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L.A. Beat

Lots of musical highlights happened in 2022

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The music and  arts community spent 2022 slowly finding it’s wheels again. Even though things opened up last July, a lot of people still don’t feel comfortable going out with the Covid of it all. Other people still don’t go out at all like even before Covid.


I had a milestone birthday this year and spent most of 2022 trying to deny it, but finally realizing even I  don’t have the energy to hit every every show every night anymore. I did treat myself to a new guitar and a couple Outlaw Country Cruises, if only because a lot of my favourite acts on the boat don’t ever or seldom get up here.


 So I missed a couple key shows owing to exhaustion and illness as well.  And I didn’t brave before minus 40 temperatures to  go to shows like I did back in the day. 


Bridgette Yarwood played a lot this year. Photo by Richard Amery

 I missed Hippodrome’s annual pre Christmas bash at the Slice and a couple of sold out shows by Corb Lund at the Owl Acoustic lounge. I missed the return of Barney Bentall’s Caribou Express  and Bryan Adams because I was on vacation and I missed a packed Mahones show owing to  exhaustion and preparing for vacation. But I still caught quite a few superb shows.


 As usual, 2022 has been a year fraught with poor attendance, but there has also been some outstanding music. New bands have formed and released new music, while old bands have disbanded and reformed as new bands. Local acts played most of the great local shows. And several local musicians released new music.

 Local theatre troupes made up for lost time by bringing back old favourites and trying to carve out new paths. Playgoers of Lethbridge is gearing up for their big 100th anniversary celebration  next year, which will begin with  the comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, happening at the Yates Theatre in February. The One Act play Festival was a Playgoers highlight in May.


 Long sanding local theatre troupe New West Theatre , had to  appeal to the community to keep going after trying a new experimental direction, which was well done including Ukrainian play Barvinok and Tony Award winning rock and roll musical “Next to Normal “, but didn’t  appeal to the masses as much as they hoped. Fortunately the community came through and raised enough money to let them live another day.

 Hatrix Theatre brought back old favourites the Gazebo in May and Evil Dead the Musical aptly in time for Halloween to enthusiastic audiences. The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society staged an outstanding production of Hamlet this summer outside Casa and in the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens and Galt Gardens among other places. Hootenanny returned with another fun kid’s production The Junk Show.


 Good Times continued to bring in excellent comedians. 

 Local comedian Faris Hytiaa filmed his first comedy special at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Aug. 12 and 13.One of my favourite comedians Ron James returned to the Yates Theatre for two excellent shows in November.

 And Cirque Du Soleil returned with a bug themed show “OVO” in May.


 The University of Lethbridge continued putting on great shows and Theatre Outré celebrated their tenth anniversary by continuing to push the boundaries wth more experimental and risqué material.

 So here are just a few of my favourite highlights memories and pictures. 


 This year was the year for talented tribute acts.  I was wondering what would happen after Average Joes closed and reopened as the Place. They have continued to be the unofficial local home of classic rockers the Chevelles as well as  superb tribute acts beginning in January with Motley Crüe tribute All  Bad Things rocking the Place, Jan. 28

Motley Crüe All Bad Things, Jan. 28.

It was a great year for local talent like Saints and Sinners who rocked the Slice, Jan. 27.

Eric Braun was playing with everyone this year, had his own show at casino Lethbridge, Jan. 28, and hosting jams at  Honkers Pub

 Tyrants of Chaos got ready to release  their new album “Relentless Thirst for Power” by tearing up the Slice, Jan. 15.

 Rotary Square outside Casa was the place to be for live entertainment this year even in the dead of winter. Luckily they had warm weather for Winterfest in Rotary Square, Jan. 14, featuring performances by Adequate and Karen Romanchuk to name a few,  

Greg Rekus Returned to the Owl in January Photo by Richard Amery

 Winnipeg Folk punk musician Greg Rekus returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Jan. 11. He will be back to host the Owl Acoustic Lounges open mic,  Jan 10.


The Slice started doing a lot more punk and metal shows this year. 


Medicine Hat metal band Western Death  played the Slice, Feb. 12

Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset released their new album “Doubt Freaks Us Out,” Feb. 5  at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Taylor Ackerman was playing with everyone this year including with Shaela Miller and Hell Diablo.

 Bridgette Yarwood Band played a lot this year including Feb. 4 at the  Slice with with local Tragically Hip tribute The Hip Trip.


 I got Covid for my birthday so was surprised I caught as many March and April shows as I did. 

Eamon McGrath playing an acoustic show at Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 4


 Got back from Outlaw Country Cruise 6 in time to catch Edmonton musician Vissia showing her pop side for a great show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 5.


