2018 PNE Summer Night Concerts

Once again, each night at 8:30pm the Pacific National Exhibition will come alive with the sounds of music, and this morning is your chance to get tickets to the summer’s best entertainment value, the 2018 PNE Summer Night Concerts series.

Pop, rock, country, disco, soul and R&B all come to the PNE Amphitheatre stage throughout the 15 Summer Night Concerts.  You can take it way back with the likes of Kool & the Gang, Wilson Phillips or Air Supply.  Feel like a kid again with I Love The 90s or Lost 80s ensemble nights. Then rock out with Goo Goo Dolls and Marianas Trench.

The 2018 Summer Night Concerts are included free with admission but be aware that seating is first come-first seated so you’ll want to make sure you arrive early.  Beer Gardens around the PNE also show the concerts on big screens so you can still enjoy the shows even if the Amphitheatre is already at capacity.  If you don’t want to wait, limited reserved seating is available from $25 + admission.  Reserved seats go on sale today, May 25, 2018 at 10am.
In addition you can gather your friends and family to reserve a private party suites  that cater to groups of 12 or 14 including the private suite, gate passes, concert tickets, food & beverage service, plus parking passes.

The 2018 Summer Night Concerts are:

August 18 – Boyz II Men
August 19 – Air Supply
August 21 – Dean Brody
August 22 – Goo Goo Dolls
August 23 – I Love the 90’s ft: Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, All-4-One, Color Me Bad, and Young MC
August 24 – Wilson Phillips
August 25 – Marianas Trench
August 26 – Lost 80’s Live ft: A Flock Of Seagulls, Men Without Hats, Wang Chung, Farrington & Mann (from When in Rome UK), Animotion, and Nu Shooz
August 28 – 112 ft; Slim
August 29 – Kool & the Gang
August 30 – Jan Arden
August 31 – Burton Cummings and Band
September 1 – Chicago
September 2 – Village People
September 3 – Cyndi Lauper

Get your tickets online at PNE now.

The Fratellis kicked off North American Tour

The Fratellis – Commodore Ballroom – April 26, 2018

Scottish act, The Fratellis flew into Vancouver to kick off their North American tour supporting their latest release, In Your Own Sweet Time. The fifth full length album by the Fratelli trio, brings an alt-country sound to the stage with a relaxed twang mixed with a Scottish burr.

The Commodore Ballroom was filled with a mix of fans from near and far as the opening act, Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes, warmed up the room.  The headliners made their way to the stage the audience was ready to hang on their every note.   Most Vancouver Canucks fans may have a distaste for the Scottish act responsible for the dreaded Chicago Blackhawks goal song, but they’re music is much more than the pop/punk sound of Chelsea Dagger, taken from their first release.

Jon Fratelli

Not ones for a lot of chatter, other than the odd greeting from lead singer/guitar Jon Fratelli, and a laugh at their jetleg caused gaffs.  The band lets the music speak for them, plugging away with song after song from their five albums, for the 90 minute set.  The Commodore fans were left satisfied with the return of The Fratellis and their first taste of what audiences around North America will experience in the month to come.

The Fratellis In Your Own Sweet Time Tour continues with dates around Canada and the US until wrapping May 22nd in Atlanta.

Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey bring All The Hits to Vancouver

This week, Lionel Richie wrapped up his All The Hits tour in Seattle with their penultimate gig making a stop in Vancouver. Along with the iconic hit maker, another legendary voice joined the tour with Mariah Carey sharing the bill as a special guest.

As the audience arrived, opening act Tauren Wells, got the evening going with a set of his Christian R&B tinged pop/rock.

A short stage reset welcomed Mariah Carey to the stage.

With a flash of a career montage, Ms Carey, upon a throne, her voice preceding her, arrived on stage. Her set included some of her greatest hits, sounding amazing as she hit every note of her career defining tunes like; Heartbreaker, Touch My Body, My All, It’s Like That, Vision of Love, and more.  One of the sweetest moments of the set was when the singer’s twins, Moroccan and Monroe joined her onstage.  Little Miss Monroe joined her mother singing Always Be My Baby, while Moroccan took to the throne and interjected like a hype-boy.  With her instrument fully in great form, Mariah has fun playing the diva throughout the set; her back-up dancers treating her like a Queen, getting a hair & make-up touch up whilst on her throne, three costume changes but never letting the over-the-top fun get in the way of job number one, belting out best-selling hit after hit.

