Summer Night Concerts
Please celebrate with us at the 2014 Fair at the PNE, August 16 to September 1 (closed Monday, August 18 and 25).
Nightly at 8:30pm on the WestJet Concert Stage
Sponsored by WestJet and The Vancouver Sun
Every evening at 8:30pm, it’s a summer night full of the best music! From the timeless classics of The Beach Boys and THE JACKSONS to the electro-rock melodies of Lights, there’s something for everyone! Sing along to the music of Sam Roberts Band or rock out with BIG WRECK. Country music fans will swoon for singing sensations Corb Lund & the Hurtin’ Albertans, Martina McBride and Dean Brody. Plus, don’t miss the Grammy-winning talents of Melissa Etheridge or the classic rock sounds of Canada’s own Loverboy. Take in the energy of Great Big Sea and the musical styling of Colin James. Dance the night away to the hits of The Proclaimers, FOREIGNER and REO Speedwagon. It’s Summer Night Concerts only at The Fair at the PNE!
NEW THIS YEAR – A bigger venue and reserved seating! All concerts are FREE with admission but super fans looking for reserved seating will have the opportunity to purchase a limited number of reserved seats starting at just $15*. Reserved seats can be purchased online now or on-site from the ticket booth located outside the venue entrance within the fairgrounds. Due to high demand, additional seating has been released. Limited seats are available so buy now before they’re gone! More Info
Please be advised, this concert venue has a capacity limit and, for everyone’s
safety, we will need to close the venue once this capacity has been reached.
Melissa Etheridge has been a core Island Records artist since the release of her critically-acclaimed eponymous RIAA double-platinum debut album. For several years, Etheridge’s popularity built around such memorable songs as “Bring Me Some Water” (from her debut), “No Souvenirs” (from Brave And Crazy) and “Ain't It Heavy” (from Never Enough), for which she won her first Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am, featuring the massive hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window”, a searing song of longing that brought her second Best Female Rock Grammy. The album went six times platinum and spent more than two and a half years on the album chart. Her highest charting album, Your Little Secret (#6 on the Billboard Top 200), included the hit single, “I Want to Come Over”. Her astounding success led Etheridge to receive the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996, and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2007.
Adored by millions of fans the world over, The Jacksons forever changed the landscape of popular music. When siblings Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito Jackson rose to fame with their late brother Michael in the 1970s, they instantly became an unstoppable global sensation. The Jacksons' unique brand of soulful pop-funk, their lengthy catalogue of hits, and their impeccable live performances have made them one of the most beloved musical acts of all time.
Idols unlike any other in music history, The Jacksons redefined, reinvented, and reinvigorated popular music as we know it. Classic #1 hits such as “ABC”, “I Found That Girl”, “I Want You Back”, and “I’ll Be There”, catapulted the group to superstardom. With nine #1 hits and 14 Top 10 hits, the group has certainly left its mark on the charts. These timeless tracks remain every bit as infectious, incomparable, and iconic today as when they were first released. Not only did the Jackson 5 become the first group ever to have their first four singles hit #1 on the Billboard Charts, which brought them international notoriety, but “I’ll Be There” remains the best-selling single in Motown history. The Jacksons were formally inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and were the youngest group ever to receive that honour. They have had the honour of performing for the Queen of England three times as well as meeting and performing for Presidents, dignitaries and various Heads of State throughout the globe.
The Jacksons last toured together, in support of their album Victory, in 1984. The Jacksons’ Victory tour was the first of its kind and drew over 2.5 million people to Stadiums across America to see their performances. In 2012, for the first time in nearly three decades, the group was back on stage together for the hotly-anticipated Unity Tour 2012. The group embarked on a worldwide series of shows in 2012/2013, playing the hits from all the eras of their celebrated career. For us they will perform their universally beloved hits from the Jackson 5, the Jacksons, and Jermaine Jackson’s solo career.
The Jacksons signature sun-drenched harmonies, energetic stage presence, and roster of smash hits have left an indelible mark on popular music: the name ‘The Jacksons’ is known around the world, and they remain the biggest-selling family in music of all time. Celebrate their extraordinary career and witness music history firsthand this summer for THE JACKSONS: UNITY TOUR 2013.
Canada’s Dean Brody continues to build on the tremendous success of his third album, DIRT, which has been certified Gold in Canada, surpassing sales of 40,000 units.
Released in April 2012, DIRT, has spawned four Top 10 singles including the #1 hit “Canadian Girls,” the Gold-selling “It’s Friday” featuring Great Big Sea, “Bob Marley” and “Underneath The Apple Trees.” The fifth single “Dirt,” just released to radio, has earned the #1 Most Added spot at radio across all formats and was the #1 Top Gainer last week at Country radio.
Named one of HELLO! Canada’s Most Beautiful People this past month, Brody has championed multiple platforms with the release of DIRT. Gaining industry recognition including wins at the 2012 CCMA Awards for Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year along with a 2013 JUNO Award nomination for Country Album of the Year. He has headlined his first sold-out tour this past winter and has been featured on CITY-TV’s Bachelor Canada, CTV’s Degrassi - The Next Generation, CBC's Fall Season Preview, CBC's Stampede 100! and more. Brody will tour the festival circuit this summer; releasing a brand new single this August from his fourth album to be released this Fall.
20 years is a long time in anyone’s life. Few bands last more than an album or two — a few tours, a song played on the radio, and then they’re quickly forgotten. Alan Doyle, Sean McCann and Bob Hallett have somehow managed to keep the dysfunctional-family-bar-room-brawl-student-art-project-musical-pirate-crew known as Great Big Sea going for two decades. And more often than not, they have done it with more than a bit of flair.
For the hundreds of thousands of fans who have sung, danced and celebrated with the band, Great Big Sea has been a constant factor in their own lives. While musical fashions have come and gone, Great Big Sea has maintained an unswerving commitment to their original ideals — a belief that a marriage of their own creativity and the joyous folk music of their home in Newfoundland would be an unbeatable combination.
Their newest release XX is a box set which captures the many highs in a recording career that has produced ten full-length CDs and two DVDs. In order to express the band’s two sides, one disc covers the biggest hits from their more pop-oriented repertoire, while the other contains some of their most loved traditional and folk songs. To balance out the discs, the band recorded six new songs — almost a new album in itself — which run the gamut of their varied stylistic approach.
True fans are eagerly awaiting the set’s DVD, which contains a movie edited together by Sean. Containing a wealth of early interviews, backstage foolishness and general craziness, it captures the madness of the band’s first few years, but without the bruises, bad food and hangovers of the real thing.
Colin James has worn many hats during his long and storied career. When Colin first hit the scene a quarter century ago, he became an instant rock guitar hero, mentored by the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan. Since then, this iconic Canadian has topped the charts as a pop vocalist, recorded an acclaimed blues album and led the swing revival with his Little Big Band, which he both fronted and produced. He has performed for the Queen, sold multi-platinum many times over and continues to sell out shows coast to coast. Along the way, he’s written memorable hit songs and given us distinctive covers of timeless classics with his newest album, teasing that the best is still yet to come.
This six-time Juno Award winner has come full circle with his latest album, aptly titled Fifteen. On the verge of 25 years since the release of his debut, this is Colin’s 15th release and it takes this Saskatchewan artist back to his full-blooded rock roots. Produced by his longtime associate Joe Hardy (ZZ Top, Steve Earle), it also returns him to the major label where he got his start. Fifteen features some of the best rock, blues, gospel and pop songs that Colin has ever written.
In November 2012 Colin and the band returned to the Legendary Commodore Ballroom while out on tour supporting Fifteen. It was 25 years after Colin’s still record-setting 5 night sell out at The Commodore (a record he still holds to this day along with Blue Rodeo and The Tragically Hip). On the 3rd night of the sold out run, the show was recorded for what would become Colin’s first ever live album TWENTY FIVE LIVE (in stores now).
Looking back over Colin’s career, it’s a timeline rich in highlights. His 1988 self-titled debut, featuring his two self-penned hits “Voodoo Thing” and “Five Long Years”, was the fastest-selling album in Canadian history. It won him his first Juno and an opening spot on tour with Keith Richards. His second album, Sudden Stop, featured his hit “Just Came Back”, which reached #3 on the U.S. radio charts and earned him the Juno Award for Single of the Year. Colin was next credited with launching the swing revival, thanks to his wildly popular Little Big Band, which has released four successful albums to date. He has performed with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Lenny Kravitz, Albert King, Mavis Staples, Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy, Mick Fleetwood and The Cheiftains. He has also had his songs recorded by artists such as Lucinda Williams, Johnny Halliday and Maria Muldaur; and won a staggering 16 Maple Blues Awards. Even after 14 acclaimed albums, Colin remains at the top of his game, always challenging himself musically.
