A FUN. Filled Night at Ambleside Live

FUN. – Ambleside Park – August 31, 2013

As the sun dropped behind the horizon at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, the crowd reached its peak and 10000 people got ready to enjoy FUN., the headliners on the Most Nights Summer Tour. The beautiful setting was matched by the band’s initial stylish appearance onstage in tuxedos as the trio sang the intro, in Queen-like fashion, to ‘Some Nights’ before the stage darkened again. Reappearing in casual attire, lead singer Nate Ruess wearing a tan blazer over a Toronto Raptors jersey, the band were joined by three additional backing musicians for the remainder of the nearly 90 minute set.  The large stage seemed small for how quickly Ruess bounced about and made the stage his own, reminiscent of Mick Jagger’s endless energy when performing, especially with a cover of ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ in the setlist.

For a massive outdoor space and what Ruess called “one of the largest audiences we’ve ever played for” they band were able to connect with the audience (save, perhaps, for those back in the beer garden) and make it feel intimate. A slightly comedic conversation about calling Vancouver, ‘The ‘Couv” was just some of the witty banter the band engaged in with each other and the crowd. Throughout the show, the audience danced and sang along spontaneously as well as with encouragement from the band, especially on the hits ‘Some Nights’, ‘We Are Young’ and ‘Carry On’.  As the 10pm curfew for the site rolled around the band wound down the show but kept the audience up as they stated they’d return on tour after taking some time off and recording their next album. I’m sure many in the audience are anticipating that concert announcement and the chance to see FUN. again.

FUN. continue on the Most Night Summer Tour with Tegan and Sara throughout September.

Find them live on the road or online, on Twitter @OurNameIsFun, on Facebook.com/OurNameIsFun, and follow #MostNights hashtag on Instagram & Twitter to see what’s happening on tour.

Help Keep The WISE Alive Fundraising Concert

WISE-Benefit-Aug9-PSTR-New-Teal-home-pgWith three weeks left in the ‘Keep the WISE Alive’ fundraising campaign and just over half of the $10000 goal raised, WISE Hall has announced a benefit concert. On August 9th, local rockers The Odds, are joined by Palomars and Big Top with an appearance by the Screaming Chicken Burlesque Society.  Besides a night of great music, the event will feature a silent auction featuring many prizes donated by local businesses.

The WISE has recently received persistent noise complaints from a new member of the community and we have been working hard with the City of Vancouver and the BC Liquor Board to resolve the issue. As part of the solution, we have brought in additional security and increased signage in order to reduce noise from outside the Club.  The WISE has partnered with Nimbus School of Recording Arts to install better sound insulation and baffling in the hall to reduce interior sound bleed and continue to thrive in harmony with our neighbours.  As a non-profit, the WISE does not have the funds to complete this project. The  “Keep The WISE Alive” is an indiegogo project reaching out to the community for assistance and support to fund the $10000 cost of the sound reduction plan.

The WISE Social & Athletic Club was created in 1958 as a members club for ex-patriots from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England. Over the years, the WISE Hall has evolved and diversified beyond the original UK traditions and culture to embrace the entire east side social, arts and culture community. A rental and performance hall upstairs with a member’s social lounge downstairs, the WISE Hall is an affordable and accessible space for the whole community to gather, perform and celebrate. In 2013, The WISE Hall was named one of Vancouver’s 125 Places that Matter by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and Vancouver 125.

Tickets for the WISE Benefit Concert are $25 + s/c in advance or $30 at the door and are available at: Red Cat Records, Highlife Records, Brown Paper Tickets on-line  and the WISE Lounge. Doors at 8pm, 19+,  no minors.

The WISE Hall is located at 1882 Adanac Street. Ph: 604-254-5858


Squamish Valley Music Festival unveils 2013 line-up

SquamishLast Friday night at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver brandLIVE and Livenation Canada debuted the line-up for the 2013 Squamish Valley Music Festival. The evening featured performances by Yukon Blonde and Diamond Rings, both Canadian artists are in the line-up for the August 8-10 multi-stage event.

Headlining the festival, which is fast becoming one of the must-attend West Coast festivals, are rockers Queens Of The Stone Age and indy-pop act Vampire Weekend.  As with previous years, the line-up is a eclectic mix of hip-hop, rock, pop and dance all designed to keep the audience on their feet and energized.  Also featured in the line-up is Band of Horses, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Dan Mangan, Gogol Bordello, Divine Fits, Young the Giant, Childish Gambino, Pretty Lights, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jurassic 5, Said the Whale, Capital Cities, The Matinee, A Tribe Called Red, Basketball, Bear Mountain, Skratch Bastid, Dustin Bentall and the Smokes, The Ballantynes plus many more.

Virgin Mobile Presents Squamish Valley Music Festival takes place August 8, 9, 10, 2013 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields, Squamish, BC.  Regular $149 Weekend Tickets are on sale tomorrow, Friday March 8th.

