TD International Jazz Festival
Lynn Valley Plaza

Mazacote may be based in Vancouver, but the band is a true world music ensemble with influences as diverse as Colombia, Nicaragua and Mozambique.

This afternoon they brought their Latin and African dance beats to Lynn Valley Centre, performing as part of the TD International Jazz Festival.

With rain threatening for much of the performance, the band managed to inject some musical sunshine to ensure that the crowd were happy and most importantly up and dancing.

Led by Nicaraguan singer/songwriter David Lopez, Mazacote have been performing together since 2009. Lopez together with Carlos Arias on Bass, Chris Couto on Timbales, Robin Layne on Congas, Japanese pianist Niho Takase and trumpeter Malcolm Aiken produced a tight pulsating set, that helped dispel any weather-related blues.

If you want to hear more of Mazacote, you can check out their new album NUEVA ERA, which was recently nominated as World Album of the Year at the 2016 WCM Awards. And if you want to see them live for another chance to get your Latin groove on, then they will be at the Carnaval Del Sol at Concord Pacific Place on July 8th. Check out for more dates.

Photos: Stewart Johnstone


Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver

Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom played host to one of Canada’s favourite heavy metal front men on Friday night when Sebastian Bach brought his Home Away from Home tour to town. Surprisingly it was the first time that Bach had played at the venue, and based on the enthusiasm of the sold-out crowd in attendance it was long overdue.

The set proved to be a good mix of songs from Bach’s time fronting Skid Row, as well as some more recent numbers from Bach’s solo outings. Crowd favourites like 18 and Life had the audience pumped right from the start. Bach touchingly took the time to remember Anthony Bourdain and John Dunsworth (Mr Lahey) before playing I Remember You.  This was just one moment, that stood out in many interactions with the fans on the evening, which lead to Bach continuing to have the popularity that he has with fans.

Altogether it was a great night of rock music, and for many it was a fun trip down memory lane.

The tour continues this week, with one more data in BC (Kelowna) before continuing the trek across Canada.

Keep up to date with all things Bach at

Check out our images from the show below.

Photos: Stewart Johnstone

the standstills

Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver

Oshawa natives The Standstills returned to Vancouver last night to open the show for Sebastian Bach on the latest stop of his Home Away from Home tour.  Jonny Fox (guitars and vocals) and Renée Couture (drums), who have been performing together since 2008, put on solid show, treating the crowd to track from across their catalog, including their last release From the Devil’s Porch.

During the set they also managed to squeeze in a bit of Led Zeppelin, much to the metal crowds delight.

If you want to find out more about the band check out their website at and take a listen to their latest single “Wild”

Check out our images from the show below.

Photos: Stewart Johnstone

The Untold Story of Tom – as told through the music of Rush

It is hard to believe is has been almost three years since Rush graced the stage in Vancouver as part of their R40 tour. If you are missing your fix, and who wouldn’t be, then now is the time to set thing right.

On June 30th at the Fox Cabaret the Modern Day Warriors present The Untold Story of Tom – as told through the music of Rush.

“the story of a Working Man named Tom. Hidden within the messages and themes of the RUSH songs we know and love, we uncover Tom’s story as he works his way through life and hardship to become a Modern Day Warrior, today’s Tom Sawyer.

With 2 hours of straight RUSH hits, it promises to a spectacular night.

Check out more about the band at

Check out the bands cover of Limelight below

and more videos from the band at their Youtube Channel

Get ticket here or on the door


tom jones


Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Vancouver

It has been a while since Sir Tom Jones has played in Vancouver, and the pent-up demand made set the scene for a sold-out show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday night. Based on the makeup of the audience, the singer, whose career has spanned 6 decades, has a multi-generational fanbase that continues to grow, and remains as popular now as he ever has been.  And there is a reason for this.  The singer continues to bring everything to his shows and is a simply outstanding performer.

To get the audience warmed up, Jones had invited fellow Welsh boys (his words, not mine) Into The Ark on tour with him.  The duo were finalists on The Voice UK, on which Jones is one of the judges. He took an instant liking to them on the show, something that has developed in friendship since that time.

