Archive for the ‘Live Shows’ Category

Spamalot in Vancouver: Spam ei kohtuullinen ajaksi email


I’ve been a Monty Python fan for years, and the thing that drew me in was Monty Python and the Holy Grail [wp].  Like most good nerds I could recite complete passages of the film from memory, having watched it more times than anyone should ever watch any film.  Later I’d get into the show through the audio recordings, then eventually renting the VHS tapes of the BBC show. 

Yet I was oddly unwilling to pay good money to see Monty Python’s Spamalot.  Some of it was that of all the Pythons Eric Idle, the driving force behind Spamalot, had always been my least favorite of the group and had always seemed the most willing to cash in on the group’s fame no matter how tacky. 

And tacky it is, though in the glorious tacky manner that both embraces and mocks its translation from low budget film to Broadway musical.  In a lot of ways this is a meta-musical, playing with the form the same way that the movie played with the form of movie theatre.  Songs such as “Diva’s Lament” and “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway” are often less about the plot, than about the fact that a musical is going on.  Some songs are slightly altered versions from the movie, while Idle brings “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” in from Life of Brian to help fill the show out.


Playland newb requires expert advice

You may not believe this (or care), but out of the 11 years I’ve lived in Vancouver, I’ve never once been to the PNE. I’ve driven past it. That’s about it. Being pan-Canadian, my formative years had me slowly moving East, and the temporary, Summer fairs just got bigger and better, until I landed in Calgary, and say what you will, that Stampede is one crazy week.

So once settled in Vancouver, I enjoyed the relative calm of not having July explode in a frenzy of cowboy hats and pancake batter.

Oh, sure, I’ve learned the nicknames (“pee-on-your-knee”) and heard about Playland, but reports of it were kind of like listening to an insane person; “I bought myself a cell phone number and an elderly Chinese couple told me it was a very lucky number and then ate a corn dog while waiting in line to be shot into space! Then that night, The Tragically Hip performed exactly where I had watched dogs jump through hoops the week before!”

But any trepidation I may have had is wearing off – maybe it’s because I haven’t been to a Stampede (or any sort of fair ground) in a decade. Maybe it’s because I know people with kids, and darned if they (the kids) don’t make it sound fun. Maybe it’s because I know the guys that have been designing the Playland ads for years. Whatever the case, I think it might be time.

But what should I plan for?

I know MetBlog should ideally be about telling you, dear reader, what’s what. Fine. Kid Rock is playing this Sunday – get your tickets now! But I can only read the website so much – I need the skinny, the inside track. What is a must-ride attraction? What’s the must-eat food? What’s the best time to go if you hate crowds (and boy, do I)? Help me out, won’t you – share your wisdom in the comments.

The Submarines & Bell X1 live in Vancouver

Sing sing, originally uploaded by louder.

It’s a bit odd to be ushered out of a concert so that hip hop night can start and it’s also a change of pace for a concert to end by ten. A 7:30 pm start was not that odd, but the fact that a 7:30 start meant a 7:30 start is nearly unheard of.

I went to The Plaza to see The Submarines play [wp]. I’d enjoyed their first album Declare A New State and was keen to see how the sound translated live. Sadly because of the early start time by the time I got into the venue twenty minutes after doors open, The Submarines were already on their last song of the set. It was a good performance, and it translated their studio sound well. If you’re into indie rock, checking out Declare A New State is well worth a trip to iTunes.

I might have come to see the opening act but it was Bell X1 that blew me away.


Vancouver win tickets to The Submarines and Bell X1

The Submarines - Press Photo

Who: The Submarines & Bell X1

Where: The Plaza

When: Saturday the 29th of March, 2008

Do you want a pair of free tickets to see The Submarines and Bell X1 this Saturday at The Plaza? Here’s what you do, you comment on this thread answering a simple trivia question and if you are the first person to answer it correctly you win.

What’s the catch? There isn’t any. Tickets will be ready at the door for you and a friend and you’ll get a night of some good music.

Just answer the following question correctly in the comments. If you need help see this Wikipedia entry on The Submarines [wp].

Question: What are the names of the members of The Submarines?

The Submarines in Vancouver: Win tickets

submarines, originally uploaded by Orrin.

Los Angeles pop rock band the Submarines are coming to Vancouver and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away thanks to Nettwerk. They’re playing at the Plaza Club [pc] on Saturday March 29th, with Bell X1, and you could be there if you win these hot tickets. The Submarines started in Los Angeles, and so did Metblogs with Blogging.LA [bla], so a Vancouver Metblogs contest with the group seems natural.

So how do you win these tickets? Answer a bit of trivia and we’ll do a draw on Monday the the 24th from all the qualifying entries. Post the answer to the question in the comments of this post, and I’ll just have to be diligent in checking the comments and deleting the answers so you at the very least have to go to their Wikipedia entry to answer this.

