Hedley's second show since announcing hiatus sees lone protestor and continued trend of “frat boy” antics.

Frontman Jacob Hoggard, identifies as Donald Trump, covers Frank Ocean and takes a fan’s phone, again.

Photo by Benjamin Hargreaves/CanCulture.

Photo by Benjamin Hargreaves/CanCulture.

By Benjamin Hargreaves

Hedley’s Jacob Hoggard continued his “frat boy persona” and habit of stealing phones during the band’s Cageless tour stop in Peterborough, Ont. on Friday, marking their second performance since announcing an indefinite hiatus amid ongoing sexual misconduct allegations.

With performers Shawn Hook, Neon Dreams and most recently, Quebec City’s Liteyears, cancelling as Hedley’s opening acts, the band took the stage with only a few songs played over the speakers as an opener.

Multiple women on social media have spoken out against Hoggard regarding alleged acts of sexual misconduct. Most recently, on Feb. 25, a 24-year-old Ottawa women came to the CBC with accusations against Hoggard regarding several alleged encounters occurring in 2016. 

After this allegation was published, Hoggard released a statement on Twitter admitting to behaving in a way that “objectified women.”

Roughly an hour before the show began, Hoggard took to Twitter again, this time acknowledging that the CBC has told him new allegations are going to come out from yet another woman, writing, “The allegation is startling and categorically untrue. It is not within my capacity as a person to force anyone beyond their boundaries."

“What’s going on Peterborough?” Hoggard shouted to a crowd of roughly 2,300 people in the venue that has a concert capacity of about 5,000. The crowd cheered as Hoggard began singing “Better Days”, a song from their new album, Cageless.

Hedley’s setlist for the night would also include their hits “Anything,” “Cha-Ching” and “Lose Control” as well as “Bad Tattoo” and “All Night” from their most recent album, all being received with deafening cheers from the audience.

However, Hedley’s visit to Peterborough was not well received by all.

“It makes me angry [that] this is happening,” says Shawna Blackwood a 26-year-old Peterborough resident and only protestor at Hedley’s Peterborough performance.  

Blackwood stood outside the Memorial Centre for just under an hour leading up to Hedley’s 7:30 p.m. scheduled start.

Shawna Blackwood protesting outside of the Memorial Centre in Peterborough, Ont. (Photo by Benjamin Hargreaves/CanCulture)

Shawna Blackwood protesting outside of the Memorial Centre in Peterborough, Ont. (Photo by Benjamin Hargreaves/CanCulture)

Blackwood believes the Memorial Centre should have cancelled the show, much like the Windsor Ont. venue did to Hedley’s scheduled performance on Mar. 11. She also believes peaceful protest is useful in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

“I’m just here commending their bravery,” Blackwood said referring to the women speaking out against Hoggard. “I’m providing access to information about reporting sexual assault and the fact that consent is sexy and no means no.”

Blackwood  stood outside the entrance to the Memorial Centre holding a sign reading “She said no!” in reference to the Ottawa woman who came forward, for roughly five minutes before two security guards approached her. Each guard took a pamphlet she was handing out on how to report sexual assault and then asked her to leave the property.

Hedley’s performance on Friday included a rendition of Frank Ocean’s, rather explicit track, “Self Control,” which Hoggard delivered as a solo.

Hoggard continued, what The Canadian Press reporter David Friend coined, his “frat-boy persona,” after taking a fan’s phone in their Brampton, Ont. show on Mar. 1.

Almost mirroring his antics from the night before, Hoggard called out a fan in the front row for texting during the show. He proceeded to ask for the phone and after scrolling through her contacts, called the girl’s father.

“Hey, it’s Jake from Hedley, we’re on stage at the Hedley show in Peterborough,” Hoggard said.

Hoggard stayed on the phone with the girl’s father for another 15 seconds, before saying “I miss you and I wish you were here at the Hedley concert. I’ll talk to you later. TTYL. BRB. LOL. JK Dad,” and hanging up. After scolding the girl once more for texting he ended the charade by taking a selfie on the girl’s phone.

Hoggard would not directly address the allegations against him but he would repeat a speech he has delivered in multiple performances, including Hedley’s Brampton show the night before.

“Peterborough, thank you for standing behind us,” he said, “for believing in us and loving us every step of the way.”

“It’s fans like you that keep us doing what we are doing,” Hoggard continued. “We couldn’t get through this without people like you, through the ups and the downs, through the highs and the lows, the good times and the bad. ‘Cause Peterborough, sometimes life sucks and that’s why we’ve got you, ‘cause Peterborough sometimes life sucks and that’s why you’ve got us.”

The crowd then assisted Hoggard with the final verse of the song, with Hoggard ending it by saying goodnight to the crowd.

The response was not quite a standing ovation, but it was enough to bring the band back to the stage for one encore song.

This piece was edited by Valerie Dittrich. 