MUSE wraps up West Coast ‘2nd Law’ tour in Vancouver

MUSE – Rogers Arena – February 6, 2013

Wrapping up a dozen dates up the West Coast of North America, MUSE visited Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Delivering their usual spectacular stage performance, the trio from Teignmouth kept the near sell-out audience on their feet for the entire two hour show.  Coming on stage with a flash, Matt Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenhome and Dominic Howard tore straight into “2nd Law”, “Supremecy” and “Super Massive Blackhole” to make sure the audience knew what they could expect for the night. A MUSE show is always an amazing visual and aural experience and this was no exception. The crowd was loving ever minute of the tiers of monitors ringing the stage above, below and on level with the performers. Performing hits from their catalogue as well as new numbers from their latest album “2nd Law”; including “Resistance”, “Knights of Cydonia” and “Madness” before closing the night with “Starlight” and their London 2012 anthem “Survival”. After nearly two decades of performing together MUSE has done more than ‘survive’ they’ve flourished and prospered as one of the perenial winners of ‘Best Live Act’ at the Brit Awards, tune in February 20th to see if they win again at this year’s Brit Awards.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds & Snow Patrol at Rogers Arena

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds & Snow Patrol – Rogers Arena – October 25, 2012

Former Oasis lead guitar/songwriter, Noel Gallagher brought his solo project Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to Rogers Arena in Vancouver for a co-headlining show with Snow Patrol. The British quintet sang songs from their 2011 self-titled album as well as a few Oasis tracks to fill out their set. The crowd of about 10,000 were definitely interested in this latest project from Gallagher and quite a few sang along to the NGHFB but the big applause was for the Oasis tunes. While the new material has a different, moodier feeling it reflects the singer/songwriter’s familiar, grumpy old man attitude. While Oasis imploded under the weight of the Gallagher brothers’ notorious angst and squabbles, this project flourishes. With Noel as both chief singer and songwriter he finally has the control he needs to fulfill his vision. Amazingly for someone who rarely interacts with the audience and when he does it’s usually to sarcastically berate audience members, Noel is able to hold their attention in the palm of his hand. Satisfied with what they heard from NGHFB, many of the audience left the arena before the next act, Snow Patrol, took the stage.

In sharp contrast to Gallagher’s understated low energy performance style, Snow Patrol took the stage with lead singer Gary Lightbody exuding energy. Starting off with Final Straw, and rolling right into a whole set of familiar favourites. “Take Back The City”, “Run”,”Open Your Eyes”, “Shut Your Eyes”, “Chasing Cars” were all on the setlist to the pleasure of the crowd. Lightbody bounded about the stage and provided some witty banter with the audience in spite of having some throat issues which required a cup of tea during the set. Aside from some keyboard difficulties that meant “Dark Roman Wine” ended after one line, the band sounded in fine form. They also had a replacement drummer as it was explained that band member Jonny Quinn was back home with his wife expecting the imminent birth of their baby. The Snow Patrol/Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds co-headline dates wrap up with a show Oct 30 in Winnipeg before heading south to the U.S. for the beginning of November. Check out the show in your city.

Rickshaw Theatre – reopening

Wednesday night saw the music industry media and insiders celebrating the grand reopening of the new and improved Rickshaw Theatre.  Located near the corner of Main & Hastings Street, the 70’s era theatre was orginally built to show Chinese language kung-fu films but closed in the early 80’s and after sitting abandoned for over 2 decades it was brought back to life in 2008 as a performance space. 
Now the downtown eastside’s hidden gem live venue has been given a facelift and is ready to welcome bands and performers to the stage.  A new inviting lobby, modern art work, two new large video screens line the sides of the stage and still to come a enlarged bar in the auditorium.  The bonus of the venue having been a theatre is the good acoustics, sight lines and stage size compared to some of the city’s other live venues. 
The reopening party showed off the new elements and featured live performances by Prairie Cat, Whalebone, Humans and Bend Sinister.

Andrew Allen wraps up the PNE

Andrew Allen – PNE Westjet Stage – September 5, 2011

Wrapping up a successful 101st edition of the Pacific National Exhibition, with a double-bill of BC acts, Andrew Allen and Hey Ocean! seemed a great way to bring the Fair to a close.  Starting off the night, a standing room only crowd packed the main stage to hear BC native, Andrew Allen.  Fresh off a months long tour around North America, Andrew came ‘home’ to play his effervescent pop-rock keeping the audience singing and dancing as darkness fell on The Fair.  Months of being on the road certainly hasn’t tired the performer as his boundless, good-natured energy filled the stage. Being on the road with his 3 piece touring band has certainly made them a tight group too, sounding perfect throughout the 45 minute set, which included hits “Not Loving You”, “Amazing” and “Loving You Tonight”.
Andrew’s affable stage banter always draws the crowd into his shows and makes everyone feel like they’re at a campfire sing-a-long instead of a concert, which make him the perfect way to cap off a bright sunny day at The Fair.  His willingness to include the audience continued after he left the stage too, standing by the side of the stage for over an hour signing autographs, taking pictures and chatting with fans. This connection to his fans keep them in his corner as they wait with baited breath for his major label debut album hopefully to be release sometime later this year.