Back home, artists like Garou and Éric Lapointe would be guaranteed sellouts, but tabarnak, the place was nearly 3/4 empty both times I went to see these famous Quebecers this past week (which means probably less than a thousand people showed up each night). What luck for us few who know better (joke…) and get to see up close these “Vancouver” hidden gems for free! :D
OK, so maybe the percentage of people who speak or understand French is not that high here. Still, I would have thought that curiosity would have filled in the gaps with the Vancouver population overflowing with Olympics tourists and athletes.
Anyhow, rocker Éric Lapointe and his band delivered a great show for us and the small crowd gave him a warm welcome, shouting “Lapointe! Lapointe!” even before he set foot on stage and continued throughout the evening.
I suggest you check out the schedule on the Place de la francophonie website and sample some of the music on YouTube. Who knows, you might be surprised. Like, did you know that legendary Quebecer Zachary Richard is actually an American from Louisiana who sings in French? And remember André-Philippe Gagon? He’s the imitator who shot to fame with his one-man rendition of “We Are The World” back in the mid-eighties. These guys will be performing this week. Don’t come in too big numbers, though; I’ve been thoroughly enjoying those front row seats myself! :D
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)
Singer/guitarist Colin MacDonald
Lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald
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
Bassist Jack Syperek and lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald
You know people are having a great time when body surfing is on
Drummer Sean Dalton
Make some noise!!!
Visit their official Website or their MySpace page to listen to some of their songs.
Like Montreal’s “Jazz” Fest, Vancouver’s “Jazz” Fest is not just about “Jazz.” This past Sunday, June 22nd, it was Vancouver’s own Mother Mother‘s turn to light up the stage with their energetic blend of pop/rock/indie music:
left: Ryan Guldemond (guitar/vocals); top-right: Molly Guldemond (vocals/synth); bottom-right: Debra-Jean Creelman (vocals)
Sassy Molly Guldemond
Ryan Guldemond shredding the fretboard
Expressive Debra-Jean Creelman backed by Ryan Guldemond on guitar and Ali Siadat on drums
Jeremy Page (bass/horns)
Check out their official website or listen to their music on MySpace.