The Best Shows Hitting Vancouver in April 2022

From a pop princess to rock royalty, it's all happening this month

From a pop princess to rock royalty, it’s all happening this month

1. Dua Lipa at Rogers Arena – Friday, April 1

Dua LipaFacebook/Dua LipaUnless you’ve been living in a fallout shelter over the past couple of years, chances are good you’ve not been able to escape the meteoric rise of Dua Lipa as the most recent crowned princess of, well, pretty much everything. The sultry dance-pop diva is everywhere from the top of the Billboard charts to the runways of Milan fashion week to musical guesting on Saturday Night Live and beyond, and now the multiple award-winning songstress makes her way to Rogers Arena for one night only. As has been happening lately, superstars like this have been selling out hockey huts and football forums regardless of astronomical ticket price, so I hope you’ve already purchased your groceries for the month, ’cause you’ll be dealing with verified resales only on this one.
Tickets from $305

2. Olivia Rodrigo at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Arena – Thursday, April 7

Olivia RodrigoFacebook/Olivia RodrigoI always hate writing about sold out shows. It almost seems like such a side dig when I have to tell you, “Oh, this person is coming to town and you can’t go!” I honestly don’t mean to do that, but I can’t not mention Olivia Rodrigo. I mean, come on, when a 17-year-old comes up with a worldwide hit that shoots directly to #1 in numerous countries literally overnight, it’s a true phenomenon. The fact is “Drivers License” has solidified this now 19-year-old’s career path, breaking no fewer than three Spotify streaming records. So it’s no wonder tickets to this show are completely gone to the point where I can’t even tell you how much they cost, and there aren’t any resales to be had either. If you think you can beat this thing by hitting the I-5 in an attempt to catch her in Seattle or Portland, you’d be denied because her entire tour is sold out. So, once again, I implore you: check the ticket link often just in case they release production holds at the last minute. Don’t ever tell me I don’t give you good advice.
Check for ticket availability

3. Alice Cooper at Abbotsford Centre – Saturday, April 16

Alice CooperFacebook/Alice CooperIf you’re one of maybe about seven people on this planet who have never seen a live Alice Cooper show, fear not. You might have oddly missed his vaudevillian horror antics over the past, oh, 50-some-odd years, but sizeable snakes and garish guillotines… he’s still got em’, because some things just simply never change. You can set your watch to this guy, and don’t bother anticipating he’ll deviate from his elaborate routine. But a little something you may not know about the 74-year-old shock-rock legend is how he spends a fair amount of time and money on charitable causes. Just this past December, he was spotted serving food to underprivileged children at a shelter, and then with the pandemic looming on the horizon, the icon saw the writing on the wall and put money aside for his road crew as the lockdowns hit. Class act. It’s true, he is a softie, but don’t tell anybody.
Tickets from $94.25

4. Mogwai at Commodore Ballroom – Monday, April 18

MogwaiFacebook/MogwaiFor a band whose music is largely lyric-free, Mogwai has sure built up a pretty strong international fan base. That seems like an anomaly these days, but for these Glaswegians, their success has never been based on the commonplace. Influenced by a diverse array of artists such as Fugazi, MC5, Sonic Youth and The Cure, the post-rock outfit has racked up 10 critically acclaimed long-spinners over the past quarter-century, and they show no signs of slowing down. Expect to hear your favourite lengthy guitar-based instrumental pieces from over the years, but don’t be surprised if these guys lean a bit heavy on their 2020 release, As the Love Continues, which hit the coveted #1 spot on the UK Albums Chart, winning the 2021 Scottish Album of the Year Award.
Tickets $42

5. ZZ Top and Cheap Trick at Abbotsford Centre – Saturday, April 23

ZZ1Facebook/ZZ TopI’ve only seen ZZ Top in concert once, and it was strange. We somehow ended up securing front row tickets to see a band I’ve never been all that interested in, and the four of us had to spend the evening defending our position against a woman who kept feigning a heart attack in her bizarre ploy to plant herself in the position between our seats and the rail. True story. Who does that? I’ve also only been to one Cheap Trick concert, and even though I didn’t have to perform CPR or anything, I felt rather exasperated by a deep-voiced golem loudly and repeatedly proclaiming over my shoulder how Robin Zander is the greatest American vocalist of all time. Actually no, dude, he’s not, and I understand how opinions work, but I heard you the first time and you’ve really got to shut up! Anyway, if loudmouthery and false coronary events don’t tend to get in your way of having a good ol’ time, then this double bill is for you. I’m not planning to occupy any space there, so all that real estate is yours for the taking. Bring your own defibrillator and bullhorn.
Tickets from $97.75

6. Strange Advance at Hollywood Theatre – Tuesday, April 26

Strange AdvanceStrange AdvanceIt hasn’t actually been 40 years since the first time I heard Strange Advance on the radio, has it? No, really, it can’t be, because I’m not 40 years older! Wait, let me check… Worlds Away was released in 1982. That’s 2022 minus… um… carry the 2, divide by 7, multiply by the square root of pi. Well, it looks like I’m not only wrong, I’m also very bad at math. Nevertheless, this Vancouver-based bandthat debuted when I was very youngwas worlds away from the standard classic rock stuff that was coming out of Lotusland back in the day. Their fusion of progressive and new wave relied strongly on synths and sounded rather fitting for UK airwaves, which suited many of us ’80s teens on this side of the Atlantic just fine. So, after snoozing for over three decades, they’re back with a brand new album, Strange Advance 4, and they’ll be hitting our hometown before heading out to The 6ix to play the legendary El Mocambo. Well then, I guess that means “We Run” to the Hollywood!
Tickets $52.74

7. Rufus Wainwright at Chan Centre for the Performing Arts – Tuesday, April 26

Rufus WainwrightRufus WainwrightIf you can’t hop it out to New York or Chicago in June to catch the fabulous Rufus Wainwright as he performs the entirety of his live tribute album to Judy Garland, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, then you’d best be getting yourself to UBC to check out the multitalented artist as he tones it down just a notch to showcase his newest offering, Unfollow the Rules. Never one to follow the rules anyway, the Juno-winning singer-songwriter-composer plans to present you with songs from this most recent release that not only bookends his 1998 self-titled debut album, but also acts as a summary and climax of all his previous records. As The New Yorker mentions, “Nobody sings quite like Rufus Wainwright,” and given the authenticity of his genre-spanning career from pop to baroque and indie to opera, we’d say it’s an accurate statement indeed.
Tickets from $64.75