Jesse Roper says hello to some fans dancing beside the stage. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Jesse Roper and Vince Vaccaro take Campbell River fans on a wild ride

Metchosin bluesman shows once again why he’s become one of our favourite performers

Campbell River’s favourite blues rocker, Jesse Roper, came to the Tidemark Theatre again last week – but this time he brought his band with him.

He also brought his friend Vince Vaccaro to open the show with a set of his own.

While Vaccaro may not be a household name, he’s certainly found a level of success, having shared the stage with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Sam Roberts, City & Colour, Bedouin Soundclash and many other notable acts.

And for good reason.

Vaccaro reminded me of the first time I saw Roper, in fact. He wandered out on stage alone with an unassuming confidence and proceeded to knock the wind out of the audience with just a single six-string guitar and a bass drum driven by his right foot.

As the first verse of the first song ended, I already knew he was the perfect act to open a Roper show. Vaccaro has a powerful, dynamic, gripping voice, strong, driving guitar lines – much like Roper, but with less of a blues-y infusion – and a personality that brings an audience along with him as he works his way through a set.

He quickly showed he’s not a one-trick pony, either. Once I had determined I was already a fan, he quickly moved to another style that made me like him even more. He went from reminding me of Dallas Green to Bruce Springsteen within seconds, which is no easy task.

And just as I thought, “there was definitely some Boss in that last one,” he announced that he was going to do a cover, “because I think it’s important to pay tribute to your influences,” he said, and launched into No Surrender, from Springsteen’s 1984 album, Born in the U.S.A. – one of the seemingly few songs on the album that never made it into a single – and did it beautifully.

After a short intermission, it was Roper’s turn.

This was my first time seeing Roper with his full band behind him, and I didn’t know what to expect.

But the enigmatic and charismatic musician once again proceeded to burn the place down with his intoxicating energy and enthusiasm – not that I had any doubt.

Unlike Roper’s solo shows, however, this one felt more like a jam session than a concert – in a good way. Instead of driving through his songs, moving from one to the next, a Roper show with his band is more like a chance for good friends to play with each other and explore the music from within, while bringing the audience along. Most songs had a keyboard solo – planned or impromptu, only they will ever know – a bass solo, a drum solo, a blues-guitar solo, and often more than one within the same song.

Fittingly, the session lasted well into the night. It was well past 11 p.m. by the time the last notes rung out and concert goers headed for the door.

The ones who stuck around in the lobby, however, were soon greeted by a smiling Roper who emerged from backstage just as enthusiastic to chat, sign autographs and take selfies with fans as he was to launch into his set at the beginning of the night, and with an energy that seemed inconsistent with the fact that he’d just blown away an audience for 2.5 hours on stage.

See you again soon, Jesse. You know you’re welcome back anytime.

And you can bring Vince with you.

If you missed the fun, here’s a short sample, where Roper breaks a string mid-song and sends his band into a jam so he can change it on stage…because all his other guitars are set to a different key.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Jesse Roper put on an amazing show once again at the Tidemark Theatre last week, showing once again why he is quickly becoming one of Campbell River’s favourite live acts. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Vince Vaccaro opened for Jesse Roper at the Tidemark last week. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

City of Campbell River to expand CR Live Streets offerings in 2020

Extra $9,000 added to next years budget to add a sixth event to the summer entertainment series

Campbell River woman looks to support forestry workers in a delicious way

Valerie McCulloch is selling boxes of Jack Links beef jerky to fundraise for Loonies For Loggers

Toy donation brings some action to Campbell River Christmas hampers

The Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper Fund received a donation of 175… Continue reading

North Island-Powell River MP surprised by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s resignation

But it doesn’t change anything for the NDP, Rachel Blaney says

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Most Read