Vancouver is a concert-goer’s dream. The list of shows is seemingly endless — ranging from the biggest names in the business to an (as-yet) unheard of band in a dingy bar. While it’s impossible to cater to everyone’s tastes, these are the shows likely to generate a lot of interest this year, including past and present legends such as U2, The Weeknd, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
T.I. – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street
The American rapper is touring in support of of his Us or Else EP. His Lower Mainland fans will have a second chance to catch this as the tour also hits Abbotsford Centre on January 14.
Steel Panther – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street
For a seemingly one-trick pony, Steel Panther have built a resilient career. As long as you don’t take things seriously, this parody glam rock band is a lot of fun. Bonus points if you dress up for the show.
Arkells w/ Frank Turner – UBC Thunderbird Arena, 6066 Thunderbird Boulevard
Hamilton, Ontario’s Juno award-winning Arkells are a big name in rock, but the real treat at this event is support act Frank Turner. His particular brand of heartfelt, politically aware folk punk is hard to beat.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – The Imperial, 319 Main Street
One the biggest names to come out of recent years’ rash of indie folksters, BFL (as he is known to his friends, probably) offers the kind of delicate sound perfect for date night.
Adam Ant – Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville Street
Adam Ant sums up New Wave in one oddly clad act and ‘Stand and Deliver’ is probably one of the world’s best-known pieces of music. A show 80s enthusiasts shouldn’t miss.
Reel Big Fish and Anti-Flag – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street
Both legends in their own right, these two bands are sharing the billing at this dream show for ska punk fans. Practice your skanking, strap on your docs, and head down.
Billy Talent w/ Monster Truck – Abbotsford Centre, 33800 King Road, Abbotsford
Billy Talent are well-established in the pantheon of Canadian rock, but support band Monster Truck shouldn’t be overlooked either. They play fun-loving rock with some seriously good riffs. Listen out for ‘The Enforcer’, a hard-hitting lick that hockey fans will love.
Carl Craig – Imperial Vancouver, 319 Main Street
Not my scene, but Carl Craig is a big enough name in dance music to have crossed my radar. Hailing from Detroit’s techno scene, he has few equals in his genre.
clipping. – Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward Street
Hamilton fans will be aware of this LA hip hop group thanks to MC Daveed Diggs, who starred in the wildly successful Broadway musical. He is joined by William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, and together, they create experimental, industrial sounds that are enjoying a high profile right now.
The Real McKenzies w/ The Isotopes – Rickshaw Theatre, 254 East Hastings Street
After 25 years of ferocious music, the Real McKenzies have few rivals in the realm of Celtic punk. The Vancouver band (which predates Flogging Molly & the Dropkick Murphys) has been through a few lineups over the years but has kept the same unquenchable spirit throughout. They are more-than-ably supported by East Van baseball punx the Isotopes.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have long since cemented their place in rock and roll history. This is Vancouver fans’ chance to enjoy the band’s distinctive sound as it tours to support The Getaway – the California rockers’ 11th studio album.
Japandroids – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street
Vancouver’s own Japandroids are always certain of a warm welcome in their hometown – they easily sold out four dates towards the end of last year. This is anthemic, feel-good rock music at its best.
Truckfighters w/ We Hunt Buffalo, Greenleaf, Black Pussy, and La Chinga – Rickshaw Theatre, 254 East Hastings Street
For fans of stoner rock, shows don’t get much better than this. These bands will be on many a fan’s bucket list. Hailing from Sweden, Truckfighters’ tour is in support of latest album, V. The band is bringing along their compatriots, Greenleaf, as well as We Hunt Buffalo and La Chinga from the 604, and Black Pussy from Portland.
Ariana Grande – Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way
Recently making headlines for speaking out against objectification by fans, Ariana Grande will be bringing her Dangerous Woman tour to Vancouver in the spring.
Passenger – Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe Street
Passenger exploded with the release of ‘Let Her Go’ back in 2012. Now, the russet-bearded crooner is promoting his latest album, Young as the Morning Old as the Sea.
The Weeknd – Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way
The Weeknd may very well be the biggest thing in music right now. His signature dreadlocks are now long gone, but the hits keep on coming and ‘Starboy’ provided his third number-one single.
The xx – UBC Thunderbird Arena, 6066 Thunderbird Boulevard
The xx’s first, self-titled album was everywhere and subsequent releases have been true to form. The band’s dreamy indie music is popular with both critics and the general public.
Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey – Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way
I hardly need write anything about two of the most famous artists on the planet. It’s Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey. They’ll be singing at Rogers Arena in April (probably – bearing a certain New Year’s Eve debacle in mind).
U2 – BC Place, 777 Pacific Boulevard
U2’s recently announced Joshua Tree 2017 anniversary tour will be kicking off in Vancouver. Lower Mainland fans of Irish band will no doubt work themselves into a frenzy when tickets go on general sale on January 17.
Neil Diamond: 50th Anniversary Tour – Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way
A 50-year career in music is nothing to sniff at. Neil Diamond, singer of ‘Sweet Caroline’, is celebrating his with a world tour.
Bruno Mars – Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way
Bruno Mars embarks on a world tour that will bring his catchy upbeat pop to Vancouver.
Guns N’ Roses – BC Place, 777 Pacific Boulevard
Needing no introduction, Guns N’ Roses epitomise a certain era in rock music. Head along to BC Place to mainline nostalgia.
Coldplay – BC Place, 777 Pacific Boulevard
Enormously popular ever since the 2000 release of their debut album, Parachutes, Coldplay have experimented with and developed their sound over subsequent releases. The band’s long-running ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour’ is likely to see a packed BC Place.