In many ways Colin has been Canada’s quiet superstar – going about the business of making consistently excellent music, all the while etching out his own unique and important place in this country’s musical history. With this landmark album, he has hit the mark on all fronts showing why he is one of the most accomplished and well-rounded artists around. The fans already know what a legend Colin James is, but Fifteen might be the album that reminds the rest of the world.
You can capsulize most pop music acts by reciting how many hits they’ve had and how many millions of albums they’ve sold. But these conventional measurements fall short when you’re assessing the impact of The Beach Boys. To be sure, this band has birthed a torrent of hit singles and sold albums by the tens of millions. But its greater significance lies in the fact that it changed the musical landscape so profoundly that every pop act since has been in its debt.
Happily for us all, The Beach Boys continue to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their explosive debut 50 years ago. And now in 2013, their 2003 Capitol Records release, Sounds of Summer and its 2007 companion The Warmth of the Sun marks a resurgence in Beach Boys interest that has again rocked the world.
Even more than the Beatles, The Beach Boys found through their music the key to unfading youth—and they made copies for everyone. To these guys, the beach isn’t just a place where the surf comes to play—it’s where life is renewed and made whole again. Captained by Mike Love, The Beach Boys play an astoundingly busy schedule of concerts, averaging 150 shows a year, ranging from sundrenched summer festivals to gala New Year’s celebrations and special events worldwide. In 1974 Mike Love’s concept album Endless Summer ignited a second generation of Beach Boys fans and stirred a tempest that rocked the music world.
On The Beach Boys’ near horizon is another world tour and continued charity activities through Mike Love’s Love Foundation, which supports national environmental and educational initiatives. Love and The Beach Boys’ efforts raised over a quarter of a million dollars for the Red Cross to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina and made additional contributions to the disaster relief in Haiti.
The band also appeared on countless worldwide TV shows throughout the years including: The Ed Sullivan Show, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and The Tonight Show. Recent television appearances include regular performances on Don Imus’ MSNBC show Imus In The Morning, TNT’s NBA All-Star Game, NBC’s Macy’s Day Parade, VH-1 Classic and more.
In addition to founding Beach Boy Mike Love (lead vocals) and Beach Boy-vet Bruce Johnston (vocals/keyboards),Christian Love (guitar/vocals), Randell Kirsch (bass/ vocals), Tim Bonhomme (keyboards/vocals), John Cowsill of The Cowsills (percussion / vocals) and Scott Totten (guitar/vocals) round out the band.
When Sam Roberts titled the first song on his first full-length album Hard Road, he wasn’t just referring to the many trials and tribulations of the touring musician — because lord knows we don’t need another song by a sad-sack singer-songwriter about feeling homesick while looking out the van window. On Hard Road, Roberts was essentially laying out a map for his career, acknowledging early on that the key to longevity and continued relevance is to never to take the easy route, even if the impressive stats he’s racked up since writing that song — platinum records, No. 1 chart rankings, multiple Juno Awards (all in Canada) — could seemingly afford him that luxury.
For Roberts’ fourth album, Collider, traveling the hard road meant uprooting himself from his home and family in Montreal, and putting his trust in a stranger to lead the way.
Though the Sam Roberts Band may be named for its singer and primary songwriter, Roberts has long relied on his inner circle — guitarist Dave Nugent, guitarist/keyboardist Eric Fares, bassist James Hall and drummer Josh Trager — to translate his ideas into sound. And on Collider, that circle expanded to include Chicago-based producer Brian Deck, a veteran of acclaimed indie-rock bands Red Red Meat and Ugly Casanova, but also a seasoned studio savant who’s overseen albums by everyone from Modest Mouse and Iron and Wine to Califone and Gomez. In other words, he’s someone who values classic pop songcraft and disorienting sonic experimentation in equal measure.
And that’s ultimately what Collider is about for Sam Roberts — musical exploration as a vehicle for emotional introspection.
