Concerts for a hot season

The Straight presents everything you need to know about the shows you can’t afford to miss this summer.

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      Summer hasn’t even officially arrived, but we’re already going to declare this one an all-time favourite as far as the weather goes. It didn’t rain at all in May, and the first few days of June have been better than Palm Springs in August. No matter what happens moving forward, things are guaranteed to get hotter—not necessarily because of the weather, but more because of the following must-see shows.


      TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

      We could write a quick novella about how the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival continues to break new ground this year with one of its heaviest lineups ever. Instead, it’s better to let the talent speak for itself, with an embarrassingly rich bill including everyone from blues king Buddy Guy to hip-hop fusionists the Roots to swing masters Pink Martini to jazz badasses the Bad Plus. Add a new South Africa Now! feature, and you’ve got a festival that remains as accessible as it is forward-thinking.

      When and Where: June 18 to July 1 at various locations.

      Suggested Retail Price: Visit for a full breakdown.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A signed Louis Armstrong photo from when he played the sadly long-gone Cave.

      Appropriate Attire: In a nod to the mighty Roots—the band, not the TV miniseries—a strategically placed Afro pick. Afro optional.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Renewed determination to learn how to play the sax, trumpet, or guitar, mostly because that might secure you a featured place at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2035.


      Festival d’Eté

      The best part of the yearly Festival d’Eté is how the 1500 block of West 7th Avenue gets shut down and turned into something resembling downtown Montreal. Without, that is, the cobblestone streets and all-dressed hot dogs. This year’s celebration of fine things French includes—but is hardly limited to—hotshot Quebec singer-songwriter Alex Nevsky, old-timey bluegrass revivalists Dylan Perron et Élixir de Gumbo, and breakout chanteuse Willows.

      When and Where: June 18 to 25 at various locations.

      Suggested Retail Price: See for full details.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: An afternoon on Paris’s brilliant Rue Montorgueil.

      Fan Profile: Folks who’ve always meant to spend a week in Quebec City, but can’t swing the airfare.

      Appropriate Attire: Paris-café chic.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Gratitude that, despite the best efforts of René Lévesque and Jacques Parizeau, Canada still includes Quebec.


      Death Grips

      Sacramento’s Death Grips is typically filed under hip-hop, but “fuck-shit-up” might be a better description. In the tradition of the early Stooges, Sex Pistols, and Butthole Surfers, the urban assault crew of Stefan Burnett, Zach Hill, and Andy Morin has locked onto the idea it isn’t on-stage to entertain as much as to terrorize. Get ready to duck and cover, not to mention avoid direct eye contact.

      When and Where: June 20 at the Commodore.

      Suggested Retail Price: $24 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: The used Band-Aids of the Jesus Lizard’s David Yow.

      Fan Profile: Pitbull owners who aren’t afraid of their pitbulls.

      Appropriate Attire: Think riot police, including the giant plastic shield.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Hopefully, most of your teeth.


      Make Music Vancouver

      The organizers of Make Music Vancouver might have put it best on their website, where the home page starts with the simple question “Who doesn’t like free music festivals?” And free is exactly what this addition to the local music scene offers up, with a crazy smorgasbord of local talent, including well-known vets (Sibel Thrasher) and a full-on cavalcade of underground acts from all genres (Owl Field Recordings, Quantum Council, Disco Funeral, and a boatload more).

      When and Where: June 24 in Gastown. See for the full lineup.

      Suggested Retail Price: Free.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Gassy Jack’s ashes, preferably in a saloon-style beer mug.

      Fan Profile: Those obsessed with discovering tomorrow’s local thing today.

      Appropriate Attire: One of those oversize sun visors seen on every second tourist near the Gastown steam clock.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: The best local music bargain until the Khatsahlano Street Party.



      Remember that scene in Garden State where Natalie Portman walks up to Zach Braff, hands him a pair of headphones, and says, “You gotta hear this one song—it will change your life, I swear”? She was talking about the Shins’ “New Slang”. She could just as easily have been pimping Television’s new-wave/punk landmark “Marquee Moon”, which was released in 1977, but sounds just as vital today.

