Photos and review of The Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa

[Ottawa correspondent Ross MacDonald was at it again. – AC]

Six-time Juno award winner Sam Roberts has kicked off his 2024 North American tour in support of his new album The Adventures of Ben Blank. He started his tour in his hometown of Montreal on Friday 2 February, then on Saturday he drove two hours down the highway to perform at Ottawa’s Bronson Centre Music Theatre to a sold-out crowd.

Starting off the night was the Montreal alt-rock band Grand Public. Their music was shoegaze-style, highlighting a pair of guitars (with single-coil pickups) and lots of effects pedals. Fortunately, the band weren’t stuck to their pedal boards and moved about the confined stage.

It was refreshing to hear some french lyrics at an Ottawa concert. And the music definitely drew inspiration from the 90s and 00s rock boom; lead singer and guitarist Gregory Paquet was formerly in The Stills, so they come by their sound honestly.

After a quick stage setup, Sam Roberts took the stage with his band and without delay broke into the first track to their new album ‘The Ballad of Ben Blank’, followed up immediately by another new song ‘Afterlife’.

Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa

The night was packed with two solid hours of music, a mix of new songs, deep cuts from previous albums, and of course all the singles that the Ottawa crowd is familiar with; Sam Roberts deservedly gets a lot of airplay on the local Ottawa alt-rock radio station Live 88.5.

Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa

Sam let the boisterous crowd take over lead vocals for his biggest hits like ‘Where Have All The Good People Gone?’, ‘We’re All In This Together’, and of course the powerful ‘Don’t Walk Away Eileen’ that closed out his main set.

Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa

The extended encore opened with Sam Robert’s new hit single ‘Picture of Love’. After over 20 years, Sam is continuing to create relevant music that appeals to his new, and long-time fans.

Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa
Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa
Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa
Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa

Fittingly, Sam Roberts closed out the concert with his huge hit that started his career: ‘Brother Down’. After all those hard beats, it was hard for the crowd to go back to reality, as they filed out of the hall, into the cool night, to the sounds of some ska played over the PA system.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37873 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Photos and review of The Sam Roberts Band in Ottawa

  • Ross MacDonald is amazing, he captured the full essence!


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.