Sure, there’s the madness of the annual Celebration of Light going on this weekend, along with myriad other activities for the outside-inclined (the Vancouver weather is supposed to be magnificent). But maybe come evening you’re thinking about taking in some live music. If that’s the case, there are plenty of options, ranging from big arena-filling acts to indie bands bringing their cool new sounds to smaller clubs. Here’s a sampling of what you can see this weekend.
Friday (July 26):
An Evening With Rush (Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way) – Canada Post has just issued a new series of four stamps featuring legendary Canadian bands. Among them: Rush, of course. How could the nearly 40-year-old prog-rock group not make it on? Touring in support of its 19th studio album Clockwork Angels, Rush plays Rogers Arena Friday night. Show: 7:30. Tickets: $40 – $116.00 at ticketmaster.com.
An Evening With Gipsy Kings (The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts, 777 Homer St.) – The biggest French act ever in the U.S., the Gipsy Kings have been on top of the world music charts since the 1987 release of the international hit single “Bamboleo” from their platinum-selling eponymous debut album. Their last album of new material was 2006’s Pasajero. Show: 8 p.m. Tickets: $55-$115 at Ticketmaster.com.
Caravan Palace (Rickshaw Theatre, 254 E. Hastings St.) – This French music collective, known as the “pioneers of electro swing,” is on tour for its new album Panic. Caravan Palace fuses Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grapelli-inspired gypsy jazz with Daft Punk-inspired dance beats and production, a combination that has earned the group recognition from legions of fans worldwide. Show: 9 p.m. Tickets: $25-35 at Northerntickets.com.
Benoît Pioulard (The Cobalt, 917 Main St.) – Seattle-based singer/songwriter Pioulard journeys to Vancouver for a set at the esteemed Main Street music club the Cobalt in support of his latest album, Hymnal. Pioulard’s songs are atmospheric but tuneful; visit his Soundcloud page to hear some. Show: 8 p.m. Tickets: $9 online and $11 at the door.
Fera (Falconetti’s, 1812 Commercial Drive) – Identical twins Courtney and Stephanie Fera have been recording and playing live since 2000. The duo, who cite Patty Griffin, Bryan Adams and Hanson among the influences on their blend of country, rock and pop, has recorded two albums and an EP. With local folk-pop act Blackberry Wood. Show: 8 p.m. No cover.
Saturday (July 27):
One Direction (Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way) – Sadly, tickets for everyone’s new favourite flash-in-the-pan boy band are sold-out. However, where there’s a will there’s a way; ticketbrokers, Craigslist, a friend of a friend. The English/Irish pop group is riding high on the charts with its current single, “Best Song Ever.” Show: 7:30.
Trails and Ways (Electric Owl, 926 Main St.) – This coed Oakland indie-rock group is currently on a West Coast tour in support of a new EP, Trilingual. Catch them before they blow up (in a figurative, not literal, sense). Show: 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 at Northertickets.com.