Happy New Year, music lovers!
Last year was a great year for live music. Many big names rolled through, we saw some emerging artists take the stage, and the local music scene kept expanding. And so, we’re very excited to see what 2016 will bring.
While January tends to be a recovery month, health and money wise, some Canadian and international artists are on the road bright and early to start our year right. Gear up for a big year for concerts and festivals, and here’s to a great start to 2016!
The month starts off with a bang with the arrival of the K-Pop craze. K-Pop (or Korean Pop) has been around for years, and no it did not begin with Psy (remember Psy?!). Groups like 2NE1 and Girls’ Generation have been dominating K-pop charts, and now Apink has emerged as the latest and greatest in the Korean pop genre. K-Pop is a phenomenon that goes beyond just music, especially in Korea. Apink is stopping in Vancouver as part of a four-date North American Tour. Although many K-Pop artists – including Apink – perform in Korean, these live shows are more about the experience, the lights, the dances, and the performance. And after all, music is a universal language.
Australian heartthrob Vance Joy is back on his own headlining tour after opening for one Taylor Swift most of 2015. You may not recognize his name, but you’ve probably heard his number one hit “Riptide” over and over. The indie pop singer-songwriter’s debut album “Dream Your Life Away” was released in 2014, but Vance Joy is still selling out his venues globally and locally. Although Ticketmaster is officially sold-out for The Fire and The Flood tour dates in Vancouver, some tickets are available on resale but be prepared to fork out about $100 per ticket.
Another back to back show this month goes to American blues trio The Devil Makes Three. The folk and rockabilly, drummer-less band redefines acoustic blues, and their high energy shows are known to sell-out in the USA. From finger-picking guitar, to an upright bass and a banjo, these guys bring to life some timeless tunes. And having been around since 2002, their fan base continues to grow. Check them out if soulful music is your style, especially the kind that takes you to the dancefloor.
It’s a bass take-over at The Commodore on January 22 and 23. DJ/Producer Excision returns with his unmistakable bass-heavy show that is sure to send the crowd into a frenzy. One of EDM’s festival favourites, and hailing from Kelowna, B.C, Excision is touring with other faves Bear Grillz and Figure as part of The Paradox 2016 Tour. Expect to dance until the morning hours while experiencing the sounds of Excision (Promised at a “face-melting 150,000 watts of PK Sound) and a brand new stage production.
These boys say it best when they say “Peking Duk not only tastes good, but it sounds even better.” Aussie producers/funny duo Peking Duk return to Vancouver this month, and electronic music fans should get excited. Peking Duk’s extreme high energy show is bound to be a highlight of your month. The award winning dance producers’ electro house set usually includes their hit singles “High and Say My Name,” but they also surprise fans by throwing in some fun classics like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Start your year off with this dance party!
Legendary Canadian country rockers Blue Rodeo are making their way across Canada in early 2016. The 25 day coast to coast tour includes two shows in Vancouver. In the fall of 2015, the band released their latest album “Live At Massey Hall,” which was recorded during their 2014 tour of the album “In Our Nature.” Formed in 1984 and with fourteen studio albums, Blue Rodeo remains one of Canada’s original rock groups. Check out these legends at one of their two scheduled dates in the city.
After a long hiatus, Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GYBE) returned last year with its first single LP-length release, “Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress.” The Montreal rockers, who have been around since the ’90s, were known for their unforgettable live performances which sometimes featured as many as 14 musicians and 16mm film projectors. From small venues to global music festivals, GYBE is back on the road after several months of touring in the fall of 2015. They are in Vancouver this month as part of The 2016 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in collaboration with Holy Body Tattoo dance company.