Hunter Brothers bring the country into Algonquin Commons Theatre

Smoke, strobe lights and a packed theatre of fans wearing camo, plaid and cowboy boots gave the Hunter Brothers concert at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Dec. 2 a country feel to a city venue. The concert was one stop on the band’s cross-country Canadian tour to promote its new album Burning Down the Barn. […]
Photo: Rebekah Houter
The Hunter Brothers bring their best to the Algonquin's Commons Theatre on Dec. 2.

Smoke, strobe lights and a packed theatre of fans wearing camo, plaid and cowboy boots gave the Hunter Brothers concert at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Dec. 2 a country feel to a city venue.

The concert was one stop on the band’s cross-country Canadian tour to promote its new album Burning Down the Barn.

All ages came out, with 11-year-old Julie Rickard saying it was her first time at a concert.

“Probably Born and Raised,” she said about her favourite song. “Or Lost. I really like Lost.”

A long line formed even before the doors opened at the apparel booth, lined with sweaters, baseball caps, toques, t-shirts with “Hunter Brothers” on them and even baby onesies reading “Born and raised.”

The night began with Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys opening the show with an arrangement of original bluegrass songs and getting the crowd on their feet with the fast-paced tunes.

Vaadeland, a recent winner of the Roots or Folk Artist of the Year for 2023 from the Saskatchewan Music Awards, said he faced no small amounts of criticism growing up but learned how to stay true to himself and take his passion and unique style and make a career.

“Follow your heart and do what you are good at. Education is good and I’m only 20, but don’t let it hinder what you are good at,” said Vaadeland. “We don’t need to be cookie cutters. Everyone needs to have their own unique part to make the world a real special place.”

The Hunter Brothers opened their set with Long Way Home and Northern Lights, with some people waving posters, and one young fan holding up a sign reading, “Why’d the chicken cross the road? To get to this party,” lyrics from the hit song Burn Down the Barn.


The energetic brothers from Saskatchewan brought people to their feet, with fans dancing and singing along and some audience members getting involved with the act.

Alberta-born-and-raised Mackenzie Salmon and her boyfriend of six years, Brett Young, came up from Montreal to take a break from school and enjoy the evening together, but became part of the act when lead singer Ty Hunter got Young to sing an opening line of Salmon’s favourite song Northern Lights.

“A little nerve-wracking,” said Young about how he felt about singing for the crowd. “There’s nothing else you can do other than sing on the spot.”

Young added while he would prefer to see a country show out west in the open air, country music is good wherever you end up.

“The outside venues are always a little bit better to get the atmosphere, but it’s always good. Wherever you go it’s always good,” said Young.

“We love the Hunter Brothers, they are honestly my favourite band of all time,” said Salmon. “We’ve seen them a couple of times and I was excited when I heard they were doing a tour across Canada and this was the closest place. I was like, we have to go.”

Salmon said she is in the middle of her final exams in her dentistry program in Montreal and the concert was a nice break from exam studying.

“I would recommend a Hunter Brothers concert to anyone, no matter what you’re going through. It’s a good thing to stress relief and live in the moment,” said Salmon.

“It’s like a piece of home listening to their music.”

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