In my life I've seen a lot of concerts. I can't recollect them all. Too many street
performers and opening acts billed as "and special guests" or "and friends".
I also didn't have the time originally nor access to all my concert ticket stubs to do as
exhaustive a job as possible...
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- Alcoholic White Trash: aren't really my
thing. I prefer singers who sing and bands with more than one pace than all out. Others must go for
this stuff. They
played between Speckled Jim and the Subhumans at the Cobalt. I
didn't care for the music but I enjoyed the antics of the front man. They had musical ability but their song lyrics were a bit
hard to determine, from what I can tell "We're Alcoholic White Trash, so fuck you!"
- All State Champion:
consisted of the rythm section of a band from Parksville of all places and two other guys. Wes and Todd were
frequent roommates of my friends Owen and Thor. I never lived with them but I saw them around, especially
Wes. I think I saw All State Champion two times. I actually preferred one of Wes's side projects with a really
difficult to pronounce name. I saw them play the Brickyard and sat with the family while Thor ran the lights. I
also saw them at the Pic with Push Button Automatic and some other band whose name can't be recollected but
they had a singer who also played a horn though they were punk or hardcore or ska or something. I never
liked labels. It took a while but Wes and Todd's old band is now alphabetically first on my concert webpage.
Todd may have given up music, Wes is still in Vancouver but I'm not sure what he's up to. I dug up an old
interview in Chart Attack with the band,
even a review from a different Picidilly Pub show
than I went to, but around the same time. I also turned up
this longer piece. Wes may or
may not be playing in the Belle Bete Band which has its own
- Matt Anderson: is a really talented guitarists and singer/songwriter. I finally got to see him
play when he sat in on a couple songs with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
Another Roadside Attraction: This was one of the first big
outdoor concerts I went to. I used to organize one big concert outing a summer
for a few years running. This and Fox Fest in
Vancouver were easy, but after only
Paul committed to go to H.O.R.D.E. I gave up organizing trips for
shows out of
town. It wasn't until I moved to Van myself that I started seeing a lot of
bands live. Because the Hip were playing there was a massive crowd. We arrived a
bit late in the middle of the Rheostatics set, who I was not
yet into. I came for
Matthew Sweet and Spirit of the West but
Blues Traveller was the band that most
impressed me. They are a great live band, they can flat out play.
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- Randy Bachman:
When I was a kid, I listened to the odd BTO song on cassette tape
or even 45. I saw
Randy give a very similar performance on CBC where he told the story that goes with
all the songs so there wasn't much new about his set when I saw him do it live.
- Tal Bachman:
I saw Tal open for his dad, Neil Young, and the
Bare Naked Ladies in Duncan. He
has the one hit song, which even I had heard on the radio and I don't listen to the
radio. He played solo on his acoustic guitar, I wasn't at the
Clean Air Concert to
see Tal Bachman.
- Bare Naked Ladies:
I've always liked the Bare Naked Ladies. Even if it isn't cool to say so
I had Gordon on cassette when it came out and I've aquired a few more of their
albums on CD. I like their old stuff better and I don't
begrudge them their
success. They gave a very enjoyable performance using just a single omni-directional
mic and just a set of bongos, no drum kit for Tyler. Kevin Hearn
played accordian, there was no electric instruments on stage, just Ed on acoustic and an upright base.
- Bahamas: is the stage name of a Canadian singer
songwriter who is more famous for accompanying other muscians, but maybe that will change some day.
- Beastie Boys:
I've been a fan of the Beastie Boys since the begining, with the begining being
defined as "License to Ill" and the video for "Fight for your right to Party" being
accessible in Duncan BC. I never got into "Paul's Boutique" when it came out, but
since "Ill Communication" till their career retrospective I was pretty heavily into
them. Their incorporation of live instruments and their innovative videos is what
elevates them not necessarily their MC skills. I saw them play in Vancouver finally
with another of my favourite rap bands,
A Tribe Called Quest. Of course I wore my
Aloha Mr. Hand shirt to the show. I was
disappointed the Tribe had no swag and my voice was gone almost before the Beasties took
the stage. The highlights were them playing "Paul Revere", my favourite B-Boy song
and of course the
improvasational elements with Mix Master Mike and Keyboard Money Mark.
- Beck is another big name who I've seen that I
was disappointed in. I saw him open for Neil Young in the Garage and he played a really quiet set.
Now I admit my seat wasn't the best but I had a really hard time even hearing what was being said/sung.
Also as par for the course, I forgot to include him on this page until I'd included like a hundred other artists
most of whom were considerably less famous.
- Robert Belfour is a name that was missing from this webpage for years.
The Reverend Payton, a damn fine guitar picker in his own right, extols him as the most underrated bluesman of the last forty years. So of course
I saw him back in the day, shook his hand too. He was on Fat Possum of course and opened for R.L. one time at Richard's on Richards. Considering all the time I
spend trying to play like the hill country bluesman I should rectify the oversight on him being missing form this webpage for probably
close to twenty years.
- Ben Folds Five:
When I went to Portland for the H.O.R.D.E. tour to see
Neil Young there was literally a horde of bands on the bill.
So technically I've seen Toad the Wet Sprocket but they didn't even make an
impression on me. One band that did make an impression was the Ben Folds Five. They
eventually became popular and of course broke up. But I saw them on the small stage
with no big fight to get near the stage. They had a few fans even then and Ben's take
on male life in the 90's was interesting. Also the fact that the grand piano is
featured and there is no guitarist gives them a unique sound. Even before I went to
Portland I was playing their first album on my radio show just because it was
different. I like different.
- Bif Naked: I saw at FoxFest. I'd forgotten, until I was
sitting in the Commodore last night thinking about writing more on this webpage. I actually don't mind Bif Naked, I think
I even saw her busking once, way back in the day. My favourite song of hers is I guess "Daddy's getting married", now
I see on the cover of some local rag, Bif Naked is getting married.
- Big Sugar: is the loudest band
I've ever seen. Louder than Gwar or any so called hard rock band. I saw them
downstairs in Victoria at
the Foundary or whatever they are calling the club under the Stickie Wicket these days. With the low
ceiling and their big stacks of amps they were way louder than
Queens of the Stone Age or Public Enemy
both of whom I saw at the exact same venue. I've seen Big Sugar many times in many incarnations including
the Alkaline Sessions and the Fools on Stools tour. I was sad to learn while in
they had called it a day. Gordie Johnson has got his own thing going on down South called Grady which
I'll have to check out.
