2008 JAZZ FEST – SLIDING HAMMERS

Yaletown Splash
Once in a while they open some fire hydrant valves that shoot up in the sky and give us a spectacular show!

Last weekend Gastown was the stage for the free shows and this past weekend it was Yaletown’s turn.  The weather was perfect.  Well, maybe a little too hot?  on Saturday, me and my friends tried to find a spot in the shade with a decent view on the stage, but of course, they were all taken…

 Too Hot to Handle
The shade was our best friend this weekend — it was HOT!!!

Free Jazz at David Lam Park
The David Lam Park in Yaletown.  That ice cream vendor is sure to make a buck sooner than later! ;)

After roasting in the Sun for about 30 minutes, we decided to head to the indoor stage.  A show was already on and, since spots away from the Sun were on high demand, I only managed to sneak way back in the room, with a wooden pillar right in my face. :s  The band Sliding Hammers was playing:

Sliding Hammers
Swedish sisters Mimmi Pettersson Hammar and Karin Hammar

Sliding Hammers
A fine piano solo just ended

I especially liked Ronnie Gardiner, the drummer, from which you could feel a deep sense of joy through his playing (not that the others weren’t having fun — they were; it was just most apparent in him).  He was all smiles and sooo relaxed behind his drum set whether it was a mellow song or playing through a solo.  Going to live shows is so much fun when you can feel that energy emanating from the band/artist.  It was a very enjoyable show with great music and good laughs listening to the comments the sisters had for us in-between songs.

Official Website

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2008 DRAGONBOAT FESTIVAL / THE TREWS CONCERT

Dragonboat Race
Go go go!

I must admit that I can’t seem to find a way to get into the action at the dragonboat race portion of the festival (just my opinion…).  We’re never that close to the racers and when they do get close, the fun lasts but a few seconds.

But I could rave all day about the excellent music the festival had in store for us later that evening (Saturday June 21st*): The Trews, a great Canadian rock and roll band were in town to offer us a free concert in the park next to the dragonboat finish line.  I had heard great things about their shows and, let me tell you, it’s all “Trew.”  Great showmanship and quality rock and roll from the boys; they really know how to work a crowd.  As the evening came to a close, we were so not ready to go!

(*EDIT: I just found out that Rumba Calzada was also part of the dragonboat festival; another fantastic, Latin inspired act)

The Trews
Singer/guitarist Colin MacDonald

The Trews
Lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald

The Trews
Technical glitch: the lights unexpectedly went out for a few songs and people started bringing out
cell phones and lighters to help out, including the singer! lol

The Trews
Bassist Jack Syperek and lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald

Body Surfing
You know people are having a great time when body surfing is on

The Trews
Drummer Sean Dalton

The Trews
Make some noise!!!

Visit their official Website or their MySpace page to listen to some of their songs.

2008 JAZZ FEST – RUMBA CALZADA

Rumba Calzada
Left to right: unknown guest; Rolando Preza; Raphael Geronimo

The party was already on as I joined a crowd of ecstatic concert-goers, halfway through Rumba Calzada’s set.  The Latino beats and grooves had many people dancing and cheering at the Maple Tree Square in Gastown.  I was amazed to see how band leader Raphael Geronimo was able to send the groove into hyperspace with his small percussion set.  The solid rythm section was quite enjoyable to watch and hear too.

It’s too bad I didn’t have time to write this article earlier for you guys, as the band was set to play another free show at the CBC Studio One Jazz stage on Tuesday (yesterday).  I’m sure many people took note of it when the band announced this other gig of theirs. :)  Let’s hope they come to your neighbourhood soon! ;)

 

Rumba Calzada
Raphael Geronimo  (multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Apivor in the background)

Rumba Calzada
Miguel Valdez and Rod Murray

Rumba Calzada
Let’s dance!

Rumba Calzada’s Official Website