      When and Where: June 25 at the Commodore.

      Suggested Retail Price: $35 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: The CBGB soundboard.

      Fan Profile: Punk pioneers who actually remember when CBGB was a club, as opposed to a T-shirt worn by those who would have been scared shitless at the very sight of the place.

      Appropriate Attire: Go with a vintage Blondie T-shirt, mostly because that shows there’s someone out there who knows their history.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Ammunition for the argument that—sorry, Eric Clapton—Tom Verlaine is God.


      FVDED In The Park

      Some things just sound epic, like Glastonbury, Mad Max: Fury Road, and the impending arrival of Kanye West’s second spawn. Add FVDED to that list. Holland Park in the booming metropolis of Surrey hosts two days of music heavy on urban and EDM. Deadmau5 and the Weeknd headline, with the support cast including the fabulously freaky Danny Brown, Pete Tong, Tyler the Creator, and Flosstradamus.

      When and Where: July 3 and 4 at Holland Park in Surrey.

      Suggested Retail Price: Visit for a full breakdown.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Deadmau5’s head. The giant rodent one he wears on-stage, that is, as opposed to, you know, his actual head.

      Fan Profile: As anyone who’s attended a major music festival in the past couple of years knows, the EDM and hip-hop stages are where the best parties go down. FVDED is everyone you’ve sweated next to in one giant gathering.

      Appropriate Attire: Bare feet. Because—trust us—there’s no better way to get the attention of Danny Brown.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Mad respect for Surrey, which, thanks to megafestivals like FVDED, has officially arrived as a West Coast player.


      East Van Summer Jam

      As those who live in the ’hood know, East Van is, for all of its warts and rough edges, a pretty great place. Seriously—how many craft breweries have set up shop west of Main? Part of what’s making the funkier side of the city better year by year is the East Van Summer Jam, which is basically a giant party thrown by people who’d never yell at you to turn the stereo down. Joining favourites the Boom Booms this year are Ab-Soul, Mayer Hawthorne, Kelela, Kinnie Starr, and more.

      When and Where: July 4 at Strathcona Park.

      Suggested Retail Price: $45 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Roundtrip tickets to Brazil, where every day looks the way East Van Summer Jam sounds.

      Fan Profile: Boosters of the registered charity Shorts and Tank Tops 4-All.

      Appropriate Attire: Shorts and tank tops.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Profound pity for the residents of the West Side, mostly because they’d have a neighbourhood summer jam shut down faster than you can say “George Puil”.


      Khatsahlano Street Party

      There are other Vancouver-fixated street parties in the city, but few of them have blown up as quickly as Khatsahlano. Last year we had the legendary Poppy Family coming out of retirement. This year, Yukon Blonde headlines a deep lineup that features the fabled Pointed Sticks, the Enigmas, and No Fun, in addition to the Belle Game, the Ballantynes, and Hot Panda.

      When and Where: July 11 on West 4th Avenue.

      Suggested Retail Price: Free.

      hat We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A month of free lunches at the Noodle Box.

      Fan Profile: Judging from the size of previous turnouts, every single person in the city.

      Appropriate Attire: With the inclusion of the Pointed Sticks and No Fun, one could do worse than a Vancouver Complication button, preferably vintage.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: World-class B.O., because if Yukon Blonde, the Ballantynes, and the rest of the Khatsahlano lineup are going to be sweating their balls off for this famously hot blowout, so are you.



      How’s this for getting up off one’s death bed? After owning the charts in the ’70s and ’80s, Journey did the smart thing and slunk away during the height of the Nirvana-led alt-rock explosion. Then came a new generation discovering the inescapable “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”, which is overplayed everywhere from elementary-school dances to major sporting events. How overplayed? Well, on its current tour, Journey is once again headlining hockey rinks, as opposed to playing next to the pig barn at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.

      When and Where: July 11 at Rogers Arena.

