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

V. Spy V. Spy sweat it out in true Aussie fashion at Vancouver’s Town Pump

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 11, 1988 By Steve Newton It was really pouring last Saturday night (November 5), but inside the Town Pump it was perspiration that was coming down. The heat was just a-flyin' off the bodies of guitarist Mike Weiley and bassist Craig Bloxom, the frontline attack force of Aussie … Continue reading V. Spy V. Spy sweat it out in true Aussie fashion at Vancouver’s Town Pump

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson bring the best of Mott the Hoople to Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Two nights after Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler sailed through town, on September 30, a couple more British rock greats visited. While not as widely known, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson have a following that is just as devoted, and … Continue reading Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson bring the best of Mott the Hoople to Vancouver

Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler shiver spines in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Of the three big guitar names in seminal British blues-rock--Page, Beck, and Clapton--only the latter has chosen to take a player of his own calibre on tour with him. The match-up of Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton is one made in guitarist's heaven, … Continue reading Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler shiver spines in Vancouver

Rod Stewart has all the luck in Vancouver on the Out of Order tour

stevie salas rips it up with Rod ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1988 By Steve Newton The question was: can Rod Stewart still deliver after 20-some-odd years in the rock 'n' roll spotlight? And the answer is: the ladies sure seem to think so! After Saturday's (August 20) wingding at the PNE, … Continue reading Rod Stewart has all the luck in Vancouver on the Out of Order tour

Georgia Satellites, the Newt’s fave bar band in 1988, play bits of “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”, but he likes it

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1988 By Steve Newton There's nothing quite like your favourite bar band in your favourite bar to bring a tired body back to life. After a long haul to Seattle last week to check out the Monsters of Rock show at the Kingdome, I was pretty tired,  … Continue reading Georgia Satellites, the Newt’s fave bar band in 1988, play bits of “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”, but he likes it

Jeff Healey jams at Vancouver’s Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1988 By Steve Newton Jeff Healey loves to play guitar. Two long, sweat-soaked nights at the Town Pump obviously weren't going to be enough for the blind blues ace. So he could be seen down at the Yale Saturday afternoon (July 2), taking part in the pub's … Continue reading Jeff Healey jams at Vancouver’s Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

crappy iPhone photo by the Newt By Steve Newton When I interviewed Robert Plant back in 1993, the first thing he said on the phone from New York City was that he was "pissed off" that Black Sabbath wasn't getting back together. He was joking, though. It was more a comment on how frustrated he … Continue reading A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Being a rock critic is not all fun and games. "Sure, Steve," you're probably saying, "all those free concerts and backstage brewskies must be real tough." Okay, so there are worse occupations, but like anything else it can get boring. … Continue reading Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

AC/DC’s riotous rock riles the savage beast in Vancouver

property of the newt ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1988 By Steve Newton The would-be gatecrashers throwing rocks and bottles outside B.C. Place last Monday night (June 13) may have thought they were having fun, but if they'd had any sense at all they would have saved those bottles, cashed them in, … Continue reading AC/DC’s riotous rock riles the savage beast in Vancouver

Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton The politics of rockin' can be tough on new bands just getting used to the tour circuit. Take for example Guns N' Roses, who are on the road in support of their first album, and opening for Iron Maiden, who've toured the world … Continue reading Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

INXS puts boot to butt in Vancouver on the Kick World Tour

photos: @shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton The banner across from the press box read in big block letters: INXS KICK ASS. Now I wouldn't have agreed with that statement right off, but after seeing Michael Hutchence and company sweat it out for 100 minutes last Friday (May 27), … Continue reading INXS puts boot to butt in Vancouver on the Kick World Tour

Edgar Winter and Leon Russell knock ’em down and drag ’em out in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I heard that Edgar Winter and Leon Russell were going to share the same stage, but I did know that I should definitely be there. I was aware that Winter was something of a wildman--prone … Continue reading Edgar Winter and Leon Russell knock ’em down and drag ’em out in Vancouver

David Lee Roth shows off manly biceps, a giant surfboard, and Steve Vai on the Skyscraper Tour

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 1988 By Steve Newton Whether you like David Lee Roth or not, there's one thing you've got to admit: the guy's a star. It's hard to take your eyes off him, and few did at the Pacific Coliseum last Saturday (May 21). Whether you're ogling his sexy … Continue reading David Lee Roth shows off manly biceps, a giant surfboard, and Steve Vai on the Skyscraper Tour

Blue Öyster Cult transforms into the “New York Guitar Army” in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton Blue Öyster Cult is the sort of band you either love or hate. There's no in-betweens. Nobody every says, "Oh, Blue Öyster Cult, they're all right, I guess." It's either "The Cult rules!" or "No thanks, hand me that Hall & Oates album." … Continue reading Blue Öyster Cult transforms into the “New York Guitar Army” in Vancouver

Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1988 By Steve Newton At Midnight Oil's press conference the day of their April 22 show the band's drummer (and one of the major songwriters) Rob Hirst was asked about the group's preoccupation with political themes. Hirst acknowledged the political side of the band, but also pointed out … Continue reading Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

John Cougar Mellencamp sells seats, not principles, in Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 25, 1988 By Steve Newton Some guys have it and some guys don't. A great band, that is. Springsteen had one when he played here in 1984. And the latest hero of the American heartland, John Cougar Mellencamp, had one at the sold-out Coliseum last Saturday (March 19). … Continue reading John Cougar Mellencamp sells seats, not principles, in Vancouver

Kiss on stage in 1988 is no match for Kiss Alive! in 1975

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 18, 1988 By Steve Newton One of the most memorable concerts of this scribbler's young life was seeing Kiss at the Commodore Ballroom just after the release of its second album, Hotter Than Hell. A bunch of my buddies and I had crammed into a rented van … Continue reading Kiss on stage in 1988 is no match for Kiss Alive! in 1975