Show Thoughts & Shots // Alan Doyle w/ Adam Baldwin @ Scotiabank Centre // 16.03.24

Somehow, over his storied career, Alan Doyle has never headlined a show at the Scotiabank Centre as a solo performer. As the front-man of beloved Canadian celtic-rock band Great Big Sea, Doyle spent many years trekking across the globe and performing for the masses, and during that time established himself as a household name across Canada. No one expected Doyle to sit around on his thumb, and in the decade that followed since the disbanding of Great Big Sea, Alan Doyle has gone on to record, release and tour 5 studio albums as a solo artist.

Since his time in Great Big Sea, Doyle has continued to frequent Halifax, playing some of the more intimate rooms in town such as the soft-seater that is the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (a room that he is no stranger to, having played here with his former band on more than one occasion). Even during the downtime caused by the pandemic, Alan made the trek to Halifax with his Beautiful, Beautiful band to perform a socially distanced show in the Halifax Convention Centre. He returned as things began to open back up and performed a high-energy show in the Grand Parade as part of the Grand Oasis concert series, and had folks packed in at the makeshift concert grounds. This only furthers the surprise that he has never had the opportunity to play the big barn as a solo act.

You couldn’t have picked a better date to have Alan Doyle headline his first Scotiabank Centre show than a Saturday St. Patty’s Eve. To kick off this Kitchen Party, Doyle and company launched into “Dancing Like We Did Last Night” off his recently released album Welcome Home. This was a night that featured traditional Newfoundland folk songs, a few Great Big Sea gems and plenty of Doyle’s solo tunes. The night really kicked into gear at about halfway when Doyle dusted off the Newfoundland classic “Lukey’s Boat” that had the packed Haligonian house rollicking, a definite kitchen party staple if there ever was one.

This was not only his first solo show in the Scotiabank Centre arena, he expressed his gratitude at making this the biggest solo show in his career, likening his life as a touring rockstar to that of a sailor, always looking for that perfect port, having it found it here in Halifax. All musicians dream of having a night like this in a place filled with this much love and adoration, and he took the opportunity to segue into “I am a Sailor”.

As was apt for a St. Patrick’s Day weekend show, the set hit a stretch that featured a pair of songs about rum, one about whiskey and the bad decisions that can follow on a great night out. As the main set wound down, Doyle threw the GBS songbook wide open and tore through “Consequence Free”, the REM staple “End of the World”, and a fiery rendition of “The Night Pat Murphy Died”. The main set closed out with the infectious “1,2,3,4” to the enjoyment of the packed house.

If the fact that the room was packed for Alan Doyle’s Scotiabank Centre solo debut wasn’t enough, at the top of the bill was none other than the talented singer-songwriter Adam Baldwin and his band the Jenny Wren. Baldwin took his seat at the sparkling baby grand and wowed those in attendance with his beautifully heartbreaking folk-rock tunes, painting pictures of life in and around the shores of Eastern Canada. This night may have capped off the Canadian run of this tour, but Alan and Adam are embarking on a US tour later this year, so if you get a chance, go check out this fantastic show.



Shots from Alan Doyle & Adam Baldwin

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.