Whatever your preferences, there’s nothing quite like experiencing live music and shows in Vancouver. A ton of great artists will blow through our city in 2013, ready to attract a crowd and prove to their fans that there’s a reason to love them even more. Here’s our pick for upcoming performances of the first half of the year, so get ready, Vancouverites — this is going to be a hell of a ride!
Alicia Keys & Miguel
When: March 8
Venue: Rogers Arena
This powerful woman hit the road in support or her new best-selling R&B album in the U.S. Girl on Fire_, described as “classic Keys at her most commercial” by BBC Music. Her shelf is packed with 14 Grammys and 90 other awards, and she sold more than 30 million albums and 25 million singles worldwide.
R&B star Miguel, recently nominated for five Grammy Awards (Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance, and Best Urban Contemporary Album) is joining Alicia on her Set the World on Fire tour.
2013 is going to be such a powerful and fun year!! I can feel the energy of this upcoming year building and I couldn’t be more excited to go on tour with the new album! Everything is new and this show is going to be so fresh! And I’m thrilled to have the insanely talented Miguel join me.
What more could we say? We’re excited to see her show, and there will be goosebumps for sure!
Maroon 5 & Neon Trees & Owl City
When: March 9
Where: Rogers Arena
After the release of their latest album, Overexposed, Grammy-winning (Best New Artist in 2005) band Maroon 5 will be joined by Neon Trees and Owl City on their North American tour.
Overexposed has been labelled their best by some critics, while some have criticized it as a failed attempt to become more mainstream. Whatever your opinion, this album features top-of-the-chart singles “Payphone,” “One More Night,” and “Daylight.” Since debuting in 2002 with their first album, Songs about Jane (its single “This Love” is the most downloaded song on iTunes), the band has sold over 10 million albums in the U.S. and its fourth single “Moves Like Jagger” of their second album, Misery, sold 8.5 million copies worldwide.
Getting connected with Neon Trees, an alternative rock band that received nationwide exposure in 2008 when they opened several shows for The Killers, followed by their first album Habits, and Owl City, an electronic project by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Young, this is going to be a great show of good music.
When: March 14
Where: Commodore Ballroom
This rock band, formed in 2008 in Las Vegas, might not be the most famous, but its popularity has spread worldwide very quickly. Billboard Magazine listed them as one of 2012’s Brightest New Stars and Amazon.com called the band their favourite rock artist of 2012. Imagine Dragons is an anagram, but no one knows what it stands for except the band. Any suggestions?
Their debut album, Night Visions, ranked second place on the Billboard 200 chart with its first-week sales in excess of 83,000 copies — which is the highest charting for a debut rock album since 2006.
Their biggest hit, “It’s Time,” is the most commercially successful song, and it also featured in the video for Apple’s Barcelona retail store opening.
When: April 1
Where: Rogers Arena
Whether you love her or hate her, Rihanna is a star with a capital S (or $). With over 37 million albums and 146 million digital tracks sold worldwide, she is the top-selling digital artist of all time. And she boasts five Grammys, six American Music Awards, eighteen Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards, and many more (she won 236 awards out of 501). She is truly the queen of pop. In addition, Forbes magazine ranked her as the fourth most powerful celebrity of 2012 and Time named her one of the most influential people in the world — not to mention her over 3.3 billion views on her YouTube/VEVO channel, which is the most for any female artist. Not bad for a 24-year-old.
Her previous LOUD Tour was extremely successful, making Rihanna one of the top female solo artists of the century with sold-out concerts in London, which happened for the first time at London’s O2 Arena is.
Her fifth tour, Diamonds World Tour, is on, with ASAP Rocky as the supporting act for North America. It’s too bad David Guetta will support Rihanna just for selected European dates.
When: May 19
Where: Rogers Arena
Rumours had it that this band was about to reunite again, and indeed they will return to the road this spring. Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood will all make an appearance, although Christine McVie, who retired in 1998, will not. Stevie Nicks said that 2013 is going to be the year of Fleetwood Mac, so get ready, fans!
The band will be performing two new songs, “Sad Angela” and “Miss Fantasy”, which Buckingham described as some of the most “Fleetwood Mac-y” sounding songs. Fleetwood Mac hasn’t released a new album since 2003, and nothing is confirmed yet, so this tour won’t be such a surprise after all.
Since 1967, the band has released 17 studio albums with the most successful one, Rumours (which won a Grammy for Album of the Year, with 40 million copies sold) one of the bestselling record of all time.
This tour is going to be big, with 34 North American dates, and if everything goes well they will play festivals in Europe and possibly around 15 shows in Australia. Let’s see then if this is really going to be the year of Fleetwood Mac!
When: June 23 (Vancouver International Jazz Festival)
Where: Vogue Theatre
One of the confirmed performers for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival with her 12-piece outfit Radio Music Society, Esperanza is on our must-see list. This first jazz artist to ever win the Grammy for Best New Artist (beating Justin Bieber) has been compared to Adele and Jaco Pastorius. Bossa, soul, funk, chamber jazz, and Afro-Cuban rhythms — this is the sound of Esparanza Spalding. She has performed with Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon.
Esperanza loves fusion music and her production is influenced by “a wonderful arc that started 40 years ago where people kept incorporating modern sounds into their music.”
She is nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best Long Form Music Video, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist (for her song City of Roses) for the 2013 Grammy Awards. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for her!