      Suggested Retail Price: $125 to $25 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A desert island. A bomb-proof bunker. Deafness. Something—anything—that would ensure never having to suffer through “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” for the 9,000th time.

      Fan Profile: Corporate rock survivors who—even when Journey was uncooler than pre–Pulp Fiction John Travolta—didn’t stop believin’.

      Appropriate Attire: Acid-washed jeans and a mammoth poodle-do.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Thanks that you never stopped believin’.



      Ever been to Mexico, California, or Texas? If that’s still on your bucket list, there are worse things you could do than spend the night with Calexico. Founders Joey Burns and John Convertino sound like they’ve spent some time south of the border (including the other border down south), to the point where Calexico is as famous for mariachi-blasted gold like “Crystal Frontier” as it is for spaghetti-western dusters such as “Gypsy’s Curse”.

      When and Where: July 12 at the Vogue.

      Suggested Retail Price: $25 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A week in Mexico. The real Mexico, not that fucking all-inclusive with the swim-up bar, lobster-red tourists, and a roving mariachi band that knows four songs, three of them being “La Bamba”.

      Fan Profile: Tex-Mex junkies who want something more challenging than Tex-Mex.

      Appropriate Attire: Anything that makes you look like Stevie Nicks, the underlying hope being that it will encourage Calexico to play its sublime “Not Even Stevie Nicks”.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Incredulousness that Calexico isn’t bigger than Wilco.


      You youngsters can keep your Nicki Minaj; Missy Elliott will have Pemberton getting its proverbial freak on in less time than it takes to shave a choca.

      Pemberton Music Festival

      Last year, Pemberton hosted its first megafestival since Tom Petty and Jay-Z rocked the mountain community in 2008. If you were there for a lineup that included Snoop Dogg, Deadmau5, and the Flaming Lips, you had no complaints. This year ups the ante with a killer bill that ranges from the megaplatinum Black Keys to hip-hop legend Missy Elliott to shit-hot Young Turk Kendrick Lamar. Add Hozier, Jane’s Addiction, M.I.A., Billy Talent, the Decemberists, and too many more to list here, and you’ve got no reason not to book a Pemberton campsite.

      When and Where: July 16 to 19 in the Pemberton Valley.

      Suggested Retail Price: Visit for a full breakdown.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Concrete proof that the Tree People—and if you were there last year, you know what we’re talking about—don’t exist.

      Fan Profile: Hip-hop heads to Lollapalooza old-timers to DIY–folk fans and beyond. Good God—have you seen the lineup?

      Appropriate Attire: Seeing how last year’s Pemberton festival featured a giant waterslide, think his-or-hers Speedos.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Given the hi-wattage talent, a sincere belief that there’s more than one megafestival worthy of your money.


      Vancouver Folk Music Festival

      The most scenic location in Lotusland hosts one of Vancouver’s most beloved musical events for the 38th time. Taj Mahal may have pulled out of this year’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival, but there’s a genre-spanning lineup to take the sting out of that, with highlights including Richard Thompson, Frazey Ford, Hawksley Workman, and Said the Whale.

      When and Where: July 17 to 19 at Jericho Beach Park.

      Suggested Retail Price: Visit for a full breakdown.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A bootleg copy of Bob Dylan’s epically controversial electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival.

      Fan Profile: Open-minded adventurists who love the fact that Dylan had the balls to change how people think about folk festivals.

      Appropriate Attire: ’60s-vintage Ray-Bans.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Confirmation that folk, like punk, hip-hop, alt-rock, and Bristol 2-step, now means something different to everyone.



      Stick around long enough, and you’ll become more than a punch line in a Pavement song. Once hated by punks as much as they were loved by bangers, Rush is now revered by all for its longevity. Not to mention the power trio’s featured role in I Love You, Man.

      When and Where: July 17 at Rogers Arena.

      Suggested Retail Price: $140.50 to $30.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: One night in Geddy Lee’s wine cellar. Apparently, the guy has a collection that would give Francis Ford Coppola a chub.

