The last time Victoria saw Monowhales they were openers for Mother Mother at the Royal Theatre in April. They returned on September 28 as the 2022 Juno Awards Breakthrough Group of The Year headlining their own tour.

The headlining show was a long time coming as their previous attempt in 2019 was cancelled due to bad weather affecting ferry travel.

Lead singer Sally Shaar was bounding with energy on stage with core bandmates drummer Jordan Circosta and guitarist Zach Zanardo up front in a row with her with a their own lighting rig behind them. At various points, Shaar came to security barrier at the front row to perform near the fans. She would later run into the crowd during the encore.

While the show wasn’t sold out (The upper level of Capital Ballroom was closed off), Shaar was very happy with the amount of people who did show up for the Wednesday night concert and how much of the new album the fans already knew. The band promised to come back and hopefully Victoria will welcome them with a sold out show next time.

Opening the night were two capital region bands on the rise. Sooke’s Shale kicked off the evening with some alternative rock mixed with some pop and jazz influence. Formed in 2019, Shale released their debut EP in June and have recently performed a bit of a blitz of gigs including their own EP release show at Victoria Event Centre. There wasn’t a lot of room for the 5-piece band on stage, so keyboardist Rowan Hensley ended up in an awkward corner away from his bandmates, but the group made the best of it

Victoria’s SLEEPSHAKE were second dressed in mostly black which is a departure from their colourful attire at other recent shows. The band also had a fill-in drummer as Sascha Enns was out of the country in Germany. The former Zone Band of The Month had a high energy set. While co-lead/guitarist Nathan Margetts had some pedal board glitches to deal with, the audience was having too much fun to really notice.

Don’t be surprised if Monowhales are headlining larger venues and the opening acts are headlining their own Capital Ballroom shows in the coming years.