The Best Shows Hitting Vancouver in March

From a Gen Z icon to unique dance pop, it's all happening this month

From a Gen Z icon to unique dance pop, it’s all happening this month

1. DragonForce at Commodore Ballroom – Sunday, March 13

Widely considered to be the band that provided the most insanely difficult song to play in any of the Guitar Hero video game series, DragonForce wields their crazy-fast, twin-guitar assault through town to put on their regular superhuman power metal event. Not to be confused with the delicious smoothie of the same name from Jugo Juice (it’s safe to assume DragonForce is not just for breakfast anymore), it might not be a bad idea to consume one before the gig in case you want to bring along your air guitar chops to see if you can keep up.
Tickets from $45.25

2. Bruce Dickinson at Massey Theatre – Monday, March 14

Is there anything Bruce Dickinson can’t do? We’re talking about a true polymath here: airline pilot, champion fencer, radio DJ, bestselling author, brewmaster, recipient of several honorary doctorates, cancer survivor and multi-octave frontman for a little old band out of London called Iron Maiden (perhaps you’ve heard of them?). I’m sure I’ve neglected to include several of his other occupations and accolades, but he’s now added spoken word master to his curriculum vitae because apparently he has nothing better to do. Regular tickets are sparse, but if you want to get up close and personal, I suggest springing for a platinum stub that’ll put you right up there within sweating distance. 
Tickets from $81.50; Platinum tickets from $149.24

3. 54-40 at Commodore Ballroom – Thursday, March 17 to Saturday, March 19

They’ve taken to calling themselves “Canada’s Band” now. I suppose it’s fair, considering we no longer have Rush or The Tragically Hip to own that title. But personally, I prefer to bestow 54-40 with the title of “Canada’s Favourite Thanksgiving Band.” It seems weird to be seeing these guys without chowing down on a turkey dinner first, but COVID had other plans over the past couple of Octobers, preventing Vancouverites from celebrating the holiday in habitual grand tradition. So the cool thing is they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary, albeit two years late, because… well, you know. But anyway, I’ll leave it up to you if you maybe want to grab a turkey sandwich and a slab of pumpkin pie prior to the show, just to get into the spirit of the season.
Tickets from $65

4. Donny Benét at Imperial – Sunday, March 20

If Donny Benét seems a little out of place in the timeline and you can’t really pinpoint his exact musical style, well, that’s by design. Borrowing quite heavily from ’80s post-disco and playfully infused with a risqué sense of humour, ‘The Don’ creates his own unique brand of dance pop inspired by the stylings of Bryan Ferry, Tom Jones, Jan Hammer, Prince and Hiroshi Yoshimura (yeah, that’s quite the cocktail!). Described by KEXP as “a fun, baffling mystery of a performer,” you’d be well-served to not miss this once in a lifetime performer before he becomes the next big thing. Konichiwa!
Tickets from $33.48

5. Billie Eilish at Rogers Arena – Thursday, March 24

Even though the chances of picking up a ticket are slimmer than my own wallet, I would be remiss if I failed to mention Billie Eilish. Arguably the most interesting and genuine young artist to surface out of the current mire, Eilish, and brother Finneas O’Connell, have found themselves perched at the pinnacle of an industry landscape replete with otherwise spurious impostors. It seems like an understatement when saying performers this naturally-gifted are a true rarity these days, so it’s not a wonder tickets to this concert (which was initially slated to take place in 2020) were scooped up in mere minutes. But if you’re feeling charitable, there’s still space available for you in the arena. All net proceeds from the sale of these charity platinum tickets will go towards Maggie Baird’s (the siblings’ mom) Support + Feed initiative. Don’t have that much dosh in your piggy bank? As I always say, check Ticketmaster on day of show for release of last-minute production holds (and feel free to send any extra unwanted tickets my way).
Charity Platinum Tickets from $580.31

6. Big Wreck and Monster Truck at Abbotsford Centre – Saturday, March 26

I’ve discovered the best way to get hits on my column is by stating I’m not a Big Wreck fan. Evidently, their legions rise at the crack to seek their moniker out on the interwebs so they can report new action in their fan groups. Funny, it seems they don’t exactly grasp how opinions work and therefore spend the better part of their day bestowing derogatory epithets towards those of us who don’t share their musical taste. So, for those people, I offer up a sincere, “Hello. Welcome back. Please support our advertisers.” Honestly though, would they prefer if I lied and said they were my favourite band ever? Do they really want me taking up valuable real estate at their concerts? If they must know, I’ve actually seen them twice (thrice if you count the time I was forced to see Thornley), so my opinion is formed by experience and not preconceived notions. Why does it matter what I think? It doesn’t, so get yourself out to the valley… pronto! Oh, and at the risk of developing a whole new cabal of enraged gripers, devotees of the Sheepdogs retro blueprint and blatant thieves of The Muppet Show logo, Monster Truck will be there too. Have at ‘er, Wreckers!
Tickets from $41