Crosby, Stills & Nash turn it up too loud, forgetting that they aren’t Young

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 15, 1994 By Steve Newton "Look, there's that crazy guy!" declared the frail-looking, bespectacled chap sitting in front of me at the Queen E. last Thursday. He was pointing at a large, bearded man in the stage-right balcony who was standing up and howling and throwing punches around, … Continue reading Crosby, Stills & Nash turn it up too loud, forgetting that they aren’t Young

Lindsay Mitchell’s guitar heroics help make the reformed Prism’s debut a night to remember

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 5, 1988 By Steve Newton Considering all the media hype surrounding the recent Prism reformation--all of which hit the presses before the renewed lineup even had a chance to perform live--it wasn't surprising that armchair music critics and opponents of '70s rock were skeptical of … Continue reading Lindsay Mitchell’s guitar heroics help make the reformed Prism’s debut a night to remember

The Church and Blue Aeroplanes bring a night of jangly guitars to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 12, 1990 By Steve Newton It was a real toss-up to decide which band—Australia's Church or Britain's Blue Aeroplanes—was the more entertaining at the Commodore last Thursday (July 5). The B.A.'s set was short and sweet; the Church took quite a while to get going. One thing's for … Continue reading The Church and Blue Aeroplanes bring a night of jangly guitars to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom

A night on the town in Vancouver circa 1985 starts with “Mick from Paradox” and ends with D.O.A.

bev davies photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1985 By Steve Newton Most people visit the Fraser Arms Hotel to see the Top 40 bands at Frams, but last Saturday night I had the urge for something a little more mellow. (I knew I'd be ending up at the D.O.A. show later … Continue reading A night on the town in Vancouver circa 1985 starts with “Mick from Paradox” and ends with D.O.A.

Vancouver blues-rocker Dave Chisholm recalls his band the Fins opening for Johnny Winter

The Fins frontman Dave Chisholm opening for Johnny Winter. Photo by Bruce Law. By Steve Newton The Commodore Ballroom is one of the best places in Vancouver to see a concert. Back in the seventies, before I started working as a music writer for the Georgia Straight, I would make the one-hour trek from my … Continue reading Vancouver blues-rocker Dave Chisholm recalls his band the Fins opening for Johnny Winter

Seattle’s Dynette Set tops Vancouver’s b-Sides and Modernettes at Youth Explosion #3

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 18, 1982 By Steve Newton Seattle's Dynette Set stole the show at last Saturday's (June 12) Youth Explosion #3 in the West End Community Centre. The show, put on by CITR and the Community Centre, saw the popular Vancouver club act the b-Sides headlining, rockers the Modernettes backing … Continue reading Seattle’s Dynette Set tops Vancouver’s b-Sides and Modernettes at Youth Explosion #3

Elvin Bishop dedicates an Elmore James classic to John Lee Hooker’s wife at the Commodore

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1982 By Steve Newton Thursday (June 3) was blues night at the Commodore Ballroom with Elvin Bishop and the Brian Butler Band from Seattle. Opening the show was another Seattle group, the Hitch Brothers Band, and their fast-paced set of blues-rock was lively but failed to draw … Continue reading Elvin Bishop dedicates an Elmore James classic to John Lee Hooker’s wife at the Commodore

Blue Öyster Cult don’t need no stinkin’ strobes to light up a stage in 2000

steven c. pesant photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, SUMMER 2000 By Steve Newton On the way in to see Blue Öyster Cult at the Rage on February 17 I thought I was having a '70s flashback: a sign on the door read, "Health warning: strobe lights will be used throughout tonight's performance!!!" Strangely … Continue reading Blue Öyster Cult don’t need no stinkin’ strobes to light up a stage in 2000

Charlie Daniels brings his redneck fiddle noise to my old hometown for the Chilliwack Country Music Festival

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 10, 1990 By Steve Newton Whether you're a big country music fan or just someone who enjoys partying in the sun with several thousand other folks, the Chilliwack Fairgrounds was the place to be over the long weekend. Twenty-four bands performed, much beer was consumed, and it … Continue reading Charlie Daniels brings his redneck fiddle noise to my old hometown for the Chilliwack Country Music Festival

Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

all photos by Jeff Sutherland By Steve Newton Your first concert is a big deal--or that's what my nephew Jeff says, anyway. Thirty-five years ago I took him to his very first rock show, at the Pacific Coliseum. It was Iron Maiden on the Powerslave tour. He was 14. It ruled. Last night (Sept. 3) … Continue reading Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

Sonny Landreth pays tribute to old friend Johnny Winter in Vancouver

photo by the Newt By Steve Newton Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth played Vancouver last night, and if you're a fan of bluesy, southern-style bottleneck, I hope you didn't miss it. The player Eric Clapton calls first when he needs world-class slide did not disappoint--especially when he dedicated a tune to his old friend Johnny … Continue reading Sonny Landreth pays tribute to old friend Johnny Winter in Vancouver

Bachman-Turner Overdrive gig draws comparisons to the horror of BTO freak Stephen King

photo by narking/Wikipedia ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 3, 1989 By Steve Newton In the book Kingdom of Fear, a collection of essays on the fiction of Stephen King, the top-selling horror author explained how he came up with the the pseudonym he used on novels like The Running Man and Thinner. Once … Continue reading Bachman-Turner Overdrive gig draws comparisons to the horror of BTO freak Stephen King

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers bring the guitar-heavy Chicago Line to Vancouver’s Town Pump

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 20, 1989 By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd once recorded an LP called Nuthin' Fancy. Now I don't know if British blues great John Mayall ever heard that album or not, but he sure seems to have taken the title to heart. At the Town Pump … Continue reading John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers bring the guitar-heavy Chicago Line to Vancouver’s Town Pump

Rory Gallagher’s unshakeable spirit burns bright in Vancouver with a Band of Friends

all shitty iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Vancouver's hardcore Rory Gallagher fans came out to pack the Fox Cabaret last night, and they left with their ears well blasted by the Irish guitar legend's deathless, blues-drenched tunes and roughly 123,972 wicked Stratocaster licks. The latter came courtesy Davy Knowles, the 31-year-old picker … Continue reading Rory Gallagher’s unshakeable spirit burns bright in Vancouver with a Band of Friends

Joe Bonamassa’s “Guitar Event of the Year” sabotaged by poor sound (at least from where I was sitting)

By Steve Newton Man, was I ever stoked for Joe Bonamassa's show--the first of three nights--at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver last night. For starters, the dude's a wicked guitarist, as most folks know, and his latest album, Redemption, blew me away, especially tracks like "Molly O", "Just 'Cos You Can Don't Mean You … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa’s “Guitar Event of the Year” sabotaged by poor sound (at least from where I was sitting)

The Beat Farmers’ wildman drummer Country Dick Montana steals the show in Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 2, 1988 By Steve Newton Picture this: you walk into 86 Street and the first thing you see on stage is a big, bearded mother of a biker-type in a long black coat and cowboy hat. During a raunched-up version of "Lucille", this crazy dude … Continue reading The Beat Farmers’ wildman drummer Country Dick Montana steals the show in Vancouver

Kick Axe kicks ass at the Commodore in Vancouver, classic lineup or not

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1988 By Steve Newton It was billed as a Kick Axe reunion at the Commodore last Thursday (November 17), but according to original guitarist Larry Gillstrom, it was more of a "new-union". Kick Axe coguitarist Ray Harvey and bassist Victor Langen were off with their respective bands, … Continue reading Kick Axe kicks ass at the Commodore in Vancouver, classic lineup or not

Colin James lives up to the hype at the second of five straight sold-out Commodore shows

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 18, 1988  By Steve Newton The first time yours truly met Colin James was at the Commodore a couple of years ago. I forget who was playing, but I was hanging out in front of the bar with fellow rock scribbler John "Wacky" Mackie, a member of the … Continue reading Colin James lives up to the hype at the second of five straight sold-out Commodore shows