After Ms Carey’s 75 minute set wrapped up with an encore of Hero, another set change get the stage ready for Lionel Richie and his nearly 50 year catalogue.

The energetic 68 year old showed little effect from the knee surgery that postponed the tour from earlier in the year.  Boundless energy and an arena filling presence kept the audience enraptured and singing along to hits from both his solo career and with The Commodores.  Starting with Easy, then moving swiftly between upbeat numbers and ballads like Running With The Night, You Are, Penny Lover, Hello, Stuck On You, Brickhouse, Three Times A Lady, Say You Say Me, Dancing On The Ceiling.  Engaging the audience, and poking a bit of fun at his and some of the fans’ age. Lionel also had a good time with some of the ladies in the front of the audience, highlighting them or their dancing on the stage screens caused some embarrassment and some joy. Getting a bit political the songwriter reminded us of how much good can get done when people work together with a solo rendition of We Are The World before wrapping up the evening with his anthem All Night Long (All Night).

Surely many of the audience would have like the evening of great songs and singers to continue all night long but after nearly 4 hours the night wrapped leaving smiles on faces and songs in heads and hearts across the arena.

 

Queen + Adam Lambert rock Vancouver

Queen + Adam Lambert – Rogers Arena – July 2, 2017

 Queen + Adam Lambert returned to Vancouver on Sunday night for a spectacular performance at Rogers Arena.  Before a most diverse audience, from children to seniors, Queen founders Brian May and Roger Taylor along with Adam Lambert brought the house down performing their vast catalogue of hits.

Even though he passed 27 years ago, the spirit of Freddie Mercury lives on in the fans, including the brilliantly dressed ‘Freddie’ working the arena in Yellow “A Kind of Magic” jacket, and the 5 year old Live Aid styled “Freddie’, as well his pre-recorded vocals and video highlights appeared during the concert.  In Adam Lambert, the band has found a singer who can complement the songs and legacy without being an imitation.  Respecting that Freddie Mercury paved the way for artists like Lambert to fuse camp theatricality, flashy costumes, shockingly red hair with great vocals.  Original members Brian May and Roger Taylor have said in the past that they aren’t replacing Freddie when they tour with someone, hence the billing as Queen + Adam Lambert. They are like a perfect duet, two individual acts that fit together; two of the best musicians in the world combined with an amazing vocalist, when they speak of each other one gets a sense of genuine respect and camaraderie.

From the beat of Another One Bites The Dust, to bluesy Fat Bottom Girls, to the pop of Don’t Stop Me Now and Somebody To Love or rockabilly on Crazy Little Thing Called Love, the Queen catalogue of hits is an eclectic mix of styles, genres and tempos.  The iconic Bohemian Rhapsody has all the genres in one song, and Adam Lambert deftly weaves the vocal variations and adds his own theatricality to the stage.  Even though their instrumental work is front and centre throughout, Brian May and Roger Taylor each had the opportunity to highlight their vocal skills too, with May handling the vocals and accoustic guitar on Love Of My Life (also featuring Freddie Mercury on video) and Taylor drumming and singing the duet with Lambert on Under Pressure (dedicated to David Bowie).  Over the two hour show, the set list builds to the highly anticipated encore of the legendary hits We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, with the whole of Rogers Arena singing along.

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While they may not live forever, in entrusting their catalogue to Adam Lambert, Queen has ensured that these hit songs are performed for a long time to come.

Queen + Adam Lambert North American Summer Tour continues around Canada and USA until August, before moving to Europe in the autumn.

Picks of the Week – May 3, 2017

It’s time to see if those April showers really did bring us May flowers while we’re out and about checking the picks of the week.

Social: Canada’s largest social media conference Social Media Camp brings novices, experts, and enthusiasts together in Victoria, BC this week.

Punk: The Commodore Ballroom welcomes punk supergroup Me First and The Gimme Gimmes tonight.

Circle Game photo: Tyler Branston

Icon: Firehall Arts Centre stages a unique musical experience, Circle Game: Reimagining the music of Joni Mitchell, until May 20

Folk: Friday night, at the Fox Cabaret, The Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society presents Martin Harley as a prelude to this summer’s Folk Fest

Sips: Find festivities and activities all over the region during the 3rd Annual BC Cider Week until May 7th

Roar: It’s a jungle in there at XY YVR grab your leopard print and costume for Jungle Party on Friday night,

Films: The curtain raises on tomorrow for the 2017 DOXA Documentary Film Festival, bringing 10 days of docs to screens around the city.

