From Elvis to Queen, Van Morrison to The Who, Leisa Way and the Wayward Wind Band jived through rock history at an open-air concert in Head Lake Park on Aug. 21.

Hosted by the Highlands Summer Festival, the band performed “Rock the Night Away” on Saturday evening, Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening.

Leisa Way’s exuberant stage presence was punctuated with snappy outfit changes and fun anecdotes about the history of songs and bands loved worldwide. Whether chatting about Mick Jagger’s backstage shenanigans or turning a Gordon Lightfoot classic into jazzy pop number, Way kept the audience on their toes — and kept those toes tapping.

Her band is stuffed with experience: Fred Smith, a guitarist who’s shared the stage with Chuck Berry, shredded a handmade electric guitar alongside bassist Bobby Prochaska. Jake Simons was the band’s newest member — but it didn’t seem like it. A highlight of the show was his rendition of a stone-cold Elvis; matching the King of Rock and Roll note for note (along with signature hip-shaking).

Doug Balfour took centre stage for a few songs from the keyboard and drummer Don Reid accented stories with raps of the high-hat and showcased his versatility with rhythms that shook the soul all night long.


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