Photographs by Matt Klopot
Toronto goes wild as Vancouver pop-rockers, Hedley, bring their Wild Live Tour to the Air Canada Centre. Hedley has been touring coast-to-coast in support of their fifth album, Wild Life. The nearly two –hour set was filled with an immense light show with incredible instrumental features, and crazy antics that only Hedley could pull off.
Before hitting the stage, Hedley fans were treated to a video of the band spoofing the popular 80’s TV series, The A -Team. With frontman Jacob Hoggard in manic form, the band opened with the album’s hit lead single, Anything. Sure enough, the fans knew all the words and didn’t need Hoggard to urge them into action.
Large video screens with flashy lighting featured a variety of clips that ranged from Hedley’s Try This At Home DVD to their music videos. It was a nice nod to Hoggard, guitarist Dave Rosin, bassist Tommy Mac, and drummer Chris Crippin wild times together. It was clear the bond between them is still strong after nine years.
Keeping up with the wacky stage antics, Don’t Talk to Strangers featured the roadie dressed as a grandmother chasing after Hoggard, and who can forget those cheerleaders who joined the band for Cha- Ching. And a Hedley show wouldn’t be complete without Hoggard rambling on about something. While covering Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop, he declares his love for chocolate pudding, how to find him on social media, and possibly fathering a couple of kids around Toronto.
Mid set gem happened when Hedley surprised the crowd by suddenly emerging on a mini-stage for an unplugged-style set. This featured the band all dress in black suits and Hoggard on a clear piano with neon lights playing Old School, Heaven in Our Headlights, For the Nights I Can’t Remember, and Wild Life. After such a positive response from the crowd, Hoggard made a promise that “Toronto if you stay in our lives, we promise to stay in yours” which led right into the ballad Perfect with a snippet of Rihanna’s Stay. For the encore, they started with Kiss You Inside Out, Trip and the show ended with Never Too Late.
Hedley has come a far way since their debut in 2005. Their latest album reflects why Hedley remains one of the front runners in today’s Canadian pop scene. And the Wild Live Tour is their way of saying thanks to the fans for being a part of their crazy world.
Thanks to Live Nation Ontario for media access.