Rewind the Music: West Gate Social & SAMRU’s Artists, Bands, and Concerts through the Years!

Did you know that SAMRU and West Gate Social have a rich history of hosting incredible musical events featuring talented artists and bands? 

While Live Music Wednesdays and performances at events are still some of the best times to catch up-and-coming talent from the local scene, SAMRU and its campus pub have long been the ultimate destinations for music lovers. With performances by popular artists and underground staples who’d soon cross into superstardom, these stages created countless memories of many now-iconic names. Who’s ready to rewind to those unforgettable moments and see what made these events so special?


Over the years, our campus has hosted some memorable performances by a variety of iconic artists. Here’s a brief timeline highlighting only a few of these unforgettable concerts:


Date: September 4, 1997 Location: Thirsty’s Pub

Everlasting and trusted by millions, the high-flying 54-40 made a stop at Thirsty’s in 1997, rocking the submerged dance floor, which is now a bathroom! Touring their future platinum album, the Tsawwassen quartet gave students a night to remember. 


Date: January 29, 1999 Location: Liberty Lounge

Over 50 million albums sold is no small feat! In the late 90s, the Liberty Lounge hosted one of Canada’s largest music acts ever, although at the time they only had a single LP under their belt. Opening for another beloved Canadian rock staple, The Headstones, Nickelback rocked the Liberty Lounge in 1999. 

Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish

Date: October 20, 2012 Location: Wyckham House/The Hub

On a fateful October night in 2012, students busted out their checkered Vans and prepared to skank as Wyckham House and The Hub welcomed two of third-wave ska’s most quintessential acts, Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish.

These artists not only entertained, but also left a lasting legacy, contributing to the rich cultural history of our campus (how many campuses can boast they’ve hosted Hanna, Alberta’s own, Nickelback!). Each performance was unique, creating cherished memories for the students who attended.

The Liberty Lounge in particular hosted so many well-known names we couldn’t fit them all on the timeline! Names include:

  • Matt Mays 
  • Feist
  • Google Bordello
  • Muder City Sparrows 
  • Xavier Rudd 
  • Bedouin Soundclash 
  • That One Guy 
  • Grand Theft Bus 
  • Jimmy Swift Band 

UFest: A Campus Tradition 

In addition to the incredible performances held at the bar, our campus also hosted UFest, an annual welcome-back festival previously organized by SAMRU and MRU. This outdoor event quickly became a beloved tradition, featuring a vibrant mix of music, food, and fun activities. 

Some performances over the years included sets from Canadian alternative staples such as: 

  • Lights 
  • Tokyo Police Club
  • Down with Webster
  • Said the Whale
  • The Arkells
  • Mother Mother
  • Dear Rouge

And we can’t forget Tegan and Sara, who performed at Ufest, captivating audiences with their unique sound and growing into the immensely popular artists they are today. They shared the spotlight with other big names who graced our campus, such as Broken Social Scene, The Weakerthans, and Canadian icon Nickelback.

(Courtesy of The Refelector: Ufest 2012 Images)

Up until its final welcome back concert in 2017, UFest consistently provided a fantastic opportunity for students to reconnect and celebrate the start of a new academic year with great music and community spirit.

More Performers!

In 2012, Reel Big Fish performed at Wyckham House, bringing electric energy to the crowd despite not being the main act of the night. A student mentioned that “Reel Big Fish played at 9 p.m. They’re one of my all-time favourite bands and didn’t disappoint.” Read more of the students’ perspectives here!

How was that for a trip down memory lane? Did you know SAMRU and West Gate Social had so much going on in the past? Imagine the excitement and energy of those unforgettable music events. We hope all these artists continue to thrive and bring joy to music lovers everywhere!