by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Three local and regional rock bands are rehearsing to prepare for Rocktober, the second annual heavy-hitting music finale to Oktoberfest: Food and Jam Festival. The show, featuring the Paul Smith Band, Edgore, and Seventh Gear takes place Oct. 4 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre and is a joint venture between the Morinville Festival Society and sponsors Champion Petfoods and The Morinville News. This year’s show will feature the music of Pink Floyd to start the show, but will finish with many of the songs people like to rock out and dance to.
“Tackling such an iconic band’s music like Pink Floyd is a great challenge,” said Festival Society Chair and concert organizer Paul Smith. “Their stage show is one of the best in the world. What will make this show awesome is the sheer talent and commitment of the entertainers. We were introduced to a tonne of talent at last year’s festival, many of whom will be special guests at this year’s Rocktober concert, including Seventh Gear, a drum solo by the gifted Jean Luc Coupal and many more. When you combine young, stage-hungry musicians and experienced professionals you get special magic and team work.”
The idea behind last year’s show was to make a Morinville show that would rival anything you would see in the city. Smith said Champion Petfoods’ generous financial support has once again allowed the festival society to put $10,000 towards stage production values of the three-band concert. “We’re spending on local bands what big productions spend on big name acts coming through town. These bands will get the chance to perform at that level – full lights, full video, big screen, smoke – all the stuff you’d expect from a major concert.”
Smith is confident enough in the acts taking to the stage Oct. 4 that he is once again calling Rocktober the best regional music show the province will see in 2014.
Joining the Paul Smith Band on stage is local favourites Edgore, an act that put on a well-received back-to-school concert at the Bob Foster Skate Park Sept. 13. “They bring such huge energy to the show,” Smith said of the four-piece metal band, adding Edgore will play a mixture of own original material and their own take on popular rock and pop songs, including that of Pink Floyd.
Another local favourite that has been added as special guests for this year’s Rocktober is Seventh Gear, a band Smith said impressed judges at last year’s competition component of the fall festival.
Headlining the show is the festival chair’s own Paul Smith Band, a group of the professional musicians who work by his side at Smith Music. The formation of the band was the result of requests from people in the community wanting to see the teachers take to the stage more often. That debut occurred last year at Rocktober, but the band has played a number of venues since then, including Champion Petfoods’ ground breaking ceremony in Kentucky this past summer.
Tickets for the licensed show are $20 per person and are available for sale at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, Morinville Community Library, Noah’s Ark Pets and Supplies, and Morinville Bumper-to-Bumper. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 4and the show will start an hour later at 9:30 p.m.