From waking up the neighbours to crooning at the vineyard, it's all happening this month
1. Joe Satriani at Commodore Ballroom – Friday, June 1
Facebook/Joe SatrianiI have to wonder if Joe Satriani ever feels slighted by the fact he’s been nominated for a Grammy Award a staggering 15 times, yet he’s never taken one of those little trophies home. I mean, come on! This dude has sold over 10 million albums, making him the best selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time, yet he doesn’t even receive a participation ribbon on Sports Day? Doesn’t seem right to me. But then again, the award industry often tends to hold a glaringly accurate mirror to what’s actually wrong with the world, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Take a minute to consider how Coldplay won two Grammys for a song containing substantial portions allegedly stolen from an original Satriani composition. Wow... just... wow. Life certainly isn’t fair, but the lesson here is to not let those multiple snubs deter you from catching the guitar virtuoso as he picks and taps his way through arpeggios you never even knew existed until now. Of course, there’s no better opportunity to hear them first before they get stolen by somebody else.
Tickets from $69
2. Bryan Adams at Rogers Arena – Wednesday, June 6
Facebook/Bryan Adams OfficialEven though he’s been living in the UK for a couple decades now, most of us Vancouverites still claim Bryan Adams as our own. It was here he got his start filling the vacancy left by Nick Gilder after departing Sweeney Todd. (Anybody old enough to remember “If Wishes Were Horses”? No? Never mind, then.) A plethora of stellar hits, several solid albums, and a smattering of really terrible soundtrack songs later (sorry, but just a little too much syrup there), our boy is back in VanCity hosting The Ultimate Tour in support of his latest greatest hits compilation, the aptly titled Ultimate. (Hey, it’s not rocket science, people!) I should mention this is his sixth “best of” album. I don’t know why that’s so necessary, but I guess he just "can’t stop this thing" he started. Get yourself out to Rogers Arena anyway because this youthful 58-year-old always delivers the goods. Do yourself a favour: earplugs for the Don Juan DeMarco theme song. You’re welcome.
Tickets from $45
3. Janelle Monáe at Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Tuesday, June 12
Facebook/Janelle MonaeOne could grow a little weary after going through Janelle Monáe’s checklist of accomplishments. The 32-year-old Kansas City native has been known to wear the many hats of singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, actress and model – doing so stylishly, I might add. Her most recent release, the deeply personal Dirty Computer, forms the basic landscape of this current tour, allowing all those in attendance to catch a glimpse of the true personality of an artist who formerly relied on allegory to get her point across. But if you ask me, my only hope is that this upcoming performance will help explain why I have this bizarre urge to run out and test-drive a Chevy Cruze.
Tickets from $50
4. Sebastian Bach at Commodore Ballroom – Friday, June 15
Sebastian BachFormer Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach has no new music to pimp, the Gilmore Girls have no immediate plans to return to Stars Hollow and—what with upcoming legalization—The Trailer Park Boys no longer need him to buy up their stash. So what’s a power vocalist to do to make ends meet? (I mean, other than charge fans $300 US to attend his 2015 wedding. No, I did not make that up. I couldn’t if I tried.) Well, he’ll launch a cross-Canada tour starting right here on the West Coast, that’s what. Although, I do have my doubts about whether or not he’ll be here in person. Why? Well, see, if you look closely at the promo pic, you too will wonder whether or not it’s Bach or the latest addition to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. You be the judge. Am I right? I look forward to your letters.
Tickets from $30
5. Uli Jon Roth at Venue – Monday, June 18
Facebook/Uli Jon RothIf you’re a follower of neo-classical metal, then surely you’ll be stoked to find out that Uli Jon Roth will be coming to town. Fans of the influential German guitarist will be treated to a three-hour show featuring a complete set of Electric Sun material, plus highlights of his tenure with the Scorpions as he performs cuts from the beloved Tokyo Tapes live recording. Purchasers of the Metamorphosis VIP pass—available exclusively on his website—will also have the pleasure of witnessing a stunning pre-show masterpiece performance of Metamorphosis of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons concerto in its entirety.
Tickets from $30, Metamorphosis VIP passes from $120
6. Chris Isaak at Mission Hill Winery Amphitheatre, Kelowna – Saturday, June 23 & Commodore Ballroom – Sunday, June 24
Facebook/Chris IsaakSometimes, you just have to get out of the city and head towards the sunshine of the Okanagan Valley to sample the offerings at the region’s finest vineyards. Mission Hill Winery has just the thing for you, as Chris Isaak will kick off the property’s 2018 Summer Concert Series in style. If you’ve never seen the rockabilly crooner from California in a live setting, you’re in for a good one. He’s hilarious, he’s sweet, and very few are able to rock a falsetto like he can. Here’s a chance to join the affable singer/songwriter/musician/actor/man-about-town under the open sky of the winery’s extraordinary outdoor amphitheatre. Make sure to take advantage of their special Experiential Packages, offering various dinner, wine and reception options. Don’t wait too long since this event will sell out quickly... in which case you can always stay in town and check him out at the Commodore on Sunday night instead.
Mission Hill tickets from $119; Commodore tickets from $79.50
7. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Friday, June 29
Facebook/Robert PlantTo bestow legendary status upon Robert Plant feels almost like an understatement, and you don’t have to be a Led Zeppelin fan to recognize the vast musical diversity of the original Golden God (even though Chad Kroeger would likely have you believe he has that market completely cornered on his own. Try not to laugh too hard at that statement. It's not like I made it up). From rock to blues to folk to bluegrass to heavy metal and even country, Plant has lived it. Now his latest brilliant offering, Carry Fire, is tinged in world, Americana and traditional genres, adding endless tints to his ever-evolving sonic palette. One should never waste the opportunity to witness an inspired performance by a true living legend, so grab your ticket now because this is full-on bucket list material.
Tickets from $65
8. Vance Joy at Deer Lake Park – Saturday, June 30
Facebook/Vance JoyI’m pretty hopeful in thinking we should be enveloped in some fairly decent summer weather by the end of the month, so spending a warm Saturday evening in the park listening to some cool indie-infused folk-pop just feels like the right thing to do. Australia’s Vance Joy is the perfect ticket to help you accomplish that task. It’s interesting to note that the 30-year-old Melbourne native isn’t just another run-of-the-mill singer-songwriter. He sort-of stumbled into this career by way of dropping in on an open-mic night or two while he was busy completing his law degree... and he played professional Australian rules football for several seasons. Good to know because I guess if this whole music thing... you know, selling records, winning awards, filling venues and whatnot... doesn’t exactly work out for him, he’ll have a couple of other vocations to fall back on.