Goth girls to survivalists, bovines to bibles, antique pistols to vintage motorcycles: Alberta-born honky-tonker Corb Lund’s songcraft covers it all. From a rustic retreat deep in the Rocky Mountain forest, Cabin Fever, Lund’s enthralling new album, evolved from a period of introspection and hard traveling. Just like the prolific Lund’s subjects run the gamut, so do the sonics on the live-sounding long-player, ranging from rockabilly to Western swing, cowboy balladry to country-rock. And, of course, the occasional yodel…
Cabin Fever follows on the boot heels of Lund’s 2009 New West debut, the critically acclaimed Losin’ Lately Gambler, his sixth album. Backed by his longtime band, The Hurtin’ Albertans, the JUNO Award recipient has won kudos in his native land; the Canadian Country Music Association has named Lund Roots Artist of the Year 7 consecutive years from 2004 – 2010.
Road dogs, Lund and the band headline Canadian country and folk festivals, as well as gigging at New York City nightspots and America’s finest honky-tonks. “We’re able to straddle the line between songwriter folk and straight country, which is cool,” says Lund. “We do funky clubs and we do folk rooms, along with festivals.” In July there’s a residency at the legendary Calgary Stampede’s Centennial celebration, which is only natural, since Lund is a fourth-generation cowboy himself. He started rodeo-ing as a youngster and won his first trophy (for steer riding) at age 11. “My grandpas, parents, cousins, uncles, everybody competed in the Stampede,” says Lund. “The Calgary Stampede is a big part of family tradition.”
Lund learned to sing as a nipper when his grandfather taught him the campfire standard “Strawberry Roan”, which Grandpa Lund picked up via oral tradition from fellow trailhands. “I’ve got one foot in old-fashioned cowboy music,” says Lund, “but I treat it with some abandon and irreverence. The reality is we don’t live in that world anymore – yet the cowboys were kind of punk rockers in their day.”
As for Corb Lund, his Western heritage stays with him, no matter where he roams. “My whole life is sort of a dichotomy between being a cowboy kid and living in a city,” says Lund. “I guess that informs my music too.” On Cabin Fever, that split personality burns bright.
With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million. Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero”, “Feels Like The First Time”, “Urgent”, Head Games”, “Say You Will“, “Dirty White Boy”, “Long, Long Way From Home”, and the worldwide #1 hit, ”I Want To Know What Love Is”, Foreigner continues to rock the charts more than thirty years into the game.
At Foreigner’s core is founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones, the visionary maestro whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multi-layered talents continue to escalate Foreigner’s influence, along with lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, bass guitarist Jeff Pilson and multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel.
Founded in 1976, Foreigner’s debut album produced the hits “Feels Like The First Time”, “Cold As Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home”. The album Double Vision followed, as did a string of hits like “Urgent”, “Juke Box Hero” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You”. Those songs helped give Foreigner’s next album, 4, its impressive run at #1 on the Billboard chart. At the zenith of 80s sound, Foreigner’s fifth album, Agent Provocateur, gave the world the incredible #1 global hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is”. This musical milestone followed the record-breaking song “Waiting For A Girl Like You”.
The frenetic ride of the original Foreigner incarnation came to a close in 2002, but with much support and encouragement, Jones rallied a newly-charged powerhouse lineup, the core of which remains unchanged more than ten years later. Mick Jones, with the astonishing Kelly Hansen on vocals, led the group to a re-emergence of astounding music that speaks to both hard-core Foreigner fans and younger generations.
In 2012, Foreigner experienced another surge in popularity when several of their hits were featured on the Rock Of Ages soundtrack, including “I Want To Know What Love Is”, “Juke Box Hero” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You” – more songs than any other one band on the soundtrack. Hollywood quickly took note, and several more tracks were featured in hit films “Magic Mike” and “Pitch Perfect”, sending Foreigner downloads up 400%, with their catalog outselling The Eagles, Def Leppard, Tom Petty and The Who this year.
In June 2013, Mick Jones was inducted to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. A multi-talented and multi-dimensional “musician’s musician”, Jones has also written songs such as “Bad Love” with Eric Clapton and “Dreamer” with Ozzy Osbourne, and produced recor ds for others including Billy Joel’s Storm Front and Van Halen’s 5150. A Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated songwriter, Jones is the winner of the prestigious British Ivor Novello Songwriter Award for “The Flame Still Burns”, the soundtrack music for the film Still Crazy.