Slice put on a couple cool songwriter in the rounds this year including March 5 with Don Kinahan , Connor Adams, Richard Inman and Marcus Sommer.

 I’m glad I caught Jr. Gone Wild who stopped by the Slice, March 12 in support of their new album “Still got the Jacket,” but was glad to see the Real McKenzies at the Owl, March 15 with Edmonton punk band  the Real Sickies.

 Alex Cuba played an excellent show at the Geomatic Attic, March 15.

Calgary rockabilly band Peter and the Wolves played one of several local shows including the  Owl Acoustic lounge, March 18.

The Lethbridge and District Music and speech Arts  Festival returned, March 28.


 The Geomatic Attic had a lot of great shows this spring including Steve Dawson, April 8. I Missed Harry Manx, April 16.

   More up and comers John and Scott Band played several times this year including at the Casino, April 8 and 9.

 More punk at the Slice with Screaming at Traffic and the Ringwalds, April 9.

 Red Hot Hayseeds are always a hoot. They played one of several Show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 9. 

More ’80s  tributes at the Place, April 14-16 with  Dave Chomiak’s Bon Jovi Tribute Runaway, Whitesnake Tribute Snake Bite , local Tragically Hip tribute Hip Trip , Edmonton Dokken tribute  Breaking the Chains and Scorpions Tribute the Zoo and Chomiak’s Def Leppard tribute Stage Fright. Rhere was also a cool Black Sabbath tribute  featuring Bridgette Yarwood.


The Slice continues doing a lot of punk and metal. Sessions played April 22  and Calgary nerd-core band the Galacticas played as a duo as their bassist got Covid

 Long awaited return of Billie Zizi to Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 22.


I didn’t catch a lot of Enmax shows but was glad to see Sue Foley, ZZ Top and Cheap Trick, though missed most of Cheap Trick due to family issues, April 27.

Sue Foley joined them for “California Man” for the show which had been rescheduled due to Covid.

Beloved bluesman Harpdog Brown passed away, Jan. 7 of a heart attack. Several local musicians including Papa King, Jolene Draper and Steve Martin, plus Charlie Jacobson played a hot memorial show for him, April 30 at the Owl Acoustic lounge.


Hatrix Theatre revisits old  favourites  with The Gazebo in May at the Moose hall as the other wing brought back Evil Dead the Musical to McNally School in October

Australian born, Chicago based bluesman Michael Charles played May 12 as part of Slicefest. He  would return in a few months.


Taylor Ackerman played with a lot of different people this year and released a new CD. Photo by Richard Amery

Ll’omelette played a couple shows at Slice featuring Peter and the Wolves Peter Cormier on drums and Meg Thompson on vocals and sax.

Canadian Brewhouse having live music including midnight Echo, though i missed their May 8 show.

 Corb Lund played two sold out shows at the Owl Acoustic lounge, may 12 and 13, which i missed.

Eamon McGrath returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, this time with a band, May 27.

Dead Army a couple of local shows, May 26 and in December.


Things got funky at the Slice, with a wild show from rage funk band Raincity, May 27.

Ryland Moranz played a couple excellent local shows this year including May 28. at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.


 Shakespeare in the Park put on a great production of Hamlet.

The Chevelles rocked The Place as usual, June 4.

Hamilton funnyman BA Johnston is always a hoot at the Owl. He returned to the stage, June 7 with Open Channels

 Kirb Fest made the leap to the Yates Theatre, June 17. It featured lots of local talent  including John Kirby, John Wort Hannam,,Steve Keenan plus plenty of young up and coming bands, including Desert Orchid and more

Calgary country musician Carter Felker is always good to see.He returned to the Slice June 16 in support of his new album.

 There was  awesome punk at Owl with Quit It! and Western Death, June 17.

It’s great to see Kingston rock band Glorious Sons  grow. They hit Enmax stage,June 18, though I missed the show.

 There was a lot of live music outside of Telegraph Taphouse on  Festival Square. A big June 23  show featured the New Testaments,  Rudy Strangling Wolf and  another hot new band, Last Minute Letdowns.

Theoretically Brewing started doing punk and rock shows on their outdoor patio this summer.

Deadwolff, Rebel Priest and Hell Diablo brought back the spirit of the ’70s and ’80s a hard rock, June 30. Cope expanded to a trio, June 25.

Adequate brought the funk to the Owl, June 25 for one of several local shows

The Rotary Dragon Boat Festival returned this year with a full slate of bands. One of the highlights was Alison Hawkins and Uncovered, June 25.

