Uli Jon Roth makes Vancouver debut, local guitar geeks eat it up

By Steve Newton Masterful rock guitarist Uli Jon Roth made his Vancouver debut last night (March 19), and for local fret freaks, it was well worth the wait. Scrape Records and the Invisible Orange brought Uli Jon Roth's Ultimate Guitar Experience to Venue, and the German axeman displayed his stunning virtuosity on a bill that also … Continue reading Uli Jon Roth makes Vancouver debut, local guitar geeks eat it up

Billy Gibbons gets ornery in Vancouver on ZZ Top’s Afterburner Tour

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton Shortly before his death, somebody asked Jimi Hendrix if he knew of any up-and-coming guitarists to watch out for. One of the players Hendrix mentioned was Billy Gibbons. Sixteen years later, Gibbons is living up to Jimi's expectations. At the … Continue reading Billy Gibbons gets ornery in Vancouver on ZZ Top’s Afterburner Tour

33 years after the Screaming for Vengeance tour, Priest still sounds pretty rockin’ to the Newt

all crappy iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton The first time I ever saw Judas Priest was at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on the Screaming for Vengeance tour in 1982. I remember the show well because a week or two before it I did one of my earliest heavy-metal interviews, with bass player Ian Hill. … Continue reading 33 years after the Screaming for Vengeance tour, Priest still sounds pretty rockin’ to the Newt

The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl rides the rock throne to glory at a hellraising show in Vancouver

all crappy iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Nobody really expects a millionaire rock star to, after breaking his leg falling off a stage, design a special chair--or "rock throne", if  you will--that allows him to get around like royalty on stage. Is it a burning need to rock out that compels a fellow … Continue reading The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl rides the rock throne to glory at a hellraising show in Vancouver

Steve Earle’s marathon Vancouver show a winner despite a-hole sighting

photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Steve Earle was his typically cool and collected self during his marathon set at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver last night, but there was one moment when his calm demeanour got left backstage. Just before his encore one overly enthusiastic fan scampered up on the empty stage to grab … Continue reading Steve Earle’s marathon Vancouver show a winner despite a-hole sighting

Stevie Ray Vaughan tears it up in Vancouver, says “serious trouble indeed”

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPTEMBER 6, 1985 By Steve Newton Since he flew onto the international music scene in 1983, people have been raving on and on about Texas guitar wizard Stevie Ray Vaughan. After his startling shows at the Commodore last week (August 29 and 31), you can bet … Continue reading Stevie Ray Vaughan tears it up in Vancouver, says “serious trouble indeed”

Frankie Goes to Hollywood shatters glass (and preconceptions) in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 28, 1985 By Steve Newton Frankie said BANG! three times last Saturday (June 22)—and with a trio of heart-stopping explosions blew out 61 windows of the War Memorial Gym. You couldn't really blame the boys from Liverpool for wanting to go out with a shatter though. It was … Continue reading Frankie Goes to Hollywood shatters glass (and preconceptions) in Vancouver

Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

bev davies photo By Steve Newton On June 10, 1985, Robert Plant played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was four days after NRBQ played the Town Pump, and for some reason I gave their club show slightly more coverage in my Night Shift column than Plant's arena show. I guess NRBQ was just better! Anyway, here's my … Continue reading Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

Motley Crue plays Vancouver at the height of its popularity on the Dr. Feelgood tour

By Steve Newton A quarter-century ago today—on June 9, 1990—Motley Crue played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was the exact same night Janet Jackson played B.C. Place Stadium. I chose the lesser of two evils—or so I thought at the time. Back then the Crue was at the very peak of its success, touring … Continue reading Motley Crue plays Vancouver at the height of its popularity on the Dr. Feelgood tour

Horrific sound at Kerrisdale Arena makes Vancouver a town called malice for the Jam

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1982 By Steve Newton It looked like a scene from the Who film Quadrophenia outside the Kerrisdale Arena last Saturday night (June 5). Guys in trenchcoats and military-style jackets stood around with girls wearing button-clad and Union Jack emblazoned overcoats. Inside the Jam, hailed as "England's #1 … Continue reading Horrific sound at Kerrisdale Arena makes Vancouver a town called malice for the Jam

The high-and-mighty Edge topples off the stage in Vancouver but, sorry haters, U2 is still a thing

By Steve Newton Near the very end of U2's show in Vancouver last night--during the fourth and final song of the encore, "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"--aptly named guitarist The Edge was strolling casually along the edge of the catwalk when he stepped out into thin air with his right foot and went … Continue reading The high-and-mighty Edge topples off the stage in Vancouver but, sorry haters, U2 is still a thing

The Cramps borrow Loverboy’s barricade to keep crazed Vancouver fans at bay

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 20, 1990 By Steve Newton What do squeaky-clean teen idols Loverboy and the crude 'n' demented Cramps have in common? Sweet-bugger-all, you say? Pretty close, but the Cramps did borrow Loverboy's barricade to use in front of the Commodore stage last Thursday (April 12). With … Continue reading The Cramps borrow Loverboy’s barricade to keep crazed Vancouver fans at bay

Lynyrd Skynyrd blows the motherf***ing roof off the Hard Rock with a southern-fried riff-fest for the ages

photo by Kevin Statham. All other less-impressive photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Four of the seven Lynyrd Skynyrd members pictured on the cover of the band's phenomenal first album are dead. That's unfortunate, obviously; tragic, even. But if you saw the band play last night you might be tempted to say "So what?" … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd blows the motherf***ing roof off the Hard Rock with a southern-fried riff-fest for the ages

