The Best Shows Hitting Vancouver February 2014

Catch one of the world-class concerts coming to Vancouver this month

Augustines @ Venue – February 5

The day after their second album is released, Brooklyn’s Augustines (formerly known as We Are Augustines) will kick off their North American tour in Vancouver. Billy McCarthy, the distinctly raspy-voiced lead singer, has used his songwriting as an effective outlet for dealing with losing his mentally ill brother to suicide, crafting lyrically-engaging indie rock songs about life, loss, and moving on past tragedy. Performing at Venue on Granville Street, the three-piece’s show promises to be an intimate and memorable evening. Tickets available here.

Cash’d Out (Johnny Cash tribute) @ The Commodore Ballroom – February 7

While many tribute bands are subjected to playing to solely small crowds in dive bars, there is the occasional one that captures its idol convincingly enough to create its own successful career. Hailing from San Diego, Cash’d Out has been paying homage to country music’s arguably biggest icon, Johnny Cash, since 2005. With authentic recreations of Cash’s most-loved songs, performances by Cash’d Out will instantly bring back fond childhood memories of listening to records by the Man in Black with your parents or grandparents. The Cash’d Out tour makes a stop in Vancouver at The Commodore Ballroom early this month. Tickets available here.

Credit: Flickr/Tabra

Imagine Dragons @ Rogers Arena – February 10

Fresh off a powerful performance of their hit song “Radioactive” at the Grammy Awards, featuring Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons will headline a show at Rogers Arena (a big step up from their visit here last year at the significantly smaller Commodore Ballroom). The Las Vegas-based rock band has blown up since the release of their debut album in 2012, finding themselves in the Top 10 all over the world. Imagine Dragons are known for their energetic concerts, and if their Grammys performance was any indication, they have become experts in putting on a full-scale arena show. Two other alternative rock acts, The Naked & Famous and X Ambassadors, will warm up the crowd. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Lucius @ The Media Club – February 10

Fronted by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, Lucius is an up-and-coming American indie-pop band definitely worth swinging by The Media Club to see. The pair met while attending the Berklee College of Music together in Boston, later relocating to Brooklyn where they found the remaining members of the band. With stunning voices that sound as if they were always meant to be heard together, Lucius’ songs could easily silence a room, particularly the heartbreaker, “Go Home.” The next time these talented ladies come through town, they will be playing to a much larger crowd – guaranteed – so see them in a small venue while you still can. Tickets available here.

Miley Cyrus @ Rogers Arena – February 14

If you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day yet, Miley Cyrus has you covered. The good-girl-gone-bad is making the city of Vancouver her Valentine date this year, kicking off her world tour at Rogers Arena along with support from Icona Pop and Sky Ferreira. Whatever your opinion may be of the former Hannah Montana star, Miley has successfully reinvented herself into a Madonna-esque shock-value pop star whose songs and risqué image are everywhere you turn. The Bangerz world tour promises a lot of twerking (minus one Robin Thicke), exposed tongues and perhaps some swinging on wrecking balls. Then again, you never really know what to expect with Miley. Tickets available through Ticketmaster

Pixies @ The Orpheum – February 17

Releasing five albums in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s that blended many genres (indie, psychedelic, surf rock), American alternative band the Pixies created a sound entirely their own that has inarguably influenced many bands over the past few decades – most notably Nirvana. The Pixies split in 1993, but reunited in 2004 and have continued touring for the past decade. Losing bassist and key band member Kim Deal (also of The Breeders) last year hasn’t stopped frontman Black Francis from carrying on with the Pixies, and lucky Vancouver fans will be treated to a show at The Orpheum on February 17. Support will be provided by fellow surf rockers, Best Coast. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Paul Simon & Sting @ Rogers Arena – February 20

Former neighbours and long-time friends, the unlikely duo of Paul Simon and Sting will play Rogers Arena this month on their North American tour. One-half of the influential American folk duo Simon & Garfunkel and the frontman of British reggae rock band The Police seems a rather odd match, but their performances of “The Boxer” and “Fields of Gold” together at a benefit last year proved that the two legendary songwriters possess an effortless musical chemistry. Even a steep ticket price (ranging from $61.90 to $276.70) will not steer fans away from this unique concert experience – after all, not many people will be able to say that they heard Sting sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with Paul Simon. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Ani DiFranco @ Chan Centre for the Performing Arts – February 23

Songwriter, poet and feminist icon Ani DiFranco has made a name for herself over the last 25 years through both music and activism. The Grammy-winning American folk singer has participated in a number of social movements and even created her own non-profit organization which supports causes including abortion rights and gay visibility. Her upcoming show at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts promises to be an engaging evening filled with mellow acoustic songs and thought-provoking discussion. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.