Photos: Top 5 Vancouver concerts in 2013

Best Vancouver concerts in 2013

What a year in concerts! Vancouver was lucky to welcome some of the biggest names in music this year—from Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake to Bruno Mars and Ellie Goulding.

Here were my top 5 favourites.

  1. Marina & the Diamonds at the Commodore

Welsh singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis made good on her promise last year to return to Vancouver. Her Lonely Hearts Club tour showcased her charm and irresistible alt-pop music.

Marina and the Diamonds - Vancouver, May 2013

Marina and the Diamonds - Lonely Hears Club Tour - Vancouver, May 2013

  1. Bruno Mars at Rogers Arena

In any other year, Bruno Mars would have topped my list of best concerts. The Moonshine Jungle tour had everything going for it: slick production, bright lights, and Bruno’s talent. I expect the concert’s fun old-school vibe to be prominent when Bruno Mars performs at Super Bowl in 2014.

Bruno Mars - Moonshine Jungle Tour - Vancouver
Photo: jenmah

Moonshine Jungle Tour - Bruno Mars - Vancouver - July 20, 2013
Photo: kellybellsss

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Marina & The Diamonds brings back the Lonely Hearts Club tour to Vancouver

Marina and the Diamonds - Lonely Hears Club Tour - Vancouver, May 2013

Less than a year after playing at The Commodore, Marina & The Diamonds brought back her Lonely Hearts Club tour to Vancouver on May 3. The Welsh singer-songwriter was just as brilliant as the first time—although the audience was noticeably bigger and the production, more slick.

Opening with the crowd-pleaser “Homewrecker,” Marina sounded and looked fantastic throughout her 1 and a half hour set. Alternating from her new album Electra Heart and her debut The Family Jewels, Marina thrilled the crowd with pop gems such as “State of Dreaming” and “Shampain.” Marina kept it all about the music: there were very few costume changes and props.

The hiccups were minimal. Although the lighting was generally better than Marina’s concert here in July, it was difficult to see her during the “Starring Role” performance. I also question the choice of “Teen Idle” for the encore—she could have done a lot better here. “Primadonna” would have been an obvious choice, but I think “Power and Control” would have been a fabulous closer.

The highlights more than made up for the hiccups, however. “Radioactive” was fun, and so was “Bubblegum Bitch.”  Another highlight was the piano-driven “Obsessions.” As expected, “How to be a Heartbreaker” thrilled the crowd, which was made up of mostly gay men with their bffs and straight men who got dragged to the show by their girlfriends.

Marina and the Diamonds - Lonely Hears Club Tour - Vancouver, May 2013
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My top picks: The best singles of 2012

Best singles of 2012

The year 2012 was a great year in pop music. Although dance (and dance-like songs) still ruled the charts, this year also saw the re-emergence of other genres — RnB saw a boost with Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Miguel, while the success of Carly Rae Jepsen and Ellie Goulding allowed more traditional pop music to be in the forefront once again.

Before we welcome 2013, here’s my list of the top 21 singles of 2012. Last year, I listed my top 11, but there were lots of great songs this year that I had to expand my list to 21.

21 – “Your Body” – Christina Aguilera

Aguilera’s ‘comeback’ didn’t exactly happen, but I still loved this flop. Reminiscent of Aguilera’s Dirty era, “Your Body” is a filthy, fun pop song.

20 – “Where Have You Been” – Rihanna

Although it sounds like “We Found Love” part 2, Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” is an instant classic. With Ester Dean, Dr. Luke, and Calvin Harris all having a hand at this song, it’s no wonder radio ate this up. The lyrics and the infectious instrumental breaks are irresistible.

19 – “Never Close Our Eyes” – Adam Lambert

I’m still confused why Lambert’s sophomore album flopped, but that doesn’t change the fact that he had some awesome tunes. “Never Close Our Eyes” has a concept most of us are familiar with — it’s about dancing the night away because life is short — but Lambert’s unique vocals and confident delivery really did it for me.

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