The duo has a folk vibe to them, that was clearly enjoyed by legions of Jones’ fans, although sadly I missed most of their performance due to a ticketing mix up.

After a short break, and with the house lights dimming the audience went crazy as Sir Tom took to the stage. Early in the show Jones joked about his new hip, and whilst he might not be racing around the stage like he used to, the excitement he caused showed it was clear that the 77-year-old still has amazing sex appeal to the women in the audience (and probably some guys too, but they were vastly out-numbered when it came to the cheering), it was a delight to see and hear, this was going to be a party!!!

Jones opened the show with John Lee Hooker’s Burning Hell, which was accompanied by the first of many splendid video backdrops throughout the night, and immediately showcased the talent of the collection of musicians that are supporting him on the tour. The first few songs of the evening predominately came from Jones album Praise and Blame, which showcases Jones soulful side.  Songs such as Run On, Didn’t it Rain and Did Trouble Me add another dimension to Jones’ more pop oriented numbers.

The show of course was not short on the classics that we would expect to hear. Jones teased the audience with a slow and sultry first verse to his hit Sexbomb, and then let rip for the rest of the song. Not surprisingly, and has become custom over the years at Jones’ shows, this resulted on the first of several panties being tossed onto the stage. This activity came to a peak later in the show when What’s New Pussycat? And It’s Not Unusual were played back to back. By now the security guys really had a struggle on their hands and the audience streamed forward, and there was an ongoing underwear tossing that they were helpless to prevent (I am sure that some of these poor guys would rather be handling relatively peaceful metal fans any day of the week 😊). It was all good natured though and was a fun part of the show.

Into the Ark rejoined Jones on stage for covers of Sittin on the Dock of the Bay and Ring of fire, before we were treated to a Latin tempo version of the singalong favourite Delilah.

In addition to the party element to the show, there were a few stand out moments which really added another dimension to the show.  Jones’ story about learning to dance to impress his wife to be, before playing the wonderful Take My Love, was quite poignant without being overly sentimental.

Other highlights for me included Soul of a Man, which had a dark and brooding intro, and a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song, both of which were accompanied by stirring video montages.

The main part of the show closed out with a full-on rock treatment of I wish you would, complete with extended solos from guitars and horn section.

Jones then returned to the stage for What a wonderful Life, and Kiss, before closing out with Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s Strange Things Happen Everyday.

Overall it was a classic performance from a consummate artist, and one which I am sure everyone in audience would like to see in Vancouver again sooner rather than later.

Follow Tom Jones at

More from Into the Ark at

Photos: Stewart Johnstone


joe satriani


What Happens Next – Commodore Ballroom

Joe Satriani, the biggest selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time brought his What Happens Next  tour to Vancouver on Friday night with a stunning show at the Commodore Ballroom. Satriani’s pedigree is second to none, 15 Grammy nominations, and guitar instructor to some of the biggest names in rock today (think Steve Vai, and Kirk Hammett, just to name a couple). In addition to his technical prowess, his stage presence is simply infectious.

From the moment he hit the stage in his trademark black shades, he never stopped grinning, and as always, was clearly enjoying sharing his tremendous talent with a very receptive audience.

Backing Satriani on this tour are Bryan “The Beast” Beller on bass, Mike “The Wizard” Keneally on guitar and keyboards, and Joe Travers on drums. Together they form a powerhouse back line shining in their own light, but also allowing Satriani full use of the stage for his playful antics.

Friday’s show dived straight into featuring tracks from the latest album, with Energy and Catbot kicking off the night. Throughout the night more than half a dozen of the tracks came from this latest outing, which, not surprisingly, has been receiving rave reviews.

The latest tracks were mixed up with plenty of classics from earlier in Satriani’s career, including the wonderfully extended Satch Boogie, and Flying in a Blue Dream.

The Vancouver show was a great ending to a relatively short Canadian tour, and after a break Joe will hit the road again with a tour of Europe.