Strikingly individual, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid have over the years enjoyed huge success across the globe as the emotional honesty, political fire, wit and sing-along raucousness of their songs and their extensive touring has enlightened and entertained fans new and old. The Proclaimers have carved out a niche for themselves in the netherworld where pop, folk, new wave and punk collide. In the process they have enjoyed Gold and Platinum singles and albums in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The last few years has seen The Proclaimers grace main stages at the likes of V Festival, T In The Park, Isle Of Wight Festival, Womad and Glastonbury in-between regular touring across the globe. Craig and Charlie have reached the rarefied status that few have been able to achieve: with nearly three decades of career longevity, they are as innovative as ever and with every album and show played, they’ve continued to garner new fans.
Born in Leith in 1962, Craig and Charlie Reid grew up in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty in Fife. At home, they listened to early rock 'n roll and country greats such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams. At school they played in punk bands and formed The Proclaimers in 1983. Since then, the band has barely stood still.
The Proclaimers songs have been used extensively in adverts across the World and the list of movies they have featured in includes The Commitments, The Crossing, Mama’s Boy, Bottle Rocket, Benny & Joon, Shrek, Dumb & Dumber and more.
One of the most successful bands on the Canadian music scene in the latter half of the 1990s, BIG WRECK, return with their highly anticipated third full-length album Albatross. Produced by BIG WRECK’s singer-guitarist Ian Thornley, alongside executive producer Nick Raskulinecz (FooFighters, Rush) and Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats), Albatross was released in 2012 through Anthem/Warner Music in Canada. The excitement surrounding the band’s revival and new album has catapulted the lead single and title track to become the highest charting Canadian single at All Rock, Modern Rock and Alternative Radio Stations in the country
Propelled to international success with their 2x Platinum award winning album “In Loving Memory Of..” which includes the smash radio hits “The Oaf”, “Blown Wide Open” and “That Song”, the first question after a long absence may be, “Why did you go away?”. The simple answer on why Big Wreck is back is owed to a rekindling of the friendship of Ian Thornley and guitarist Brian Doherty, who didn’t speak for years. “I just missed him,” says Ian, frankly. “I called him just to hang out, but of course knew the chemistry would be there.” Doherty echoes the sentiment: “We got together and started doing the same things as when we first met, on a personal and musical level. It seemed to make complete sense.” It can safely be said that Big Wreck of 2013 follows naturally from where their songbook left off a decade earlier. Returning to that place where like-minded musicians communicate is to return to the wellspring of inspiration and creativity. With Big Wreck, that translates into an outpouring of rock music that is direct from the subconscious heart, and lives in the interplay of controlled horsepower and unbridled virtuosity.
With Albatross, Big Wreck is back to doing things the way they did in the very beginning; writing and recording without any outside influence, and regardless of the tastes of the day. The result is 11 new well-crafted tracks filled with intriguing timbres and powerful vocal performances that won’t disappoint the fans they earned in the early years, and is sure to inspire a new legion of Big Wreck fans.
After two decades in the music business, Martina McBride is starting over. Now signed to Republic Nashville, with new management (Clint Higham of Morris Artists Management), a new co-producer (Byron Gallimore), newly-spotlighted songwriting skills (she penned over half the songs on Eleven, her new CD), and a brand new spirit of accomplishment, Martina is swinging into high gear. And she couldn’t be more thrilled.
“It really feels like starting over for me — but with a track record and with the success and experience I’ve had over the years,” she explains. “I feel more mature and more confident, which comes with knowing yourself better. And there are a lot of opportunities now that I haven’t had in a long time.”
As for the superstar herself, she’s frankly exhilarated by the chance to experience what she calls first-time opportunities the second time around. In a career that’s already taken her to breathtaking heights (four CMA Female Vocalist of the Year trophies, three ACM Female Vocalist awards, a GRAMMY win, numerous national magazine covers and features, and appearances on such shows as VH1’s “Divas,” “TODAY Show,” “20/20,” “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars”), Martina is ready to take it up a notch with the help of her new label.
