Concerts and shows in 2023.

Going to concerts is a major activity for my family. We’re lucky to get to see so many great live acts. We saw a bunch of comedians this year, which was great fun.

Musically, we started and ended the year seeing the great local singer-songwriter Dan Mangan. Seeing him is always a tremendous treat. We got to see The Cure, The National, and Elvis Costello all in a single week, which was fantastic. Seeing Crowded House was incredible as they were my son Ivan’s first favourite band when he was three years old and we love Neil Finn so much.

We already have tickets to five shows in 2024 so we’re looking forward to next year.

  • Jan 15 – Jim Gaffigan
  • Feb 3 – Dan Mangan
  • Feb 18 – Ryan Hamilton
  • Feb 25 – Patton Oswalt
  • Mar 4 – David Cross
  • May 2 – Crowded House
  • May 11 – Ivan Decker
  • May 18 – Yves Tumor
  • Jun 2 – The Cure
  • Jun 5 – The National
  • Jun 7 – Elvis Costello 
  • Jul 26 – Andrew Bird
  • Aug 3 – Big Thief & Lucinda Williams
  • Aug 12 – Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
  • Aug 23 – Flaming Lips
  • Sep 2 – Tom Papa
  • Sep 23 – Arctic Monkeys
  • Oct 7 – Peter Gabriel
  • Nov 9 – Destroyer 
  • Nov 24 – Depeche Mode 
  • Dec 9 – Dan Mangan

What did you see this year that stood out for you?

Concerts in 2022

Before the pandemic, my family and I used to go to a lot of concerts. It was one of our favourite things to do as a family. I think I went to like 18 shows in 2019. My son Ivan, in particular is a huge music fan and musician, and so concerts have always been a big family activity. One of the most difficult restrictions for us over the last couple of years was the loss of seeing live music.

As I reflect on 2022, I thought I’d publish a list of concerts we saw this year. Almost all were really excellent. A few stand out. Godspeed You! Black Emperor was great mostly because it was the first live show we’d seen since Thundercat in February of 2020. That was special.

Midnight Oil was perhaps the very last band that I loved as a teenager who are still making music and touring to see live with my teenaged son — having seen Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Bauhaus, David Byrne and Johnny Marr (and Morrissey, although I wish I hadn’t) with him over the last few years. It was a truly great show, and a privilege to see them again.

Seeing Dan Mangan is always such a treat! This show was rescheduled several times, and it felt complete to see him play live again.

Destroyer lives just down the street from us, and I got really into him during the pandemic without realizing he was a neighbour. Seeing him was very special because on one hand he’s just this guy I see around Strathcona, and on the other I have loved his music over the last couple of years. He put on a fantastic show.

CHVRCHES was stellar from start to finish, a really incredible show. Kraftwerk were a delight to see, sounded great and the 3D visuals were amazing.

But in the end, The Smile was hands down the best show I saw this year, and it was so fun to make a road trip down to Seattle with my son to check them out (they didn’t play Vancouver). An absolutely great last show to cap the year!

Here’s the full list of 2022 shows listed chronologically:

  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Alt-J 
  • Beach House
  • Destroyer
  • Dan Mangan
  • Midnight Oil
  • Kraftwerk
  • Animal Collective 
  • Wilco
  • Stewart Copeland and VSO
  • King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
  • The Smile

Two types of thinking.

My son makes albums. That’s not news. Today he simultaneously released his ninth and tenth album under his musical name, Spectra.

Album cover for Oh Hi, Gemini by Uncle Eric D.

Why release two albums on the same day? One thing I love about the way my son Ivan makes albums is that he always has a spark of inspiration as to why he wants to make an album.

In this case, he realized that sometimes he has a seed of an idea and wants to get the music out quickly, in an improvisatory way. And sometimes he wants to form something with thought and planning and revisions and be more mindful of what he’s producing. Sometimes he wants to move quickly and sometimes he wants to plan.

Album cover for Giant Furry Animals by Uncle Eric D.

So he made two companion EPs simultaneously. When he had a rough idea and wanted to throw the song down and move on, he put it on an album called Oh Hi, Gemini. When he wanted to work on a song, get it right, write and re-write lyrics ahead of time, he put it on album called Giant Furry Animals.

It was super fun to help him make these albums. I learned a lot in the process about creating containers for different kinds of work. There’s fast and dirty and done-is-better-than-perfect work. And there’s planned, know-it-has-to-be-right, pre-meditated work. Both are good and important, and it’s helpful to be clear on what method we want to use at any given time and why.

So enjoy these two albums. You can pay any price you want to for them, including nothing at all. They were super fun for him to make.