Metchosin's Jesse Roper is looking forward to his upcoming show in Campbell River

‘That place is awesome’

Bluesman Jesse Roper excited to be coming back to Campbell River, opening for Chilliwack March 30

Fans of classic rock will surely be excited about long-time Canadian stalwarts, Chilliwack, coming back to Campbell River for their upcoming show at the Tidemark Theatre March 30.

Chilliwack has long been the quintessential Canadian road warrior band, touring the country for over 40 years sharing their music with fans at venues as small as the local pub to stadiums and festivals, speedways, fireworks shows and everything in between.

This particular tour, however, sees them bring along an increasingly-familiar rocker as their opening act, and one who says Campbell River is slowly becoming one of his favourite places to perform, thanks to the energy of the people here.

“The first time I came up there was when I opened for Current Swell,” says Metchosin B.C.’s Jesse Roper from his van parked just outside Nanaimo the morning after opening for another Canadian music icon, Colin James, at the Port Theatre.

“It was so fun,” he says of his first Tidemark show. “The crowd was so into it right off the hop. I mean, sometimes you get on stage and you’re nervous and people just stare at you and it makes it worse,” he says with a laugh. “But not that night. I got on stage and everyone was like, ‘Woooohooooo’ and I was all, ‘alright, I love this place!'”

He came back up a few months later for the Campbell River Mirror Jazz & Blues Fest last summer, “and once again, it was just a fantastic experience. So I called my manager and told him, ‘hey, we gotta get back up there again. That place is awesome.'”

“You can expect me to be there more and more often, to be sure.”

This visit is part of a seven-gig tour as Chilliwack’s opener, which is something else he’s excited about.

“This is honestly the first time I’ve been picked up for a tour,” he says. “Usually I get, you know, one date with Colin (James) or whatever, which is always really exciting, but this is seven days on the road with Chilliwack,” he continues excitedly. “It’s fantastic. I love so many of their tunes. I’ve been listening to them my entire life.”

So what is he hoping to get out of it?

“I guess I’d just like to take away some wisdom. I don’t really know what to expect, but if there’s something to take away from this, that’s probably the main thing I’d like. I mean, they obviously still love it if they’re still doing it, and I guess that’s something that I’m hoping I can take away from this experience,” he says. “Just, you know, how to keep loving it and giving it your all when things maybe seem a little bleak or you start getting down. This can’t be about money or anything else. It has to be about loving it.”

Which is something he’s already got a pretty good handle on. Anyone who has seen Roper on stage knows just how much he loves being there.

“I realized long ago that music is the only drug for me, and it’s the only trip I need to take. So for eight days in a row, I’m going to be pretty damn happy.”

Tickets for Chilliwack – and Roper – are available now at the Tidemark Box Office from Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4 p.m. or online at tickets.tidemarktheatre.com