Metchosinite Jesse Roper from the Roper Show

‘Epic’ guitar player ropes them in

Metchosin masher Jesse Roper ready to Rock the Shores

Jesse Roper has the itch.

Coming off a June performance at Port Renfrew’s Tall Tree music festival The Roper Show front man considers one of his best sets yet, he is anxious to hit the stage again.

And the stakes have never been higher to repeat that performance. At his upcoming show July 12 at Rock the Shores, the Metchosinite will share the billing with some of the biggest names of his career and play in front of thousands of people.

“I hope it is the best show that I have ever played. I want to go up there and destroy it,” he says of his band’s appearance on the stage in Colwood. “Over the next few days I will play non-stop (to be at) my very best.”

A musician since age six, Roper, 32, says he was once too shy to play in front of others. Now he gets much of his life’s enjoyment out of playing for people and even gets irritable when he doesn’t have shows lined up.

“I can’t imagine going back to (my previous) life. I painted for eight years and wasn’t sure where I was going to go. My life wasn’t giving me much; I was busy, but wasn’t happy.

“I’ve never been happier in the last five years, putting the pedal to the medal (musically),” he said. “I know to keep this happiness up I need to keep doing what I am doing. I just need to get better.”

Roper describes his music as “blues-rooted, everything under the sun.” He was over the moon at the news he would be one of the local acts on the card for Rock the Shores, Vancouver Island’s biggest music festival of the year.

“I was stoked when I got the email. Who is going to say no to this?” he asked.

Sharing the bill with such veteran performers as Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Billy Talent, The Cult and Our Lady Peace – a lineup Roper calls “awesome” – makes this “definitely the big show for my career.”

Radio host Dylan Willows of 91.3 The Zone remembers vividly seeing Roper perform for the first time. Willows was hosting a launch party for the Tall Tree Festival and had heard rumblings of “an epic guitar player from Metchosin,” for months.

“I go to a lot of shows and I am usually the guy in the back, but I found myself right smack dab in front of him,” Willows says. “I was mesmerized by his energy. It was raw and it just draws you in.”

Rock the Shores, which takes over the lower fields at West Shore Parks and Recreation July 11 to 13, offers artists like Roper a great chance to get their music out there.

“It is important to have an opportunity for local bands to have that benchmark to reach in their hometown,Willows says.

“They also need to be ready for it. This is no joke, this is 12,000 people out there and a major production … (Roper) is the real deal, without question.”

Roper, whose new album, Red Bird, hits the street Aug. 23, sounds ready.

“I want to play the biggest stages in the biggest festival and play backyard campfires, because I get as much out of that,” he said. “(I want to) just play as much as I can before I die.”

alim@vicnews.com

Keep on rockin’ on the West Shore

The third annual Rock the Shores music festival goes July 11 to 13 at West Shore Parks and Recreation, with nightly headliners Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Billy Talent and Our Lady Peace.

There’s various ticket packages available:

• General admission for one day is $59.50 plus service charge, or $109.50 for a VIP ticket, which includes priority entrance, access to a raised viewing deck, VIP food and beverage area and private washroom facilities.

• Three-day tickets are $129.50 and $279.50. Tickets are available at rocktheshores.com along with further information.

Just Posted

Esquimalt requests public feedback as it plans for plastic bag ban

An online survey aims to gather information before the ban comes into effect in January 2020

Rain with a high of 16 C for Tuesday

Plus your weekly forecast

Canada Women’s Rugby 7s Team land at home after series triumph

Next stop at Langford offers Olympic qualification

Castaway Wanderers men, women advance to B.C. semifinals

Castaway Wanderers men trounce UVic 59-29 in playoffs

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Easter bombings a response to New Zealand attacks, says Sri Lanka minister

The Islamic State group asserted it was responsible for the nine bombings

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Most Read