Luke Bryan asks What Makes You Country

What Makes You Country Tour – BC Place Stadium – October 13, 2018

This weekend, Luke Bryan‘s What Makes You Country Tour made a stop at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.  The country superstar packed the tour with 4 other support acts, making it like a six hour country festival.  The dinner hour audience was warmed up by Carly Pearce, then Jon Pardi took the stage. In between sets, DJ Rock kept audiences energized and dancing.

Sam Hunt

Once Sam Hunt took the stage, the audience was filling the seats and the energy was filling BC Place to the roof.  The Georgia-born singer-songwriter was welcomed to the stage with a roar, in all-black outfit and ballcap, his swagger gave a hip-hop/pop vibe. Hunt led a singalong as he played his hits “Downtown’s Dead”, “Take Your Time”, “Body Like A Backroad”, “House Party”, and a mid-set Honky Tonk tribute to those country star he grew up listening to; Brooks & Dunn, The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks.  His easy country/rock style has crossover appeal and he worked the audience to make sure everyone was on the Sam Hunt bandwagon.

Luke Bryan

The stadium was packed and roaring as headliner Luke Bryan took the stage with “Country Girl (Shake is for me)” which definitely prompted a lot of Vancouver girls, and guys, to shake it for him.  The affable platinum-selling country superstar worked the whole stage reaching as many of the audience he could.  While it was noticeable that something was troubling Luke, and he mentioned suffering from local allergies, his vocals didn’t seem troubled at all. His charm and energy shone throughout the set, high-energy tracks balanced with sweet acoustic ballads. After a rousing cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music”, Bryan slowed it down with the audience favourite “Drink A Beer”. “Play It Again” and appropriate for Vancouver “Rain Is A Good Thing” closed out the main set.

Audience Fave: Drink A Beer

Even for those of us who didn’t attend the whole 6 hours of performances,  Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan alone definitely left the audience satisfied.  The What Make You Country Tour has just two more dates, wrapping up nearly a year’s worth of shows, in Rochester and Detroit.

 

Picks of the Week – October 10, 2018

Hope you had your fill of good food and good company over the Thanksgiving weekend, now’s the time to burn off some of those extra calories with exciting entertainment in these picks of the week

Oktoberfest

Beer: Raise your mug, grab your schnitzel and hit the dancefloor at #DasOriginal Oktoberfest at Vancouver Alpen Club this Friday and Saturday night.

Movies: The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) continues to fill cinemas around the city until October 12th.

Twisted: At The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, find out what happens when an imaginary friend overstays his welcome, in Mustard, playing until October 20th

Fright: Experience the thrills and chills of the haunted houses, rides and ghouls of Fright Nights at Playland throughout the month.

Pants: Drop your pants on October 11th and support Prostate Cancer Canada, at Pants Off for Prostate Cancer at Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel

Test: At The Cultch York Theatre until October 13th, Testosterone is the true story of trans man Kit Redstone’s first entrance into a male gym changing room.

Theatresports Spooktober

Improv: Grab your ghoulfriends and enjoy a month of eerie laughter as Vancouver Theatresports presents Spooktober; a selection of themed shows throughout the month

Dub: Friday night join the legendary reggae/jungle/dub performer and producer Lee “Scratch” Perry & Subatomic Sound System at Commodore Ballroom

Country: Saturday dust off your boots and join American Idol judge Luke Bryan’s What Makes You Country Tour with guests, Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce and DJ Rock

A Vancouver Guldasta

Diwali: A Vancouver Guldasta peaks inside the home of the Dhaliwals —a Punjabi family in Vancouver as they deal with events at home and abroad in Punjab, in the early 1980s. Presented with Diwali in BC at The Cultch Culture Lab until October 21th.

Lights: In addition to Vancouver Guldasta, check out the other events included in Diwali in BC

Krapps Last Tape starring Linden Banks

Beckett: Seven Tyrants Theatre brings Samuel Beckett’s absurdist one-man masterpiece: Krapp’s Last Tape, to Tyrant Studio until October 26th

Humans: A Brief History of Human Extinction runs October 10 – 20 at The Cultch Historic Theatre, taking a look as the last couple, plus otter, on earth prepare to take off on a space arc to save humanity

 

PlayDome opens tomorrow at BC Place

PlayDome is back for 2018 under the roof at BC Place for six days of carnival rides, games and fun.  Western Canada’s largest indoor carnival features over 45 rides and attractions all inside BC Place in downtown Vancouver.

