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The Biggest Barroom-style Singalong Comprised Of Metal Sea Shanties Ever - Alestorm Parties With Saskatoon

Images by Brian Snell/Snelsey Photos (IG: @snelsey and FB: @snelseyphotos)

Alestorm - Coors Event Centre, Saskatoon, SK. April 3rd, 2024

Metal fans visiting Coors Event Centre were treated to an epic musical journey on April 3, 2024. Beginning with intergalactic mercenaries, Glyph, followed by fantastical Elvenking, and ending with irreverent pirate metal band, Alestorm. Dragons were slayed, battles waged and the grand finale was the best damn pirate drinking party you’ve ever seen. 


Fresh on their musical journey, Glyph’s appearance in Saskatoon marks their eleventh show ever. Despite incurring a back injury shortly before the show, Captain R.A. Voltaire reveals his prowess at engaging with the sea of people before him. “Do you like dragons?” Thundering agreement follows before he states, “That’s good to know because we hate dragons! Let us tell you a story about why . . .” and they embark on “A Storm of Crimson Fire”. Each song is a majestic tale with “March of the Northern Clan” doing double duty as a lyrical grand adventure and a sweeping instrumental saga. Fans eagerly engage with the Captain when he leads them through “vocal warmups” in preparation for the night’s singing.


As the stage darkens, dulcet tones plunge you into a world of fantasy and Elvenking takes the stage. Don’t let those sweet notes fool you, when lead singer Damna arrives with a magnificent antler crown adorning his head, “Rapture” quickly turns dark and dramatic. After warming the crowd up with a few songs, he shares that this tour is a bit emotional for them as it is their first visit to Canada. Wanting to ensure everyone leaves with good memories of their first Elvenking experience, he leads the progressively louder and louder chanting of “Hey! Hey! Hey!” before flowing into “Silverseal” and “Moonbeam Stone Circle.” Both songs work to ramp up the energy of the night. 

One of the most notable things about Elvenking is how humble they are—frequently thanking the audience for being there and participating in the show. They might be here to entertain but their hearts are surely being filled in return. And the people respond in kind to their energy. Eagerly responding with deafening screams and forming a moshpit when Damna says, “There’s room for a bigger circle there.” Waving his hand in a circle and stating, “I think we have the right song for it.” 

Elvenking and Glyph have done their jobs well when the crowd begins chanting “Ale. Storm. Ale. Storm.” before the stage is ready for them to arrive. The main floor area is filled with people wearing everything from kilts and inflatable cutlasses to full-on pirate attire to band t-shirts and jeans. Even a Greenwing t-shirt was spotted showing just how diverse the listening interests of this crowd are.


You might expect a band dubbed “pirate metal” to appear in fancy buckled jackets with tricorn hats. Maybe a pegleg or an eye patch. You would be wrong because Alestorm comes wielding their own brand of madness featuring lime green, rubber duckies and ball caps. Lead singer and keytarist, Christopher Bowes, sports a kilt in acknowledgement of their Scottish origins and the only real notable nod to pirates is drummer, Peter Alcorn’s, drumkit which bears Alestorm’s skull octopus logo but the drumkit itself vaguely resembles an octopus or Kraken. They don’t fit anyone’s mold and they’re here to party. 

Opening their set with the announcement that they’re “here to get drunk” Bowes sips on a beer before they launch into the biggest barroom style singalong comprised of metal sea shanty’s. Picture those nights you were at the pub and the whole bar started singing along with the band. This is that. On steroids. And much much heavier. With a dash of pop and rap for some added spice. It's a good thing the openers helped everyone warm up their vocal cords. 

Singing. Screaming. There isn’t a song the audience doesn’t know. They’re here for it. For the pleasure of it. For the visual banter between bandmates. For the coordinated dance moves and jumps. Especially for the shark-headed dude wearing the Jaws t-shirt and a kilt that raps along to their cover of “Hangover.” Their Saskie hearts bliss out when Bowes announces “This is a little Canadian song we’ve been wanting to play for a while.” before plunging into the one and only “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate” which replaced their typical “Uzbekistan” that has been filling this spot in their tour setlist. This crowd wouldn’t have it any other way. 

The onslaught of party vibes was tempered briefly by a single mellow song when Bowes states “It's time to slow this shit down. If you know the words, sing along. If you don’t just  . . . Row. Your. Boat” and making the rowing motions. “Nancy The Tavern Witch” is sung by the entire place before the party revives full scale with “P. A. R. T. Y” until they leave the stage for the shortest-ever call for an encore. Returning with the ever-popular “Drink” and closing out the show with the vulgar metal sea shanty you didn’t know you needed but you absolutely do, “ Fucked With An Anchor”. 

Despite their mocking attitudes, Alestorm delivered a wicked show that satisfied the dark little hearts of Saskatoon’s metalheads. Inspiring in everyone a rebellious need to enjoy the little things in life like a good drink, people to enjoy the party with, and a desire to say “fuck you” just a little more than we already do. And have a damn good time doing it. 

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