Canadian music icons The Stampeders (Rich Dodson

Canadian music icons The Stampeders (Rich Dodson

The Stampeders: Carrying On with their classic hits

Review: Longtime Canadian music icons throw in humour along with their legendary songs



You don’t have to tell The Stampeders they’re old.

They know that.

In fact, the Canadian music icons (guitarist Rich Dodson, drummer Kim Berly and bassist Ronnie King) told the large, appreciative, enthusiastic crowd who took in their 2.5-hour performance (with much-needed 20-minute intermission) Saturday at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre that, collectively, they are 206 years old (Dodson and King, 69, Berly, 68).

Fortunately, they didn’t sound old.

They sounded (once they got the mic problems solved after the opening song, Devil You, and through an ongoing feedback issue) great.

Dodson is one of Canada’s most unheralded guitarists, fabulously playing his self-designed Fender double-neck, especially to the opening of the band’s signature song, Sweet City Woman,  and the opening of the final song, Wild Eyes.

Berly, who lives on Westside Road, enthralled the crowd with his silky smooth vocals. He got married last Wednesday, introduced his new bride, Laurie (Lori? Lorri?) then looked into the wings as he began the band’s famous ballad, Oh My Lady.

King is the hilarious emcee, weaving in jokes between stories of the band’s songs.

“I know the chicks are checking me out,” said King, about the same age as a majority of the crowd. “I’m checking them back.”

“Thanks folks. We’ll get to the next song once our heart rates slow down.”

(Telling the audience about the time an Ontario promoter’s 12-year-old daughter was talking about the band): “If you close your eyes, dad, they sound younger.”

The start of the second half was the King show. He switched rolls with Dodson, playing guitar and sang the first four songs, completed by the group’s 1972 protest hit Then Came The White Man.

After the band finished 16 songs, punctuated with Wild Eyes, the 1971 Juno Award winners for Best Group received a standing ovation, to which King replied:

“Is this an encore? Because we can’t walk off the stage and walk back on.”

It was a nostalgic night with one of Canada’s first super groups and nobody left disappointed. Just thoroughly entertained.

SET LIST:

1…Devil You;

2…Minstrel Gypsy;

3…Carry Me;

4…Hometown Boy;

5…Marigold;

6…Ramona;

7…Running Wild;

8…Hit The Road Jack;

9…Carrying On;

10..Ballad of John Cabot;

11..That Song on the Radio (“One of the only songs we do from this century,” said King. “Really, all our other songs are from last century.”)

12..Then Came The White Man;

13..Playing In the Band;

14..Oh My Lady:

15..Sweet City Woman;

16..Wild Eyes;

ENCORE

17..Stand Up;

18..Johnny Lightning.