You can't help but look at Mr. Li. In fact, you almost have to do a double take. From first sight, George Li looks no older than twelve. With a stocky build, and chubby cheeks, there's no reason to see him as anything more than an ordinary kid. That is, until he plays the piano.
The Orpheum, if you haven’t been, has to be one of the most beautiful venues in Vancouver. Built in 1927 (and later restored in 1977), the theatre and its waiting areas are adorned with gold leaf, intricate wood work, cascading chandeliers—all evocative of an era long gone. Can’t think of a better place to take in our night of big band and jazz with alto sax player Richie Cole, the quintet Five By Design, and the VSO than here.
Let’s introduce our players.
“You guys are much quieter than last night,” Matt McLaren, the guitarist/vocalist for Toronto based group Biblical chided the Monday crowd. “You’re about to see your favourite band, for fuck’s sake.”
Death From Above 1979 was roughly an hour away from taking the stage at The Commodore in Vancouver, and droves of hip twenty something’s piled into the elegant venue to listen to what was, for many, an old high school band for what was, for some, the second of two consecutive nights.
This was the word scrawled across T-shirts and on the lips of the young crowd that had shivered in line waiting to see Bassnectar on Friday night.
The temperature hovered at about 0 degrees in Vancouver in front of the all-ages show at the P.N.E. Forum. Girls in booty shorts complained about the long will-call line that preceded the even longer line of fans waiting to get in. Young men in shark costumes took swigs of Absolut vodka – away from the eyes of security guards – and grieved their missing of excellent openers R/D and Bonobo.
Bassnectar’s tour hits Vancouver this Friday at the P.N.E. Forum on one of only a handful of Canadian dates.
Arriving at the Biltmore early on this Friday night, most of the crowd seemed to be already anxiously awaiting the arrival of their heroes The Lemonheads who were in town to play their 1992 breakthrough record It’s a Shame About Ray in its entirety.
The initial ticket price listing for this event was a surprisingly reasonable $13.00! which seemed super cheap to see a band of this ilk; an influential band who gave a shot in the arm to music, particularly at a much needed time in the early 1990’s.
Father-son pairs bumped elbows with knit cap wearing couples, while beer guzzling frat boy types joined in the audience for Elliot Brood’s sold out show at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom this past Wednesday night.
Malajube are an oddity in the Canadian and North American music scene. They manage to be indie music critics darlings while at the same time amazing everyone because all their songs are sung in French.
I think everyone is wondering, "Why the hell are we listening to this when we have no idea what they are saying." Completely ignoring the fact that many bands screech out their songs and it doesn't much matter what language they are waling in.
Arriving early at The Biltmore these days one seems certain to be greeted by an eclectic atmosphere, and this night was no different. The Japanese psychedelic/hard rock act Boris was in town this night in support of no less than three 2011 full length recordings.
A self-aware misnomer if there ever was one, the international music festival really should rename itself to "Pop" Montreal.
Since its inception in 2002, the Pop Montreal International Music Festival has grown exponentially, now showcasing over 600 artists in the span of 5 days. With headlining acts ranging from the electronic-duo Chromeo to the saxophone-heavy, big-beat-tossing-and-simultaneously yelping tUnE-YarDs to the Montreal rock sweethearts Karkwa, "pop" is hardly apropos.