Toronto Symphony Orchestra enchants audiences with Harry Potter Concert Series

By: Gabrielle Reyes Nostalgia filled the air as thousands of fans poured into The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts last night to experience the film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets like never before.

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series, presented by The Sony Centre and Attila Glatz Concert Productions, has returned for the second installment of the film series. Led by guest conductor Joshua Gersen, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed the iconic score with the film projected behind them on screen.

(Gabrielle Reyes/CanCulture)
(Gabrielle Reyes/CanCulture)

In stark contrast to the formal tone of most orchestral performances, this film concert series is an immersive experience. An unmistakably strong sense of community was felt as audience members collectively engaged with the film and its music through cheers and applause. Before taking his place at the conductor’s podium, Gersen even had audience members cheering for their Hogwarts houses.

The Sony Centre also featured a pre-show talk, “Behind the Curtain,” with TSO’s principal harpist, Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton and Toronto-based journalist Deirdre Kelly. They discussed the intricacies and challenges of performing such an iconic film score and what it takes to prepare for it. Van Hoesen Gorton noted how rewarding it is to be able to perform John Williams’ works, being a fan of Williams herself.

The pre-show talk put the performance into perspective, giving audience members an in-depth look at the show, explaining how various instruments and musical themes are used throughout the film to evoke emotion and complement the film’s atmosphere and characters.

The opening notes of Hedwig’s Theme were enough to elicit excited cheers from audience members. From the ominous musical themes of the Forbidden Forest, to the soaring horn melodies heard on the Quidditch pitch, John Williams’ orchestration brings life to the film. The themes of the second film are far more sinister than the first, and this was evident in their performance. The TSO’s use of articulation and contrasting dynamics effectively emphasized character nuances and tonal changes between scenes. While there is little room for interpretation while playing live with the film, the TSO brought Williams’ score to life.

Their synchronicity with the film was on par with that of the original soundtrack. The TSO blended their sound beautifully with the film, leaving audience members spellbound. In the best of ways, it was easy to forget that a live orchestra was performing a few feet away.

Two decades later, the Harry Potter series continues to captivate fans in new and exciting ways. From the devout Harry Potter fan, to the dedicated TSO patron, to the John Williams enthusiast, this film concert series promises a night of magic and entertainment for everyone.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets In Concert continues at Toronto’s Sony Centre until Oct. 14.  Tickets are available here.

For even more Harry Potter, check out the details for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert next May!

Joey Bada$$ and Miguel shine at Ryerson's Sundown Music Festival

By: Nathan Williams The Ryerson Student’s Union hosted “Sundown Music Festival” last Friday, one final concert jam for students to enjoy before the summer weather begins to fade. Artists Joey Bada$$ and Miguel headlined the show held at the picturesque Polson Pier.

There were high expectations for this year’s event after the backlash that the RSU received following the controversial outcome of last year’s “6 Fest."

Sundown kicked off with a performance by Toronto’s very own all-female rap group, The Sorority. With a sound heavily inspired by 90s hip-hop, their hard-hitting lyricism and homage to rappers from decades past got the crowd involved.


Next up were The Skins, an afro-punk band known for their collaborations with hip-hop artist D.R.A.M. Hailing from Brooklyn, The Skins’ musical style incorporated hip-hop samples from the likes of fellow New York City artist Jay-Z with their own R&B sound.

From Ajax, Ont., rapper Sean Leon took the stage. This was his second RSU concert performance and he captivated fans with his stage presence, bringing energy into his rhymes. Playing songs such as “Steve Harvey / Family Feud, his catchy hooks had the crowd singing along.

(Gavin Mercier/CanCulture)
(Gavin Mercier/CanCulture)

Earlier this year, hip-hop artist Logic had to postpone his Toronto stop on the "Everybody's Tour." The festival was a great opportunity for fans to see Joey Bada$$, who was supposed to accompany Logic on his tour.

Joey Bada$$ made his presence known through his style of “conscious rap." A hip-hop mainstay, Joey Bada$$ played hits from his 2017 studio release ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$. “Land of the Free”, and “Devastated were just some of the tracks performed from this politically-charged album.

Not one to shy away from controversial topics, this full-length LP discusses racial tension amidst the wake of the new American presidency. For long-time fans, he played his classic hits “Paper Trail$” and “Christ Conscious”.

(Gavin Mercier/CanCulture)
(Gavin Mercier/CanCulture)

Starting his “Wildheart” tour at Sundown Music Festival, Miguel was the last artist to take the stage. His smooth voice and R&B sound delivered a relaxed vibe to an easygoing crowd. Audience members swayed to the likes of “Do You…” and “Coffee”.

His backing band energized the crowd with powerful guitar riffs through each song. Ending the night, Miguel performed his major hit “Adorn” and appeared once more to sing his upcoming hit, “Skywalker”, as a surprise encore.