Question: The Submarines first album Declare A New State was mastered by a friend as a gift for what special event?

Answer in the comments. Entries have to be in by Sunday March 23rd.

Edit: This contest has been relaunched.  See this post [vmb] for details.

Pemberton Festival to make Pemberton cool for a few days

Doesn’t It Make You Feel Better…, originally uploaded by Nicola T.

From the CBC [cbc]:

…the inaugural festival will feature a host of headliners that include Coldplay, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jay-Z and Nine Inch Nails.

Canadians slated to take part include The Tragically Hip, Sam Roberts Band, Metric, Buck 65, MSTRKRFT and Wintersleep.

The bill will also feature many newer and emerging acts, including Death Cab for Cutie, Interpol, The Flaming Lips, Vampire Weekend, MGMT and The Airborne Toxic Event.

Excuse me? I believe I can hear my mind melting inside my head. Typcially we’ve always had to travel if we’ve wanted to see a decent music festival. EdgeFest was fun though it generally focused on one big band and a number of smaller acts. For example do you remember Econoline Crush? I do because I saw them at EdgeFest.

Having said that a concert on this level rarely happens in Canada, and when it does it’s generally in Barrie Ontario. So this is somewhat massive. The acts are wide ranging enough that there’s nearly something for everyone.

Tickets will be onsale, and probably sold out, on March 28th.  The festival will run from July 25th to the 27th.  More information can be found at the festival’s website [pmf].

Vancouver goes south for Matthew Good at the Tractor Tavern

Matthew Good in Seattle

A short post about Matthew Good’s Seattle show below the jump.  You can find a longer one over at my own blog [jks].


Gone Bunburying to Seattle

Matthew Good, Belleville

, originally uploaded by shannon steele

Like so many other cross boarder scavengers this weekend I’ll be away to Seattle. The only difference is that rather than going down to take advantage of the good Canadian dollar and the cheap smokes and drinks on the other side of the world’s longest undefended border I’ll be at the Matthew Good show [mg].

It might bit odd, traveling to Seattle to see a Vancouver artist, but I keep missing his shows in Vancouver due to the fact that they sell out way too fast. Besides I need to do some Bunburying anyway [wp].

The Vancouver Five: 2010 Opening Concert

Ron Sexsmith @ Cultural Olympiad Vancouver 2010

The pre-Olympic hype kicked off with a concert featuring Ron Sexsmith and Feist playing alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Here are five random thoughts that popped into my head during the show.

5) My math might be off, but isn’t 2008 two years too early for the Olmypics?

4) Ben Mulroney hosting? What they couldn’t get Justin Trudeau? Are Ben’s writers on strike too, because he’s painfully unfunny?

3) Three songs from Ron Sexsmith, I thought he was supposed to be a co-headliner. Jesus, Jorane got more stage time.

2) I understand not getting press credentials, because we all know this internet thing is just a fad, but please if I’m taking a photo without disturbing anyone else and without a flash do we really need ushers converging on me like I just snuck outside food into a movie theatre.

1) Who taught Feist how to rock? And why doesn’t she do that on her albums?

Bonus) I really need to go see the VSO at some point. They’re quite good.

Concert going Seattle

When I lived in Kelowna, Vancouver was a frequent destination for concerts. With the bigger venues, and the larger population we get far more shows than anywhere else in western Canada and along with Toronto and Montreal we are often one of the only Canadian cities on the larger artists’ international tours. Heck we launched the Spice Girls’ comeback [mbv]. Since living in Vancouver though I find myself heading down south to Seattle for concerts. A lot of which are shows by Canadian bands.

On their last tour I saw U2 at GM Place, but before that I saw their Seattle shows. I’ve seen Canadian acts like The Arcade Fire there, and Vancouver groups like The New Pornographers who I first saw opening for Belle and Sebastian at the Paramount Theater. For a lot of Vancouverites the city to our south is a natural extension of our entertainment experience. With the dollars at par it’s never been more true that Seattle is a concert destination for a lot of us. I’m sure for example that the upcoming Magnetic Fields shows will have a lot of Canadians at it, since they aren’t coming north of the border on our side of the prairies.

At the risk of becoming Metroblogging Seattle [mbs], I thought I’d take this chance to mention one show that I did get tickets for down in America and that’s Matthew Good’s show at the Tractor Tavren [mg] on March the 7th. His Vancouver show last year sold out quickly, and I wasn’t able to get a ticket, but there’s still some on Ticketmaster for Seattle. By all accounts Good’s acoustic shows are great, and he’s a local Vancouver artist whose been a mainstay of the local music scene for years. If you’ve been wanting to see him, do like so many other Vancouverites do and get a ticket.

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