Well, okay, not entirely teen — probably mostly 20 somethings. Either way, it’s a good song and somewhat relevant title when you finally figure out what the hell I am going to blog about.

I have definitely made it no secret how supportive I am of local music here in Calgary, and I think it is almost a duty of mine to continue to spread the love by dedicating a blog every so often to the awesome talent we have going on.

Saturday night I happened to luck out and learn was a Rockstar contest finale hosted by one of the local radio stations. Generally I follow these types of events, but since a new station took over hosting the contest I haven’t paid as much attention as I normally would. There were slated to be some not-so-Ashley style artists performing but looking further down the list I noticed that 2 local acts I really dig were up for a chance at the same $200, 000 the other not-so-Ashley style artists were trying to win. One of the acts in particular, Makeshift Innocence, I hadn’t seen perform in years. Yeah, I kept track of their Facebook updates every so often and watched their latest videos but I wasn’t fully aware of how amazingly they had transformed since my last live encounter with them.

The last time I saw Makeshift Innocence they were a smaller group, I believe they may have even just been a duo at that time, playing in a dingy bar just on the outskirts of downtown in the Big Rock Untapped competition against my ex-boyfriend’s band. I remember this vividly because after I saw them perform, specifically saw their front man Jesse-James do his thing, I was blown away. The set was fairly simple and acoustic, but that’s basically how I love things. I felt almost guilty because I was supposed to be there to support someone else, my boyfriend at the time someone else to be exact, and I was feeling more drawn to this new act that until that night, I’d only heard a little about through word of mouth. I probably also felt slightly guilty because I am a sucker for bearded tattooed men who can woo me with their melodic talents and I had a boyfriend at the time but, hey, back to the story.

Turns out Makeshift was onto something and the band won the “showdown” that night in the dingy bar. I couldn’t help but be sort of excited for them, despite the fact that the people I was originally rooting for had just lost. Apparently that night was only the beginning. I have to admit, although I subscribed to updates from the group and continued to follow them through social media, I never made it to anymore shows for whatever reasons I had at the time. On Saturday night, after seeing not only how evolved the group has become, sounding so together and full of a feel good genuineness you can’t always find with a clearly strong support from the community, I felt somewhat guilty for not making all those past shows I missed out on.

I’ve seen some of my favourite local bands fade out before my very eyes. Even bands that saw great national and international successes have evaporated on us. Bands who were seemingly destined for greatness and end up deciding to pursue other things isn’t uncommon in the business and especially the local scene because it takes such hard work to get anywhere. Even after a little help, or a really successful breakthrough, a good number of talented bands end up fizzling out at one point or another; the “rockstar” phase ends and they go back to living “normal” lives.

What I particularly loved about Saturday night was that I had an instant feeling that Makeshift Innocence wasn’t going to be like those other bands. The group had clearly been alive for a couple of years by this point, considering it had been a while since I last saw them perform, and although the members in the group changed some, they had clearly learned enough to know what direction they needed to take their music. The group, despite the changes, still had that simple, raw and authentic presence about them that I loved. I don’t mean to use simple so often, as it can be intended as derogatory, but I mean it to be quite positive. You knew instantly what the band was there to do, you knew that they weren’t putting on an act; they weren’t walking around bribing people with lollipops and balloons. Makeshift Innocence was there to share something they love with people that love them for sharing it. How much better can it get?

My first time seeing Makeshift Innocence I saw them win a small local competition, but a competition none the less. Clearly that win was only one of the many catalysts they received over the last couple of years. Somewhat fitting that the second time I get to see them they also win, this time $200, 000 in career development and support in a relatively larger competition. I finally feel like it is a fitting reward for a group that I have faith will use it wisely.

Can’t wait to see what the future holds, and I will try and not be such a slack ass when it comes to seeing these guys, and gal, perform some more! Ideally they stick with it and don’t make me eat my words — ha ha.