Review: Katelyn Lehner Rocks the Vizzy (May 5th/2023)
Updated: May 17
By Deanna Roos
Warning: this will be a review from the viewpoint of photographer, music connoisseur, and musician. It’s maybe more of a blog (if that’s still a thing) than a review….but it’s honest nonetheless.
I first met Katelyn in 2020 when we met in Little Red River Park outside of Prince Albert for a photoshoot. She was working on some recordings at the time and just getting started. I knew it was going to be a fun shoot when one of the first things I asked her to do was climb up onto a large rock and pose with her guitar, and without hesitation she jumped up. When musicians are willing to put themselves out there and just “go for it”, there’s a sense that there might be something special. Not just a great photo – but someone that has the potential to make some great music and who could be a dynamic performer.
Fast forward to May 2023 when the planets aligned and I finally got the opportunity to hear Katelyn live with her full band on the Vizzy Stage of Coors Event Centre. She played a mix of her original tunes – some of which have charted on the Canadian Country Music scene -- along with some delightful covers. The show was well-thought out in pace and energy and had just the right level of charisma between Katelyn, her band, and the audience to make even the surliest of individuals tap their foot. I was genuinely surprised by some of the vocal gymnastics – more complicated, in-tune, and precise then you often hear in a live situation especially when someone is moving around the stage.
Disclaimer: out of tune singing is a deal breaker for me in my ability to enjoy music live and I can be super critical. I’m a pitch snob… but I’m working through this.
Finally, I could go on and on about specific things that I loved about the performance but most people stop reading at around 400 words which I’m nearing now so I’ll get on with it. The thing about Katelyn that I love most is her authenticity. It shines through the lyrics and melodies that she creates which has given her a unique sound. It’s evident in her ability to connect with her audience and how she talks to her fans after the show during meet and greet.
I’ve met and watched a lot of famous musicians, and not so famous musicians over the years and what sets apart the people that made it is this same authenticity and elevated level of performance. For this reason, I’m making her my up and coming person to watch in the Sask Music Industry.
I’d be remiss not to mention the opener for the night, PA’s own Josh Stumpf. He played a stripped down set with vocals, acoustic guitar and Andy Schumack on electric guitar. This included an original song about a breakup that hit the perfect level of sadness and recklessness to make me intrigued about what he might do with his writing in the future.