Reviews - Fringe 2016

Fringe 2016 Review: Sadie Saturday Nite

By Mackenzie Kristjon Jenkyns
Published July 18, 2016

Hamilton has a long history and association with punk rock. Even while growing up in Winnipeg, I discovered The Forgotten Rebels from Hamilton and my imagination of Hamilton was of a ragged and tough city with a punk rock heart.

Therefore, it was somewhat of a tribute to my early impressions of Hamilton that at Mills Hardware, I was able to catch Sadie Saturday Nite and hear all sorts of punk rock tales.

Sadie Saturday Nite is an autobiographical account of what it was like for Jean Caffeine to exist as a scenester and musician in the punk rock era primarily in San Francisco, California. Through spoken word and song, the audience hears of the decadence and debauchery that one commonly associates with the era, as well as personal tales of encounters with icons such as Sid Vicious and (almost) Iggy Pop.

For many, the image of sex, drugs, and rock and roll is very glamorous. While I certainly would not call this a cautionary tale, Jean's personal stories do bring out some of the grime and grit that's under the fingernails of our glittery imaginations of this era.

Throughout the performance, we hear quite a few original songs by Jean and also snippets of famous cover songs from the era which quite effectively put the audience into the era.

Her accompanist, Mike Trebilcock, is well-known in Hamilton for his success, especially with The Killjoys. Therefore it was no surprise to anyone from here that he did a great job on the guitar and provided some humorous lines as a sort of foil to the more serious story that Jean was relating.

Definitely recommended for music fans, which is everyone. I believe it was Donald Trump (in an episode of Ali G) who noted that music is the most popular thing in the world. One can only wonder what he would have thought of this production!

Mackenzie Kristjon is an Icelandic-Canadian singer-songwriter and all around creative force. He has published numerous books including the award-winning Culinary Saga of New Iceland. He also has roots in community radio at CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph. To hear/see/download his music, you can visit


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