At the start of the night on Saturday, the Lester Centre’s audience was treated to a smooth and gentle rendition of Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue by Ray and Cynthia of Skeena Skiffle; a Terrace-Prince Rupert skiffle band. By the end, they were having their ears cleaned out by the wall-throttling guitar chords of Metallica.
So went the Completely Plugged: Inspired concert, a 10-act musical variety benefit show hosted by Ian Lihou comprised of completely local artists performing songs from bands who helped inspire them to make music today.
Ray and Cynthia followed up Peggy Sue with Let it be Me by the Everly Brothers and then a number by the Skiffle King Lonnie Donegan.
“The better half” of Skeena Skiffle’s classic tones were followed by Tragically Hip cover band Dixie Dead Shake, a relative newcomer to the Prince Rupert music scene, but one who electrified the Lester Centre with Looking for a Place to Happen as lead guitarist Steve Bomben tore it up with vocalist Steve Maguire providing the pipes and bandmates Craig Bolton and Calvin Lowther rocking out on the drums and bass.
Lihou’s students and brand new band, Nobody Told Rachel, featuring Meghan Cunningham, Kacey Kiesman, Alexandria McCulloch and Maggie Bullock, took the stage third, and performed the Plain White T’s Giving Tree and a non-“Frozen” song called Let it Go.
The Charles Hays school theme kept up with music teacher Jeff Saunders performing Dreams by Fleetwood Mac next, with Aja Lihou providing the classic and jazzy vocals. Saunders later took the mic to sing a rockin’ rendition of the Foo Fighters’ My Hero. Aja finished things up with a powerful solo, singing Sara Bareilles’ Bluebird in front her proud emcee father and an enchanted audience.
Triple Bypass’ Paul Cox, Mark Giordano and the axe-shreddin’ Brian Miller sent the audience to intermission with Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song before transitioning into Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train.
The Ol’ Dogs started Set Two off with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Give it Away and Mermaid Cafe calmed things down with a little Dixie Chicks and K.D. Lang before Replica did their best to blow the speakers out with some Metallica.
Silver Shadow followed Replica with some Beatles tunes, then Ian, Gordie, Ronnie and Friends sent the spectators home with Toto’s Africa as Miller lent his guitar genius to the ensemble performance that had Mermaid Cafe, Aja and Saunders and Nobody Told Rachel contributing to the finale piece.
The proceeds from the Completely Plugged: Inspired concert will go to improving technical equipment at the Lester Centre.