Pridefest Galt Gardens brought an eclectic slate of drag performances and live music for Pridefest, June 25  including Shaela Miller hot off her Wild Country Wild win.

Folk Club announces first season in a year.


Canada Day  was back in force with  a lot of live music including Horizon Dory Rossiter, Bailey Kate, July 1

Richard Inman played a lot locally sometimes solo and often with a band, including July 2 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge

Street Machine Weekend meant  live music.   The Chevelles played the Place, July 8. the 1010 pub had live music and Edmonton rockabilly band the Dice Cubes played a great show at the Slice  for very few people, Friday, July 8. 

The Slice had a lot of rockabilly in July as they also featured Hurricane Felix  July 2.


 There were more outdoor festivals this month.  

 Upside Downtown featured live music every Thursday afternoon outside Casa in Rotary Square including  Fortune Block aka Richard Inman and  Sweet Alibi's Amber Rose,July 21 plus Kevin Peters playing lead guitar, John Wort Hannam July 7.

There were five festivals, July 9. Honkers Pub featured a day long festival in their parking lot including Steve Keenan and more, July 9.  Pure Summer outside Casino Lethbridge featured Bamboo Guppies and Karen Romanchuk. Arts in the Park featured local surf band the Atomicos in Legacy Park. 

Jimmy and the Sleepers played Pavan Park,  July 23 for the Lethbridge Blues and jazz festival.


South Country Fair returned to Fort Macleod after a two year Covid hiatus. It was lots of fun as usual. Some of the highlights  were Jon Martin, the  Alien Rebels,  Hawksley Workman, Terra Lightfoot and more.

Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp Band Swap returned to the Slice, which was a chance for me to be on stage again, July 23.


Skinny Leigh aka Richard Doerksen returned home to Lethbridge to play  the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 22.

Carolyn Mark and Kris Demanor are always a highlight. They returned to Owl, July 27.


Extreme heat  was prevalent  throughout August, but that meant the weather was excellent for more outdoor shows and festivals throughout the month.

Fortune Block was one of several bands playing Upside Downtown outside Casa this summer. Photo By Richard Amery

Upside Downtown continued to be a highlight downtown every Thursday outside Casa. Dave McCann was one of the performers.


 The Geomatic Attic brought back their big  annual outdoor summer festival, this time on the parking lot roof top downtown with Hawksley Workman and continuing in Sandman Signature  parking lot with Toronto R and B, funk, jazz band Kobo Town, Aug. 3.


 Kevin Peters returned to the Owl Acoustic lounge,  Aug. 6.

 The Owl also featured “90s rocker  Bif Naked, Aug. 10 with Miesha and the Spanks. Bif Naked was awesome, bringing fans back to the ’90s. unfortunately I missed Meisha and the Spanks.

Jesse Northey returns to home to play the Owl, Aug. 12

 The Slice hosted a touching and loud Memorial concert for beloved scenester Brent Sorge at Slice, Aug. 12.

CKXU also  tried an outdoor festival outside the Student’s union building, April 13 For The Record featured Amy Nelson, D’Orjay and Shaela Miller.

Charlie Jacobson returned to the Owl, Aug. 16  for his own show. He also played harpdog Brown’s Memorial concert.

 Goddamsels featured stunning female powered vocal harmonies at the  Slice, Aug. 17.

Local metal band Tyrants of Chaos released their new CD  Relentless Thirst For Power, wth a CD release party featuring Calgary pirate metal band Syryn at Slice, Aug. 20.

The Lethbridge Roots and Blues Festival Aug. 20 with Papa King, Little Miss Higgins with Kris Demeanor, Amanda Penner and Ryland Moranz.

 And Whoop Up Days returned with a. powwow, competitive dancing and rodeo, but no live music program.

LEMF  celebrated their tenth anniversary a year late due to Covid, Aug. 27 in Galt Gardens.


 Outdoor festivals continued as did extreme heat.

Sue Foley opened for ZZ Top and Cheap Trick at the Enmax Centre. Photo By Richard Amery

Lots of outdoor festivals in sweltering weather winds up with  Frankenfest at Creepy Hollow, Sept. 3.

The Owl AcousticLounge featured a mini-preview of Frankenfest taking place, Sept. 3 at Creepy Hollows with Moon Runner and the Rainbow patrol, Sept. 2

 Rock duo High Kicks from Calgary returned to Slice,  Sept. 3.


 Things cooled down a lot, though music from Alpen Schatz was hot for Oktoberfest downtown Sept. 8-9.

