The Band Forum Softens the Blow The Day the Music Died

The evening opened with an announcement from organizer Henry Small that this would be the last night of Music in the Park for 2021. Earlier in the day Dr. Bonny Henry had announced that outdoor gatherings could not exceed 50 people, so the City of Kamloops decided to cancel the music series. Normally this type of announcement would put a damper on the festivities, but, the largest crowd of the week decided to make it one last good party. Luckily they had the right band to handle the job. The band Forum is a mostly upbeat, take no prisoners, rock and roll cover band with a bit of country thrown in for good measure.

Blaine Alexandre, Cory Evans, Daryl Ouilette

They were in the mood to celebrate their first large gig in a long time and were anxious to play three new original tunes before a live audience. Through their 90 plus minute set Forum played mostly uptempo songs. Other than the Tragically Hip, they rarely repeated songs from the same artist. There were a few dancers waiting for the downbeat, but as the night moved on the area in front of the bandstand was filled with happy children and adults who were dancing, jumping and performing summersaults and cartwheels. Each song ended to thunderous applause for the five men from Forum.

Blaine Alexandre sounded like he owned these songs and the gentlemen on guitars Erik Scholefield and Steve Chicoine put on a clinic. Lead guitarist Scholefield alternated guitars from time to time and wandered through the adoring crowd without missing a beat. He purposely entertained the children and then proceeded through the rest of the crowd with quite a few of them in tow. It takes more than one good guitarist to fuel such a high energy show and Chicoine did a great job, too.

Cory Evans, Erik Scholefield

The rhythm section of bassist Daryl Ouilette on bass and Cory Evans on drums provided the beat that the great pop songs were built on. Both men provided excellent rhythms at this show.

While all the songs on Forum’s wonderful playlist are appreciated, a few stood out as fan favourites. They were The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy, Fishing in the Dark from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield. Many sang along with the band and participated in the call and response parts with Alexandre.

Another highlight was their original song Shine on Me and the mash up song, Whole Lotta Folsom, where the lyrics of Folsom Prison Blues are sung over the music of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. Eventually all good things must come to a close. Forum ended their night with an encore and thunderous applause.. Very few people had left early. They knew this was it, and then the sun set on the briefest Music in the Park series in history.