Sam Coffee and the Iron Lungs opened Monday’s concert at the Tidemark with a high-energy, punk-style set that was strangely perfect for warming the audience up for the classic rock stylings of The Sheepdogs. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Sam Coffee and the Iron Lungs opened Monday’s concert at the Tidemark with a high-energy, punk-style set that was strangely perfect for warming the audience up for the classic rock stylings of The Sheepdogs. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Sheepdogs bring their modern classic rock sound to Tidemark

Three hours after the music started, band fittingly ends encore with Ramblin’ Man

One of Canada’s biggest rock and roll bands took to the Tidemark stage in Campbell River Monday night and had the whole place jumping for hours.

The Sheepdogs, out of Saskatoon, SK, is a group of guys that some would say were born in the wrong decade. Their music, while a modern flavour, hearkens back to the days of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin and the Alman Brothers, and the multi-generational crowd at the Tidemark Monday ate it up.

But first they got to experience Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs, a six-piece band out of Toronto.

Coffee and his band were a bit confusing in terms of musical style. They opened their set with straight-forward punk sounds, reminiscent of bands like The Clash and The Ramones. Gradually, however, the set began to add more traditional rock vibes, giving the band more a of a sound like The Who, but with some strange blend of 90s rockers like REM mixed in.

But overall, the band’s energy was contagious, if a little demandingly so, and it was unexpectedly perfect in warming up the room for the main event.

And The Sheepdogs certainly didn’t let anyone down.

The old-school, harmonically-guitar-driven sound of the prairie band had a number of people seldom seen dancing in the corners at a Tidemark concert. Their smooth, harmonized guitar lines and boppy rock beats were perfect all night, playing a selection of their old classics – if songs from less than a decade ago can be called classics – to tracks from their newest album, Changing Colours, which was only released last week and has already reached No. 5 on the Canadian charts.

Fittingly, the band ended their first set with their most successful song to date – 2010’s “I don’t Know,” which went on to win the 2011 Juno Award for Single of the Year. Just as fittingly, they ended their encore set with an amazing cover of the Alman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man,” which was the perfect end to a perfect night.

Somewhere around three hours after the music started, concert goers left exhausted – in the best possible way – after experiencing a show few will soon forget.

 

Bassist Ryan Cullen gets into the mood early in The Sheepdog’s set at the Tidemark on Monday. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Bassist Ryan Cullen gets into the mood early in The Sheepdog’s set at the Tidemark on Monday. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror