Sam Roberts kicks off Wine Fest with electrifying show

By Joel Charron

It only took a few strums of his guitar for Sam Roberts to have the raucous crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.

Roberts, the headlining act for the 7th Annual Shores of Erie International Wine Festival turned in an electrifying performance that festival goers will not soon forget.

The Canadian rocker played a 90-minute set in front of over 4,000 rain soaked and muddy fans.

Roberts, who played at the Wine Fest three years ago, said the band had such a good time last time they played the event, that they wanted to return and re-create that same magic.

Roberts admitted that after the performance three years ago, the band didn’t expect the crowd to be as energetic as they were.

“Don’t want to say that it was unexpected but I don’t think we realized that it was going to be such a energetic show,” said Roberts. “I had this picture of this sleepy, wine induced affair, but it ended up being a really great show.”

Getting caught in the moment, Sam Roberts raises his arms as a thank you gesture during his set on Thursday night.

When organizers asked Roberts to come back, he said they had a picture of what the Wine Festival held in store for them.

“It was an offer we couldn’t refuse,” Roberts said.

Hours before the show, Roberts said the band was looking forward to “checking out” the town and its historic site, however the rain put a kibosh on the site seeing plans.

Although Roberts said they came back to perform at the same event, the show, however would not be the same.

“It’s not that the band has changed, the difference is that we are playing a new album and from that comes a new energy. It certainly changes the feel of the show,” he explained.

Despite rain falling the majority of the day, the weather cleared before the bands took the stage.

Before Roberts took the stage Michou and multiple Wine Fest performer, the Pat Robitaille Band, warmed up the crowd.

“It was probably the most fun I ever had at a show,” said Robitaille. “It was a great experience. The whole night was amazing.”

Robitaille treated the crowd to a surprise performance from Canadian music icon, fiddler, Ashley MacIsaac.

Once Roberts took the stage the crowd exploded into a controlled frenzy, screaming and singing along with the tunes.   Periodically lighters would be waving amongst the sea of people and fans were hoisted onto shoulder for a better view.

After the show Roberts said energy between the crowd and the band made for a great show.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship. The energy of the crowd is waning the energy of the band,” explained Roberts. “We just seemed to have a good relationship with the people in this part of Canada. It felt really good up there.”

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