Aerosmith plays Vancouver on the Pump tour, Bruce Fairbairn blows his horn

kevin statham photo By Steve Newton On March 17, 1990, Aerosmith played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. At the time the band was still putting out pretty decent albums; six months earlier it had released Pump, which boasted rockin' numbers like "Monkey on My Back", "Young Lust", and "The Other Side". This was before it … Continue reading Aerosmith plays Vancouver on the Pump tour, Bruce Fairbairn blows his horn

Bob Seger’s killer band helps the rock legend shine in Vancouver

  photos by Jet Sutherland By Steve Newton Bob Seger's choice of walk-on music for his current tour is "The Old Man Down the Road", which could be Seger's way of acknowledging that he'll turn 70 in two months. Or it could be that he just loves John Fogerty's swamp-rock classic from '84. Either way, it was … Continue reading Bob Seger’s killer band helps the rock legend shine in Vancouver

The Wallflowers fail to enthrall a sell-out crowd in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 I was feeling just a tad hesitant when setting off to review the Wallflowers’ gig last Friday (January 17). For one thing, the American band’s latest CD, Red Letter Days, hadn’t thrilled me. I knew that chrome-domed guitar ace Michael Ward—who’d provided the fine fretwork on … Continue reading The Wallflowers fail to enthrall a sell-out crowd in Vancouver

Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

all awesome iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton You've got to give Billy Idol credit. For a guy whose career peaked roughly three decades ago, he's hanging in there incredibly well. There's little flab on the 59-year-old's tanned bod, and his vocal cords are in fine shape too. Judging by his recent album, Kings … Continue reading Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

The Tragically Hip’s frontman goes Fully Completely bonkers in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Gordon Downie is famous for his wacky stage moves and bizarre gestures, but last night (February 6) at Rogers Arena he ramped up the oddness big-time. I've seen the Tragically Hip numerous times over the years, but never witnessed him being quite so wonderfully nutzoid. The fact that it was his 51st … Continue reading The Tragically Hip’s frontman goes Fully Completely bonkers in Vancouver

Reviewing Nickelback in honour of pot-lovin’, hard-rock musicians from Alberta

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 By Steve Newton For more than 10 years I rented a dumpy old house near 58th and Main that was known as the Rock Palace because of the all-night rock-’n’-roll parties held there. The best thing about those cop-attended bashes was when these pot-lovin’, hard-rock musicians … Continue reading Reviewing Nickelback in honour of pot-lovin’, hard-rock musicians from Alberta

Buddy Guy brings me down in Vancouver when he forgets to just be Buddy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 2002 By Steve Newton Buddy Guy spent a good portion of his concert at the Commodore last Friday (September 27) paying tribute to the legends of the blues, performing in the various styles of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was … Continue reading Buddy Guy brings me down in Vancouver when he forgets to just be Buddy

Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock, flies highest at the Eagles’ Vancouver show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 20, 2002 By Steve Newton Boy, I sure took a lotta flack from the hipsters in the Straight’s editorial department for wanting to review the Eagles concert last Wednesday (June 12) at GM Place. “Woo-hoo, ‘Hotel California’!” gibed Mike Usinger, high sheriff of all things musical, before inserting … Continue reading Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock, flies highest at the Eagles’ Vancouver show

The Word gets the Newt off his ass and down to the Commodore

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 24, 2002 A few hours before the Word took the stage at the Commodore last Saturday (January 19), I was reclining in my cozy New West living room, barely awake. The idea of driving downtown in the pissing rain to see a band that wasn’t going on until … Continue reading The Word gets the Newt off his ass and down to the Commodore

Steve Hackett leaves Vancouver aglow with a major Genesis buzz

all crappy iPhone photos by the newt By Steve Newton At the Vogue Theatre last night former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and his killer band performed the best-loved songs from his old group's '70s heyday. Those included "The Fountain of Salmacis" from 1971's Nursery Cryme, the seven-part "Supper's Ready" from 1972's Foxtrot, "Firth of Fifth" from my … Continue reading Steve Hackett leaves Vancouver aglow with a major Genesis buzz

U2 pays homage to Michael Hutchence and the Commodore in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 19, 2001 By Steve Newton Talk about a coincidence! Two hours before heading out to see U2 at GM Place last Friday (April 13), I was watching The Simpsons, the episode in which Homer runs for sanitary commissioner of Springfield because he doesn’t like taking out his own … Continue reading U2 pays homage to Michael Hutchence and the Commodore in Vancouver

Jeff Beck at the Commodore: the world’s greatest rock guitarist plays the world’s best bar

photo by kevin statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 22, 2001 Jeff Beck is my favourite rock guitarist of all time, so I didn’t think twice about doing the necessary grovelling to secure a couple of backstage passes for his sold-out show at the Commodore. Because my Beck-loving buddy Bones was celebrating a … Continue reading Jeff Beck at the Commodore: the world’s greatest rock guitarist plays the world’s best bar

The Tragically Hip rises above poor sound in Vancouver to peak with “Nautical Disaster”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 23, 2000 By Steve Newton Are the Tragically Hip, long thought of as Canada’s best rock band, finally losing their grip on that title? The fact that it just played two shows at the 12,000-seat Pacific Coliseum might make you think the Kingston quintet is as popular as … Continue reading The Tragically Hip rises above poor sound in Vancouver to peak with “Nautical Disaster”

The immortal words of Country Dick Montana ring true at Steve Earle’s Vancouver show

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 17, 2000 By Steve Newton Some types of music are just made for drinkin’ to, and Steve Earle’s brand of down-home roots rock is one of them. And we’re not talking plain old boring beer, either. When it comes to liquid accompaniment for a Steve … Continue reading The immortal words of Country Dick Montana ring true at Steve Earle’s Vancouver show