By Nick Stalford
On Friday night, Alberta Cross opened for Heartless Bastards at Paradise Rock Club, and while it seemed that much of the audience had never heard of Alberta Cross before, the crowd’s reaction was strongly positive from the moment the band began to play.
Alberta Cross is an indie alternative rock band formed in England in 2005 by vocalist and guitarist Petter Stakee and bassist Terry Wolfers. Since their establishment in 2005, Alberta Cross has been through a number of member changes, including Wolfers leaving the band in 2013 to pursue a solo career. Alberta Cross’ third and self-titled album is set for release this October, marking the band’s first release with only Stakee. Despite these changes to the band’s structure, Stakee may have made Alberta Cross’ best album yet, confidently adjusting the band’s sound to combine southern rock, blues, folk, and contemporary British alternative rock.
At 9:00 p.m. on the dot, Alberta Cross took to the stage. Wearing his signature black top hat, Stakee took a moment to tune his guitar before looking out to the crowd and smiling, setting a kind and humble tone for the night. He was accompanied by several touring members, including a bassist, drummer, keyboard and horn player, and another guitarist who also played a pedal steel guitar. Once set up, Alberta Cross launched into a forty-five-minute set with no pauses for banter or theatrics. Throughout the set, Alberta Cross primarily played material from their newest album, including highlights such as “Ghost of Santa Fe” and “Western State.”
As Alberta Cross progressed through their set, the crowd continued to grow. There were many enthused mumbles of “who are these guys?” from latecomers to the show. Towards the end, a guy who I had met while waiting outside for the doors to open turned to me and smiled, giving me two thumbs up. He had never heard of Alberta Cross before, and he anxiously gestured for me to type the band’s name into his phone so that he could look them up after the show.
Alberta Cross will be continuing their tour with Heartless Bastards, and their new album, Alberta Cross, comes out on October 16.