Photos: Stewart Johnstone


mother mother

O My Heart 10th Anniversary Tour

It is hard to believe that is has been 10 years since Mother Mother’s second album “O My Heart” was released.  The album delivered big time, managing to easily avoid the dreaded Sophomore Curse. In celebration of the anniversary the band have taken a break from the recording their seventh album to release a Live Sessions EP, and to take a short celebration tour.

After announcing dates in Alberta and Ontario earlier in the month many of which have subsequently sold out, the band announced a show in their hometown, Vancouver, to kick off the tour.

The Imperial was packed with die-hard fans eager to see the band before they head out on the road.

The show was split into two parts – with the first part of the evening dedicated to a run through of the whole “O My Heart” album from start to finish. Although the album contains many fan favourites, such as Body of years, Ghosting, Hayloft, Wrecking Ball and the title track, it was some of the lesser heard tracks that really stood out.

Ryan brought out the acoustic guitar for Try to Change, joking with the crowd that they never play acoustic guitar.  Molly’s vocals on Sleep Awake were great, and closing out the first part of the evening with Heart Heavy felt perfect.

The second part of the set was what Ryan dubbed a “Longcore”, as it almost as long as the first part, featuring many older tracks that have not been played for a while, including Oh Ana, and Verbatim.

In addition to the music, which of course was magnificent the band spent a lot of time chatting with the audience, which gave the show an even more intimate feel.

All in all, a great night out, and the rest of Canada is in for a lot of fun, and a chance to live 10 years in the past, at least for an hour or two.

Your next chance to see Mother Mother in Vancouver will September 9th at the inaugural Skookum Festival in Stanley Park.

Photos: Stewart Johnstone

little destroyer

Imperial – Vancouver

If there is a band that cannot stand still at the moment, it is Little Destroyer. The energetic, and talented trio have barely had time to get over the jet lag of trips to the UK and Mexico, before they were hard at it again for a hometown crowd opening for Mother Mother at the Imperial.

Despite having been back in the country for barely 24 hours they were clearly ready for action, delivering a tight set, high on entertainment.  Allie Sheldan, and brothers Chris and Michael Weiss have been performing together since 2013, producing an eclectic collection of songs, and gaining an ever-increasing group of dedicated fans.

The band will be supporting Mother Mother with dates in Alberta and Ontario, as well as playing at various festivals throughout the summer.

They will be back in Vancouver for the Skookum Festival in Stanley Park later in the year, performing on Friday September 7th.

More at

Photos: Stewart Johnstone

Mother Mother at the Imperial

Mother Mother today announced that they will be kicking off their “Oh My Heart” 10th Anniversary Tour with a hometown show at the Imperial, Vancouver on May 31st. Tickets are on sale now. Details at

Check out a review and photos from last year’s 5 night stand at the Commodore Ballroom here.

Check out a few shots of Little Destroyer at JunoFest here.

Summer Night Concerts at the Fair at the PNE

This year’s lineup for the Summer Night Concerts at the Fair at the PNE has been announced. As in past year’ there is pretty much something for every taste. This year’s acts run the gamut from classic rock through to R&B, and contemporary pop and rock, and as usual, the list is heavy on nostalgia

The 80’s and 90’s are well represented with a cross section of acts including the Goo Goo Dolls, Cindy Lauper and Wilson Phillips, as well as Kool and The Gang and the Village People. For those looking to see a whole bunch of artists in one night there are a couple great options. On August 23rd, the I Love the 90’s tour features Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, All-4-One, Color Me Badd, and Young MC. For those who like their music a decade older the Lost 80s night on August 26th features A lock of Seagulls, Men without Hats amongst others.

Classic rock favourites Chicago and Air Supply are also appearing, and there are a couple of couple of nights dedicated to R&B with Boyz II Men and 112 (feat. Slim).

There will also be plenty of homegrown content.  Jann Arden and Burton Cummings are both performing, as well as BC country singer Dean Brody, and Vancouver’s own Marianas Trench.

How to get tickets

New this year – free with admission tickets will be available both onsite (at no cost), and online (with small service fee), on show days beginning at 11am. These will be general admission tickets which do not guarantee a seat in the venue. Max 2 per person.

Reserved seats start at $25 – available May 25