      Fan Profile: Canadian, and proud of it.

      Appropriate Attire: Mack jackets and Daytons, if only to make it clear you were a fan before Rush was cool. Again.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: New ammunition for the argument that Rush deserves the Order of Canada. Not to mention its spot on rec-room walls from Surrey to Scarborough.


      Culture Club

      The idea of a full-blown Culture Club reunion has been floated on and off since the ’80s, when Boy George was such a huge celebrity that even David Lee Roth was referencing him. (See the “Just a Gigolo” video, which is better than everything ever released by Van Halen.) And now he’s back, making the world wonder what they ever saw in the lipstick-and-eyeliner skills of Marilyn Manson.

      When and Where: July 17 at the Hard Rock Casino.

      Suggested Retail Price: $149.50 to $129.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Keys to a DeLorean DMC-12, which is the only thing that’s more ’80s than Boy George.

      Fan Profile: Reborn new romantics who haven’t left the house since Duran Duran was last in town.

      Appropriate Attire: A muumuu and a bowler hat, accessorized by a makeup job that suggests a 73-percent-less-insane Divine.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: “Karma Chameleon” stuck in your head for the next three years.


      One Direction

      Screw the artistic merits of One Direction—the Simon Cowell–guided boy band exists for one reason, and one reason only, and that’s to make money. And make money the quartet does. Thanks to a rabid tween fanbase, One Direction’s four albums to date have all debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. That success and shows at venues like B.C. Place have landed Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson on the only list that matter to some folks: Forbes’s ranking of highest-earning celebrities under 30.

      When and Where: July 17 at B.C. Place.

      Suggested Retail Price: $99.50 to $29.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A chaperone who knows that the last place parents want to see girls gone wild is a One Direction merch booth.

      Fan Profile: Deluded tweens who see no reason why their training bras, braces, and early-onset acne will stop them from landing one of the One Direction boys.

      Appropriate Attire: Training bras, braces, and early-onset acne.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: The thought that, in hindsight, the Backstreet Boys weren’t nearly as rancid as you remember.


      Fu Manchu

      If you love Queens of the Stone Age, then you’ll be stoked about the return of Fu Manchu, which was helping draw up the stoner-rock rule book back when Josh Homme was simply the guitarist in Kyuss.

      When and Where: July 19 at the Rickshaw.

      Suggested Retail Price: $20 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Keys to a ’76 El Camino.

      Fan Profile: Permanently baked, and damn proud of it.

      Appropriate Attire: Hemp everything.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: A bigger buzz than Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg combined.



      As astute students of ancient history know full well, Blondie’s impact on modern pop culture isn’t measured solely by ’80s chart-toppers like “Heart of Glass”, “Call Me”, and “Dreaming”. Like the Ramones and Talking Heads, Debbie Harry and company started out as true revolutionaries who reinvented rock ’n’ roll at CBGB. And not just by proving that the girls could be as badass as the boys.

      When and Where: July 22 at the River Rock Show Theatre.

      Suggested Retail Price: $89.50 to $79.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A copy of Chris Stein’s essential photo book Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk.

      Fan Profile: Those who know that, without Blondie, there might never have been a Shirley Manson, Gwen Stefani, Brody Dalle, or—for better or for worse—Courtney Love.

      Appropriate Attire: Skinny leather ties and wraparound shades.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Confirmation that, even at 70, Debbie Harry is cooler than you’ll ever be.


      Brian Wilson

      Brian Wilson has long been recognized as one of pop music’s greats for his groundbreaking work with the Beach Boys. Thanks to this year’s excellent biopic Love & Mercy, his legend continues to grow in a way that makes the sandbox years seem like nothing but a bad dream.

      When and Where: July 24 at the River Rock Show Theatre.

      Suggested Retail Price: $79.50 to $69.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: The head of Mike Love, complete with that stupid ball cap he’s clearly had sutured to his skull.

