synth sounds of Chasing Illusions and the cheeky pop-snarl of velours. Opening the night was GreenWing, a hitherto-unknown trio playing their first-ever show for a handful of friends and family. Nobody could have predicted the year to come for guitarist Matt Stinn, bassist Travis Williams and drummer Zakk Strelioff; singles, videos, an lp with a vinyl release, a solo recording artist joining the band as a fourth member, tour dates all over Western Canada, and the icing on the cake; an opening slot at The SaskTel Centre for major label recording artists Three Days Grace. 2022 has been a whirlwind year for GreenWing, and by way of saying ‘thanks for bringing us all along for the ride’, we’ve named them as NSMZ’s Group of the Year.
Summer singles “Social Cues” and “Late Bloomer” impressed with hard hitting riffs and catchy melodies, assuring listeners that GreenWing would deliver on the hype from their live shows. The singles were paired with fun live-take videos shot by Mila Media, featuring alternate versions of the songs. Both singles would appear on “Late Bloomer”, the full length album GreenWing released on September 28th (and soon to be available on Pepto-pink vinyl). Almost twenty live shows through spring and summer at a variety of venues in Saskatchewan and Alberta led up to the September 30th “Late Bloomer” release party, where GreenWing completely sold out the venue they debuted in only twelve months earlier. Shortly after the album release Stinn, Williams and Strelioff added second guitarist Anthony Allegretto of the band Left My Hands.
The album release party would have been a happy ending to the story if not for two small details; GreenWing was added as an opener to the Reignwolf/Whale & The Wolf concert at the Coors Event Center just before Halloween. This show’s status as their biggest yet was short-lived as the band unexpectedly got the call to open for Three Days Grace at the SaskTel Center two weeks later, appearing before a explosive hometown crowd of approximately three thousand.
When asked if luck follows hard work, Stinn responded “That’s a good way to sum up the last year- while we definitely feel like we’ve been working our asses off, we certainly lucked out in a couple instances and couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities and support that has come our way!”