There's some wicked guitar-oriented concerts coming to Vancouver in the next little while. Tops on my list is the Gov't Mule show at the Vogue Theatre on September 17 as part of the Westward Music Festival. And of course there'll be some major fret-burning action before that, when Metallica hits BC Place Stadium on August 14.
But there's also a lot of amazing guitar players out on tour who for some strange reason aren't visiting our fair city. They're only coming as far north as Seattle, which kinda sucks if you ask me.
So here's my handy-dandy roundup of some of the upcoming Emerald City gigs worth pondering a road trip for:
First off you've got Grammy-winning jazz great Lee Ritenour, who performs with keyboardist Dave Grusin at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley tonight through Sunday (August 6).
The highly underrated Doyle Bramhall II--a regular member of Eric Clapton's touring band--is at the Triple Door on August 27.
Jazzy speed-demon Al Di Meola performs on his Elegant Gypsy 40th Anniverary Tour at the Neptune on September 12.
Blues-rock guitar hero Joe Bonamassa plays three shows at the Moore Theatre, October 12 to 14.
Acoustic fingerstyle ace Leo Kottke does a two-night stand at Jazz Alley, October 31 to November 1.
Slide-guitar wizard Derek Trucks, ex-Allman Brothers, does his thing with Tedeschi Trucks for two nights at the Paramount, November 4 and 5.
John McLaughlin--who Jeff Beck once told me was "the best guitar player around"--coheadlines the Moore Theatre with Jimmy Herring on December 5. Separate sets by Herring and McLaughlin will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material.
Jazz great Mike Stern does a two-nighter at Jazz Alley December 5 and 6.
Former Stray Cat Brian Setzer leads his Brian Setzer Orchestra in a Christmas show at the Paramount Theatre on December 26.
And for those with hard-rock/metal tastes, ex-UFO and Scorpions picker Michael Schenker is at the Neptune on March 22, 2018.
You're welcome, Vancouver guitar freaks.