WOW! There’s so much happening this time of year that I want to check out, I can’t keep up…you all will have to attend some of these great events and tell me all about it.
Thursday July 21 – if you can get down to Venue and check out Cults, I saw them at NXNE and they are great! – downtown TV On The Radio are playing the second of two nights at Commodore Ballroom, they’re worth a listen too! – legend, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is holding court over at the Rickshaw Theatre – NY synthpop group, Cold Cave are at The Biltmore Cabaret – Local Vancouver folk/blues artist Buckman Coe is performing with David Newberry at Media Club – looking to get your dance on? Head to The Helm with another edition of We Like Boys – for some good tunes and cocktails stop by 1181 for Cocky Thursdays with music by DJ Adam Dreaddy
Friday July 22 – Funny man Rob Schneider brings the laughter to The Vogue Theatre – join NY indie rockers Les Savy Fav / Handsome Furs at The Rickshaw Theatre – The Helm has Flaunt Fridays with DJ SKLA and the vocal talents of Tonye Aganaba – for some ‘Family Values’ join Gene Simmons and his clan at the River Rock Show Theatre
Sunday July 24 even God took one day off, so rest up because it’s going to be a busy week coming up!
Monday July 25 – it’s the start of the Vancouver 2011 Outgames, the running of the Flags starts at City Hall at 1pm wrapping up at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the Opening Ceremony at 5pm. That evening head to The Outgames Opening Party at Five-Sixty – your Monday night alternative is over at Keefer Bar for The Price Is Gay: prizes, drinks specials, music and fun are all on the menu
On the last night of the Canadian leg of her California Dreams Tour, Katy Perry pulled out all the stops to make sure the sold out Rogers Arena audience had an amazingly fun night. The funhouse atmosphere was alive from the moment one walked into the venue, the audience was ready for fun, dressed up with many wearing Electric Blue or Pink wigs, flashing headbands and wands abounded too. In the stands flashing light cotton candy was being consumed by already hyper tweens and the whole arena smelled like cotton candy and cupcakes! Support acts Janelle Monae and DJ Skeet Skeet got the crowd excited as the arena filled with a surprisingly diverse demographic. Mom’s and Dad’s with their kids, friends of all ages came to have a good time and indeed they did. A video vignette started off the show and set the stage for the “Candy-fornia” Dreams theme of the night, then Katy appeared amongst the lollipops and candy floss covered stage to hit the ground running with hit single Teenage Dreams, which had the audience on their feet singing and dancing for the next two hours. I’ve been to a lot of shows where the audience sang along, mostly to the chorus, however I can’t remember hearing so many songs sung so enthusiastically from start to finish by the audience. Katy could have easily put the mic down during ‘Hot n Cold’, ‘I Kissed A Girl’ and ‘Firework’ to let the crowd take over. The video carried on the story during costume changes, costumes ranged from Vegas Showgirl to Cartoon Damsel and everything bright and colourful inbetween!
I sometimes criticize artists for talking too much or not enough during their shows, Katy talked a lot but it was so interactive and seemingly ad-libbed that it included the audience and kept the ‘party’ going. It made her seem even more of the crazy, wacky artist she is known to be and kept the audience involved in the show. Even coming out across the floor on a ‘floating cloud’ to perform for the fans at the opposite end. In other parts of the show she demonstrated that she was more then just goofy, frivolity when she did a segment of ‘Katy karaoke’ and sung adaptations of other artists work. Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl In The World”, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and Willow Smith’s “I Whip My Hair Back And Forth” which were interspersed with commentary on how much she loved Canada and Canadians. I don’t think she needed to build up her fan base any more, this show sold out very quickly and as she mentioned all of her Number 1 singles happened in Canada first. In another example of audience interaction she chose and brought a
“Canadian Boyfriend” up onstage from the audience to tease and flirt with before sending him back with the threat that her husband was in the building. Although scripted, she came off as genuine and sincere. During the cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ she had a number of fans from the audience up onstage to dance with her and her background dancers, I’m sure making unbelievable memories for these young people! Judging by the number of very young audience members I’m sure she made a lasting memory on a great many first-time concert goers. She made a good memory on this many-time concert goer! I look forward to seeing her again!
