SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - A joyful crowd cheers Saturday night as the silhouettes of Canadian pop rockers Hedley come in to focus behind a sheer white curtain at the Credit Union Place in Summerside.
Hedley may have seen better days after recent allegations, but Grace McPhee and Kayla Legere were among the crowd holding cards reading “#I Stand with Hedley.”
“When they come on and play their song Better Days, everyone is to raise their sign to show that we believe in them,” explained Legere.
As the curtains dropped and the first chords vibrated through the hall amid an electric atmosphere of dazzling lasers and lights, fans made their way to the edge of the stage raising glow sticks and cards to the sky.
“They sing from the heart and I feel like I’m right there with them,” said McPhee, with a smile.
“My favourite song by Hedley is Lose Control because sometimes it’s good to just get lost in the moment, scream, and get it out of your system. And my husband is amazing for getting the tickets on Valentine’s Day because I’ve been a fan of Hedley for 12 years,” she added.
There were few inside the venue that wanted to talk about the controversy, but those who did stood by the band.
“Innocent until proven guilty,” said McPhee.
“I will never change my mind on them; they’re awesome.”
Mackenzie Keough and Ann-Sophie Merx had front row seats for unimpeded views.
“I love their energy and I have been a fan since I was 12,” said Keough, now aged 18. “We freaked out when we heard they were coming to Summerside. We were just squealing at work with excitement.”
Merx said, “This is my first concert, and when we met them earlier today around 4 p.m. at the meet and greet, I was almost in tears because I couldn’t believe it.”
Hedley was joined by opening act Liteyears, a four-piece high energy pop band from Toronto.
Liteyears posted on their official Twitter account, “P.E.I: your bridges are long and your people are friendly – it’s nice to be back.”
The event organizer, Robbie Rankin concluded, “Overall the concert has been great. It’s been a great turnout, we’re pleased with the sales, and everyone seems to be having a good time.”
Hedley will continue their Cageless Tour, making a show in Quebec City on Monday.
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