Polar bears, narwhal, wolves and sasquatches?
Canada’s Northern House, a premier showcase of all things Yukon and Northern at the Olympics, could not miss a chance to show off a little rockabilly jump-jive to a packed house.
The afternoon show on Yukon Day pumped up the reputation for members of Sasquatch Prom Date, already quite well known in Whitehorse.
The members dressed in their Olympic best, which is saying a lot for a band known for taut tuxedos, crushed-velvet prom dresses, pompadours reaching new heights, and pink sparkly wigs.
Olympic-sized exposure let Sasquatch Prom Date reach new heights with the added thousands of new rockabilly fans and new audiences.
Genesee Keevil, upright-bass player and pink-haired rocker extraordinaire, says, “It’s amazing. It’s not our usual crowd, and we’re breaking the age barriers right, left and centre.
“People who might not normally listen to rockabilly are just getting up and boppin’ to the music.”
She’s right. During the lunchtime set, its music inspired many visiting VIPs to step up and get moving.
Member of Parliament Larry Bagnell took Yukon Commissioner Geraldine Van Bibber and danced a brief waltz, inspired by the upbeat and jaunty songs.
Ryan McNally shouted out to the crowd, “This song is dedicated for the Yukon people. I lost my girl in the Yukon!” And he broke out the classic half-mournful, half-hilarious song.
Keevil notes that the North has a lot of positive energy and that their success at the Olympics is due in no small way to the support of the Whitehorse crowd.
“They have a lot of heart, and because of their encouragement, here we are at the Olympics, letting everyone know about the Yukon and Sasquatch Prom Date.”
They certainly earned their fame, with shows at the athletes’ village, Railroad Club, Canada’s Northern House and many other venues.
Sasquatch Prom Date kept running through its Olympic music sprint, and Keevil wouldn’t have it any other way: “We’re pushing boundaries and it’s been fabulous. We are reaching more demographics than we ever thought possible and we find a lot of it is really being appreciated by the crowds.”
What’s in store for Sasquatch Prom Date, now that it’s gained an international fan base?
Keevil says the members hope to capitalize on their success with older demographics and release a full-length album later in the year, introducing aspects of Latin-rockabilly and stretching themselves creatively with more of their own music.
“It was just nice to play to an audience that hasn’t heard us before at the Gold Rush or at Coasters. A great opportunity to broaden our fanbase and get our music out to them,” says Keevil.
That’s not to say Sasquatch Prom Date doesn’t appreciate its home-grown fans. The members remain true Yukoners, with anticipated performance dates coming up at the venerable Dawson Music Festival in July and, of course, various venues like the Gold Rush or Coasters.