After one of the rainiest July weekends on record, I’m sure more than a few in the Whitecaps head office were thrilled when the clouds parted and sun burst forth over the Bell Pitch at Empire Field as the Whitecaps welcomed Manchester City Football Club, of the English Premier League. Having installed a grass pitch over top of the usual turf field combined with the unseasonal wet weather created a ‘perfect storm’ of unfortunate circumstances for the Whitecaps as the grounds became waterlogged and deemed unplayable for their MLS game versus Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Fingers and toes were crossed for the weather gods to smile and dry out the pitch enough to be playable for the first ‘big’ friendly of the Whitecaps MLS era. Thankfully two days of drier weather and countless hours by grounds crews and restoration teams managed to make the pitch playable for the 7pm kick-off. In spite of the drama, a festive atmostphere took over the grounds as the 24,000+ crowd gathered. Many took the opportunity to get their picture taken with the FA Cup brought on tour by current cup holders MCFC.
As the match began a good mix of supporters of both teams were treated to a well played, exciting game. Especially good for the home side, who sit last in the MLS table, playing a lively, effective first half to go into the break leading 1-0. After the half, and a wholesale substitution of players on both sides another thrilling half as both teams had good opportunities, Man City scored twice and Whitecap keeper Jay Nolley made some excellent saves to keep the score to just 1-2 for Man City at the final. Bringing teams of this calibre and being able to ‘play up’ to their level will certainly win over the fans and give the Whitecap players some extra confidence in their play going in to the later half of the regular season. If this many turn out for a quality friendly at Empire Field, great crowds should be seen once the team moves into BC Place downtown. We can hardly wait!
“Globally Inspired and Locally Created” is the philosophy of Ned Bell, the new Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Look for Ned’s ‘farm to table’ menu to debut at the Four Seasons already terrific YEW Restaurant mid-August. The Okanagan born chef bring a wealth of experience to his latest restaurant. Apprenticing in Vancouver under Chef Rob Feenie at Le Crocodile and working as sous chef on the opening team of Feenie’s Lumiere. To broaden his experience and horizons stints in Toronto and Niagara were followed opened his own Murietta’s Grill in Calgary to much acclaim. Next was a welcome return to the Okanagan and Kelowna’s Cabana Bar & Grille. Western Living soon ranked him one of the “Top 40 Foodie’s Under 40”. With a young family, joining the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver allows him to be closer to family and hopefully will allow us, public to have his creative menu at YEW for many visits!
While not an ‘official’ NXNE event, the XFM Radio party held at Skybar Toronto brought the masses out to one of the best rooftop patios in the city for some fun and great music. Headlining the party was Juno nominated Ontario band Hollerado. Since this wasn’t a NXNE gig, we were treated to a longer set than the other festival gigs and being a party the band got into the spirit and played like they were entertaining friends. Witty, chatty banter and some great indie pop in the summer sun got the crowd and band having a great time!
Recently, my friend Brian Webb and I co-hosted a summer party (even though the weather has been less than summery). To add some extra fun to the event, Brian thought to make it a theme party…’Boogie Fever’, a retro event. Guests were recommended to get some boogie fever and dress in 70’s or 60’s attire, many were planning their costumes all week. We took care of setting the
atmosphere by raiding Value Village and vintage shops for some great retro pieces. Curtains, fabrics, dishes and of course music turned Brian’s contemporary Yaletown condo into a 70’s basement rec room. Of course, what would a party be without some food and drink, Brian searched out some traditional retro party food and cocktails to add to the mood. We served devilled eggs, Ritz cracker & Cheez Whiz, cocktail sausages, gherkins, pickled onions, cheese and summer sausage,
celery & Cheez Whiz and of course a jelly mould. The classic drinks menu included Rum Fruit Punch, Tom Collins, Harvey Wallbanger and Greyhound Cocktails. As we’d invited a number of people who didn’t know each other or hadn’t met in person before, Twitter being the common bond, the great costumes and music gave people an ice breaker to start the conversations. Adding in a little Abba SingStar, as the evening progressed, capped the evening with some extra laughter and fun. If you’re looking for a entertaining boost to your next party think about adding a theme and having some fun with the decorations and costumes!
Yee haw! It’s country Sunday in Vancouver! Grab your hat & boots!
You heard that right…there’s a ho-down at The Junction Pub this Sunday night. Country Squared Jamboree is a free event featuring two dance groups Squares Across The Border and Timberline who will be dancing, teaching how to dance, and encouraging folks to join in the fun!
Meanwhile across down it’s another edition of Big Gay Rodeo. For a Bull Ridin’, Meat Draws, Drag Shows, Bobbing for Apples, Beer Swilling good time head on down to The Bourbon Country Bar
Partial proceeds benefit local charities including Friends For Life, HIM (Health Initiative for Men) QMUNITY, and Keep a Breast Canada