by Scott Roos
It’s all happening or, to put it more accurately, it’s all about to happen. Rock 102 presents: One Bad Son with BRKN Love and Whale and the Wolf is just a few days away now. Billed as a “thank you for 20 years of rock” by the popular, Saskatoon based radio station, this banger of a concert is taking place at Sasktel Centre this Saturday, July 23rd at 7:30 pm. Tickets were free on a “first come, first served” basis.
Previously announced as being sold out, just in the past few days the venue has been able to make room for some more seats so more tickets are available. Get ‘em while they’re hot folks because this gig is shaping up to be one of the more memorable events in S’toon since the pre-covid days.
BRKN Love is the only non-Sask artist on this prestigious bill. Fronted by the Toronto based singer/guitarist Benlolo and filled out by New Yorkers Nick Katz (bass), Russell Holzman (drums) and Kyle Duke (guitar) they’ve gotten a fair amount of airplay from Rock 102 these past few months and are coming off the June release of their Vol. 1 ep via Spinefarm records. Back in April, the band was in Saskatoon supporting Monster Truck when they played the Roxy. It must be almost unfathomable for Benlolo to imagine playing in front of the estimated 15K peoepl at Sasktel Centre this Saturday. To him, it’s a dream come true.
“This is going to be nuts. I keep imagining this sea of people in front of me when we're on stage. I can't wait. I'm all jacked up already just thinking about it,” BRKN Love guitarist/frontman Justin Benlolo told NSMZ.
Sonically, the BRKN Love’s vibe is well suited to the arena stage. Their tasty, monolithic riffs are sort of a modern take on 90’s era grunge Soundgarden. Their songs feature the soaring vocals of Benlolo. Choruses are hook laden and catchy as f*ck without reinventing the proverbial rock n roll wheel. They are a high energy band that is fun to watch. In short, if you wanna rock out while screaming some singalong lyrics at the top of your lungs then warm up your vocal chords Saskatoon because these guys are coming for ya.
“We just kind of get together and let the good times roll,” explains Benlolo of his band’s freewheeling, spontaneous nature on stage. He’s looking forward to having some more room to move on the Sasktel Centre stage.
“We've been that band a million times where we were the first of three (in a smaller venue). You've got this tiny little corner. There's the headliner drum set, then direct support drum set and then our drums in front of it. And then my heel is two inches away from the kick drum. I might buy a super long guitar cable for (the Sasktel Centre) show so I can walk around a little bit further. My cable's pretty long but I might need an 80 footer or something for this show. (laughs),” continued Benlolo.
What Rock 102 is doing with this concert is very commendable. They are elevating two homegrown acts in One Bad Son and Whale and the Wolf and also, at the same time, giving an exciting up and coming act like BRKN Love their chance to shine. The free admission also gives each of these acts the opportunity to schlep some merch where otherwise the normal, weighty cost of tickets might prevent the average concert goer from doing so. It’s literally a golden opportunity which is not lost on Benlolo.
“We're going to bring a f*ck ton of merch just because it's such a huge show. I have some new designs that are getting made right now that we're gonna have at the show too. Like the first ever print of whatever. There will be some exclusives that have never been seen before so there will be some cool shirts as well,” Benlolo said.
As per the venue at press time:
Tickets were SOLD OUT as of July 15, but with staging confirmed a LIMITED number of tickets have been released to the public for the FREE show.
There is a limit of four tickets per person. All tickets are general admission seating and non-transferrable. Doors open Saturday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7:30 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Early arrival is recommended.
Tickets can be picked up here: