| Posted: Saturday, Aug 11, 2012 06:00 am
Punk in the Park
With Panda Jerk, The Weekend Kids, Freshman Years, The Cavalry and Coalspur
Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.
To hear Graham Charles tell it, there’s just not enough live entertainment in St. Albert for teens and young adults.
Instead of whining, the music vocalist/guitarist decided to mount Punk in the Park, an outdoor concert with five bands performing on Saturday, Aug. 18 at Lions Park.
In fact, Charles is so committed that all expenses are coming out of his pocket. And he is especially grateful to the City of St. Albert for renting the park at no charge.
“I started this about four years ago with a buddy of mine, Ryan Quick,” said Charles, a cook at River Ridge Seniors Community.
Although Quick is no longer involved, continuing the summer concert was a no-brainer for Charles.
“I wanted to give back something to the community and I wanted to help promote Panda Jerk, my band.”
In addition to Charles on vocals and guitar, the St. Albert band includes Andrew Bateman (drums), Evan Hansen (guitar/vocals) and Will Kiyala (bass).
To stand out musically, the fast punk foursome add as many guitar riffs and drum solos as the music allows.
“And we try to incorporate as much jazzy weird stuff as makes people dance.”
Panda Jerk actually goes back to when Charles and Hansen were 13-year-olds and decided to play together.
“We were always intrigued by how punk and metal can be so simple, yet when you listen to the instruments you go ‘wow. What did they do to make it sound that way.’ We try to make it sound as intriguing as possible.”
Although the initial players went through several line changes and band names, the current foursome appears to be a seamless fit.
“We make it crazy technical. I shred up a storm or Andrew does a tom symbol, a drum fill. He’s crazy. Every song is a drum solo for him.”
Joining them is Freshman Years, with a reputation for playing catchy pop punk that instantly creates a fun vibe.
Another guest band, Coalspur, formerly known as Tyranny, falls in the screamo punk genre.
“They’re really talented and they’re underground. I wanted to give them some exposure.”
The Weekend Kids have been big in the Edmonton scene for several years and generate a big pull with fans.
“They’ve got strong melodic vocal lines and dual lines. All members in the band sing. In a band, that’s a big plus when it comes to harmonies.”
And finally, The Cavalry is a folk punk band that attracts audiences from 18 to 50.
“They have catchy guitar lines and drum hooks and they get your head bobbing. They also have a folk aspect and that’s kind of unique.”
Now if only the mosquitoes and the rain cooperate.
“Everybody come. It’s free and it’s a good time all around – something for the youth scene. It’s in St. Albert and you will get to hear bands you might never have heard before.”