Couple shows from up and coming Calgary blues rock band Marcus Trummer, Sept. 9

regular shows by the Chevelles continued at the Place,  Sept. 9 helping out good causes.

 More local talent Hell Diablo, Owl Acoustic lounge Sept. 9.

 Fun pop punk night at the Place with Calgary’s Galacticas, and a sweet Blink 182 tribute and local pop punk band Sessions who were releasing their new CD, Sept. 16.

 Best showcase of guitar playing was two sold out shows with Daniel Champagne,  and Slice, Sept. 16.

Couleefest with up and coming country stars Lemon Cash, Sept. 17.

Word on the Street back with local musicians,  Sept. 17.

New Lethbian Richard Inman played another excellent local show at the Owl, Sept. 23.

 There was a beautiful tribute to Ian Tyson at Southminster Church,  Sept. 23 which was all the more poignant as Ian passed away in the last week of December. It featured an all star cast including members of Tyson’s original bands including Amos Garrett and our own John Wort Hannam.

 Vancouver alternative rock/ blues rock duo The Pack A.D. Came back to the Slice, Sept. 28.

 Missed Serena Ryder at Geomatic Attic


Oktoberfest one of three with Alpen Schatz I caught Spectrum Brewery at  Lethbridge Rugby Club, Oct. 1 .

 Peter and the Wolves as trio with Peter Cormier playing drums, keyboards and  guitar  and Meg Thompson on sax and percussion Oct. 5-6  at Casino Lethbridge.

Stew MacDougall and Amos Garrett were among the performers at a poignant Ian Tyson Tribute The Gift. Photo by Richard Amery

Jack Garton always a blast on accordion and trumpet, Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 6

Amazing blues from Michael Charles, playing second of two hot Lethbridge shows, oct. 6 at Slice.

 Ryland Moranz plays sold out show at Owl, Oct. 15.  Jon Martin returns to Owl also played  outdoor festival in summer.

 Couldn’t get  into JW James and HOROJO Trio at Sisters, Oct. 16.

 New band 4BPM  for Audio Engineering Society Theoretically Brewing starting to do more live music, usually with CKXU.

 Missed James Keelaghan at Folk Club.

 Bros Landreth Geomatic Attic  plus Slow Leaves Grant Davidson , Oct. 24

Bands As Bands back to help Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp

 Sadies Geomatic Attic, Oct. 21 only caught the end, sad to see them without Dallas Good. Cool to see Kacy Anderson from Kacy and Clayton.

Missed the return of the Mahones to the Slice, Oct. 27



Samantha Martin and Steve Marriner playing Southminster United Church for the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 17. Photo by Richard Amery

I missed Barney Bentall and Bryan Adams , Nov. 7 while I was on Vacation on Outlaw west

 Skinny Dyck releases new CD “Palace Waiting,” Nov 10 at the Slice .


Rebel Angels morph from a Volbeat tribute into a solid 50s  cover band at Casino Nov. 12.

 Progressive rock/ emo band Pomeranian Fight Club disbands Alec Arms continues Nov. 12.

Red Hot Hayseeds always good, Nov. 25 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

 Folk Club back with Celtic band My Son Ted, Nov. 26.

 Tribute acts at The Place with Damage Incorporated plus  Good Time Charlie and Breanne Urban 's ’90s rock band Train Wreck.

Geomattic Attic capped off an exciting year with Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar at Southminster United Church, Nov. 17 that was  originally re scheduled due to pandemic. As a bonus Steve Marriner opened the show and played a couple songs with Samantha as well.

Bif Naked returned to Lethbridge in August. Photo by Richard Amery


I didn’t catch a lot of December shows 

Kevin Peters played another one of several great shows from a new Lethbridge talent, Dec. 10 at the Slice.


 2022 ended with more tributes.


A special  Iron Maiden  tribute happened  Dec. 30 at the Slice.

 A group of talented musicians went all out to raise money for one of the guitarists and lead singer Bonnie’s wedding to play some Iron Maiden favourites.

 Musically they were spot on and went with a full stage show including someone dressed up as a Yeti and a giant on stilts as a stand in for Iron maiden mascot Eddie.

 I only caught three of 11 New Year’s Eve gigs.  Surprisingly, none of them were full, though they drew respectable crowds.


 I missed a special drag show at the Owl AcousticLounge, but wanted to catch Dave Chomiak’s Def Leppard Tribute  Stage Fright at the Place.


  For something completely different, the Slice was decked out ’50s style for Rebel Angels, playing ’50s rock and pop favourites.

 Uncovered returned to Pop’s South for New Year’s Eve as usual.

 They always  do a great job of pop and rock hits from the ’90s to today.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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