If you were a Canadian teenager in 2005 who loved listening to Pop Rock, chances are you definitely grew up listening to Hedley. Over the years, the band has gone from playing venues like the Kool Haus and opening for bands such as Simple Plan; to headlining and selling out the Air Canada Centre. With each tour, the band has brought in unique themes to enhance their live performances. Whether it was transforming the arena into an outdoor campsite, or getting shipwrecked in the middle of the stage, the band has always found a way to keep the fans on their toes. Needless to say, I was excited to see what they had in store for their Hello World Tour when it came to the Barrie Molson Centre on Monday night.
The band played in my opinion, a perfect set list. With 5 albums under their belt, they have a pretty extensive discography to choose from. While most bands tend to get rid of older songs, Hedley managed to include a bit from each album. To the delight of many of the older fans, song such as Villain, Saturday, and On My Own had worked its way back onto the set list in the form of a medley. Front man, Jacob Hoggard, has a very strong stage presence as he hyped up the crowd throughout the night while the band held down the fort on stage. Hoggard never really stood still and emitted energy from the stage that made you want to sing along and dance the night away, no matter where you were in the venue. Along with playing a great mix of songs, Hedley also did a really cool medley during their performance of Never Too Late, which consisted of Justin Bieber’s Sorry, and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk.
From a production stand point, I feel like they fell a bit short compared to their previous tours, as they seemed to have cut doing a set change in the middle of the show. The only real memorable thing was the band’s intro, which consisted of a short film parody of what looked like Full House. I’m not going to lie though; when I first saw it, I was kind of disappointed they didn’t try to incorporate Carly Rae Jepsen into the intro as she sang the official theme song for the Full House reboot, Fuller House.
During the evening, Hoggard reminded the crowd to live in the moment and just put their phones down to enjoy the show. This didn’t work out so well for one lady in the crowd near the front, who decided to continually text from her seat. Hoggard stopped to ask her who she was texting, and then asked her to toss her phone up to the stage so he could see. To his surprise, she actually tossed her phone up! This lead to a couple of hilarious prank calls made to random people on the lady’s contact list – including one to Tim Horton’s. When all of the fun and games were done, Hoggard invited her up on stage to take a selfie with the band and get her phone back. Shortly after, they performed their hit Cha-Ching, and Hoggard briefly left the stage and asked the crowd who wanted a Hedley t-shirt. When he re-appeared, he was wearing a Hedley flag and had a t-shirt gun in hand as he began to launch shirts into the crowd.
As the night came to a close, Hedley ended the night with a 4 song encore which consisted of Trip, Kiss You Inside Out, Crazy For You, and Anything. The neat thing about Hedley’s encore was that when the lights came back on, Hoggard was nowhere to be found on stage. Instead he had reappeared in the crowd to serenade them with his acoustic guitar for the beginning of Trip, before heading back up to the stage when the whole band kicked back in.