From one-hit wonders to grunge icons, Vancouver’s July concert schedule has plenty of shows to entice music lovers away from the beach and into the city’s venues. Among the most anticipated: the return of Alabama Shakes, the resurrection of Courtney Love and the debut of Passenger.
Passenger (July 10 at the Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St.) – Passenger’s “Let Her Go” could be this year’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”, Gotye’s 2011 international smash hit. “Let Her Go” has reached #1 in 14 countries; now, audiences can decide if Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) is more than a one-hit wonder as he kicks off a North American tour in Vancouver. Go here for tickets.
Portugal. The Man (July 16 at the Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville St.) – Now on their seventh album, this Portland, Oregon group is known for their experimentalism. But with the help of producer Danger Mouse (Norah Jones, The Black Keys), they’ve honed the tunes on their latest, Evil Friends, into more widely-accessible pop songs. Go here for tickets.
Rogue Wave (July 16 at the Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward St.) – This San Francisco band is known for smart, catchy pop songs, like the Shins. Rogue Wave is on tour for its fifth album, Nightingale Floors, which Relix calls “dreamy, atmospheric, swirly, fuzzy, gothic, psychedelic, droning, cathartic and melancholy, but also poppy, hook-laden and bouncy.” Go here for tickets.
Courtney Love (July 22 at the Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville St.) – The notorious Courtney Love hasn’t toured since 2010, when she formed a new, strange version of her ’90s-era grunge band Hole. Expect at least as much outrageous between-song banter as songs when Love comes to town midway through an extensive North American tour. Go here for tickets.
Alabama Shakes (July 23 at the Orpheum Theatre, 884 Granville St.) – Led by singer Brittany Howard, Alabama Shakes was one of last year’s breakout acts. Their raucous live shows and their debut album Boys & Girls won fans all over the world, and every time they tour the venues get larger. Get a ticket early for this sure-to-sell-out show. Go here for tickets.
Heartless Bastards (July 24 at the Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward St) – Another female-fronted band, Heartless Bastards haven’t experienced the sudden success of Alabama Shakes. But Erika Wennerstrom’s tough, whiskey-soaked vocals and the band’s catchy rock ‘n’ roll has won its share of adherents, with many proclaiming the group’s latest album Arrow its best yet. Go here for tickets.