Article and Photos by Melanie Macpherson
It was a night of firsts for me. Last Saturday, January 20, Whale and the Wolf made the last stop of their Canadian tour at Amigos Cantina in Saskatoon. The event was originally scheduled for September but had to be postponed due to illness. The show was sold out and the venue was more packed than I’ve ever seen it.
Checkout Queens opened the show with a (too short for my liking) powerful 5 song set. Sporting sparkly red makeup in homage to the ENVY album cover, and the brain bendiest pair of pants I’ve ever seen, Oli Guselle was once again captivating. The interplay and chemistry with co-vocalist Avery Wall just keeps getting better. They ended with “Heavy Metal Bakesale”, which is easily my favourite song off of their newly released EP. I mean, how can you not love a song that musically threatens the ultimate betrayal; secretly replacing chocolate chips with raisins?
It was my first time seeing Valley Bandits live. They were fun and energetic and during their last song started the first circle mosh pit I’ve ever seen at Amigos. At least I think that’s what it was, it was such a crush, I couldn’t see much other than the unfortunate people on the edges crashing into tables.
Whale and the Wolf put on the most polished and streamlined show I’ve ever seen them perform. They played lots of songs from the new album, ENVY, but didn’t neglect their early work. Local artist, Graham Tilsley, joined the band for a song in tribute to the late Taylor Johnson. They played a two song encore, after an extremely short break. The audience chanted the usual “one more song”, to which the band replied, “we have 2 more but we can just do one if you’d prefer, we won’t even make you wait.” This was met by a roar of approval and the chant changed to “two more songs”. The first was a medley of older songs like Shiver (one of my favourites), and they ended the night with their biggest song, “Veins”. It was the moment the crowd was waiting for and the ecstatic horde erupted into a rambunctious sing along. Normally after a show ends, the venue clears out pretty quickly, but Amigos stayed packed as people crowded the merch table to meet the band and buy some super cool swag. It was an incredible night full of great food, amazing music and some truly memorable moments.