PlayDome opens tomorrow Wednesday, March 28th continuing until Monday, April 2nd fair-lovers can step out of the rain and enjoy all their favourite rides inside and dry under the Dome. After taking a spin on a ride, take another on one of the carnival games or treat yourself to some time-tested carnival fare like cotton candy, mini donuts, slushies and more!

PlayDome is fun for all ages, not just the kids.  But families will find plenty of Spring Break fun, children under 2 are free and Spectator Guest Passes are available for adults to accompany children on a limited number of rides. Purchase tickets online to save on Dome Passes, Ultimate Passes and Guest Passes.

PlayDome is open Wedneday & Thursday, 11am – 10pm. Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am-10pm, Monday 10am-6pm
Enter PlayDome at Gate A, near Terry Fox Plaza    

Canada Sevens 2018 brings out a record crowd

The 2018 edition of HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver wrapped up with a record attendance of 77,096 coming through the gates at BC Place this weekend.   If you haven’t attended Canada Sevens or any other stop on the Sevens Series, it’s hard to imagine just how much fun the fans have at the stadium.  Fancy Dress, costumed groups of supporters fill the stadium (and the city) from 8:30am until after 7pm for two days to watch two days of quick, high scoring, action-packed matches of Rugby Sevens.  With sixteen teams from around the globe competing, it feels like the world comes to BC Place for the tournament, even Marvel hero Thor got into the spirit and dressed up as Chris Hemsworth when he stopped by the stadium on Sunday.

Chris Hemsworth starts the countdown for the final

After 45 exciting matches over the two days, Fiji came away with their second win of then 2018 HSBC Seven Series.  The crowd packed in all 39,000 seats on a sold out Saturday, not an empty seat was had for the home team’s debut against Australia. A thrilling match that Canada pull even with Oz on the final play.  A hard fought match against the USA ended in a loss on a last minute turn over before wrapping up the day on a convincing 47-5 win over Uruguay.  Combined with an Australian win over USA on Day 1’s final match meant Canada finished 3rd in Pool A and wouldn’t advance to play for the Cup on Day 2.

A sunny Sunday brought more fancy dress wearing crowds and more action-packed matches.  A Canadian loss to Scotland early on Day 2 meant the home team wouldn’t challenge for the Challenger Trophy and at the end of the day one more win and loss meant 14th place for Canada.
The audience was far from disappointed with Canada’s good play over all their matches but Rugby Sevens moves so quickly one play can change the outcome in a snap.  The final set up to between Kenya and Fiji, both teams with large contingents of cheering fans.  Team Fiji has so many supporters in BC Place that it felt like a home match for them.

The 2019 Canada Sevens men’s tournament is set for next spring but this year Vancouver is bidding to bring 4 more years of Canada Sevens to the city from 2020 – 2023.  If you missed out this year make sure to get your tickets for next year’s HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver.  For more great Sevens action,  catch Canada’s Olympic Bronze medal winning Women’s team at HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens at Westhills Stadium in Langford (Greater Victoria) May 12-13, 2018 and catch the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco July 20-22, 2018.

Canada vs Uruguay Rugby World Cup Qualifier

canada-uruguay-rugbyThis Saturday, Canada hosts Uruguay for 2019 Rugby World Cup qualification.
While the FIFA World Cup will be getting a lot of our attention this year. While us Canadian soccer fan bemoan our lack of attendance at the big tournament,  the general public might not realize Canada’s Men’s Rugby team have taken to the pitch at Rugby World Cup every tournament since its inception in 1987.

If Canada wins this home and home series against Uruguay they move on to their 9th appearance at the Rugby World Cup as the second qualifier from the Americas. Argentina, the number one ranked team in the Americans gained an automatic berth and Team USA has already qualified with a win over Canada for the Americas first qualifying berth.  In the unforeseen circumstances that Canada does not triumph over Uruguay, they can still qualify via the Americas repechage tournament.

