Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Difficult 2012—Concerts

Our still-awesome, still-improving local scene provided most of my live action in 2012. Local promoters Nothing Is Heavy arrived and immediately set new standards for killer bills comprising either the cream of local bands or combining touring and local acts. Not into forking out for arena shows anymore, I ended up in GM Place/Rogers Arena exactly twice: once for being an unwitting extra for a Metallica movie, and once for an amazing, unhinged night with Neil Young and Crazy Horse. All in all, I’d rather just go to the Rickshaw.

1. Heart, August 18, PNE
This concert was better than it had any right to be. I had low expectations. It was a free show on the opening day of the Pacific National Exhibition. We hemmed and hawed about getting a good vantage point, not willing to park in a spot for five hours like other fairgoers clearly were. We ended up a good distance away from the side of the stage, drummer out of sight, surrounded by complainy soccer moms, and reliant on jumbotrons to view all the action. But the joyful professionalism of Heart overcame all that. Maybe they were relieved to be in the cool Vancouver air—away from the oppressive heat south of the border—in their adopted hometown, but they did indeed “kick it out” and entertain with a verve I’d never have expected from a band pumping out all the old hits on the summer fair circuit. It was a bombardment of FM dial classics: “Magic Man,” a couple power ballads, album cuts like “Heartless,” a Zeppelin cover, and “Barracuda” in case your face wasn’t already melted. The Wilson sisters rule.

2. Neil Young and Crazy Horse, November 11, Rogers Arena
3. Dysrhythmia/Dog Shredder, October 26, Iron Road Studios
4. Accept, September 21, Rickshaw Theatre
5. Six Organs of Admittance, October 2, Waldorf
6. Napalm Death, November 9, Rickshaw Theatre
7. Anciients, March 23, Rickshaw Theatre
8. Black Wizard/Occult SS, etc., October 5, Rickshaw Theatre
9. Barn Owl, November 10, VIVO Media Arts Centre
10. Diecember Fest (night one with The Nautilus, Astrakhan, etc.) Dec. 6, Rickshaw Theatre
11. Darkroom Alchemy II (with Hoopsnake, Chapel), November 17, Interurban
12. Cormorant/Young Hunter, June 9, The Shakedown (Bellingham)
13. Shooting Guns, June 15, Pat’s Pub
14. Helms Alee/Thrones, April 1, Iron Road
15. Mares of Thrace/Anion/Weirding April 27, Funky’s

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