Jesse Roper is tired, inspired and fans love it

IN CONCERT

What: The One Night Only Concert Series featuring Jesse Roper, Yukon Blonde, Daniel Wesley, and Lo Waight and The Rattlesnakes
When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Where: Phillips Brewing and Malting Co., 2010 Government St.
Tickets: $43.15 at ticketweb.ca

A busy week has Metchosin rocker Jesse Roper heading into one of his biggest shows this summer feeling both tired and inspired. That bodes well for fans of Roper, who say he’s at his best when touring life has him zigging and zagging.

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“The best I ever feel is when I’m on tour and dog-tired from the night before, and have a show to go to,” Roper said. “There’s nothing like it. I feel like I’ve accomplished something by getting my ya-yas out on stage.”

Dog-tired is an apt description of Roper at the moment. The Hurricane’s Eye hitmaker and his band have been in constant motion lately, beginning with his appearance Friday at Lake Cowichan’s Laketown Shakedown.

They performed in Grand Prairie, Alta., on Saturday before driving to Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., for a performance on Canada Day. Next up for Roper is the headlining slot at The One Night Only Concert Series at Phillips Brewing and Malting Co. on Saturday, with opening acts Yukon Blonde, Daniel Wesley, and Lo Waight and The Rattlesnakes.

In addition to preparing three new songs from his upcoming album, he has worked up a cover of Deep Purple’s Highway Star, a song he rarely performs.

Roper and his management team also came up with the idea of an expanded VIP ticket (for $124.12) that includes a guided brewery tour hosted by Roper and a private acoustic performance inside the building. Not surprisingly, the allotted 40 tickets sold out in less than two hours — par for the course for an artist whose fans have dubbed him the Metchosin One.

“Even though he’s a local artist, he’s a real character,” said Nick Blasko of Atomique Productions, which is producing the event. “And that relationship between artist and fan is very real, like it would be if the artist was from off the Island. There is a lot of excitement to do something with him that is an elevated experience. I hand it to him for dreaming up something that was interesting for his audience.”

Blasko said he’s expecting 3,000 fans to take in the concert, which gives the Government Street brewery the biggest rock footprint of the summer in Victoria.

Roper was an obvious choice to kick off what is expected to be a series of concerts at the site, Blasko said. “We’ve been working with Jesse for so long, it seemed natural that we would break ground with him on this. He’s a local artist who has an incredible and dedicated fan base. We wanted to build an event around him.”

The task of staging a one-night concert for thousands of revellers is a big one for Atomique Productions, considering the amount of infrastructure needed. The concert promotion company uses the Phillips Brewing site for several multi-day events, including the upcoming Phillips Backyard Weekender from July 26 through July 28.

But Blasko said the team is looking at the inaugural entry in The One Night Only Concert Series as a doorway into the site’s future.

“Typically, we’ve only ever gone in there for three or four days at a time. Being able to turn this around in a one-night à la carte basis is the goal here. This weekend will be a proof of concept for us.”

mdevlin@timescolonist.com

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