- Scott H. Biram: opened for Bob Log III on
the all one man band tour in 2008.
- Blackie and the Rodeo Kings:
One band I've been into for such along time, especially their first album which took a while
to grow on me, is Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. As a group made up of three songwriters
with solo careers they don't tour and record all that much. I'd previously managed
to see Tom Wilson solo twice, but when my first opportunity to
see Blackie came
during my MBA program I took it and I was not disappoint.
I highly recommend seeing
them if you get the chance, they are very entertaining and have excellent taste in
music. I missed part of the opener (Joel Kroeker) to go get more money to buy
a long sleeved t-shirt. I saw Blackie and the Rodeo Kings play a second time with
a whole bunch of guests including: Amy Helm, Matt Anderson,
- Frank Black:
I saw open for Pearl Jam. I never was a big Pixies fan, though I
know people who were. It didn't make much of an impression on me playing with his
Catholics as I never got around to adding him to this page until many months had passed and a
Pixies song came on my iPod.
- Bloom: was a local Kingston band I saw
twice while visiting Kev. They were really great live and very popular locally and in the music
scene. They played the funk, but they also played just about everything else from Metallica to Stompin'
Tom in a medley. They even played two Neil Young songs because I was wearing my
"Wanted: Neil Young" t-shirt,
"Birds" and "Ten Men Working". It is too bad no album was ever released.
- Blue Rodeo: I saw them
the Sadies in Stanley park.
- Blues Traveller:
I saw Blues Traveller at Another Roadside Attraction.
I didn't know anything about the
band at the time, never heard any of their songs. I was in the pit, right up front
because I wanted to see Spirit of the West and
Matthew Sweet and they were in between
those two acts. They walked on stage, picked up their instruments, plugged in and
played four solos one by each member. They probably planned it but it still was
impressive. They are a great live band. They only had 30-45 minutes but they
just gaver. Seeing John Popper sing and switch harps live is a must. He's
a big guy and he sweats of course and he has that custom vest for his harps. They
definitely have a signature sound. Only "Four" garnered huge sales but I'd still go
see them again.
- The Briefs:
I saw these guys open for the Supersuckers maybe they were labelmates
at the time as they were both on SubPop at some point. The only thing I
remember about their set is the big "Judy in Disquise" glasses they wore and their line about being sandwiched
between "rock royalty and... ...rock royalty".
- Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown: was brought into town
for Jazz Fest one year so was EmmyLou Harris for that matter and neither of them are Jazz musicians. I was really upset
during Clarence's set. It was at the Commodore on a Friday night or something. There was one young drunk guy who
kept heckling Clarence. Clarence took it well but he would scream whenever the songs were slower, I so wanted to
beat the shit out of the guy, but I didn't want to get tossed out. It is a sixty year old black guy on a stool during Jazz fest
not a punk rock show. Not everyone is R.L. Burnside.
- R.L. Burnside:
R.L. really rocks out for a senior citizen
seated playing an old guitar. I was lucky enough to see him twice live.
He no longer tours. His wildest and most rawkinest days are mostly behind him, but his
music has had a profound influence on myself and others such as John Spencer or
Iggy Pop. I highly recommend both "An Ass Pocket of Whiskey" and "Too Bad Jim". I also
like his live album "Burnside on Burnside". All are available on Fat Possum Records
as is memorabilia.
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- Cake: I saw play at the Queen Elizabeth Theater, perhaps the only
show I've seen there. I don't like theater shows, I prefer no assigned seating and small club shows. Gob
opened and they were forgetable, yet I remembered to add them to this web page and forgot
the headliners. I frequently forget the bigger names and larger shows and remember less well known acts more vividly.
Cake was not a disappointment, though the fact Owen didn't come and he got me into the band, was unfortunant. Who you
go to a concert with, affects your enjoyment of the concert. I often have a lot of difficulties finding people interested in
seeing shows. The most infamous example was trying to get people from my MBA class
to go to the Supersuckers.
- JJ Cale: for reasons unkown other than his
sheer brilliance and the mellowness of his music, "Naturally" was one of the most played albums at
parties at the hash house. I got into JJ Cale through Loaded magazine which highly recommended
"Troubadore". I saw him play just once as he rarely tours. He is resting on his lurels somewhat and played
something like five songs from "Naturally" including a very well received "Bringing it back from Mexico" as
part of his encore. JJ plays without a pic and seeing him along with R.L. Burnside
and Bruce Cockburn
inspired me to ditch the pic as well. In my journal
after seeing the show I wrote "Groove so big
you can park a double wide." What more is there to say?
- Cave Singers: saw these fellows at
the Biltmore with Mathieson and co. They were alright. They reminded me of the Band which is what
I think they were going for. However there are better less hyped roots rock bands out there, including
on this side of the 49th. I recommend Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and
Luke Doucet and the White Falcon.
- Bruce Cockburn: has been around a long
time and I got into him by a typical way for me, but definitely non-traditionally. Someone going by the
handle of PopTones over in the Arstechnica forums recommended
"Circles in the Stream" as the best recorded live album ever. I'd also seen a TV special on him where
Jackson Brown of all people raves about his guitar playing. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
covered him, so when he and Ron Sexsmith played in Stanley Park together how
could I not go?
- Jason Collett: I've now seen twice. Neither time did
I plan to, maybe I've even seen him more than that, he just doesn't seem to make that big of impression on me. I saw him as
part of the Neil Young Project, then a few weeks later I saw him again with my friend Mathieson.
- Corn Sisters: played a free show on the steps of
UVIC's Student Union Building I seem to recall. I only caught a few songs, probably had class. However the Corn
Sisters consists of Neko Case and Carolyn Mark the former of which found fame solo and as a member of
the New Pornographers.
She used to be the drummer in Maow! Mint's other all chick punk band from back
in the day besides Cub. Maybe it'll impress someone I've seen Neko back in the day I don't know. I just don't know anymore.
