Travel Blog

25 Dec

New Year’s Eve Vancouver — where to catch live music

Brasstronaut Vancouver band concert photo

Brasstronaut at Great Northern Way Campus, Vancouver Feb 18 2010 as part of the Cultural Olympiad event Code 1 Live. Photo courtesy Kristina Mameli for The Snipe News

In the mood to catch some live music New Year’s Eve? While it seems more and more clubs and bars move towards DJs and electronic artists, some venues continue to employ members of the city’s vibrant live music scene.

And, while we hate to play favourites, we’d have to say the Commercial Drive area looks like it’s got two of the better options—Cousin Harley at the WISE Hall and T. Riley at Falconetti’s.

One Night Stand V (Media Club, 695 Cambie St)—This annual event features local artists playing favourite songs and jamming. This year, guests include Jasmin Parkin of Mother Mother, Tyler Bancroft of Said the Whale, Dominique Fricot, Adaline as well as musicians from bands like The Belle Game, Brasstronaut, In Media Res and more. The event usually sells out (the Media Club is small!) Tickets $30 (early bird), $35 advance here.

Minutes to Midnight (Falconetti’s)–One thing you can always be sure of at Falconett’s (1812 Commercial Drive); it’s going to be a sausagefest. That’s because Falconetti’s is both a restaurant/bar and a sausage maker. Usually at night, however, the sausages take a backseat to the entertainment. On New Year’s,  DJ That African will keep the tiny dance floor filled between sets by vivacious lounge/big-bad-jazz singer T Riley. More info here.

SpreadEagle and guests (Rickshaw Theatre)–All we can say for sure about this five-band blowout is that it will rock. SpreadEagle was responsible for several instances of face-meltage in its heyday, while No Sinner is fronted by powerhouse Colleen Rennison. And Black Wizard is one of the city’s top stoner rock bands. Three Wolf Moon and If We Are Machines round out the bill. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door (254 E. Hastings) and online. For more info go here.

River Rock Show Theatre Party 2013 featuring The Doobie Brothers—Celebrate the ’70s and Michael McDonald’s mustache (without McDonald, of course, who left the band in the ’80s) with dinner and a show with cabaret seating and a premium buffet, party favours and champagne toast. $189.50, couple $339.50 (+ service charages) or show only $109.50 + service charges. For tickets go here. The River Rock Show Theatre is located at River Rock Casino, 8811 River Road, Richmond.

Red Robinson Show Theatre Party 2013 featuring Brother Jake with Trooper—With this one you get a side of morning-drive radio personality along with your main order of classic rock, in this case long-running Vancouver band Trooper. The group’s Canadian rock radio hits include “Raise a Little Hell,” “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time),” and the immortal “3 Dressed Up As a 9.” Dinner and show: $99.50 (+ service charges) same as above (premium buffet, party favours, champagne toast). For tickets go here. The Red Robinson Show Theatre is located in the Boulevard Casino, 2080 United Boulevard, Coquitlam.

New Year’s Eve Gala! (WISE Hall)—For New Year’s, this much-loved East Van hall hosts Cousin Harley, Rich Hope and his Evildoers and burlesque dancer Melody Mangler. Cousin Harley is Vancouver guitarist Paul Pigat’s rockabilly band; Rich Hope and his Evildoers is one of the city’s premiere rock ‘n’ roots outfits; and Melody Mangler is, well, Melody Mangler. There will also be food courtesy of the Ze Bite food truck, complimentary bubbly and door prizes. Tickets $25 in advance $30 at the door. Available at, Red Cat Records, Highlife Records and the WISE (1882 Adanac at Victoria) itself, in the easy-to-miss lounge.

Dubai and guests (Railway Club)–The venerable Railway Club, located above a 7-Eleven in downtown Vancouver, hosts three bands: Dubai, Tuesdays at the Marquee, and Smash Boom Pow. Dubai describes itself as “genre-bending, male-and-female-duo-fronted, indie-rock/alt-pop. A four-eyed time-lord and three grunge-obsessed/prog-inspired friends come together to thunder-punch and swan-song their way into your left-ventricles.” Tickets to have your “left-ventricles” thunder-punched are a mere $25, or $22 if you’re a member of the club. Ticket includes bubbly and party favours). Tickets available at the Railway (579 Dunsmuir), by calling 604-681-1625, and online.


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