Canada hosts Uruguay, in this first of two matches, at BC Place on January 27th, kick off 5pm.  Then Uruguay hosts Canada on February 3rd.  Following the nearly 30,000 audience for the exhibition match versus Maori All-Blacks, Rugby Canada is anticipating another large and excited crowd for this World Cup qualifier.
Gates open January 27, 2018 at 4pm, kick-off 5pm
Tickets from just $14 are available online at rugbycanada.ca

Whitecaps FC debut 2018 MLS Season Schedule

WhitecapsFCSoccer fans can start planning their calendars, as the Whitecaps FC MLS 2018 schedule is revealed.
Between opening day, March 4th and decision day on October 28th fans can look forward to 34 Whitecaps FC matches, 17 at home in BC Place.  The season is bookended by matches against fierce rivals, opening at home against Montreal Impact and, for the third season in a row, ending the season against Cascadia rivals, Portland Timbers.
With the addition of the expansion Los Angeles Football Club the Western Conference teams will face each other twice each, home and away, except Whitecaps FC will play San Jose Earthquakes which face WFC three times.  Eastern teams once again face Western teams once each, in the opposite city of their 2017 matches.  Besides a break June 14 – 22 for the FIFA World Cup 2018 group matches, fans won’t have to go long between home matches at BC Place as the team doesn’t play more than two matches back to back on the road.

In addition to Opening Day and Decision Day some highlight home matches to look out for include:

Saturday, March 24 vs LA Galaxy
Friday, April 13 vs LA Football Club (expansion club debut, Daffodil Day in support of Canadian Cancer Society)
Friday, April 27 vs Real Salt Lake (Jeans Day for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation)
Saturday, June 9 vs Orlando City SC (#BuckUp For Mental Health in support of Covenant House Vancouver)
Sunday, July 1 vs Colorado Rapids (Canada Day at BC Place)

Whitecaps Pride

Saturday, July 28 vs Minnesota United FC (Pride Night)
Saturday, August 18 vs New York Red Bulls
Saturday, September 15 vs Seattle Sounders (preceded by Legends & Stars Charity Match in support of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation)

The Canadian Championship match schedule will be released at a later date. For full schedule listings and ticketing information visit whitecapsfc.com

Picks of the Week – November 8, 2017

This week we honour Remembrance Day and find a long weekend loaded with with these picks of the week.

Ceremonies: Remembrance Day ceremonies take place in all communities giving you plenty of picks to choose from, with one of the biggest annual events held at Victory Square in downtown Vancouver beginning at 9:45am Saturday.

Chan Centre for Performing Arts

Tex: Tonight, a trio of Texas Troubadours; Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Dale Gilmour, and Carrie Rodriguez take to the stage at the Chan Shue Concert Hall.

Craft: The Christmas craft market season kicks off with the annual Circle Craft Market opening today until Sunday

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company hails King Charles III at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th

Laughs: Stand-up John Mulaney brings his comedy to Queen Elizabeth Theatre for three shows; Thursday at 7pm, and Friday at 7pm and 9:30pm

Joseph: Align Entertainment brings the celebrated musical Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat to the Michael J Fox Theatre until November 18th

Pitch: One of the fiercest rivalries in all sports kick-off Thursday as Canadian  Women’s National Soccer team hosts Team USA  takes the pitch at BC Place

Pop: Saturday night, Halsey brings her electropop sounds to the stage at Rogers Arena

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, from November 11 to December 2nd, Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities continues under the Grande Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place until December 31

Girls: What happens when you become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, find out when Shameless Hussey Productions presents Girls Like That at Templeton Secondary School November 3, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Mashup: From November 11 – 19, Alley Theatre presents The Ridiculous Darkness, a satirical mash-up of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now at the Annex Theatre

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

“Sparrow”
Artwork by Kelli Clifton

Opera: Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, telling the tale of missing & murdered women in the downtown Eastside & Highway of Tears, at The Cultch November 3, 7,9 & 11