Vancouver Summer Concert Picks

Four Vancouver artists you need to see live and outside this summer

Credit: Ed Araquel

Can’t-miss musical performances this summer in Vancouver

There’s just something about an outdoor music festival. The band, the crowd, the setting and the weather all become – for good or bad – a part of the concert experience. Chances are good that the following performances will be revelatory, both for the performers playing for the home crowd as well as for the audiences celebrating these local heroes.


Petunia & The Vipers

June 21, The Gathering Festival at Emery Barnes Park

Originally from Quebec, troubadour Petunia’s wanderings all around North America led him to his current home in Vancouver. It’s hard not to use cinematic references when trying to describe Petunia’s mix of brooding yet joyous hillbilly swing and yodeling: it’s David Lynch, it’s Tarantino, it’s Stompin’ Tom having coffee with Zorro in a Jim Jarmusch film. It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard.

The New Pornographers – July 18, The Pemberton Music Festival

Critically acclaimed Vancouver pop heroes The New Pornographers are set to release their first record since 2010’s Together this year. The band’s members are all celebrated and prolific solo artists, but there’s a lot of anticipation surrounding the new in New Pornographers this summer.

Credit: Ed Araquel

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer – August 9, The Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer’s vocalist/harmonica player [Harpoonist] Shawn Hall and guitarist [Axe Murderer] Matthew Rogers generate a lot of sound for a duo of one-man bands. Each of the pair’s four limbs is busy simultaneously playing harp, guitar, drums and percussion, producing a racket of dirty blues and feverish gospel.

Credit: Ali Roddam

Mounties – August 10, Squamish Festival

When newborn supergroup Mounties played to a sold-out crowd at the Commodore this spring, it was just the fourth-ever show by the band, which features singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman, and Vancouverites Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat) and Ryan Dahle (Limblifter). Since then, the trio has mounted a cross-country tour and will surely put on an authoritatively arresting show for the throngs who’ve now spent some time getting to know the band’s 2014 debut album, Thrash Rock Legacy.

More summer festivals here.

See Shaun Verreault perform with blues-rock trio Wide Mouth Mason and reggae-rockers Big Sugar at the Burnaby Blues Festival on August 9 at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby.