In 2004, my best friend, Jessica, told me to listen to some tracks she had found from a band who’s lead singer, Jacob Hoggard, was currently on Canadian Idol because of a bet from his band mates. I listened to the live recordings of I Bleed, Saturday, Brave New World, and others and I was hooked. Soon after Canadian Idol ended (Jacob made it to the top three, but don’t talk about it. He hates being reminded that he was even ON the show in the first place), the band members went their separate ways and Jacob was joined by three new comers to form the new Hedley.
Hedley, for me, has never been just about the music. It is about the live show, the energy, the road trips, the people we meet, the adventures we have. And believe me, there have been many adventures.
The first live show we went to was in Vancouver and we saw some of the members walking around outside the venue before the show, and though I hate to admit it, we were the biggest fan-girls. Since that first show, I have seen Hedley thirty-one times live (Jessica has seen them forty-two times!). We’ve been all over BC and Alberta for shows, and we have even seen them in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We’ve gotten their autographs, taken many pictures with them, and we’ve even partied with Tom (the Bassist)!
We’ve made friends in the lineups and even in the bathrooms. We’ve gotten bruises and sore knees and backs (And Jessica even got a giant bump on the head… Stupid crowd surfers!) and it was all worth it. The energy the band has on stage is amazing. And I’m pretty sure Jacob is a monkey (I’ve seen him climb scaffolding so many times now).
But, by far, the best aspect of seeing Hedley live is the road trip. I will forever be grateful for the many road trips I had with friends because of this band. Trips through mountains and prairies. Through the boiling hot summer sun, and the freezing cold winter snow. Sleeping in the car in Tim Hortons or Walmart parking lots, or at cheap hotels. Drinking before a show and crying after it was over. Losing camera’s and finding them again. Locking the keys inside the car and using my skinny little arm to reach through a tiny gap in the window to unlock the door. Getting sun burnt and heatstroke. Having to pee so bad but not wanting to lose our spot in front of the stage. So many good times that I will cherish for my whole life.
Basically, I want to say thank you to Hedley for providing me with such amazing experiences. And thank you to Jessica who has been there beside me the whole way!