Witty banter, brilliant musicianship and great vocals highlight Brendan Benson’s set at Venue. Backed by a tight sounding three quarters of The Posies, Brendan’s folksy lyrics are perfect early evening listening. Being an early show (2130) and supporting headlining act The Posies, the crowd was a bit slow to grow to capacity but that didn’t stop the band from delivering an excellent 35 minute set.
Having only ever seen Brendan headline as part of The Raconteurs I hope to get to see a solo headline gig sometime soon. Until then I’m very happy with what’s delivered tonight!
Dandy Warhols – Commodore Ballroom – December 2, 2010 The Portland OR based quartet is nearing the end of a tour in support of their current release anthology “The Capital Years 1995-2007”. Saving the west coast for the final leg they stopped in Vancouver recently to play for a sold out crowd at the Commodore Ballroom. After nearly two decades of releasing great rock they’ve amassed a great following eager for a live listen of their large catalogue.
The very varied demographic in attendance showed the mass appeal the Dandy Warhols have developed. A blend of modern and classic rock melodies you can hear and feel the influences of the Sixties era Beatles, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground and Beach Boys. The Dandy’s aren’t about making a big show or being over indulgent rock stars it’s just well written, sung and played music for the people. The People love them, cheering enthusiastically throughout the entire set, singing along at the right moments, dancing when the moment and movement struck them. It’s refreshing to be in an audience that isn’t all hipsters who are too cool for the band or suburban burn outs just looking to get high: this was a blend of all parties, here for the common love of the Dandy Warhols.
Here comes Santa Claus! Here Comes Santa Claus! Right down Georgia Street…
Sunday December 5th is the Seventh Annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade in Vancouver. Family fun pre-parade activities can be found at the Christmas Square in the Vancouver Art Gallery grounds from 1100 until parade time at 1300. Face Painting, Gingerbread Tent, Write a Letter Santa stations and performance are all part of the festivities.
After having fun at the Christmas Square get ready for the man in the big red suit as the parade begins at 1300. The Parade route begins at Georgia and Broughton Streets, running along Georgia to Howe and finally ending at Howe and Davie Streets.
Make sure to dress warmly as you’ll be standing for quite a while, bringing something warm to drink it always a good thing too. Stake out your prime viewing spot early as it will be crowded!
Oh, wait that’s another story but in this case it was a dark and rocking night!
Both Black Mountain and opening act Black Angels bring a classic rock feel and sound to their audience. From the wide ranging demographic and the haze in the air this show definitely had a 60’s rock show vibe to it.
Nearly selling out two consecutive nights at the Commodore Ballroom is quite a feat for any band and these two showed their worth it by delivering a wall of sound that clearly pleased the crowd. Being a local band, Black Mountain clearly brought out the bulk of the boisterous fans who cheered the band on with extra vigour.
Supporting their third full length album vocalist Amber Webber brings an aura of Grace Slick & Janis Joplin to her performance, this combined with the semi-psychedelic musical arrangements really take one back several decade to when rock was still an experiment. Being part of the Black Mountain Army collective of Vancouver bands this artists really are carrying on the experimental nature that infuses their work.
People say nothing ever happens in Vancouver? Even is that were true (which I know it’s not) Vancouver isn’t that far away to have a fun daytrip away!
Yesterday, my good friend May arranged to get us tickets to The Ellen Show taping in Los Angeles. We boarded a plane from YVR at 0630 for a non-stop flight to LAX, arriving on a bright but cool LA morning. Catching a SuperShuttle for the hour plus trip across town we got a first hand taste of LA morning rush hour. Arriving in front of the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank we still had time to kill before the required check-in time for The Ellen Show.
As luck would have it the Original Bob’s Big Boy Diner was just around the corner…it was like a walking into a 50’s museum….including some of the patons.
Back at the Studios and checking in at the waiting area (the lower floor of a parking garage) for The Elllen Show, we waited and waited some more before they started to sort the audience into groups to lead them to the studio backstage (which doubles as the Ellen Store). From here on out it was a well orchestrated whirlwind of fun and entertainment. 15 minutes before showtime, we were ushered into our seats in the studio and the ‘warm up’ guy started to rouse the audience and get us cheering. And cheer they did when Ellen Degeneres walked out to start the show…laughs, music, dancing, $100 Victoria Sectret Gift Card prizes, games, Eva Mendes, Flo-Rida, Mindy Kaling, more dancing, more laughs and games rounded out the November 30th episode.
Then as Ellen was thanking the audience for attending, she also sprung another surprise on us by saying that Ben Affleck, who was to guest on the next day’s episode, was here to tape his segment as he was unable to the following day. So after a quick change of clothes for Ellen and DJ Tony, an interview with Ben Affleck was taped followed by a quick ‘game’. Then a quick 90 minutes after it all began, it was all over and we were on our way out the door with Victoria Secret Gift Card and Flo-Rida cd in hand. Making a mad dash for the SuperShuttle back to LAX for our 2100 flight back to Vancouver.
Super Fast Super Fun Super Easy to have a great Vancouver – LA daytrip!
Best known as Danny Tanner from Full House and the Host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Bob Saget’s stand-by comedy is no where near the family friendly fare of his former tv shows. Bringing his rapid fire comedy to town as part of his Strange Days Tour, supporting his new A&E TV show of the same name, Mr Saget involved and entertained a full house at the Vogue Theatre. Unlike most entertainers he almost encouraged hecklers and right from the first moments, when he started having fun with and at the expense of audience members the stage was set for a raunchy, anything goes evening. From the audience; Kirk has his sexuality questioned and mocked, Mole (who showed off his name tattooed on his wrist) had his mental state & competence mocked, Antoine had his Polish heritage mocked. Although not quite as misogynistic as his same named Entourage alter-ego, Bob made plenty of normally politically incorrect comments and profane one-liners about women being in power. It seemed no matter what the audience whipped at him, Bob was able to hit it out of the park with quick witted zingers. Throughout the two hour show, stories about his father were intertwined with tales from his TV shows and costars. Wrapping up the show with a 30 minute set of songs that were more ‘blue’ than blues but all the while hilarious, eliciting a rousing standing ovation from the audience.
Jay Brannan – Biltmore Cabaret – November 24, 2010
A boy and his guitar, that’s all it took for an evening of beautiful music.
Jay Brannan, fresh off the plane from Montreal, is on a quick 5 city Canadian tour.
This half-way show in Vancouver came upon one of the coldest nights of the year, yet somehow the cold suited the night as everyone was huddled together in the cozy Biltmore warmed by some witty, emotional lyrics and his lush vocals. Perhaps reflecting his acting skills, Jay has an almost musical theatre like voice, at times emotional and melancholy where as to others it’s comedic and charming. Telling stories, whether in lyrics or to the audience between songs is an art that he has perfected. The audience was genuinely enamoured by the charms of this superstar in the making as he carried on a what felt like conversation with a couple hundred of his closest friends who sang along to “Christmas Really Sucks”, “Housewife” and “Beautifully”
No pretension, no demands, just great music from a sincerely nice, brilliantly talented guy