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The Sheepdogs (known at the time as The Breaks) performing at Louis'. (Submitted by Margi Corbett)

How Louis' Pub, a campus bar, became home to big names in music and a legendary greenroom

When you say Louis' Pub, many Saskatoon people can rattle off a list of the great shows they have seen in the campus bar/concert venue. Saskatoon's own Ewan Currie (BA'11) and the Sheepdogs made their debut on their stage. This week, Louis' Pub is a part of Junofest, which takes place on March 13 and 14 in Saskatoon. The celebration has a roster of more than 50 musical acts, including local Saskatoon artists and Juno Award nominees.

When you say Louis' Pub, many Saskatoon people can rattle off a list of the great shows they have seen in the campus bar/concert venue, as reported by the CBC.

The club has brought in acts like K.D. Lang, Metric, Tegan and Sara, and Death from Above. This week, Louis' Pub is a part of Junofest, which takes place on March 13 and 14 in Saskatoon. The celebration has a roster of more than 50 musical acts, including local Saskatoon artists and Juno Award nominees.

The years of live music at Louis' drew in Morgan Billard. He is now the venue's events manager, but said he remembers the first show he saw at the bar.

"First show I ever saw, or first show that I can really remember here was Tokyo Police Club, with Attack in Black opening. I remember I was 16 or 17 at the time." says Billard. "I just remember the lights dimming down, the band going on, going to the front and seeing one of my favourite bands play for the first time. It was really cool."

Billard was hooked.

"From there it just kind of spiraled. Like I just I found myself really loving going to see live music and kind of being a part of a community here, especially at a really young age."

Billard said the legacy of the stage itself and bands who played there early in their career carry a huge weight.

"Alexisonfire and Billy Talent back in the early 2000s, they played here a couple of times. Those were really, really big bands for me," he said. "Tegan and Sara, that's one that comes to mind a lot. Metric's a huge one and has always been one of my favourite bands. So knowing that they played here and then went on to become this big arena band is really cool."Billard said that in recent memory, a local band stands out in terms of playing the Louis' stage before making it big. 

"The most recent band to come to mind out of Saskatoon that has really [made it big] has been the Sheepdogs," Billard said. "That band has brought a lot of attention to this city, a lot of attention to the music scene going on here. I think its kind of put us on a more national and international level."

Ewan Currie (BA'11), Sheepdogs frontman, played his first show with the band at Louis'. (Matt Garand/CBC)

Sheepdogs' frontman Ewan Currie said his first few times at Louis' were as a student.

"I remember seeing Death From Above, Tokyo Police Club, Jurassic 5. Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings were playing here and then after the show we took them to a party nearby. It's pretty sweet.. I remember playing Buddy Miles' Down by the River, and the guitar player was like 'Who is this?' I was like, 'Yeah...I feel cool.'"

Currie and the Sheepdogs would eventually make their debut on the stage at Louis'. 

"It was a Battle of the Bands. One of those things where you sell tickets to your friends so you automatically have a built-in crowd. I remember we won that night and we were all pumped up, fired up, because our friends were cheering for us," Currie said. "Then Sam's [drummer for the Sheepdogs] dad, who's Sheldon Corbett, a local musician, he was just like, 'You know not all of your shows are going to be like this.' Which was very good advice."

Read more at https://www.cbc.ca/news/.

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