Phoenix Gates and Ryan Bennett, guitarists for Stranger Than Fiction, rock out in front of an adoring crowd at the Five Acre Shaker. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni teen band Stranger Than Fiction to open for Said the Whale

Stranger Than Fiction will open on Sept. 26 in Nanaimo and Sept. 27 in Campbell River

Stranger Than Fiction may not have won a contest to appear with Said the Whale on stage, but they impressed the Vancouver-based band so much with their performance at the Five Acre Shaker in August that another hot opportunity has opened up.

Stranger Than Fiction is a Port Alberni-based band derived from Alberni Teens Can Rock. They recently released their first album and they performed at Five Acre Shaker at McLean Mill National Historic Site in August. They entered a contest hoping for a shot at performing with Said the Whale at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park in early September, but finished second.

READ MORE: Alberni Teens Can Rock band Stranger Than Fiction releases first single

The teen band was instead invited to be Said the Whale’s guests at the Malkin Bowl performance, and they will open for Said the Whale for two shows on Vancouver Island later this month.

“[Said the Whale] loved their enthusiasm and social media presence,” said Alberni Teens Can Rock founder and “band dad” Todd Flaro. “They love our band. They didn’t get to see us perform at Five Acre Shaker; we were a few sets before they were.”

Stranger Than Fiction will open for Said the Whale on Sept. 26 at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo and Sept. 27 at the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River.

Once Said the Whale’s Cascadia Tour wraps up, Stranger Than Fiction will travel to Vancouver for a mentoring session. They will also be featured on a CD Said the Whale plans to produce with the top 10 finalists from their talent search. STF’s original song ‘This Is My Reply’ will be on the album.

READ MORE: Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Although the band still plays Port Alberni-based events—they were at the Alberni District Fall Fair in early September—“We wanted to start getting more out of town shows,” Flaro said.

Vocalist Madi Duncan created one of those opportunities for the band: she reached out to the lead singer for indie rock band Tokyo Police Club to let them know STF has been performing a cover of their song Psycho Killer for the past few months. David Monks was so impressed that he is going to join them when they perform that song at both the Port and Tidemark theatres.

“Madi reached out to him and he’s agreed to come out and sing that with us,” Flaro said.

Stranger Than Fiction will also open for Iron Kingdom at The Rainbow Room in Port Alberni on Thursday, Oct. 10. Iron Kingdom comes to town for Road Warriors, their North American Tour, along with Diode. Tickets are $10 at the door. Doors open at 9:15 p.m. and music runs until 1 a.m. This is a 19-plus show.

Now that Stranger than Fiction and Sturdy Lemon are enjoying some success, Alberni Teens Can Rock is looking for their next band. For more information, check them out on Facebook at Alberni Teens Can Rock.

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