On her bucket list: being invited to sing the National Anthem on the Super Bowl and landing a song in a movie so she can perform on the Academy Awards’ annual Oscars telecast. But more than anything, she just wants to continue doing what she’s doing. “My biggest desire is to keep making records and keep touring,” Martina says with heartfelt passion. “I hope I get to do this for as long as I can, because I love it so much.”
Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by iconic vocalist Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon is a band where the main constant over the decades is a never-ending desire to give their all to their fans, year in and year out.
By the early '70s, the band's unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording, jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. It carved a path that was eventually followed by STYX, Kansas, Cheap Trick and more. Platinum albums and freeform FM radio staples such as "Ridin' The Storm Out" followed, setting the stage for 1980’s explosive Hi Infidelity. REO rode the top of the charts with a RIAA-certified 22 million albums sold in the U.S. and 40 million around the globe, with a string of gold and platinum records and international hit singles.
Even now, fully established with songs on the radio in every city and town they ever set foot in, REO Speedwagon still has that Midwest work ethic. The band has gone on stage and in the studio to work dozens of albums, thousands of concerts, and countless radio spins. Their eyes have always been on the future and on the road - not a year has gone by where REO Speedwagon didn't perform live, thrilling fans with hit filled sets.
The band's younger fans might not realize the sheer impact REO has had on music and the culture of rock 'n roll. Hi Infidelity's millions in sales were fueled by massive hit singles such as "Keep On Loving You" and "Take It On the Run." Thirty-plus years later, the nine-times certified platinum Hi Infidelity still remains a high-water mark for rock bands; the album spent 15 weeks in the #1 slot, a feat simply unattainable in music today.
At the centre of REO's desire to keep it rocking for the fans is Kevin Cronin, who looks like he's found the fountain of youth--along with the secret to penning some of the biggest hits in rock. With bandmates Bruce Hall on bass, keyboardist Neal Doughty, Dave Amato on lead guitar and drummer Bryan Hitt, REO has remained busy since the band celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007.
After an eleven-year break from recording, REO Speedwagon released Find Your Own Way Home in 2007, marking the band's 15th studio effort. Since then, they have teamed up and toured with their fellow Midwestern rockers Styx, Ted Nugent and rock icon, Pat Benatar.
These days REO are still doing what they've always done - taking good care of their legacy while keeping the focus on the future. REO's career will always carry on with music that continues to define excellence in song craftsmanship and brilliant live performance for several generations of fans.
When electro-rock sensation Lights first hit the music scene in 2008, she was just a songwriter with a synth and a dream. Her name may have been pluralized but Lights Poxleitner was a one-woman show who played and programmed her own instruments and sang her own lyrics.
This admirable self-reliance is rare in pop—in fact, Lights signed a publishing deal at 16 and began writing songs for other artists—but after her 2008 self-titled debut EP (precocious enough to earn her a best new artist Juno) and gold-selling full-length follow-up The Listening, Lights was ready to open herself up to collaborations on her unexpectedly experimental album Siberia.
The new songs are raw and gritty but still pop with a focus on the melodies. Lyrically, the album is light years from her last, which was written when the singer, who spent much of her childhood travelling to places like the Philippines and Jamaica with her missionary parents, had left the nest and landed in Toronto. “A lot of those songs came from a sad but hopeful place. I was alone and pondering a lot. I’m a lot more aware of the person I am now and each of these songs is about an experience I’ve gone through,” she says. “This record came from a very happy place.”
Then why is it called Siberia? “It’s based on something that was said to me, that we could be happy even in a place like Siberia. It was such an inspiring thing to say, because Siberia is cold and a little daunting and represents unfamiliar territory.” That last bit is particularly sticky for Lights, who left her safe pop haven for these unexplored sonics, though the metaphor carries even further because despite being an infamous land of ice and exile, Siberia is epically beautiful – much like the album.
The dividend from her early award-winning success—not to mention her sprawling online footprint which includes over a half-million Facebook fans and over a quarter-million Twitter followers, not to mention a cult fan base amongst the Comic-Con set—is her current artistic freedom.
Siberia’s diversity leapfrogs from the hip-shaking dance-pop of “Toes” and the arms-up anthem “Banner” to the romantic ballad “Cactus in the Valley,” written on an acoustic guitar.
Call it anti-electro, dream-step or perhaps even grit-pop. Just rest assured that it’s the same bright Lights; she’s just built herself a bigger city.
