The hot season’s big concert tickets in Vancouver
Holy sheep shit, what a bounty. Evidently, we’re officially over the days when touring acts would rather hole up in a Bellingham Motel 6 with a toothless crack whore and a six-pack of warm Schlitz than make the trek across the border to Vancouver. From a live-music standpoint, the summer months ahead are going to be busier than Jack White, with a veritable cavalcade of high-profile acts pulling into our fair city.
Right now, you’re probably too busy planning out that B.C. summer getaway to sort out who’s coming where. Don’t worry, we’ve been there. And we totally understand the panic that sets in when the technology-challenged hippy with the waterfront cabin for rent on Gambier Island doesn’t bother responding to any one of the 10 e-mails you’ve sent asking if his driftwood chalet is still available. The doubly distressing thing being that the only other out-of-town spot you’ve got a line on is Mel’s Econo-Lodge and Garbage Depot in beautiful, downtown Hedley. Relax, because there’s always a third option, namely a three-month staycation in Vancouver with more music than a fully loaded, 160 GB iPod. As crazy as a night in a Bellingham Motel 6 with a toothless crack whore and a six-pack of warm Schlitz might sound, it’s got nothing on the following gigs.
There’s an old saying in rock ’n’ roll that goes like this: how can we miss you if you won’t go away? The classic-edition Iron Maiden folded its tent in 1993 when singer Bruce Dickinson traded in his microphone for an airline-pilot’s licence, and then gave every indication he was happier flying the friendly skies than shrieking his lungs out for stuck-in-the-’80s bong huffers. As acts from the Eagles to the Stone Temple Toilets have learned, though, there’s a huge market for nostalgia, which explains why Dickinson is now back where he belongs: hanging out with Iron Maiden’s iconic mascot Eddie and making like Nirvana never happened.
When and Where: June 24 at GM Place.
Suggested Retail Price: $89.50/65/35 plus service charges.
What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: First-class tickets—complete with mile-high club privileges—on Ed Force One.
Fan Profile: Fifty-somethings who only stopped rocking their mullets when they started looking like Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show; hipsters who were into 3 Inches of Blood long before the Roadrunner years.
Appropriate Attire: An Eddie-approved Zombie mask and glow-in-the-dark-rib-cage T-shirt.
What You’ll Walk Away With: A burning desire to run to the hills, especially if you live in a flatter-than-flat wasteland like Richmond.
TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival
The numbers are mind-boggling: from late June to early July, over 1,800 musicians will descend on Vancouver for the biggest music festival of the year. That talent will range from the iconic likes of George Benson and Chick Corea, to boundary-busting upstarts like Kid Koala and Buck 65, to crossover artists like Nikki Yanofsky. Yes, there’s a good reason the Seattle Times once noted that our jazz fest is cooler than Chet Baker before he got his teeth punched out.
When and Where: June 25 to July 4 at various locations.
Suggested Retail Price: Visit www.coastaljazz.ca for a full breakdown.
What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A Ken Burns–autographed boxed set of the indispensable 2001 PBS miniseries Jazz.
Fan Profile: An impossible-to-pigeonhole demographic that includes, but is hardly limited to, aging beatniks, electronica nonpurists, old-school adventurists, forward-thinking fusionists, and people who were actually sad the Olympics ended only because they didn’t get to hear Yanofsky’s “I Believe” 342 times per day.
Appropriate Attire: A black beret and granny glasses, but only if worn in a knowingly ironic way.
What You’ll Walk Away With: If you’re lucky, a week-and-a-half stretch where you don’t hear “I Believe” even once.