Photos and words courtesy of Jenn Kostesky | October 24, 2018
Victoria based Jesse Roper brought his energetic,funky, blues rock to the Pyramid Cabaret in Winnipeg, Manitoba on October 24, 2018.
Winnipeg’s indie-folk outfit House Handshake kicked off the evening. The band’s soulful, rootsy brand of folk rock brings to mind tastes of Of Monsters and Men or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with a twist of rugged Canadiana. House Handshake filled their half hour opening set with gorgeous harmonies and an energetic stage show.
Roper’s tour mates, Band of Rascals filled the middle with a set of rocking southern blues. Hailing from Cowichan Valley on British Columbia’s Vancouver island, Band of Rascals have a no bullshit approach to rock and roll that they bring to their live show. With ¾ of the band barefoot on stage, Band of Rascals layer booming drums, tasty guitar licks, grungy harmonica and solid base lines to create a groovy West Coast infused sound that is all their own.
The show marked Jesse Roper and company’s second show in the city in 2018, the first being back in February when they stopped by the Burton Cummings Theatre to open for Big Wreck. Their first headlining show in Winnipeg came toward the end of the band’s October run of tour dates through the western provinces of Canada. Roper magnetic charisma and tasty, smooth guitar playing places him front and center. He plays with style and ease, making playing the guitar look like a breeze. Roper is all smiles on stage, clearly enjoying himself, feeding off the energy of the crowd. Despite being the frontman, Roper appreciates his band, taking a moment from time to time to step aside and let his bandmate shine. Drummer Steve Ling and bassist Matt Reid, the band’s rhythm section, hold things together in a funky tight little package and keyboardist Chris Van Sickle rounds out the band’s live sound. Though Roper had to compete with both a civic election and a Winnipeg Jets hockey game, his mesmerizing, energetic live show will likely make him a touring fixture in the prairie city.