- Crash Test Dummies: performed on
the lawn of the parliment building during the Commonwealth Games in Victoria. Several of us including
camped out on the lawn for hours waiting for them to come on. There were a number of opening bands and speakers,
something like 60,000 people attended this free concert. Driving back to Duncan was a crawl the entire way.
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- De La Soul:
I was never as big a De La fan as I was into the Tribe.
I've always known their
stuff and I respect it. I've got them on a number of compilations or sound tracks. They
were chosen to headline the second W.O.W. concert
partly because Beck wanted $60,000
supposedly and I think it was thought they would bring in the kids. They headlined and
the after party was cool. I never went over to talk to the boys, I sat with Keith and
Magnus and Kevin and drank my free beer. One of the reasons I was always selected to
head up the front of stage security contigent from CFUV, besides size is that I always
worked till the end, ie when the barricade and the stage were torn down,
instead of rushing off to drink free beer and eat pizza. I treated it as a job with
responsibility not a free way to see concerts.
- DJ Cash Money:
I saw "the world's greatest DJ" in Calgary at a place called the Republik. It is one of the few DJ shows I've ever
been to. It was written up real cool in a local rag so I thought I had to be there. He won the DMC World Championships in
1988, he taught DJ Jazzy Jeff how to DJ.
He's out of Philly or Illidelphia at the Roots likes to style it. He's a very entertaining
DJ with skillz but also knows how to rock a party. I don't know what he was doing in Calgary in the late 90s.
- Luke Doucet: I've seen play both solo and
with his band Veal.
Both times probably opening for the Rheostatics. They were alright,
he is a pretty good guitarist but I had forgotten about seeing him just like I forgot about seeing Beck
or any number of other bands. Even going over the ticket stubs, it still doesn't tell the whole story. The reason Luke
Doucet is finally being added is his song "Broken One" appeared on a recent Magnet Magazine
cd sampler and I really like it. I got to see Luke again
and he might have even played with the same bassist as when I saw him
all those years before. They did at least one Veal song, but it was from well after I saw Veal play at Vertigo in Victoria.
- Downchild Blues Band: was another gig
Thor asked me to go to with him. Gwar and the Downchild Blues Band, Thor has possibly more eclectic taste
than me, but if you've ever met Thor this shouldn't come as a big surprise. They weren't bad but I've seen better
white blues bands. They have one hit of sorts which was resurrect by an animated movie. The Downchild Blues Band
wrote and recorded "Flip, Flap, Fly" back in the day.
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- Steve Earle:
I've actually seen a couple of times. I've seen him in Ottawa and in Vancouver but always
with the Dukes. I've never seen him play solo acoustic or with a bluegrass backing band. Now
he seems to tour with a bluegrass band and his regular band and still does the odd song solo
and acoustic in the set because he writes and records them that way. Steve is a really interesting
musician. He became popular in the 80's on country radio and even crossed over a bit with
"Copperhead Road". Then he fell off the map due to excessive drug use. He got cleaned up and
returned with a bunch of albums full of well written songs. However radio wasn't really interested in a
fat, beared, fourty year old, liberal red-kneck. Luckily his one big crossover hit allows him to tour
when he wants and by releasing his own stuff I guess he makes more than enough money to get by.
Steve puts on a good show and actually likes to rock out that is why he usually has a band behind him. He
does the odd eclectic cover and his current guitarist can definitely play. If I have one complaint about Steve
is his merchandise is too expensive so I own none. His concert tickets aren't cheap either having an older
fanbase but it is also really eclectic peppered with bikers and intellectuals. Although he plays with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel now, I've
also seen him with Buddy Miller on guitar.
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- 54-40: Any band who names
themselves after an American presidential candidate's campaign slogan has balls. Over the years 54-50 has
peaked a couple of times. "Shela" was pretty big in Canada, when Hootie and Blowfish covered them that
garnered them extra attention, and I remember "Ocean Pearl" was their first and perhaps only top 40 US
hit. And just like the Odds they were unable to capitalize on that and become big, like
say the Bare Naked Ladies.
Sometimes it is better not to become big... They labour on releasing a double live album, but I've kinda
lost touch with them as they've mellowed and I've become more of a loner. I know Kev wishes Neil would sing
more instead of speaking the lyrics, that was his big complaint about them, I like them more when they
rock out than their mellow stuff with the exception of "One Gun".
- Rick Fines
played at Blues Odyssey 2006.
- Fishbone: Fishbone was on the
W.O.W. concert 2 bill possibly because the head
of the student society at the time was a
big fan. I'm basing this observation on the fact they never were really really popular
and the dude went nuts during their set. Fishbone was OK, I didn't have an uncontrollable
urge to see them again or buy their record though. They are on "The tribute to Hard
Core Logo" CD with the Pursuit of Happiness, that might be the only
track I own of theirs.
- Flogging Molly: headlined a bill with
the Supersuckers and it was a great show. I bought two of their albums and a patch just before I left for Japan. They
are a really fun band to see live, kinda celtic punk rock to attempt to label them. However they can play a country or
soul song or something heavy if they choose. Saw them again
when they were a few years older, though Dave was old
from the beginning, but I liked them best with the Supersuckers.
- Fox Fest: Kevin and I went to this three
day event. It was the summer after Another Roadside Attraction
and the summer before Paul and I went to Portland to see Neil Young. Krista and
her sister were also there on Saturday. We missed some bands on Friday but saw the Odds
and 54-40. Saturday had the most bands, I was most impressed by
as that was the t-shirt I bought. However other bands I saw for
the first time and became into include
Big Sugar and the Headstones. I also liked
the Tea Party and but was revolted by something I saw in the mosh pit during their set.
Sunday we left early, but I dug David Gogo's set. Years later I dug up
a review by someone else as I was trying to figure out if
I ever saw Skinny Puppy, maybe I have, but maybe not and definitely not at FoxFest in 1996.
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- Amos Garrett
played at Blues Odyssey 2006.
- Gob: I've seen Gob. I'd forgotten. They opened for
Cake. I missed most of their set because Tracy, Owen's girlfriend at the time wanted to talk outside. Who goes
to a concert and stays outside to talk? I don't have a high opinion of Gob, they are like a less
clever Sum 41, though they predate Sum 41 and are from the left coast.
