Drum Heat heats up the Vogue with sounds from around the world

Drum Heat | presented by Sal Ferraras and Arts Umbrella | April 27, 2017 | Vogue Theatre

This was music you can’t help but move to. Sal Ferraras led an intrepid group of musicians in an evening of energetic world music that was both inspiring and invigorating. This benefit for Arts Umbrella was a hugely entertaining compilation of music from all over the world including Brazilian, Portuguese, Cuban, Indian, and African sounds.

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Terri Clark goes back to her roots at the Vogue Theatre

 

Terri Clark | Back to My Roots tour | Vogue Theatre | November 12, 2016

Terri Clark is an accomplished country music artist, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and no stranger to playing large venues, but for this Canadian tour she decided to go back to her roots, playing 41 shows from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver. Clark described this tour as one of the most gratifying experiences of her career, being able to play acoustic sets in small towns and big cities across the country, meeting fans and hearing how much her music means to them. She played in some towns so small they didn’t even have a Tim Hortons; some audience members were so unaccustomed to having musicians like her come to town that they assumed she was a tribute act. “So I started playing a bunch of Shania Twain songs,” she laughed. “I played a seniors’ centre the other day.” Right from the start, Clark’s wonderful sense of humour was a highlight of the show.

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The Strumbellas play the Commodore Ballroom

The Strumbellas | Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver

October 16, 2016

The Strumbellas are a band with a positive, upbeat attitude. It’s fitting that their latest album is called Hope. While some of their lyrics may sound despondent such as “It’s hard when you’re living and you don’t feel much,” overall their songs come across as cheery and hopeful, and so do they as a group. I enjoyed their onstage banter and camaraderie, and they were nothing but respectful when urging the crowd to sing along or participate.

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The Temper Trap - Commodore Ballroom

The Temper Trap - September 21, 2016 | Commodore Ballroom

I went to see The Temper Trap just to hear them play “Sweet Disposition” live. The running melody, angelic vocals, and uplifting lyrics get me every time; I just love that song. But as soon as they took the stage, I knew I was in for a treat and I wouldn’t have to wait until their encore (they would inevitably be saving their most well-known song for last) before thoroughly enjoying myself.

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Marketa Irglova and friends perform at St. James Hall

In support of her new album, Muna, Irglova played new songs along with a few favourites.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

Marketa Irglova has one of the purest, most serene voices I’ve ever heard, and many of her songs have the ability to bring tears to my eyes no matter when I hear them. I was overjoyed when I found out about her stop in Vancouver, as she tours in support of her new solo album, Muna. She was joined by Iranian daf player and vocalist Aida Shahghasemi, and Rob Bochnik and Joe Doyle (who also played with Irglova in the band, The Swell Season), along with opening act, Rosi Golan.

You might know Irglova as half of the duo responsible for the film, and now musical, Once, and as a member of The Swell Season, along with former partner, Glen Hansard. Hansard is another passionate musician who I’m a huge fan of, and together they made wonderful music. The Once soundtrack is not only one of favourite soundtracks, but one of my favourite albums of all time. It is too bad that they parted ways, but I’m glad that they’ve each continued making music on their own.

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Sloan attracts young and old to Commodore

Playing songs from albums old and new, Sloan still rocks.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

For their new album, Commonwealth, each member of Sloan helms one side of the record representing the four suits of a deck of cards. The band has always collaborated on songwriting, and on this album each of them has a chance to be the front man. In this same spirit, their live show had the band members switching places and sharing the limelight.

They began playing the Spade side of the record, followed by the Shamrock, Diamond, and Heart sides, with older songs in between such as “It’s Plain to See” and “Unkind” from Double Cross. “Unkind” had the crowd clapping along to the beat and singing the infectious lyrics.

From Jay Ferguson’s Diamond side of Commonwealth, they played “You’ve Got a Lot on Your Mind” which fit right in with their older hits and had the crowd nodding along in approval. This moved right into the following song off the record that references the theme of the album directly with lyrics like “She played a diamond where a heart should land” and “The house will always win.” This is a very well written song, and sounds as though Sloan just crossed the pond from Britain.

