Canadian rockers take over The Blue Grotto for an evening

PUP, The Zolas and Hollerado give Kamloops just what they’re looking for

Ashley Wadhwani, Contributor Ω
Photos by Courtney Dickson

It was an evening to remember for rock fans. Ottawa’s Hollerado came through Kamloops Nov. 12 for their first-ever headlining tour, playing at The Blue Grotto with punk rock band PUP and Vancouver’s The Zolas.

The crowd formed when Toronto-based PUP appeared on stage to play a few tracks off their self-titled debut album, released October 2013. The audience embraced the new band with head banging, jumping and flailing to the energy of the heavy riffs.

Next on were The Zolas, with a quick set change as lead vocalist Zachary Gray interacted with the crowd, which by that point was pushing up against the stage. When he asked why so many people showed up for a concert on a Tuesday night, someone in the audience yelled “Tuesday booze-day,” in which Gray told the crowd The Zolas are Mormon, and they don’t know what that means.

The Zolas perfectly contrasted PUP, with upbeat indie-rock and the floor was finally filled with people.

“Both bands made it personal – about Kamloops,” said audience member Emily Hill.

Last, but certainly not least, Hollerado made their appearance and the crowd began rocking out to energized beats, while lead singer Menno Versteeg did what he does best.

In an interview after the show with Versteeg, he said although he can’t pick only one favourite memory, “visiting the Ainsworth Hot Springs and seeing bears” were among his favourite experiences from this tour.

The stage setting for Hollerado was homemade by lead guitarist Nixon Boyd’s wife. When the black light flashed on and off, Hollerado made sure to jump off the drums and speakers on stage while their guitars glowed.

“I loved the psychedelic backdrop,” said audience member Kara Wiedeck.