Review: Skomorowski Delivers Heartfelt, Intimate Album Release Show to Supportive Rawlinson Audience
By Lauren Lohneis
On April 7th, 2021, Kayleigh Skomorowski took to the stage at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre to share music from her newest album entitled Stay Wild. Backed by her band (consisting of Joel Rohs on electric guitar and backup vocals, Kayanna Wirtz on acoustic guitar, backup vocals, and synth, Danny Earl on drums, and Kirk Pilon on bass), Skomorowski entertained the small, intimate audience with songs about love, life, wonder, and reflection for 90 minutes with no intermission. Due to provincial Covid-19 restrictions capping the allowed audience at 30 people, many people also tuned into the livestream to catch the show from the comfort of their own homes.
Attired in a long floral print dress and playing barefoot after she kicked her shoes off by the second song, Skomorowski shared her music that was heartfelt and born of her many life experiences as a teacher, musician, and the mother of two young boys. Her lyrics were poignant and loving, particularly in the songs she wrote using her children as her inspiration, including “Fly Away,” an introspective ballad written for her 6-year-old son who has taken a keen interest in birdwatching during the Covid pandemic.
Skomorowski’s relationship with the band was evident as the group quipped one-liners back and forth throughout the show. The group’s fun-loving demeanor allowed the audience to feel relaxed and as though they were among friends, though in the small community of Prince Albert, that likely was the case for the band and many of the audience members.
Despite not having played a full set since November of 2010 when she released her first album A Little Something For Everyone, Skomorowski appeared calm and confident at the piano and seemed to soak in the entire experience of being on stage in front of a live audience.
True to the title of her first album, this show contained a little something for everyone, from fully scored up-tempo pieces with the entire band, to acoustic ballads with only Skomorowski in the spotlight at the grand piano. Skomorowski played songs from both albums, and her growth over the past decade was evident in the lyrics which varied greatly from her 2010 album to 2021. At the conclusion of the evening, the crowd gave a standing ovation, prompting Skomorowski and the band to return to the stage to play an encore.
The E.A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts did a fantastic job of providing a professional concert experience while also ensuring that all Covid-19 safety precautions were taken. Skomorowski sat centre stage at the grand piano while the band was positioned behind her, distanced across the entire stage with each musician on their own separate platform. The sound, lighting, and set design was of professional quality, and really allowed the talents of this local act to shine through. The audience was small and spaced apart with several rows of seats left vacant throughout the theatre to promote social distancing, and everyone in the building was masked at all times, including the artists on stage, the volunteers, and the audience. Despite all of these necessary precautions, the vibe from everyone present was that it was all very much worth it to be able to witness live music in a theatre during a pandemic that has taken so much away from the performing arts.
*photos by Scott Roos