July 5, 2019


McMahon Stadium is going to be rockin’ on July 18.

The Northern Pikes will be hitting the stage at halftime of our Thursday Night Football game against the Toronto Argonauts.

“It was very exciting for us to find out about that because we’ve done a few things before for sports, but never a halftime show at a football game, so this will be a first for the band,” said Pikes drummer Don Schmid. “We’ve been together for 35 years, so it’s a highlight – it’s one of those gigs that will go down as one of the highlights of our career. We’re very excited for it.”

While Stampeders coach Dave Dickenson will keep his play calls tight to the vest, the Pikes are more than willing to share their set list.

They’ll be mixing in a little new and a little old too for the fans.

“We’ve got three songs planned,” Schmid explained. “The first one is not part of the live performance, but the second two will be. The first of the live performance songs is called ‘King In His Castle’, from our new album that just came out on June 7; it’s called Forest of Love. The second song is probably our most notable song which is ‘She Ain’t Pretty’ from our Snow in June album which came out in 1990.”

Calgary, said Schmid, is a special place for the Northern Pikes.

“This last record, Forest of Love, we recorded in Calgary. We stayed at a hotel right across from McMahon Stadium,” he explained. “We’ve done lots of shows in Calgary over the years. In fact, the first time we played ‘She Ain’t Pretty’ – before we recorded it – was in Calgary at Prince’s Island Park. That was in the summer of 1989 and the interesting thing about that song was that people sang back the chorus the second time through the song and they had never heard it before, so that gave us a good indication that we had a hit on our hands.”

Members of the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the band is comprised of Schmid, Jay Semko, Bryan Potvin, and Kevin Kane.

Despite having roots in Saskatchewan and Toronto, there’s no doubt who the band will be cheering for on July 18.

“We’re all football fans, really,” admitted Schmid. “Most of us grew up as Riders fans, I go back to back in the day when Ron Lancaster was there in the ’70s. There was always a great rivalry between Calgary and Saskatchewan, so that was always fun for me. Now we’ll have the Argonauts playing in this game, that’ll be interesting because Bryan lived in Toronto and Kevin, our guitar player, lives in Toronto now, so it’ll be fun.

“But we’ll be repping the Red & White. We’re definitely Stampeders fans that day, for sure.”

With a capacity of 35,650, McMahon Stadium represents one of the biggest venues the Northern Pikes have played.

“A comparable would be when we opened for David Bowie and Duran Duran at the CNE in Toronto in 1987,” said Schmid. “That was the biggest show we’ve ever done in any setting. We’ve never done a CFL halftime show before, so we’re very excited for it and we’re excited to play out on the field.”

“We’re ready to rock on this one.”