Summer is nearly over, but live music is a hot, sweaty experience whatever the time of year. September is a great month for shows in the 604 (Which month isn’t?), and we are pretty spoilt for choice. It will also be a nostalgia-heavy month for a lot of people, with shows from Blink-182, Millencolin and more ’90s/’00s favourites. If you prefer to focus on the now, no problem. There are also some great shows from up-and-comers.
Before we get into the list itself, a disclaimer, music is a deeply personal thing, so this list is in no way meant to be objective or exhaustive. Instead, it contains the shows that stood out to me this month, for various reasons.
September 1 to 5
Summer Night Concerts – PNE Amiptheatre
Nightly shows at 8:30pm are free with PNE admission. Dru Hill with Sisqo, Nokio, Jazz & Tao on Sept 1; Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo on Sept 2, Tim Hicks on Sept 3; The Monkees on Sept 4; and Chris Isaak on Sept 5
Atomic Bitchwax – The Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward Street, Vancouver
One of the early stoner rock bands. Although the sound is associated with California, these guys are from New Jersey. What to expect: Bass-heavy riffs and a retro sound.
September 2 to 4
Bumbershoot 2016 – Seattle Centre
Drive down to the annual Seattle Festival for a music line-up that includes, Tyler The Creator, G-Eazy, Death Cab for Cutie, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Fetty Wap and Billy Idol.
Jake Bugg – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
British indie folker with lyrical sensibilities akin to early Arctic Monkeys. You may have heard ‘Lightning Bolt’ or ‘Trouble Town’. What to expect: Up-tempo, catchy choruses.
Back to School Bash – Commodore Ballroom
Virgin Radio is ending summer with a bang at their Back to School Bash featuring a Canadian music line-up: MAGIC!, Shawn Hook, Alex Veliz and Jocelyn Alice.
Monolord – The Astoria, 769 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Swedish doom metal. Enough said. What to expect: Long hair and dirty denim.
Death Valley Girls –The Cobalt, 917 Main Street, Vancouver
Three girls and a dude playing classic rock and roll. What to expect: A bit like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but less artsy.
Keith Urban – Rogers Arena
Country superstar with guests Dallas Smith and Maren Morris drop into Vancouver on the Ripcord World Tour.
Action Bronson – Commodore Ballroom
Action Bronson with guest Meyhem Lauren drop some beats.
Atmosphere – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
Minneapolis hip-hop duo who have been around since ’89. What to expect: Thoughtful lyrics and funky beats.
Juliette Lewis – Venue
Actor and singer Juliette Lewis hits the stage for a rockin’ time.
September 15 to 18
Rifflandia Festival – City of Victoria
Jurassic 5, Wolf Parade, De La Soul and others are featured in this year’s multi-staged and pop-up venue Rifflandia Festival in Victoria.
Bloc Party – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
One of the best examples of the mid-2000s indie rock boom, the band now veers more towards electronica. The band is back with a new line-up and a new album after a hiatus. What to expect: Jagged guitars on the old stuff and danceable drum beats on the new stuff.
September 17 to 18
Drake/Future – Rogers Arena
Drake brings the 6 to Vancouver with Future, Roy Woods, DVSN and special guests for the Summer Sixteen Tour for two nights.
blink-182, The All-American Rejects, All Time Low, and A Day to Remember – Abbotsford Centre, 33800 King Road, Abbotsford
Nostalgia fest from the pop-punk bands you listened to as a teen. What to expect: You know what to expect.
Dolly Parton – Rogers Arena
‘Jolene’ singer Dolly Parton brings her Pure & Simple Tour to Vancouver at the tender age of 70.
We Hunt Buffalo and Dead Quiet – Fortune Sound Club, 147 East Pender Street, Vancouver
Two local bands: We Hunt Buffalo play stoner rock, Dead Quiet play metal. They are both ones to watch, especially Dead Quiet who just had a great tour with Black Wizard. What to expect: Riffs you can feel in your bones with some psychedelic elements.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones – Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
Perhaps best-known for their song ‘Call Me’, this soul six-piece are a guaranteed good time. What to expect: Powerful, retro vocals.
Millencolin – Venue, 881 Granville Street, Vancouver
This Swedish skate-punk band offers another chance for a nostalgia trip (Especially for players of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2). What to expect: Fast guitars, fast drums and rousing lyrics.