A nostalgic upper-year’s review of Sam Roberts at Homecoming

Indie rockers play ReUnion Street Festival for students and alumni 

Sam Roberts Band performing at ReUnion Street Festival.
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This year’s Homecoming concert wasn’t about the music. 

As the Sam Roberts Band rolled into campus on Saturday evening to play ReUnion Street Festival, I was overcome with nostalgia for my last Homecoming as an undergrad and the student life I’m about to leave behind. 

Like every other milestone this year, I’m always struck by how much I’ll miss the student family I’ve built around myself these past four years. 

It was a lucky coincidence the Sam Roberts Band played my last Homecoming.

Like many of the bands that frequented campus over the past four years—the Arkells, Lights, Serena Ryder—the Canadian band has been a staple of my various playlists over the years. 

Their various hits have been playing through my speakers while I studied for midterms, cried about my grades, friendships, boys, and other mishaps.

While the music was playing in the background, I’ve formed some of the most important relationships in my life—laying in bed on a Saturday morning listening to my friends, complain, conspire, gossip, and plot. 

These moments have been just as important to me as any exam or lecture.

As my friends and I walked up to the concert that evening, recovering from our mid-afternoon nap, we remembered these moments. During all the times we’ve shared in our lives together—from breakups and mice infestations, to first kisses, and good jokes—the band has been instrumental in helping me navigate adulthood and university.  

With an overload of nostalgia, we danced along to some of the songs that have been with us along the way. Lights blaring, and Sam Roberts rocking out on the cool October night we get to experience once a year. 

As “If You Want It” blared through campus, my friends and I sang along to the band’s most popular song. I was overwhelmed by the sense of finality. This was it: the last one. 

Our last Homecoming and last year as a small, student family.  

That wasn’t quite true. Everywhere, old friends were dancing around to the indie-rock sounds of the Sam Roberts Band. Together, they were returning to the place they had called home for four—or more—years. 

It was different. They were older, some looked married, or like they hadn’t seen each other in years. But they still had these memories to return to, and a chance to make new ones. 

I was glad to see that there’s hope after graduation. It can feel like life ends in May of 2019 and Homecoming is an annual reminder that a world exists beyond Queen’s—a world with friends, family, and a fulfilling life.

A wave of nostalgia hit me hard on Saturday night as my final Homecoming wrapped up. 

My night was not about the music. It was about friends and memories, but the Sam Roberts Band was there again, as the soundtrack for another great moment in my life.   

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