      Fan Profile: Students of golden-era ’60s pop, which Brian Wilson cranked out at a level almost as astonishing as Lennon-McCartney and Jagger-Richards.

      Appropriate Attire: Striped blue-and-white shirt and ’60s-vintage boat shoes.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Good vibrations, which won’t stop you wishing that you had Mike Love’s head on a stick.



      The last time Glenn Danzig played Vancouver, the diminutive but insanely pumped-up alt-metal veteran spent part of the show threatening to fight various audience members. That makes the idea of him launching himself into the seats of the Queen E. sound more awesome than the time King Kong broke loose in that theatre in New York.

      When and Where: July 27 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

      Suggested Retail Price: $47.50 to $35 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A stack of old Flipside fanzines, where one of the highlights was the Danzig-penned horror-movie reviews billed as “The Gore by Glenn”.

      Fan Profile: Thinking metal fans who’ve never given two shits that the Misfits—the real Misfits, that is—are never ever getting back together again.

      Appropriate Attire: Black jeans, bare chest. Fellows, that goes for you too.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Welts, if you’re stupid enough to start waving your hands when Danzig screeches, “Who wants to fight?”


      Imagine Dragons

      Back in the day, the standard route to stardom was endless club tours followed by, if you were lucky, gradual ascension to stadium status. Christ, how that’s changed. When Imagine Dragons first talked to the Georgia Straight in 2012, they were playing venues the size of Granville Street’s Venue. Fast-forward three years, and—with hits like “Radioactive”—the Las Vegas quartet is headlining hockey rinks.

      When and Where: July 30 at Rogers Arena.

      Suggested Retail Price: $69.50 to $29.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Ticket stubs from Imagine Dragons’ Vancouver debut at Venue.

      Fan Profile: Rock-radio listeners who are interested in more than Aerosmith and AC/DC.

      Appropriate Attire: Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon on the front of the shirt, John Lennon’s Imagine on the back.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Regrets over not seeing Imagine Dragons at Venue, where you would have been two feet from the stage.


      Squamish Valley Music Festival

      Somewhere along the line, the Squamish Valley Music Festival mushroomed from a little festival that could (early headliners included Weezer and Devo) into one of North America’s marquee concert events. Last year brought us Eminem, Bruno Mars, and Arcade Fire. This year’s edition is an insanely talent-rich blowout topped by superstars Mumford & Sons, Drake, and Sam Smith. Throw in an undercard featuring ASAP Rocky, the Kills, Alabama Shakes, and too many others to list here, and you’ve got the best excuse to head up the Sea-to-Sky since the opening of Blackcomb and Whistler.

      When and Where: August 7 to 9 at Hendrickson Fields and Logger Sports Grounds.

      Suggested Retail Price: See for a full breakdown.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Courtside Toronto Raptors tickets, and not just because the odds are pretty good of bumping into Drake.

      Fan Profile: One-stop shoppers who know that if you wanna see all your faves in one place, Squamish is the no-brainer.

      Appropriate Attire: People-watching is famously half the fun at Squamish, so fly that freak flag high. But maybe not as high as that time at Burning Man.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: A vow never to leave B.C. during the summer, seeing how you’ve got a world-class reason to stay home.



      Incredibly, it’s been over two full decades since the ugly implosion of Uncle Tupelo, the band that first made Jeff Tweedy kind of famous. That four out of five Wilco fans think Uncle Tupelo is a brand of southern fried rice, instead of how Tweedy started his career, is a testament to Wilco’s ever-growing rock ’n’ roll legacy.
      When and Where: August 12 at the Orpheum.

      Suggested Retail Price: $57.50 to $49.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: The after-the-fact memo to the Warner executive who took a pass on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

      Fan Profile: Alt-country fans who, long ago, realized there’s more to life than alt-country.

      Appropriate Attire: A week’s worth of stubble, either on your face or on your legs, that being a fitting tribute to Jeff Tweedy’s lifelong aversion to good grooming.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Final proof that, no matter how much you loved Anodyne, the world doesn’t need an Uncle Tupelo reunion.


      Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival

      In keeping with past editions of the Burnaby classic, one could argue for hours about what “the blues” is, given a lineup spanning Rolling Stone cover stars the Sheepdogs, Louisiana-flavoured upstarts Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, and soul sister Colleen Rennison. What’s inarguable is that, having been in mourning since the passing of B.B. King, blues fans finally have a reason to get out and live again.

      When and Where: August 14 at Deer Lake Park.

      Suggested Retail Price: $75 to $45 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A mason jar of white lightning, preferably sourced somewhere south of St. Louis.

      Fan Profile: Die-hards who’ve been in mourning ever since B.B. King shuffled off to that great speakeasy in the sky.

      Appropriate Attire: Burlap-sack britches, but only if that’s seriously all you can afford.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Conviction you were separated at birth from Jake and Elwood Blues.


      Come to think of it, Nicki Minaj—who plays Rogers Arena on August 16—is cool, mostly because she singlehandedly revived the career of Sir Mix-a-Lot.

      Nicki Minaj

      Let us count the ways we love Nicki Minaj, who played the Queen E. on her last swing through town and now finds herself headlining Rogers Arena. The 32-year-old breakout star has gone toe-to-toe with Kanye West on “Monster”, made a conscious effort to empower her fans with Pinkprint, and gone on record about the challenges of being a black artist in a world where racism still exists. Oh yeah, and there was also that time she turned a whole new generation on to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”.

      When and Where: August 16 at Rogers Arena.

      Suggested Retail Price: $175 to $29 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: The kind of anaconda that don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hon.

      Fan Profile: Hip-hop pop consumers who’ve set every station in the car to 94.5 Virgin Radio.

      Appropriate Attire: As Nastassja Kinski once proved, nothing looks better on a body than an anaconda, especially when that body is naked.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: A mental note to hit a pet store specializing in reptiles.


      PNE Summer Nights Concerts

      Normally, the fabled wooden roller coaster is a good enough reason to spend the day at the PNE. Upping the ante is the PNE Summer Night concert series, the lineup this year including indie-rock royalty (Sloan, the New Pornographers), country gold (Clint Black), and at least a couple of platinum-selling legends (Pat Benatar, Boyz II Men). The price isn’t bad either.

      When and Where: August 22 to September 7 at the PNE.

      Suggested Retail Price: Free with PNE admission.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Front-of-the-line privileges on the wooden coaster.

      Fan Profile: Ever been to the PNE? Start with everyone you see on the midway.

      Appropriate Attire: Suit jackets or dresses made of stitched-together PNE prize-home tickets, of which you’ve purchased hundreds over the years without even coming close to winning.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Because they are basically the equivalent of deep-fried crack, three bags of little doughnuts. All of which will be inhaled by the time you get to the car.



      If you’ve always thought about enlisting in the Armed Forces but aren’t sure whether combat is for you, here’s a suggestion: stand in the middle of the pit at Slipknot. If you survive the mayhem, deployment in the Middle East will be a breeze. For their Summer’s Last Stand tour, the masked industrial-metal miscreants from Iowa hit town with Lamb of God and Bullet for My Valentine.

      When and Where: August 24 at Rogers Arena.

      Suggested Retail Price: $75 to $35 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: An authentic, and hopefully fumigated, Slipknot mask.

      Fan Profile: Maggots and—given that Slipknot has been making records for three decades—their maggot offspring.

      Appropriate Attire: Industrial overalls and homemade Slipknot masks from the Iowa era.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: If you end up anywhere near the pit, you won’t be walking away from anything. Make sure they immobilize your neck on the stretcher.


      “Weird Al” Yankovic

      Admit it: you can’t sing along to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” without changing the lyrics to “Grab yourself an egg and beat it.” Such is the genius of “Weird Al” Yankovic, whose career has lasted longer than many of the artists he’s parodied over the decades.

      When and Where: September 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

      Suggested Retail Price: $65 to $47.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: Yankovic’s plus-size inflatable Wacko Jacko suit from his “Fat” video.