- David Gogo: is also a product of the harbour
city of Nanaimo just like the considerably more famous Dianna Krall. I've never managed to see David
again after Fox Fest despite living on the Island for most of my life. I did buy one of his albums and plan
to buy another. He is a formidable guitarist but the one album I do have doesn't capture his playing
as well as seeing him live. Another great local blues guitarist I have seen is
I got to see David Gogo again at Blues Odyssey 2006.
- Grady: is Gordie Johnson's post Big Sugar project. It is a three piece
Texas rock band, they even moved to Austin. Gordie Johnson still produces and plays on other people's stuff including
Nashville Pussy who I saw them play with.
- Emm Gryer: I saw her open for Ron Sexsmith. She wasn't the
first female singer songwriter on the bill though. She was more famous having released a number of albums and toured with
the likes of David Bowie I seem to recall. I actually thought more of the very first woman but I've forgotten her name. She was
American and had a heck of a voice.
- Grass City: is a local Vancouver band I saw open for
Grady and Nashville Pussy.
They have three electric guitar players and a MySpace page,
check 'em out.
- John Guliak: was on the Vancouver music scene for a while and at some
point I saw him open for somebody. I remember him covering "Loretta", but I can't remember which show that was at. I finally hunted down his
album "The Black Monk" which when I heard the Townes Van Zandt cover again, reminded me I should add him to this webpage. He is still
performing music, just not based out of Vancouver, according to
his MySpace page.
- Gwar: "We are Gwar, we have guitars, we'll eat your
car. Gwar! Gwar! Gwar! Gwar! Gwar! Gwar!" Those are the only words to the only Gwar song I know, not that it matters.
When they came to town, Thor immediately called me, and I immediately agreed to go. Thor kept getting
mad when I said they weren't as good as JJ Cale who I saw literaly days
earlier also at the Commodore. He
kept saying that I shouldn't even compare the two shows. For additional coolness points not
only have I seen Gwar with my friend Thor, Thor the God of Metal opened for them to maximize the
cartoon violence onstage. Pictured at right is me in my white t-shirt I wore to the show where
Thor and I spent the entire set hugging the security fence at the front of a very rowdy mosh pit.
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- Hang on the Box: saw them as part of a
five band bill which
I blogged about, wasn't impressed.
- Harlan Pepper: opened for Blackie and Rodeo Kings in
- Winard Harper: I saw with my buddy Kevin Moore, we were in Seattle to see a Seahawks
game so we went out the Saturday night before and on this bar street they have, Kev selected this bar and this gig because the Harper Brothers was one of the first
jazz albums he ever bought supposedly. Several other people sat in, Kev is definitely more a Jazz cat than me, he talked to him and piano player afterwards he was
impressed by this band. Back in the day I did see a lot of gigs and I definitely like funky drummers so years later I remember to add this show, alas I forget who else
played that night.
- Emmylou Harris: is a saint. I'm convinced the
reason she has aged so gracefully is that she has such a good soul. She also has excellent taste in songwriters and
has made a career mainly out of interpreting other people's work. She has helped out her share of people and sung
backup, harmony, or duets with many artists. She also writes her own material and in a piece of triffia I was always
going to share with Marlene was the first woman to
get her own signature Gibson guitar.
- Hayden was suppose to be the next big thing,
maybe he didn't become the next Beck but he has managed to carve out a career for himself.
I saw him back
when he just had the one album on an indie which became well known due to Much Music playing the video
a lot. In order to see Hayden I had to stand in line for hours, in the snow, in Victoria. The concert was
at a little coffee house, and Hayden was battling some sort of throat ailment so the audience had to be deathly
quiet. The other thing I remember was who I saw the show with and who got to benefit from my hours in line.
That guy turned out to be a bit of a prick, I think he writes for Chart Magazine
or something now.
- The Headstones: also called it quits while
I was in Japan. I only saw them one more time after Fox Fest. There lead singer,
Hugh is the king of phlegm. I
can't fathom why you would encourage your audience to spit on you by spitting on them. They are heavier
than the average band I listen to. Their cover of the Travelling Willbury's is seminal, but that is the only
album of theirs I've felt compelled to buy.
- Kevin Hearn:
Kevin is best known as the Bare Naked Ladies keyboard player when they got really big.
But he's been on the music scene a long time. I saw him open for
the Rheostatics on
Halloween Night with Owen at the Commodore. It was a great show. During Kevin's set
he broke into "War Pigs", Owen and I went nuts. We knew all the words and I
guess the average Kevin Hearn/Rheos fan didn't. He played it on acoustic guitar. The
rest of the band looked surprised, especially the really serious looking electric
guitar player he had, I don't think he had ever heard the song before. He was seated
on a stool and had no clue what had just happened. The drummer was into it, Owen and I
digged the drummer Kevin had, he was dressed as a droog from "A Clockwork Orange" and
he was just crazy on his kit especially during the surprise Sabbath cover. There was
also guest vocalist "Flamie".
- Amy Helm: joined Blackie and the Rodeo Kings on their cross Canada
Kings and Queens tour.
- Rich Hope: is one of those guys like Luke Doucet
who was in Vancouver in a band and repeatedly opened for out of town bands I liked. Luke Doucet, with and without
his band Veal open for the Rheostatics and Rich Hope, with and without his
band John Ford opened for Big Sugar. I
think I even lived in the same area of town as Rich Hope. Although I didn't mind John Ford especially when they
busted out a cover of "White Light/White Heat" at the Commodore, I liked him better solo acoustic when he opened
for the psuedo Big Sugar 'Fools on Stools' tour. He actually sat in with Gordie Johnson and Kelly Hope and seemed to
be more used to playing accoustic guitar live than Gordie was.
- H.O.R.D.E. Festival:
The H.O.R.D.E. Festival never came to Canada so I had to go to the States to see it.
It was worth the trip. Neil Young was headlining that year,
Blues Traveller wasn't even
on the bill. Neither were a bunch of the jam bands that were a staple of the earlier
tours. The best sets were turned in by the Ben Folds Five,
Squirrel Nut Zippers and
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- Chin Injeti: is a Vancouverite originally in the group Base Is Base which was a staple of
Much Music in my youth. I saw him play with John Mann and Tom Wilson, they tried to do a Super Tramp song for the encore which went less than
perfectly. Chin is all over the internet.
