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"Wilderness found in the heart of the city" - A Night with The Wilderness and Cooper Tropeau & The Broken Bones

by Dyanna Kampman

photos by Captured Beyond Today

On Thursday, April 18th, our very own Cooper Tropeau and his trusty Broken Bones warmed up the Coors Event Center for touring band The Wilderness— who traveled all the way from Kingston, Ontario just to get us on our feet. 

Cooper Tropeau & The Broken Bones have been stirring up a bit of trouble in our local bars. Haven’t you heard? The distant sound of boots tapping on worn down wood to the rhythm of some good ole country music. That’s them! I dare you to follow the sound next time it carries itself in your direction. Cooper has been a busy member of our local music community since 2019, putting out his first single “None of My Friends”, with an EP smack dab in the middle (Life of The Party), to his most recent release “Soul to Save”. What a wonderful thing to be able to peek inside not only his musical journey, but his process of understanding life and his role in it— and then, because he is one of US, we can go for a beer after! O’shea’s anyone? …and surprise…surprise… the Broken Bones consist of a bunch of Saskatoon’s artists as well. From Liam (ARIE) to EJ (wastedtime.) and every now and then Matt Johner (The Johner boys) steps in to play the drums (where Coopers brother, Gunner, normally sits). Cooper Tropeau has been not only a huge inspiration to his community, but a HUGE supporter. To be so versatile that you can make spectacular music AND help others do so as well.  Anyways, they’ve been a busy group of friends and with the love for music they have, I’d be surprised if you never find yourself in the crowd of one of their upcoming shows.

I am going to take this intermission to give you a little PSA. From me. It’s my PSA. Dance in the front row to songs you’ve never heard before. Jump around with your sister. Clap a little bit off beat. Sing at the top of your lungs, even if you get the words wrong. Do the worm for all I care. It’s okay to be a little braver than you were yesterday. Let’s dance! Shall we?

Alright team. Let’s explore The Wilderness. I don’t even know what to tell you. You should’ve been there? Let’s be honest though, there probably isn’t a show I’d tell you NOT to attend. Every show has a little something you can love. Anything can change you if you’re listening hard enough. Should I introduce you to the band? 

Jonas Lewis-Anthony: Guitars & Lead Vocals

Nicholas Lennox: Saxophones, Vocals, Keys & Percussion

Tõnu Karl Tomback: Bass

Hank Lawrence: Drums & Vocals

Liam Neale: Keys & Percussion 

Max Tinline: Lead Guitars & Vocals

A group of six rock n’ rollers just doing what they love. Dancing across bar tops and asking for a shot of whiskey. These guys gave us one of the best nights of April so far; and not JUST because of how they filled the room with so much life. By the end of the night, they had all of us moving our feet. ALL OF US! We all laughed, and danced, and screamed louder than we probably should’ve.

The Wilderness is currently traveling through cities in a worn-down RV with an album full of proverbial hits.  “Strangers I Used to Love” has quickly become a collection of work that creeps back into my weekly rotation. Not only is it the title of their 2024 album, it is also the title of one of my favorite songs from it.  Trust me… listen to it. I’m currently listening back through their setlist (I will always snag the setlist) and if I’m being truthful, even the melancholy themes make me want to jump around and sing with them. It’s a special ability to take a heavy feeling and turn into something you’re thankful for being able to experience. We truly are just figuring out for ourselves. How does heartbreak bloom? Why does wishing for something more make you smaller? How does it feel to have made it this far? Can you imagine what a year could do?

“I can stand tall with all my brothers, no different than all the others. And I can grow as old as I should’ve with you, love.” – The Arboretum

I think you all should listen to “Turn It Around” and tell me it doesn’t make you want to dramatically drop to your knees and scream the lyrics. Nicholas Lennox even took his saxophone into the middle of the crowd… who does that? It was all so much fun. Even as I’m listening to “Garden of England” I am overwhelmed by how much I love it when you can tell the music was written from a personal experience. A feeling and definition which only existed within them for a few moments… just knowing it was theirs and they let the world listen in. I feel like I always say that though, and how often I reiterate how thankful I am to be able to listen. To hear what others have to say. The Wilderness has honorably earned their way into one of my top five concerts of the year so far. The way they brought that room to life. The way they brought a group of strangers together to dance for one night. The way they managed to get six people on the Vizzy stage and no one stepped on each other’s toes. The Wilderness filled that place with so much love and laughter. 

It was fun.  It was all just so much fun. Every minute of it. I am so glad to have laughed with you. I am so happy to have danced.

I love music that I would’ve never listened to unless I was granted this opportunity to write about them. I love the music my friends make. I love the music my little sister sends me. Anyways, go buy a ticket to a random band that could change your life, or even just your night—that is just as beautiful. Who knows… You might end up at a bar across the street with them.

ROCK N’ ROLL PEOPLE! ROCK N’ ROLL. Oh! And the O’sheas patio. That too. 


I can’t believe you don’t wanna dance!

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