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"Oh to be a Townie" - A Night with X Ambassadors and Noah Gundersen

words by Dyanna Kampman

photos by Captured Beyond Today

On April 12th, at our very own Coors Event Centre, X Ambassadors alongside opener Noah Gundersen took the stage and left a little piece of us all on it. I am always in awe of the way Saskatoon shows up for the artists they love… We were lined up down the street!

My heart will permanently have a soft spot for a single soul with an acoustic guitar on a stage. The trust someone must have to let their heart bleed out under a spotlight and hope you took something kind from it is astounding. Noah Gundersen left us speechless. I don’t think I heard a single breath when he began to play. They genuinely couldn’t have picked a better opener. I had friends who attended solely because he was playing, and after his set I understood why. His perspective is beautiful. All I can say is everybody should take a moment to listen to A Raven and a Dove: Acoustic Selections from Lover (that’s what I’m playing at this very moment, and I think it would be nice if we both were listening to it -almost like a music date). 

Or it’s a hard rain honey but it’s never gonna flood.” – Robin Williams (Acoustic)

Y’all this was my first X Ambassadors show and I can tell you right now it will NOT be my last. I’m kind of upset with myself that I didn’t hop on the train sooner! But perhaps the worlds scheduling will always go undefeated, because being a first timer in their crowd felt like laying in the park at midnight with the ones who know what your real laugh sounds like. I had heard a few songs before like "Unsteady" (oldie but a goodie) and "Renegades" (which was so much to hear everyone sing along to) but diving deeper into their catalogue was a magnificence I didn’t realize I was depriving myself of.

I MUST be completely honest with you – I didn’t (fully) listen to their newest album (Townie) before the show because, when I have the chance to hear it from the artist first, I will always be taking that opportunity. It’s one thing to hear the music but it’s a completely different thing to listen to it from them directly. Their album evokes a certain nostalgia about being present with yourself and the remnants of what’s made us. It’s about their town. It’s about your city. It’s about them. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about us. 

“Someone’s singing karaoke, just a Townie playing make-believe.” – Your Town 

Some days I find it hard to put everything I’ve heard and experienced into sentences that others would easily digest. All I can think about right now is the way I felt standing on the outskirts of that crowd and the way I felt walking out of those doors. I felt like I wanted to notice more, and that maybe I’m noticed a lot more than I think I am. I wanted to sway side to side with the strangers standing next to me holding hands remembering why they chose one another during "Half-Life". I felt like I needed to call my mom and ask her if she laughed today after I heard "Follow the Sound of My Voice". I wanted to go back and tell myself it all matters during "Sunoco". Everything, it all matters. Even if you don’t quite know why yet. “Don’t forget about me.” 

It's never too late to hop on the train, and there will always be room for you. Always! And when you’re ready to listen, they’re ready to fill the room. I’m sorry if you missed both of these great artists this time around, but I’m crossing my fingers I’ll see you at the next! 

…I said hey hey hey HEY... livin' like we’re renegades….  


Someone just happy to be here. 

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