Next month, the second Levitation Vancouver Festival descends upon Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park and venues around downtown Vancouver.
Since 2008, the original Levitation Austin has grown from a small local event to become an internationally acclaimed multi-day festival. Last year, Levitation Austin creators, The Reverberation Appreciation Society and Timbre Concerts partnered to bring the first Festival to Vancouver. Levitation Austin was unfortunately cancelled this past weekend due to adverse weather in the South but the 2016 Levitation Vancouver is ready to go on June 16 – 19,
Daytime shows happen at the Malkin Bowl stage in Stanley Park and nighttime shows hit the Rickshaw, Colbalt and Imperial. Bands hitting the stages include; Of Montreal, White Lung, Dead Ghost, Three Oh Sees, The Growlers, Holy F*ck, Nina Mendoza, Aquanaut and many more
British rock acts Starsailor and Embrace just wrapped up their co-headlining North American tour this weekend. Both bands made a splash in the early 2000s but after a few quiet year are back on the road, they made a recent stop at The Imperial in Vancouver. Starsailor was on hiatus from 2009 until 2014 but the regrouped quartet sounded good as ever. Embrace’s last album was in 2006 and the band spent the last few years on solo endeavours their latest group project was a self-titled 2014 album.
At their Vancouver show, the bands played about an hour long set each, covering their hits and a couple of new tracks. The Imperial is a great small venue and the perfect spot for an intimate show for the bands to reconnect with fans. Starsailor took the stage first and after their enthusiastically received set the band members met with fans in the lobby, taking photos and autographs until it was time for the Embrace set. Embrace’s set welcomed some very enthusiastic ex-pat fans who’s boisterous energy filled the room as the band kept the tempo up to encourage the dancing fans.
If you managed to catch the co-headlining tour, you were lucky but keep your eyes and ears out for more from Starsailor and Embrace.
Based on the 2000 movie of the same name, Billy Elliot the Musical tells the tale of a young boy who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes and the personal trials and tribulations surrounding his decision. Set against the Miner’s strikes of Northern England in the mid 80’s, the impact the strife has on motherless Billy and his family if woven throughout the story. With music by Sir Elton John and book and lyrics by the original films screenwriter Lee Hall, the songs fit in perfectly to advance the story and set the stage for the rest of the book. Simple sets, eighties costumes and very well done County Durham accents transport the audience to another time and place. The current Toronto cast is exceptionally lead by Kate Hennig at Mrs Wilkinson, Billy’s dance teacher, confidant and mentor and, in the performance I saw, by Julian Elia as Billy. With Billy in every nearly every scene there is a revolving four actors playing Billy from day to day. The entire cast maintains the feeling and atmosphere of the eighties while keeping their accents and emotions throughout the songs. A good dose of laughs balances the tears and emotion to keep the musical uplifting so everyone leaves on a feel good note. Billy Elliot The Musical is currently on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre and in Toronto, held over until September 3, 2011, at the Canon Theatre