Drama: The new work, The Piano Teacher is on the Arts Club’s Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre until May 14th.

Blooms:  The Abbotsford Tulip Festival  brings explosions of colour to the Fraser Valley until Sunday

Rock: Friday night, catch Melissa Etheridge‘s M.E. Live tour at River Rock Show Theatre

Run: Lace up the runners and hit the road or cheer on your fave marathoner at the BMO Vancouver Marathon on Sunday

Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express 2016 Tour

Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express are currently on the road for their annual charitable tor around Alberta and BC.

CaribooExpress2016-11-17-at-10-25-13-pmIn its 10 year history, the roadshow has raised over $500,000 to support local charities; like local food banks, Habitat for Humanity, Inner City Kids programs, and The Potluck Cafe here in Vancouver, the event that started it all.

The 2016 tour wraps up on November 26th at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver.  The Cariboo Express line-up includes a regular cast of Barney Bentall, Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, Wendy Bird, Matt Masters, and the Gold Rush Allstars. To make each show a unique local experience, unannounced special guests often pop-up onstage.

The Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express roadshow is back in our neck of the woods this week as it makes its way closer to the Vancouver finale

Catch the roadshow onstage at the following locations; 

NOVEMBER 18: SOOKE, BC
Edward Milne Community Theatre.
Benefitting the Sooke Food Bank

NOVEMBER 19 & 20: SIDNEY, BC
Charlie White Theatre
Benefitting the Sidney Lions Food Bank

NOVEMBER 21: SALT SPRING ISLAND, BC
Fulford Hall.
Benefitting the Salt Spring Island Community Services Society Food Bank

NOVEMBER 24: Kelowna, BC
Delta Grand Okanagan
Benefitting the BC Farmers Nutrition Coupon Program

NOVEMBER 26: VANCOUVER, BC
The Vogue Theatre
Presented by & Benefitting The Potluck Café Society

Tickets are on sale now and available from the venues.

Chicago + Earth, Wind & Fire – Heart & Soul Tour 3.0

Chicago_EWF_img_9883Earlier this week, the windy city collided with the elements when Chicago + Earth, Wind & Fire played Rogers Arena.

The legendary bands are on their third leg of their co-headlining Heart & Soul Tour, and for the first time bringing their combined talents to Canadian stages.  Between the two bands, they’ve sold more than 200 million albums and amassed countless awards including 20 Grammy nominations.  Over the past 40 years, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire have performed live before millions of fans and added a few thousand more at Rogers Arena on Monday.

EWF_img_9935The co-headlining show is book-ended by both acts performing together with solo sets of their infinite-seeming catalogues of hits in between.  Earth, Wind & Fire took their turn first with a selection from throughout their 40 years of performing.  Megahits and fan favourites brought soul to the arena as fan got moving to the unmistakable Earth, Wind & Fire sound. With a dozen performers on stage the energy was incredible as the three remaining original members; Verdine White, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson, lead the charge.  Verdine is all over the stage with his trademark eccentricity, Philip’s massive vocal range was hampered by some audio distortion but he’s still a force at 65 years.  With the loss of founder Maurice White earlier this year, a reminder of the hands of time, the ‘younger’ members of the band, including Bailey’s son Philip Jr show that the band is in good hands for years to come.

Chicago_img_9948After a short intermission, Chicago returned to the stage with their hit-filled set.  The 2016 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, haven’t let a little thing like time set them back. Original members; singer / keyboardist Robert Lamm, and Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, and Walter Parazaider the uber-energetic horn section players, are still front and centre while temporary lead singer Jeff Coffey (replacing Jason Scheff during a hiatus) ably fronts most tunes.  Throughout the set, filled with sing-along tracks, the feeling that these performers genuinely still enjoy the live experience. The horn section appears especially animated and energized by the live interaction and still look impressed by each other even after 49 years in the business.

And the audience was still suitably impressed as well, for both the solo sets and when the 21 performers regrouped for a closing set.  After years of friendship, camaraderie, and tours together the acts perfectly blend to make the combined efforts on closing hits; September, Sing A Song, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, Shining Star and 25 or 6 to 4, seem like they were always written with these arrangements in mind.

The Heart & Soul 3.0 tour continues through mid-November and from the energy of the bands and audience, this doesn’t feel like it will be the last time we see these friends touring together. If you haven’t caught them before, go see the show!