For more than ten years Dwayne Gretzky has been thrilling audiences with their 10-piece joyride through some of the greatest songs of all-time. Crackerjack musicians and entertainers galore, this beloved institution makes feel-good music for people who want to have fun, and it’s no wonder they’re playing July 5 at Cabana for the KIND Summer Fair. KIND editor Ben Kaplan caught up with Tyler Kyte to talk about that goodtime, summertime rock ‘n’ roll.
Ben Kaplan: You guys have been longtime partners of KIND—you were in our first issue—and now you're playing our first multi-day festival. What's been your feedback, sharing your tunes with the cannabis community?
Tyler Kyte: It’s fun to collaborate and be a part of cool things starting up and growing and for us, we all enjoy treating ourselves when the time is right and think cannabis is a wonderful thing. I think it makes sense to put the responsibility in the hand of the user and like alcohol or any intake, we want to promote balance but it’s definitely something we treat with respect—and love.
BK: How come?
TK: Nice way to relax and if I have a day off and can spin one, it’s a glorious thing.
BK: So dude, level me: song of the summer?
TK: Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox. It’s a difficult song to bring to life but live it just seems like candy—so fun and joyous. The other one that Nick has wanted to play forever is Whip It by Devo. I always thought it was silly but we added it to the set and it’s refreshing and fun.
BK: After all these years, how’s it feel to be back on the stage?
TK: Definitely there’s an appreciation that’s completely different than what it was.
BK: How so?
TK: I think there’s an awareness of what it takes from us—all of us—to tap into something together and energy-wise, to really bring it, you know? Any show can be your last and so we don’t treat any of them lightly. We’re definitely so happy to be here because it’s been a wild ride.
BK: I’ve seen you a bunch and the audiences always go wild but I bet now they’re also responding to pent up demand.
TK: There’s an added appreciation and I think maybe people are even a bit more easygoing, which is nice. And another thing I’ve noticed is how the younger generation really knows a lot of wide-reaching music. In the 90s, we listened to what we liked and nothing more, but nowadays, people have diverse playlists, which is perfect for us because the audience really knows and appreciates a wide range of music.
BK: What music always plays a part in Dwayne Gretzky show?
TK: We always come back to Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie, it says everything we want to say as a band about challenges and our ability to care for ourselves and those around us in a positive way.
BK: Love that. So that’s part of every setlist?
TK: This year, we’re not doing set lists. We call them out on the fly.
BK: That’s the best.
TK: It makes the songs as surprising to the band as they are to the audience. We can throw Total Eclipse in the middle of a set and, when no one’s expecting it—no one in the band and no one in the audience—we’re walking into unchartered territory. The audience can tell the band is having fun, and present in the moment—that’s what we’re all looking for.
BK: Anything special guests at the Summer Fair should be looking for in your et?
TK: We’re always feeding off the audience so I’ll make sure we add a couple off weed-centric tunes. I don’t know if it’s Last Dance With Mary Jane or maybe the Dylan tune—everybody must get stoned—but definitely there will be some fun songs to celebrate the event. We’ll definitely get a little psychedelic.
BK: Can’t wait, man. Thank you so, so much. And, lastly, where else are you guys this summer?
TK: We have a dream summer ahead of us. I literally have to pinch myself. Gigs at Jackson Triggs and things we’ve always seen our peers play, this summer we’re playing. Places like the Shake the Lake festival in Bala, the Because Beer Festival in Hamilton, the Calgary Stampede, we want to be at all these big outdoor festivals. We’re looking forward to it all.
You can get your ticket to Dwayne Gretzky on Day One KIND Summer Fair by clicking here, and for more DG tour dates, please click here.