B’z guitarist Tak Matsumoto speaks little English, lets his signature Les Paul to the talkin’

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 16, 2003 By Steve Newton Up until a few weeks ago, my knowledge of popular music in Japan was pretty slim. About all I knew for sure was that Cheap Trick used to cause a big stir over there in the ’70s when they played a place called … Continue reading B’z guitarist Tak Matsumoto speaks little English, lets his signature Les Paul to the talkin’

The smalls get fast and furious again

By Steve Newton The last time I talked to Corb Lund about the smalls, back in 2000, he was known as Corby and had just returned from a tour of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Edmonton-based guitar rockers. Nearly a decade and a half later you can still call him Corby (“Either one, take your pick”), and … Continue reading The smalls get fast and furious again

Elton John and his giant jellyfish conquer Vancouver

photos by the newt By Steve Newton Elton John doesn't need no stinkin' band. Heck, I remember seeing him at GM Place back in '99 when it was just him and his piano, and he killed it. There was no elaborate staging or lights--not even a costume change--yet the magical combination of his music put … Continue reading Elton John and his giant jellyfish conquer Vancouver

Collective Soul channels Peter Gabriel-era Genesis at the Commodore in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 21, 1995 It’s a good thing that the folks who own the Underground—that slightly twisted clothes and accessories shop located underneath the Commodore Ballroom—had the foresight to install loosely secured windows that give with vibration, because those big panes were given a serious shaking by Vancouver rock fans … Continue reading Collective Soul channels Peter Gabriel-era Genesis at the Commodore in Vancouver

Collective Soul’s Ed Roland wants to start over at the Commodore

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 7, 1995 By Steve Newton You might wonder why a band as popular as Collective Soul is playing the Commodore, when it’s obvious the group could pack in at least a few thousand more folks somewhere else. The gig next Thursday (September 14) sold out instantly, and scalped … Continue reading Collective Soul’s Ed Roland wants to start over at the Commodore

A small world helped Brother Cane score tour with Slash’s Snakepit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 4, 1995 BY STEVE NEWTON While more than 40 singers auditioned for the lead-vocalist job in Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash’s solo band, Snakepit, probably just as many bands would have lined up to try out for the prestigious opening spot on that group’s tour. When that bill … Continue reading A small world helped Brother Cane score tour with Slash’s Snakepit

Layne Staley says “No booze for yooz” as Alice in Chains goes all-ages in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DECEMBER 23, 1992 What does it mean when a venue loses its liquor licence and a concert is changed from an all-you-can-drink show to an “all-ages” event? Does it mean that anyone who goes can act like a 16-year-old and get away with it? I guess so. “All right, … Continue reading Layne Staley says “No booze for yooz” as Alice in Chains goes all-ages in Vancouver

Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1992 By Steve Newton About an hour into the Black Crowes’ sold-out Queen Elizabeth Theatre show last Wednesday (October 28), the Atlanta blues-rock sextet rolled out a brand-new tune for its exuberant fans, most of whom had been standing up the whole time, cheering like mad. At … Continue reading Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest rock guitarist, awes a sold-out Vancouver crowd

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 28, 2011 British guitar legend Jeff Beck blew away the sold-out crowd at the Centre in Vancouver last night, performing his Stratified renditions of everything from the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" to The Wizard of Oz's "Over the Rainbow". But his amazing licks wouldn't have seemed nearly so fine … Continue reading Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest rock guitarist, awes a sold-out Vancouver crowd

30 Years Ago: the Pretenders learning to crawl in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today--on February 21, 1984--the Pretenders played a sold out show at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The band was touring behind one of its best albums ever, Learning to Crawl, which included such snazzy numbers as "Back on the Chain Gang", "My City Was Gone", and "Middle of the Road". … Continue reading 30 Years Ago: the Pretenders learning to crawl in Vancouver

Black Label Society goes on a Wylde ride in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 18, 2009 Boy, those metal maniacs sure can market the goods. At its sold-out Commodore show last Monday (March 15), Los Angeles–based Black Label Society had a merch table set up that was pushing everything from licence-plate holders ($15) to drumsticks ($25 a pair), from tote-bag sets ($50) to “Brewtality” … Continue reading Black Label Society goes on a Wylde ride in Vancouver

Roger Waters delivers a prog-rock spectacle for the ages in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 11, 2010 By Steve Newton At one point during Roger Waters’s spectacular sold-out show at Rogers Arena last night (December 10) he pulled off what he called “an experiment in time travel”, playing in unison with a 1980 video of himself performing the ballad “Mother”. In actual fact, the entire … Continue reading Roger Waters delivers a prog-rock spectacle for the ages in Vancouver