photos and article by Janice Stobie-Rushton
Janice is a freelance event photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta
*Streetheart closed out night 2 of the Pigeon Lake Music Festival
Live music is back just in time for summer festivals! Let’s get this show on the road!
One of the best bands to see live is making two stops in Saskatchewan this summer. Streetheart is taking the stage at Shake the Lake in Regina, August 13 with the Headpins and Honeymoon Suite, and headlining Rock the River in Saskatoon on August 22 with Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd.
What makes Streetheart such an incredible live show is the energy the band has on stage. The intro music starts and the crowd goes wild. The interaction and enthusiasm with the fans, getting fists in the air during "One More Time", or singing an entire verse of "What Kind Of Love is This", the crowd is on its feet the entire show. I’ve seen "Under My Thumb" stretched into a jazzy 20 minute number bouncing between the keyboard, bass and guitar solos. It’s as though the stage is where they get to be young and carefree again, and for the audience, it’s a chance to share that joy.
Vocalist and founding member Kenny Shields had a unique way of catching the audience’s attention and making it feel like they were playing just for you. He loved interacting with his audience, shaking hands, bumping fists or simply pointing to you with the biggest grin on his face. The band still sends a shoutout to Kenny at every show.
Since the untimely passing of Kenny Shields in 2017, Paul McNair has taken over vocals and given it his own energy, adding depth with the acoustic guitar and of course more cowbell! His voice is well complemented by keyboardist Daryl Gutheil, who still manages to hit those high notes. Daryl is the conductor, guiding everyone from behind the keys, he does not miss a thing. Since Covid-19 changed everyone’s plans, the band took the opportunity to write and record some new music, one of which fittingly called "Get the Show on the Road", we heard for the first time opening the show at the Pigeon Lake Music Festival on July 31st. Knowing that Daryl is behind a lot of the writing and is called their secret weapon, I eagerly look forward to hearing more.
Being back on the road probably felt a little strange but you would never know it when you see Streetheart on stage. From start to finish, Jeff Neill drives the crowd with his intense riffs, demanding everyone’s attention as he lifts his guitar in the air. His rally cries stir up the crowd as he gives it everything he has. As Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve walks to centre stage, he takes a moment and begins the most recognized bass line intro. "Action" is a huge fan favourite and is always played with such high intensity. It has everyone singing along. The playful way Neill and Sinnaeve duel on stage is fun to watch.
Chris Sutherland fits in well with the group, keeping everyone in time, all with a grin on his face. The past year and a half without live music has given me an appreciation for sheer joy of watching these guys doing what they love.
If you haven’t seen Streetheart in person, why not? We’ve been without live shows for so long. Knowing what we were missing, it’s nice to see some action again - "One More Time".
*Streetheart will an energetic set to Saskatchewan in the next few weeks