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- Waylon Jennings: was actually the first concert
I remember seeing. Yet he never got added to this webpage until years after I put it online.
I had already written about seeing Waylon Jennings play at the Pacific
Coliseum. This was pre-GM Place pre Expo 86 Vancouver, I went with my family. My dad was a big Waylon Jennings
fan, so was James Hatfield's father. This was at the tail end of the Outlaw Country movement
during the dark days of the 80's when older country artists were brushed aside and removed from radio station playlists or even dropped from their
record lables. It was definitely pre-the Highwaymen.
What my mother and I can't recall is who else was on the bill. Whether
Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash played that night, or possibly just one of the them is something I'd like to find out for sure, but it
was a long time ago, maybe my mom will find the ticket stubs. She keeps a lot of stuff...
- John Ford: was a local Vancouver rock band that I saw open for
Big Sugar among others.
It featured Rich Hope on guitar and vocals, it may have been a contemporary of
Veal, but I think Luke Doucet was on to other things, before Rich Hope
went out on his own moreso.
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- Kaleidescope: was a local benefit concert I helped out with in some small way.
It was deemed a success, successful enough that people are plotting a sequal. The bands who played the first Kaleidescope Concert at the Rickshaw
Theatre in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside were: Boombox Saints, The Left, Rodney Decroo and his Convictions, and Spoon River. More information
about those four bands can be found here.
- Kinnie Star: She has
gotten a bit more famous since the W.O.W. concert
where I saw her. She was probably on the bill to ensure the political support of the lesbian/feminist/women's right portion of
student council. She was also a local act where the other two where American. She too is on "The tribute to Hard Core Logo" CD.
- Joel Kroeker: I saw open for
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. He is thought very highly of by a number of veteran Canadian
musicians. He seems to often crop up on tours opening or playing with people with much bigger names. I liked
his solo set especially his Leonard Cohen cover.
- Talib Kweli: came to Calgary during the Stampede, so I saw him in a tent next to a
Country bar on a Tuesday. It was just him and his DJ. I was definitely bigger into hip hop in the 90s or earlier, but I never got the first Black Star
album until later. Besides that I mainly know him as a guest MC so I was curious how he would be on his own. The answer is he does parts of songs, so he did part of
"Old School Rules" off the Dangerdoom album, he even did the "got more cheese than Doritos, Cheetos or Fritos" bars which is off another MF Doom side project.
Will Blackstar ever tour again, it is unlikely they'll come to Calgary, but I'd like to see more shows and I prefer small clubs with engaged crowds, but some
people definitely knew his lyrics.
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- Cameron Latimer: I saw open for
Luke Doucet. I blogged about
Marlene Lau: I saw
Marlene play at a benefit concert
while we were both MBA students. She used to be in a hard
rockin' all female band outta Calgary by the name of
but her solo stuff is a bit more mellow or at least it
was that night. She even played a song on electric piano. Some day I want to see
Marlene Lau again.
- Bob Log III: is a great live performer,
see him in a small hardscrabbled bar
while you still can.
Luther Wright and the Wrongs:
I was suppose to see this band with Pat, as he turned me on to them. But he backed out
at the last minute with some lame excuse. I ended up going with a Japanese girl,
basically he backed out the night of the concert and I was in Japanese class so I said
who wants to go to a concert tonight. She liked the band, she even forced me to dance.
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- The Mahones:
I've only seen the Mahones once. They played Vancouver Island several times but
fate always conspires against me. Their music is celtic but they use a full drum kit
so they are louder than the usual celtic bad. They've undergone some lineup changes
over the years since I saw them at Fox Fest.
saw them play in Tofino not too long ago and she and her friends were very impressed,
they have a lot of energy live and some good original songs as well as a hell of a
tin whistle player. I was so impressed with them I bought their shirt
over every other band at the three day Fox Fest concert.
- John Mann: is the lead singer and one of the main
songwriters of Spirit of the West. I saw him play with Tom Wilson and Chin Injeti while SOTW was on hiatus. Spirit of the
West is back together minus Linda but John did the solo thing for a while. His songs are often on unusal topics such as
- Harry Manx: is another local show I went to
after reading about in the Georgia Straight. He combines accoustic blues slide guitar with Indian influences.
He now lives on Salt Spring Island just like Randy Bachman
and one of the guys from The Grapes of Wrath. I saw him play at the Silverton Tavern with Owen who went at
my insistance, for a bunch of middle aged white guys they really did a rocking version of Jimi Hendrix's
- Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers:
were a part of Another Roadside Attraction. In fact they were the second to
last band to play, just before The Hip.
I wasn't very impressed with them, but I may have a greater appreciation of reggae now than I did then.
- Melissa McClelland:
I saw her play with Luke Doucet at the Media Club.
- Buddy Miller: is a very modest and unassuming guy. He
doesn't think of himself as much of a guitarist but he held down touring spots in both EmmyLou Harris's Spyboy and
Steve Earle and The Dukes. In addition to playing guitar he also sings and writes. I've seen him open for the afore mentioned
Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris.
He frequently performs with his wife who also is a singer/songwriter. They have released
albums as solo artists and now together as a duo. When I first saw Buddy
play with Steve in Ottawa he was using a guitar I'd never seen before which I described to my friend and guitarist Kevin.
He said it was Italian maybe. I didn't think that was too likely but through the power of the
internet I've learned it might have been
a Wandre. It looked a lot like this one and
was sparkling blue,not your stereotypical cowboy guitar. He is working
on signature Fender guitar now supposedly.
In addition to of course playing country licks, Buddy was able to
approximate Daniel Lanois's atmospheric guitar playing during the
- Moist: I've only seen them play half a song when they opened for
Neil Young. This wasn't my fault. Heidi Staats took
entirely too much time in getting us to the Edmonton Coleseum.
- Mondo Generator: I saw these guys open for
Turbonegro. I was not impressed, I know Nick is a buddy of theirs from back in his Queens days.
I've seen Queens live at a little club and my friends were big into the whole
stoner/dessert rock scene, but I was not impressed. I prefer people who
sing rather than scream. I just wanted their set to end.
- Money Mark: of course opened for the Beastie Boys. I
wasn't very impressed, he is better as a sideman. Even then I think he was really drunk that night they turned off his mic during the
latter part of the Beasties' set.