      Fan Profile: Unrepentant nerds, and the nerds who love them.

      Appropriate Attire: An ’80s-porn-star perm, steel-frame glasses, and a disturbingly creepy mustache, with Hawaiian shirt optional.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Simmering hatred for U2, Paul McCartney, and Eminem, based solely on the fact they all refused to let Yankovic unleash his genius on their songs.


      Foo Fighters

      If Dave Grohl weren’t the nicest—and most enthusiastic—guy in rock, one might be tempted to point out that Nirvana made him what he is today. But even if Foo Fighters have never changed the world the way a certain Seattle trio did, few modern rock bands have. And even fewer have stayed at the top of their game, on their own terms, as long as Grohl has. So show some respect.

      When and Where: September 11 at Rogers Arena.

      Suggested Retail Price: $75 to $35 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: A tab at the Crocodile Café in Seattle’s Belltown.

      Fan Profile: Meat-and-potatoes rock fans who never get tired of hearing “Best of You” on CFOX.

      Appropriate Attire: A Scream baseball cap, mostly because Grohl is one of those rare guys who’ve never forgotten their roots.

      What You’ll Walk Away With: The lasting impression that Grohl really is a nice guy.



      Don’t let your parents, high-school guidance counsellor, or probation officer tell you otherwise: there’s nothing wrong with being totally out-there. Take, for example, the fantastically experimental alt-j. A couple of years back, the U.K. Mercury Prize winners told the Straight that they initially weren’t going to release their debut, An Awesome Wave, because it was too weird. Today, the group is headlining Deer Lake Park on the back of its genre-spanning, Grammy-nominated latest, This Is All Yours.

      When and Where: September 12 at Deer Lake Park.

      Suggested Retail Price:
      $45 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: The My So-Called Life boxed set.

      Fan Profile: The kind of discerning music consumers who, if this were 1995, would love Radiohead.

      Appropriate Attire: What would a funky Oxford calculus student wear?

      What You’ll Walk Away With: A weird feeling, but in the best possible way.


      Primus and the Chocolate Factory

      Considering Primus is famous for such tunes at “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” and full-lengths like Brown Album and Suck on This, we’ve got a pretty good idea what “the Chocolate Factory” might be a reference to. Singer and ace bassist Les Claypool might see the world as his own private South Park, but the guy is deadly serious about his musicianship, making this a must for anyone who visits Long & McQuade at least four times per day.

      When and Where: September 14 at Malkin Bowl.

      Suggested Retail Price: $49.50 plus service charges.

      What We’d Trade Our Tickets For: An honest answer to the question of whether “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” is about a certain Gen X icon’s cooter.

      Fan Profile: Musos who haven’t been this excited about an alt-everything group since Fantomas last hit town.

      Appropriate Attire: Mud—caked all over—along with a name tag that reads “My Name Is Mud.”

      What You’ll Walk Away With: Aching fingers from playing two straight solid hours of air bass. And, hopefully, a scorching late-summer sunburn.



      Stevie Weasel

      Jun 10, 2015 at 6:02pm

      Mike Usinger just comes across as such an arrogant goof.

      Mike Usinger

      Jun 11, 2015 at 9:18am

      Dear Stevie Weasel: well, there are worst things to come across as. Like, for example, an Internet troll who posts comments under fake names.

      Pat Crowe

      Jun 11, 2015 at 10:58am

      What?! No Steve Hackett??
      snivel, whine, squirm…
      Oh well, it will be fun to watch my wife "pretend" to enjoy the RUSH concert.

      Maggie N

      Jun 11, 2015 at 4:46pm

      Calexico is the absolute best concert bargain you will find in Vancouver all summer.


      Jun 11, 2015 at 9:04pm

      @Stevie Weasel....Well,at least Sheriff Mike has a job.

      @mr usinger

      Jun 12, 2015 at 9:51pm

      Rich Hope in White Rock? For free? Hells yes!