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Bahamas played to packed house at The Vogue

Afie Jurvanen and his band played songs from all three of his records.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

It still surprises me how many people have never heard of Bahamas. This Toronto musician, whose real name is Afie Jurvanen, put out his first record in 2008, and 2012’s Barchords included a few popular, radio-friendly tracks. Listening to his music is like putting on clothes that just came out of the dryer or taking that first long-awaited sip of your latte. Along with his band, his clear, crisp sounds filled The Vogue with warmth, and Jurvanen’s calmness washed over the crowd like a soft blanket.

The Weather Station opened the show with her similarly calming folk rock, and she also joined Bahamas on a few songs later in the show. On the bare black stage with only their instruments, the music was the focus, and it spoke for itself. Joined by Carleigh Aikins and Felicity Williams, the vocal harmonies that were created were beautifully soothing.  Jurvanen’s dry, witty sense of humour was also refreshing as he humbly chatted to the audience between songs.

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The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt

A break from their previous records, this album is all about heartache.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

The fifth album from these New Jersey rockers, Get Hurt marks a change in the band’s tone with a less celebratory mood and more of a personal, melancholy feel. The album is said to be inspired by vocalist and guitarist Brian Fallon’s divorce from his wife of 10 years, and that makes a lot of sense with songs like “Break Your Heart,” “Dark Places,” and “Ain’t that a Shame.”

There are no upbeat songs about the radio to be found here, but there is plenty of pour-your-heart-out, passionate rock ‘n’ roll that shows another side of their sound. 

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Jon and Roy - By My Side

This duo's fifth offering has a deeply calming effect.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

Like a cool sea breeze on a hot day, Victoria’s folk-rock duo Jon and Roy have a deeply calming effect. Their music is layered, pensive, and tranquil. This fifth album, By My Side, follows up their 2012 release, Let It Go, which earned them a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Group Recording and featured the single, “Vibrant Scene.” 

The first single off By My Side, “Where’d My Light Go” is just as unassumingly catchy and has their trademark upbeat folk sound featuring a great harmonica solo. Themes of light and its various manifestations overtake the bulk of this record. 

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Michael Franti brings his yoga and rock music tour, Soulshine, to Vancouver

Open your soul at this unique event.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

Michael Franti has been practicing yoga for 13 years and making music for much longer; recently he figured out how to combine these two passions in a unique way. His Soulshine tour brings audiences together with an hour long yoga class accompanied by a relaxing acoustic set, followed by Michael Franti and Spearhead’s energetic reggae-infused folk rock along with performances by SOJA, Brett Dennen, Trevor Hall, and Sonna Rele.

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Fast Romantics release Afterlife Blues

Matthew Angus of Fast Romantics talks death, breakups, and rainy Vancouver.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

What if you get to the afterlife and you’re not impressed with what you see? This is the quirky idea that sparked the title for the Fast Romantics’ new album, Afterlife Blues. While it may seem like the record is about death, lead singer Matthew Angus said that it’s more about endings and new beginnings.

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Wildlife talks On The Heart

The Canadian indie rock band discuss their new album and upcoming show in Vancouver.

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak

Described as an essay about all matters to do with the heart, Wildlife’s On the Heart is about more than love.

“It’s not just about being in love and being heartbroken, that’s definitely part of it, but it’s about everything related to the heart,” said lead singer and guitarist Dean Povinsky.

As they embark on a national tour, Povinsky said that he is looking forward to playing in some cities that they haven’t played in a while, and also returning to Vancouver for their fifth show in the city. For their first few dates in Ontario they shared the stage with Fast Romantics, and for their western dates they will be playing with Boy and Bear.

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The Perms - The Aberdeen EP

Album Review

First published in The Peak.

By: Tessa Perkins

Having been a fan of The Perms since 2010’s inventive pop-rock album, Keeps You Up When You’re Down, and continuing to follow their music with 2012’s Sofia Nights, I’m glad they’ve released a few songs for us to enjoy while they work on their next full-length album. The Aberdeen EP is four songs of catchy, energetic pop-rock goodness that will leave you wanting more.

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The Drummer Girl tells the story of what it's like to be a professional musician

By: Tessa Perkins

First published in The Peak.

Kat Wahamaa wears a lot of hats. Along with being a musician and a mom, she is also a publicist and the co-artistic director of an artist’s collective. Her band Kat and Tony recently released a new album, Everything Blue, and she is currently playing mandolin and singing in the Firehall Arts Centre’s The Drummer Girl with her longtime friend and colleague Lauri Lyster.

Read more: The Drummer Girl tells the story of what it's like to be a professional musician