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- Nashville Pussy: isn't really my thing, though
I do like Turbonegro and the Supersuckers.
Some of Nashville Pussy's fans are annoying but the best thing I
can say about Nashville Pussy is their guitarist can play
and they give the crowd their money's worth.
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- The Odds: I became a
big Odds fan
when "Good Weird Feeling" came out, I remember the video for "King of the Heap" from
back in the day, but I wasn't into them until later. In first year residence at UVIC
"Wendy under the stars" was one of our must play party songs.
I've seen them several
times. I've even worked security at one of their shows, but
my security shirt got stolen. I was even on
their mailing list, this was back when mailing lists had nothing to do with email. I
was sad that they broke up but not before they had one top 40 hit down South. Funnily
that is the only CD I don't own. Sometimes when a little
local band you like becomes
popular they become less interesting too. The Odds had good song writing and good
guitar playing that is what set them apart from the masses, that and an odd
sense of humor if you pardon the pun.
- The Old 97's:
I saw them play an early show at Richard's on Richards with a Korean girl. The first few songs the
sound was off, it wasn't until the bassist sang and the lead guitarist changed guitars that they started sounding
good. They are a good little band, with some clever lyrics, they play pretty fast for an alt-country/college rock
band but they are basically two guitars, a drum and a bass. I like them best when Rhett plays acoustic guitar.
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- Maceo Parker: I'm actually
a card carrying funkateer. But I was born too late, in the wrong country, with
the wrong color parents to have seen many of the masters live. Too much music is made
artificially now. They use computers, overdubs, Pro Tools, and all sorts of other
studio trickery. There aren't enough working bands, people who live by their chops,
people who earn their money on the road night in night out by putting on a show,
at least not in pop music today. There are some, but Maceo Parker is still
going strong, he's played with so many people: James Brown, Parliment, Bootsy, etc. He
gives you more of what you're funkin' for. Highly recommend live.
- Pearl Jam: I've seen. I often
forget some of the bigger bands I've seen. Often because I saw them when they weren't so big
or because I wasn't as impressed with them as I was with some less well known acts. Maybe I'd
rather spend my time advocating the unpopular but deserving rather than the biggest rock band in
the world, well at least at one time. My favourite song of their set was a cover of a
Who song, which may have been a bigger influence on them than Neil Young.
- Paul Pigat: I've seen either with or
without his band Cousin Harley. This is another example of a great musician I've seen, even lived in the
same neighborhood as, went to the same gym, and forgot to include on this list. Even though I told people in
Austria and China what a good guitarist he is. It took someone else blogging and tweeting about him for me to
remember that yes indeed I saw him play live at a little bar in Vancouver. He made a point of doing a Merle
Travis song. I think Spoon River also played that nigh, having seen them before at a benefit concert.
I thought for sure Owen and Thor would come when they found out Primus was on the bill.
They have been into Primus for so long. I actually enjoyed their set, especially when
the moshers chased the hippies out from in front of the stage and started a pit. Right on
top of their blankets and Magic the Gathering cards. I think Primus had the only mosh
pit of the H.O.R.D.E. festival.
- Public Enemy: I finally got to see in Victoria BC.
They were well past their prime. Terminator X didn't even make the trip, having retired to be a
farmer or something. Flavor Flav was gooned out of his mind, passed out on stage and couldn't
remember the lyrics to his own songs. The Security of the First World was in full effect, and
Chuck singled me out as the only person in the audience that was definitely diggin' on the PE back in
86 as I knew all the words to "Rebel without a Pause". Now that Hip Hop has become the music of masses
rather than mere noise which it was considered to be when I was kid, I don't have much interest in it.
It seems to be pop music with all that entails including easy to rember choruses and packaged acts.
"Rebel without a Pause"
doesn't have a chorus, and the JB's sample that is looped still sounds like nothing you hear on the
radio today. PE will go down as one of the most innovative musical acts of the 80s and early 90s. And
Chuck D still gets my vote as best MC of all time, for "kickin' the truth to the young black youth."
- The Pursuit of Happiness: Although I'd
long been familiar with the band from the radio but even more so from Much Music, I didn't
ever see them live until they opened for the Odds
at the W.O.W. concert I was security at.
Moe Berg is an interesting songwriter and their lead guitarist is
a girl who can really play.
They did a cover of "I wanna be sedated" which was a lot of fun. I was down at
the front of the stage doing security so I'm well aware of what songs get the moshers
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- Queens of the Stone Age: I saw these guys
in a little bar in Victoria BC well before they became big, spawned the Eagles of Death Metal and
booted out their giant bassist. I can't take all the credit however, Owen and Thor were fans of theirs
along with the whole stoner rock/dessert sessions scene. If I'm trying to impress people sometimes I
trot out their name as an example of someone I've seen live, as they went on to play stadiums and
sell millions of records.
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- Cat Ratusny:
I saw Cat play with Marlene Lau
at a benefit organized
by my MBA classmates.
Cat played two sets, though the audience was less attentive and
appreciative of her sets than Marlene's. I listened carefully during the first set and
even took a picture, but for the second set
I probably talked to Marlene's friend
Steve. Cat's voice and singing style remind me a bit of Joni Mitchell but her songwriting
has a long way to go before it catches up to Joni's.
- The Red Elvises: are still
going strong though I think they may have undergone a lineup changes. They are one of the
bands you always hear about but never will hear on the radio. They make their money touring
and putting on a good show. They are really quirky being a Siberian Surf Rock Band but
they are also a lot of fun and I recommend anyone who has a chance to check them out live. I got into
them through a soundtrack they did for a B Movie called Six Stringed Samauri.
- The Rheostatics: One of
the first Rheos shows I went to they were billed as Canada's Best Band Ever.
Which I believe the Toronto Star said of them. That concert was awesome. They played
until the manager unplugged the power to the stage, turning on the house lights did not
stop them. I went to that concert with Heidi Staats. They had Blue Rodeo's old
keyboard player with them, I really like the Rheos with a keyboard player. I saw Kevin
Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies sit in with them on Halloween one night and that was a
great set. I mean they covered Meat Loaf. That is what makes them so great
they are so unpredictable and they are definitely a good live band. I'm not as in to
them as I was, I guess I liked their second drummer period best. I eventually got one
of their shirts and even
interviewed some of the members.
