Dear Rouge @ Calgary Stampede

Arts Coverage

Dear Rouge played their first live show since the pandemic at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday. 

The B.C. rockers (who take their name from frontwoman Danielle McTaggart’s hometown of Red Deer, Alberta) wasted no time getting the party going with intense and propulsive songs like “Boys and Blondes,” “I Heard I Had,” and “Tongues.” 

Peering into the crowd in front of the Stampede Summer Stage joked that she wished she could be in the middle of it, but “some of you people might be deadly to me.”

The aching “Stolen Days” took on a newly resonant meaning after a year and a half of shutdowns and restrictions, as did follow-up “Chains.” 

McTaggart looked thrilled to be back onstage, admitting she’d resorted to drinking boxed wine to cope with pandemic trauma.  

The synth-rockers also debuted a pair of new songs, including their upcoming single “Fake Fame,” which will be released in September. 

“You weren’t supposed to announce that,” chided her husband, guitarist Drew McTaggart. 

“This is why you come to live shows,” Danielle retorted.

It was an apt comment. Bursting with pent-up energy, Dear Rouge’s Stampede set (which closed, appropriately, with “Live Through the Night”) was a reminder of what we’ve all been missing out on.

Band: Dear Rouge

Venue: Calgary Stampede Summer Stage

Date: July 10/2021


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