Although summer is officially winding down, September seems to be stacked with some must-see concerts to end the season.
This month, we see the return of some rock legends, bands who haven’t been here in years, a few indie favourites, Weird Al and a massive block party. Hopefully the weather holds up for the few outdoor concerts left this season. And welcome back Foo Fighters, we have missed you.
DMB crashes into Vancouver for the first time since 2003 and will perform two sets – one acoustic and one electric. As for what songs are performed in which cities, the band is using an almost scientific approach to ensure that no two shows are alike. Bassist Stefan Lessard told Rolling Stone that Matthews “checks with what was played at each venue over the past five years, and also what’s been played the past couple of nights and how far we are from these areas. He’s keeping tabs on all of the different elements.” The group has also been trying out new material on the road – “Death On The High Seas” made its tour debut in Hartford, while fans in Raleigh were the first to hear “Be Yourself.”
The annual end of summer block party returns to the PNE Ampitheatre featuring Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, Netsky, Grandtheft, Lunice, Party Favor and Humans. As part of the 19-date tour, Diplo & Co. return to Vancouver following the release of their third studio album “Peace is the Mission,” which features the groovy single “Lean On.” Also on the Vancouver bill is American producer and heartthrob Dillon Francis, and Vancouver’s very own babes, Humans. The full day gig, presented by Blueprint and Live Nation, has sold out dates along the way – so get on it if you plan to party this long weekend!
The king of pop parodies brings his “Mandatory” world tour to Vancouver on September 8. It’s been a great 12 months for the funnyman – Yankovic’s latest LP, Mandatory Fun, won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album and was his first to top Billboard’s album chart. Expect an evening full of music and mayhem – a video on Weird Al’s official website promises fans “the greatest musical spectacle ever seen” (good luck topping that spectacular nip slip at the Nicki Minaj concert, pal).
Michael David Rosenberg, aka Passenger, is no stranger to our city – in 2013, the singer-songwriter made headlines for busking in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery and later performed at the Lululemon Seawheeze Half-Marathon in Stanley Park. Passenger has since graduated to bigger and better venues, thanks in part to the worldwide success of 2012’s “Let Her Go.” The British singer is in town to promote last year’s critically acclaimed Whispers, which he says is “easily the most ‘up’ album I’ve ever made.”
The itty-bitty comedian brings his larger-than-life “What Now?” tour to Rogers Arena on September 10. Anticipation for Hart’s show is incredibly high – Billboard reported that his 45-city trek is on track to become the highest grossing comedy tour of all time. So what’s all the fuss about? Hart is a box office beast and starred in this summer’s Get Hard, his BET show Real Husbands of Hollywood just completed its third season, and his two-day stint at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles broke a box office record previously held by Eddie Murphy. Tickets for Hart’s Vancouver show are selling fast, and one resale site has floor seats going for as much as $600.
Probably one of the most anticipated shows of the year, the Foo Fighters return to Vancouver this month – and we could not be more excited. It’s really hard to believe these guys have been around for 20 years, and have released eight studio albums. One of the most admired musicians in the industry, Dave Grohl recently broke his foot on tour, and has since continued to tour while bringing fans on stage, and sitting on a throne (also known as Dave of Thrones – a name he totally deserves). The Foo’s are touring their 2014 release “Sonic Highways,” an album which was recorded in eight cities and documented on the HBO series “Foo Fighers: Sonic Highways.” The Vancouver show, among many globally, is sold out.
Almost a year after an incredible sold-out performance at the Orpheum Theatre, alt-J are back and taking their stunning live show outdoors. The boys from Leeds are touring their second album “This is All Yours,” which was released in the fall of 2014. If last year’s show was any indication, this setlist should be a perfect combination of songs from both alt-J albums, with visuals and lights to accompany the band’s often flawless combination of melodies and vocals. This is one highly recommended indie show this month, and possibly one of the last outdoor concerts of this summer. And yes, it is worth the hike up to Burnaby.
Sydney’s flamboyant electronic duo Empire of the Sun are commemorating the seventh anniversary of their debut album “Walking on a Dream” this month, and what better way to celebrate than a short six-city North American tour. Luckily, Vancouver is one of the stops, and is currently their only Canadian tour date. Known for their colourful costumes, unusual (and bright) videos and dance tunes, these guys are bound to put on quite a show at the Orpheum. Holy Ghost! is the band’s opener for the local date, and there are limited tickets available online.
After almost eight years between albums, Modest Mouse have returned with their long awaited album “Strangers to Ourselves.” These indie rockers have been around since the early ’90s, and are an eight-piece band that includes horns, keyboards and fiddles. If you’re still unsure of who they are, their single “Float On” was probably overplayed on your favourite radio station back in 2004. The Grammy-nominated band are clearly a Vancouver favourite, as their upcoming outdoor show at the beautiful Malkin Bowl is sold out.
After discovering Coeur de Pirate while living in Montreal, I used her amazing albums to try and improve my French speaking (and singing) skills. But Coeur de Pirate, aka Beatrice Martin’s new album “Roses” crosses over the language barriers, with a mix between English and French lyrics. The French-Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist has a soulful voice that enchants the listener no matter what language she sings in. Hear Martin’s heart and emotions through her beautifully haunting voice at the Commodore Ballroom this month- et pratiquez votre français en même temps.
The Australian rockers will shake BC Place all night long with their Rock Or Bust World Tour on September 22. It’s AC/DC’s first tour in five years, and their first without founding member Malcolm Young, who left the band last year due to illness. Young’s nephew Stevie is filling in on guitar while drummer Phil Rudd has been replaced by Chris Slade. Fans can expect to bang their heads to songs from last year’s Rock or Bust album and classic hits like “Highway to Hell” and “Back In Black.”
Cornell, best known for his work with Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave, returns to B.C. for this first time since his triumphant set at 2014’s Pemberton Music Festival. The Grammy Award-winning rocker will release his fourth solo album, Higher Truth, on September 18 and embarks on an extensive acoustic tour two days later. His stop at the Orpheum Theatre is officially sold out, but a few seats are still available on resale sites. One dollar from every ticket sold goes to the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, a charity that helps abused and neglected kids.