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- The Sadies: are a bunch of really
talented Canadian musicians who are always in demand as a backing band, an opening act, or tour mates. They
don't really fit neatly into one category but they could right a hit three minute pop song someday... I finally
got to see them live, over three years after
I first bought tickets for one of their shows. Even the bar the show was
supposed to be at, doesn't exist anymore. Why Marlene?
- Ron Sexsmith: Ron is
simply one of the most talented people writing songs today. He is an
absolutely brilliant songwriter. I've seen
Ron three times now. Once at Richards' with Emm Gryer, once at the Sonar with
Tom Wilson and once opening for Bruce Cockburn
in Stanley Park.
Although he perhaps lacks the stage presence of some of the more dynamic acts I've
seen, his songs and stories are still entertaining. His audiences always seem to
be full of a lot of females, if your goal in going to a concert is to meet chicks I'd
have to recommend Ron Sexsmith or the Supersuckers.
- Billy Joe Shaver: was one of the last shows at
the Starfish Room. It was an old born again country singer with an all Texas band trying to get hipsters to dance.
Despiter famously having an "eighth grade education" Billy Joe has written a lot of songs. He writes about what
happens in his life and he's had a rough one. He like Willie Nelson and others could not get a record deal in Nashville but
could get a gig as a songwriter as part of the Nashville music machine. Billy Joe had to famously threaten to beat up
Waylon Jennings to get him to record his songs, but the resulting album still sounds great today and helped make both
- Slow Nerve Action was a name I would
always see on posters on Granville Street and Davie when I was on the way to work. Finally one odd night I went to
one of their shows down at the Brickyard. They were a Whistler band that billed themselves as porn funk. They
had really cool gig posters for a little local band and despite the place being half empty they still put on a fun show. I always
meant to see them again with some friends but they went through some lineup changes and
I went to Japan. The keys to the band were the lead singer, the bassist, and keyboard
player. I think the latter might have left and they added a full time DJ last time I looked at
their webpage. I wanted to buy their album but they didn't have any
copies with them, they actually put the whole thing online, piece by piece but I prefer CDs to MP3s or at least I did when
I had my stereo set up. Now that I'm in so much debt I might just have to add some of their free tracks to my iTunes
collection. They seem to still be going strong with more tunes than ever, check them out if you get a chance. Next time
I see them I have to ask if they nicked their name from an old Chili Peppers song title.
- The Special Guests: I first saw coming back
from a Pearl Jam concert, they went to see the show too and were just jamming on the deck of
BC Ferries. I talked to the band and since they were from Victoria started playing their CD on my CFUV show. Dave and
I eventually went to see them play, I won their CD for knowing they covered Moressy, but Dave made me give it to him...
- Speckled Jim: also played the final Saturday night show
at the Cobalt. I liked them best of the three main bands. They are basically a post punk, post new wave, post whatever else, pre grunge rock band
, that through the magic of the Vancouver music scene got back together in 2009. The core
members were in other Vancity bands that you could
have heard playing gigs in Vancity and beyond in the 90s. They reminded me a bit of Elvis Costello and the Attactions perhaps
because the leader wore glasses.
- Spirit of the West: Although I
think the Rheostatics take the title, Spirit of the West is
in the running for band I've
seen the most often live. This is partly due to the fact they are a local band who I
like but it is also due to the fact they were popular at UVIC and I worked
security at a number of their shows. I think I liked seeing them at
Another Roadside Attraction the best,
just for the sheer mass of people moshing to a tin whistle. Of course
I own one of their t-shirts.
- Squirrel Nut Zippers:
Even Neil Young was impressed with these guys. Portland was the second stop on the
H.O.R.D.E. tour that year and the diverse bands on the bill were probably not yet
that familiar with each other. Although I am guilty a bit, I never got into the whole
swing revival not enough to take dance lessons or anything, not that there is anything
wrong with that. I like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, they are a lot of fun live,
though the wind blew back the fake money they tried to throw off stage. What I
remember most is the different members playing different instruments and the
abundance of big hollow body guitars. My interest in
Gretsches likely stems from this
concert along with their use by Neil Young and old bluesman.
- Subhumans: headlined the last big
show at the Cobalt, Vancouver's Hardcore Bar in the infamous DTES. They're an old school punk band
from Vancity, kinfolk to D.O.A. and that lot. People who played the Smiling Buddha back in the day. They are
still together and still gig. They were a lot older than the average fan at the show, but there were some old
punks there to say farewell to the 'Balt. There set was pretty good, their guitarist and drummer were pretty slick.
- The Supersuckers: If
the Supersuckers aren't my favourite band, they are at least one of the best live acts
I have ever scene. They are so good I pretty much would go see them everytime they
came to town after I saw them the first time. I own several of
their shirts as well
as other memorabilia. I try to convert the ignorant masses to
the Evil Powers of Rock n' Roll.
I failed miserably during my MBA career though. Even
wouldn't go to the show with me. Even I didn't go to the show though I was on the
guest list, due to personal problems.
- Matthew Sweet: I
still maintain that "Girlfriend" was the best album of the year not "Nevermind" I'm in a
minority but "Girlfriend" and much of Matthew's work is top notch. He seems to have
gotten lost for a few years, but had a return to form with an obscure Japanese only
release called "Kimi ga suki Life". I've seen him play live twice, once at Harpo's and as
part of Another Roadside Attraction. His
touring guitarist is good, but he's worked with some awesome people in the studio too.
He plays a lot of the instruments himself in the studio and thus does a lot of
overdubbing including the background/harmony vocals. However live he rawks out though
officially he's labelled as power pop. We also seem to share a lot of
the same interests. For instance we are both fans of:
Russ Meyer, Neil Young, and
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- The Tea Party: are another band I first
saw at Fox Fest, bought one of their albums and played it at Res parties but never
managed to see them again.
They have a lot of talent and showed imagination using all those middle eastern instruments and it is
impressive to see them recreate that stuff live, especially with only three members. All that said they
too never made it big and I've lost interest in the band as well. I don't even seem to put their stuff on
mixes very often either.
