May 18th, 2024

Karen, Lewis and Pam open Legacy Park Amphitheatre

By Woodard, Dale on September 17, 2020.

Karen, Lewis and Pam band members (from left) Jillian Bracken, Ashley Thomson and Gabe Thaine, along with drummer Keenan Pezderic and bassist Steve Martin entertain the crowd last Saturday at the Legacy Regional Park Amphitheatre. Herald photo by Dale Woodard

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald

Parents and children alike were enjoying last Saturday’s live performance at the Legacy Regional Park Amphitheatre.

In fact, it was difficult to determine who was having more fun.

Probably because it catered to all ages as Karen, Lewis and Pam – a tribute act to the popular Sharon, Lois and Bram – kept everyone entertained and singing along on a sunny afternoon.

That, and enjoying a live music experience that has been minimal since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak six months ago.

“We’re playing all of the favourites of the late ’70s and ’80s,” said Jillian Bracken, who fronts the band alongside Ashley Thomson and Gabe Thaine. “Our audiences tend to be parents who grew up with that music and now have kids. So there is this wonderful nostalgia about it for them and excitement for sharing their memories in their past with their children.”

As the trip down memory lane took place, parents and kids staked out their socially distanced spots on the grass for the show, keeping with COVID-19 protocol.

“We are very new,” said Bracken, who sings and plays piano and a little bit of accordion, while Thomson provides vocals and percussion and Thaine plays guitar and trombone. “This is actually only our third gig together. We had a whole bunch lined up for the summer, but COVID happened. So our last show was almost exactly six months ago today (at The Owl). We got one in March right before the shutdown.”

Helping out at Saturday’s show was Mike Spencer, director of the Geomatic Attic, and his staff.

Spencer will be bringing more live acts to the Legacy Amphitheatre this Saturday as well.

“This is the first live music event at the Legacy Regional Park Amphitheatre and ours will be the second,” said Spencer, adding the event is free to attend. “We aren’t likely to do any indoor shows until maybe the spring. So we want to do an outdoor show to showcase Lethbridge musicians. So from noon until 6 p.m. there will be different performers every hour on the hour. They will play for about 45 minutes and then a 15-minute break.”

Those in attendance for last Saturday’s show were given the option to make a donation to help cover some of the expenses.

“We were fortunate enough to receive a community event support grant from the City of Lethbridge and that covered almost all of our costs,” said Bracken. “So we just ask people, since it’s a free venue, if they want to throw in a few bucks to help us cover the additional things that would be appreciated. But it isn’t necessary. It’s a free event we are very thankful to the City for helping us cover most of our costs.”

On Saturday, Karen, Lewis and Pam were joined by drummer Keenan Pezderic and Steve Martin on standup bass.

“It’s our first time playing as a five-piece, so they add a lot of colour and depth to our sound,” said Bracken.

The live shows will return this Saturday.

“The idea is to give musicians a chance to play,” said Spencer. “Most of the musicians haven’t played real gigs probably since March and I think there are starting to be a few things popping up. We just really like the space. Even if we are still under COVID next year we’re thinking that instead of doing our regular indoor shows we might do a weekly or bi-weekly mini shows, like a series, going spring through fall. So this is a really good kick-the-tires kind of test. I’m excited.”

John Wort Hannam, Shaela Miller, the Gabriel Thaine Band, Starpainter and Bailey Kate & Fawns are scheduled to perform this Saturday with room for 200 physically distanced spectators.

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