For more than 30 years, Loverboy has been “Working for the Weekend” and on weekends, delighting audiences around the world since forming in Calgary, Alberta. There, vocalist Mike Reno was introduced to local guitar hot shot Paul Dean, both veterans of several bands on the scene, at the Refinery Night Club.
After being rejected by all the major U.S. record companies, Loverboy signed with Columbia Records Canada, entering the studio with producer Bruce Fairbairn and engineer Bob Rock to record their self-titled debut album, which went on to sell more than 700,000 records in Canada. Columbia U.S. released the album in Nov. 1980, which went on to sell more than 2 million albums in the States and four million worldwide.
Soon the band found themselves playing on mega tours with Journey, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Kansas and Def Leppard, to name a few; they quickly became MTV darlings, being one of the first bands ever featured on the music channel.
With their trademark red leather pants, bandannas, big rock sound and high-energy live shows, Loverboy has sold more than 10 million albums, earning four multi-platinum plaques, including the four-million-selling Get Lucky, and a trio of double-platinum releases in their self-titled 1980 debut, 1983’s Keep It Up and 1985’s Lovin’ Every Minute of It. Their string of hits includes, in addition to the anthem “Working for the Weekend”, such arena rock staples as “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, “This Could Be the Night”, “Hot Girls in Love”, “Turn Me Loose”, “When It’s Over”, “Heaven In Your Eyes” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts”.
Loverboy went on to win a still-record six Juno award in 1982, and until a three-year sabbatical in 1989, were one of the Top 5 grossing touring acts in the world, performing in over 100 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Their success made them the first Canadian group ever to earn Columbia Records’ exclusive Crystal Glove Award, celebrating the sale of over five million albums outside their native country. Since 1992, the band has maintained a steady road presence, with Sony/Legacy releasing a greatest hits compilation, Loverboy – CLASSICS, in 1993, which went gold five years later. In 2001, the band released a live greatest hits CD, Live, Loud & Loose, which captured the group doing what they did best, entertaining their legion of rabid fans.
In 2005, Loverboy celebrated 25 years together by performing in selected cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. During the summer tour, the band introduced a couple of brand-new songs, which led to Just Getting Started, their first new studio album in a decade. In March 2009, the group was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards show at GM Place in Vancouver, BC, where they joined the likes of Bryan Adams, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and David Foster.
Aside from Reno and Dean, Loverboy still includes original members Doug Johnson on keyboards and Matt Frenette on drums, with Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve (a former member of Dean and Frenette’s pre-Loverboy band Streetheart), who replaced the late Scott Smith on bass, and continues a healthy touring schedule around the world.
It is Loverboy’s reputation as a live act which has always been its calling card, as the group continues to entertain fans of all ages, amazing even Reno, who has lost more than 50 pounds recently to keep up the pace.
With four decades under his belt, Dean sees no end in sight for Loverboy… or himself. “My dream has always been to play guitar and entertain people,” he enthuses. “There’s no feeling like looking out in the audience and seeing them grinning ear to ear, everyone on the same wavelength. And once we start with the mega-hits, the place goes crazy. That’s why we do what we do and will continue to do it.”
“People send us a lot of love and we end up loving them back, so it’s just a big love-fest rally,” adds Reno.
In 2013 Loverboy received the VMI Legend Award at the Vancouver Music Industry Gala. Still “Working for the Weekend”, Loverboy’s catalog includes some of arena-rock’s most enduring anthems, and they are about to add to that legacy.
Concerts are performed in the NEW outdoor venue, the PNE Amphitheatre on the WestJet Concert Stage.
Available on a first come, first served basis. Bleachers and standing floor options available. Reserved seating available at stage front in the WestJet Fan Zone. Concerts will also be streamed in The Plaza Beer Garden (must be 19+ to enter).
The Summer Night Concerts are FREE with Fair Gate admission, but guests have the option to upgrade to a reserved seat. Find out more.
Cameras & videos:
The Fair at the PNE requires that all photographs or videos taken by guests be used for their personal enjoyment ONLY. Any use, reuse or reproduction for commercial purposes without the express written consent of the PNE is prohibited. Professional cameras and cameras with detachable lenses are not permitted. Please note that cameras are not permitted on rides.