While many aspiring musicians dream of playing alongside their idols, one band from Montreal’s West Island has the chance of a lifetime this week.
The Record Breakers took to the sprawling stage at the Bell Centre on Thursday evening after winning a contest to open for rock legends Bon Jovi in front of nearly 20,000 fans.
READ MORE: West Island band to open for Bon Jovi
“It’s really unreal to think of,” said Hayden Rabinovitch, the singer and lead guitarist.
“It’s a big dream for all of us — we’ve all grown up listening to Bon Jovi’s music.”
While the group of five has been playing together for more than three years, they say this opportunity is a step in the right direction to take their music to greater heights.
“Being able to open for them is insane,” he said.
“We’re a small band from Montreal, we’re trying to make it and this is a huge leap.”
The band entered into the contest earlier this year alongside dozens of other musical groups for a chance to win a 20-minute opening spot for Bon Jovi.
WATCH BELOW: The Record Breakers’ soundcheck ahead of their gig at the Bell Centre
They were one of two musical acts selected by evenko and the band in late March following a rigorous search and audition.
‘We just have to embrace the moment’
With only a few hours left before their opening set, the Record Breakers didn’t shy away from saying how the opportunity brought up a mix of emotions.
For Bella Galasso, that moment came while practising for the final time when her brother Julian cracked his drumstick against the drums on the large stage.
“There were a couple of moments where I felt like crying but with excitement, you know?” said Bella, singer and acoustic guitarist.
Devan Meisner, the band’s bassist, said he was looking forward to performing and seizing the opportunity before them.
“We just have to embrace the moment and take it all in,” he said.
The Record Breakers played four songs at Montreal’s largest venue before Bon Jovi hit the stage.
“We’re only out there for 20 minutes and we’re going to play our hearts out for 20 minutes,” said Meisner.
READ MORE: Bon Jovi postpones Montreal shows to mid-May
— with files from Global’s Dan Spector