The Best Shows Hitting Vancouver in April 2023

Check out John Mayer solo, Brit pop-punker Yungblud, plus a Metallica listening party this month

Check out John Mayer solo, Brit pop-punker Yungblud, plus a Metallica listening party this month

1. Covet and Scarypoolparty at Biltmore Cabaret – Saturday, April 8

Formed in 2014 by guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Yvette Young, Covet can be characterized by complex song structures and exploratory math-rock sounds. Deriving her polyphonic skills from her childhood training in piano, Young employed that general backdrop to teach herself guitar using her own unique finger-tapping style.

On a similar but sideways trajectory, Scarypoolparty took his influences from the classical music of Beethoven, Bach and Chopin and melded them with the more contemporary vein of Nine Inch Nails and Dead Can Dance to form his own peculiar approach. If you’re not familiar with Scarypoolparty, cast your guilty-pleasure-music-loving memory back to Season 17 of American Idol where he was entered as Alejandro Aranda, the far superior runner-up to the winner who was clearly chosen ahead of time. That’s right; I said it. Come on, we all know what happened there!
Tickets from $38.50

2. John Mayer at Rogers Arena – Monday, April 10

When John Mayer first appeared on the scene, he was pretty much known as this somewhat adult-contemporary-pop guy. I mean, his style was a little bit, I don’t know, beige? Sure, it’s cool to run through the halls of your high school and scream at the top of your lungs, but… eh… whatever. Don’t @ me, that’s just my opinion. It wasn’t until a few years later when he did that Volkswagen commercial that we all found out the guy could actually shred, which led me to beg the question: If he could play like that the entire time, why did he choose not to? I’d say that’s one of modern music history’s greatest mysteries. Anyway, the dude’s well-documented dance card (read: Taylor Swift, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Katy Perry, Jennifer Aniston…) might overshadow the fact he’s a pretty gosh-darned talented musician, so don’t let the tabloids influence your decision to tap on that ticket link.
Tickets from $106.60

3. Metallica – 72 Seasons global premiere listening party at select cinemas – Thursday, April 13

Bonus entry: I recognize this isn’t a concert, but considering Metallica will not be bringing their tour to Vancouver, this listening party can be considered a consolation prize (or at least an appetizer if you’re planning to make the trek to Seattle in the late summer of 2024 to catch them at Lumen Field for their two gigs of completely different setlists).

72 Seasons has been a long time coming as it’s the Mighty Met’s first full-length collection of new material since 2016’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. The album will drop proper on April 14th, but this will be your first opportunity to hearand seeeach of the 12 tracks featuring their own music videos as well as exclusive commentary from the band. But choose your cinema wisely because only certain locations will present the film in the full glory of Dolby Atmos, an immersive audio experience taking listeners inside each song to reveal details with unparalleled clarity and depth. Trust me, you don’t want to go lo-fi on this thing!
Tickets from $18.45

4. Jesse Roper at Hollywood Theatre – Saturday, April 22

Vancouver Island native Jesse Roper has been slinging the guitar since the tender age of six, but it was a skill he’d always hid away due to his fear of public performance. Lucky for the Victoria music scene, he gave up his busy painting gig for a shot at the stage in his late 20s, and since then, he’s become the go-to guy for many West Coast festivals (including Rifflandia and Burnaby Roots + Blues Festival), while also securing direct support slots for the likes of Keith Urban, Colin James and Beth Hart. Not too shabby. Don’t miss this chance to check out the hardworking, blues-rock musician in a tiny venue before he heads out on his extensive cross-Canada tour.
Tickets from $25.54

5. Megadeth, Bullet For My Valentine and ONI at Abbotsford Centre – Friday, April 28

True story. My significant other and I met Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine 28 years ago after their Pacific Coliseum gig promoting the album Youthanasia. They’d encouraged fans to bring food bank donations to the venue for a chance to attend a meet and greet with the band, so we expressed to Dave how that was an incredibly cool and thoughtful gesture. His response? “Well, we wanted to do a blood drive, but we thought that might offend the Canadian people.” No lie. So, never mind the nightmare logistics of setting up thousands of sterile donation stations and then hosting an arena full of metalheads who’d just recently given up half a litre of plasma. No big deal. I just have to wonder why MegaDave believed Canadians, specifically, would be offended by a request to give blood. If anybody can figure out the reasoning for that statement, drop me a line. In the meantime, feel free to donate blood because it’s an excellent thing to do, but please, don’t attempt it on show night.
Tickets from $67.25

6. Yungblud at PNE Forum – Saturday, April 29

Honestly, I’m in no way a fan of pop-punk music. I can’t differentiate between Sum 41 and Blink 182 (what’s with all the numbers?), and I’m not even inclined to try. But there’s something just a little different about Yungblud (well, despite his collaborations with Blink’s Kardashian drummer… meh!). Whether or not this particular type of music is your thing, there’s no denying Yungblud (or as his parents would call him, Dominic Richard Harrison) is a not your typical pop-punker. The 25-year-old Brit is heavily into activism, frequently standing up against racism, gun violence, bullying, misogyny and homophobia. He’s constantly encouraging young people to find their own superpowers and to be themselvessomething you’d be hard-pressed to discover elsewhere in the genre. He’s just a cool guy, and tickets are cheap, so there’s no better reason to get out to the PNE on a Saturday night.
Tickets from $64.20