- The Tragically Hip: have alway had a huge
reputation but I've never been a big fan of theirs. I respect them, I don't think they lack talent, I just don't
think they are all that. I have seen them play live which didn't change my opinion of them. Maybe if
I had seen them at a smaller venue than Thunderbird Statium. I don't know I guess I prefer the Rheostatics.
- A Tribe Called Quest:
Although their solo careers have fizzled and my interest in hip hop has waned down to
almost nothing. Back in the day I was a major hip hop head this was before that
term had even been coined. "The Low End Theory" is without a doubt one of the finest
Hip Hop albums ever. It was given to me by my buddy Kev for my birthday. I still listen
to it pretty regularly and it was one of the ten albums I took to
Japan. I saw them play live with the
Beastie Boys just
before they broke up and I knew almost every song word for word. I have many of their
albums but they were all a disappointment after "the Low End Theory". I hear they are
getting back together...
- Turbonegro: finally came to Canada, and despite still
not having recovered from my MBA I dragged my sick ass to the show. GWAR
may have giant fake penises, but Turbonegro
they got erection! Before their set I was talking to Kevin also of the Pacific Rim chapter of the Turbojugend and
said it wasn't like in Europe as no one was chanting "I got erection". But no sooner than I said that than the chant broke out.
Turbonegro has so many songs that are fun to sing along to. Even their new songs off of ReTox were well received. GWAR
had a pretty crazy mosh pit filled with tatooed and spiked covered guys, but Turbonegro had chicks and normal looking dudes
going crazy. It seemed like every song they played people went nuts to. "Selfdestructo Bust" might have been the craziest until
the encores. They played "Are you ready for some darkness?" which is my favourite song, but they didn't play "Good Head".
"Dungeree High" was an early highlight but of course in the first of two encores they played "Prince of the Rodeo" and Euroboy
climbed into the crowd to play his solo. They had to play a second encore because the crowd of course kept chanting
"I got erection". But even after they played that, they had one more surprise,
Nick Oliveri from Mondo Generator who was
touring with them, came out and they played another song with him on guest vocals (screams). I don't think many people
knew what song that was and people had definitely left but the pit still went nuts. Rune Rebellion was the most stylish with
his Pith Helment and Pol Pot Pamparius had on the most makeup and he really did look like he was "Zonked out on hashish".
Happy Tom is the brains of the outfit and on stage compared to Hank he is subdued. Hank is perhaps the best frontman in
Rock and Roll. Tom Wilson swears by the guy from
Teenage Head who also got back together and toured recently, but
Hank went insane and lived on an island for a few years, now I think the band does a lot less hard drugs, but their show is
still crazy and their fans are devout. Kev said before their set it was going to be show of the year, and honestly after years
of waiting, Vancouver really went bezerk. Several Turbojugend chapters were present including Comox Valley which apparently
has been around since August... Alberta Darkness had the most people in attendence, they are on MySpace. You know you
love a band when you drive ten hours or more to see them play. I know I've done it before. I've even
flown out of the arctic to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse on their first
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- Veal: was Luke Doucet's first band, or first band to realese an album perhaps.
I definitely saw them play at the SUB at UVIC, I think they opened for the Rheostatics. Lots of Canadian bands got to tour the
country opening for the Rheostatics.
- Violent Femmes: are an Ian Moore band.
He liked them along with Blossom back in the day. I got into them after their peak popularity but when they came to
Vancouver I went. I actually missed the first song or two of their set which pissed me off as it wasn't a cheap
ticket. You never hear much about these guys anymore but you still can hear their songs in music soundtracks and at
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- Loudon Wainwright III:
I saw him open for JJ Cale. I thought he was great. I even made a point of buying his latest CD. His set ended
extremely oddly. In the middle of a song he said "I can't believe you are here", presumeably to someone in front of the
stage at the Commodore and left the stage. One of the oddest endings to a set I've ever seen. I learned of him through
Johnny Cash and the Highwaymen as they have both covered him. He writes really long often humerous songs. His son Rufus
may be more famous now.
- Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
played at Blues Odyssey 2006.
- Wil: is another artist I missed seeing when he came through town more than once. I finally saw
him in Courtney of all places when he played two songs with Colin Linden of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
- Tom Wilson: I've now
seen Tom Wilson perform three times, but I still regret not going to see Junkhouse in
Ottawa when I had the opportunity. That was the last concert I missed because
no one would go with me. Now I don't miss concerts unless there is some sort
of huge problem with my personal life. Tom Wilson
is a great singer and a very entertaining performer. He is very funny and self
deprecating on stage. His voice is so powerful I even saw him do a song without a mic
accapella while opening for Ron Sexsmith.
He's also one third of the roots rock
super group Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
- Ken Whiteley
played at Blues Odyssey 2006.
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- Year Long Disaster: were the
very first band to play the night I saw Turbonegro. They were really, really good.
The best unbilled, unknown to
me band, I've seen in a long, long time. They had a real good rythm section which allowed their singer/guitarist to
play really loose at times. They were just a three piece, and the vocals were a bit hard to follow, but they had a really
great sound, heavy yet with musicality. They were way better than the band that followed them, IMHO. They played really
long songs, which is a luxury not usually afforded to the opening band. I hope they do well.
- Neil Young:
I've now seen Neil Young play live four times. The first time
I actually flew out
of the arctic to see him and Crazy Horse on their first ever cross Canada tour.
That is still my favourite show of the four,
though Heidi Staats
caused me to miss the majority of
the opening act (Moist). I've since seen him as part of the H.O.R.D.E. tour
as well as in GM Place and in Duncan.
I've quite a collection of Neil Young t-shirts
and he probably is my favourite recording artist, though not necessarily my
favourite songwriter, singer, or
guitarist. Neil's integrity and willingness to take
the path less travelled and his continual ability to be relevant and innovative is
what makes him the best or at least the most influential or admirable musical artist
in my opinion.
- The Neil Young Project: featured
a host of artists, the most famous of which was probably Lou Reed and/or Elivs Costello. I liked Eric Mingus and Ambrosia Parsely the best, though I also liked
Joan as Policewoman and it was a surprise to see Daniel Lapp up there on stage, local boy done good and all that.
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- Zeus: turned out to be quite a fun and versatile band. I enjoyed them more than their
more famous friends. I ended up getting their EP on iTunes after one song got stuck in my head.