Franz Ferdinand at The Commodore Ballroom – April 25
If there was one band destined to make good use of the Commodore Ballroom’s sprung dance floor, it would be Franz Ferdinand. The Scottish dance-rock group is best known for their massive hit “Take Me Out” which is somehow already a decade old, but Franz Ferdinand have been putting out enormously fun, danceable albums ever since. On April 25, Alex Kapranos and crew will get the crowd bouncing around to both old favourites and songs from their most recent effort, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
With her impeccably strong and emotive soprano voice, 27-year-old English synthpop star Ellie Goulding has the ability to silence rooms. In 2010, she won both the BBC’s Sound Of… poll and the BRIT Awards Critic’s Choice award – the only other artist who has done so in the same year is Adele. She was even asked to sing at the Royal Wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton and performed her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” for the couple’s first dance. Promoting her second album, Halcyon, Ellie Goulding returns to Vancouver on April 24 for a concert at The Orpheum.
Bombay Bicycle Club at The Commodore Ballroom – April 24
It’s not easy to categorize Bombay Bicycle Club. The English indie rock band experiments with many different genres from folk to electronic, often including elements of world music as well. The band consistently released an album every year from 2009 to 2011, before taking a break to write and record their acclaimed fourth effort, So Long, See You Tomorrow. The four-piece will perform their catchy, danceable numbers at the Commodore Ballroom on April 24 along with Winnipeg indie pop rockers and recent Juno nominees Royal Canoe.
Bastille may appear to be an overnight success story, but the British indie pop-rock band has been slowly putting out singles and building a dedicated fanbase since 2010. The band’s debut full-length album, Bad Blood, was released in 2013 and immediately shot to #1 on the UK albums chart. In recent months, the band has found success in North America thanks to exposure from their catchy hit single “Pompeii”. Always joyous and heartfelt, lead singer Dan Smith is sure to captivate the sold-out crowd at the band’s upcoming Vancouver show. To Kill a King, friends and frequent tourmates of the band, will open up the show at the Commodore Ballroom on April 7.
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings w/ James Hunter at The Commodore Ballroom – April 5
Soul/funk singer Sharon Jones found success later in life than most. The 57-year-old grew up singing gospel in church and imitating the singing and dancing of James Brown with her brothers. Jones released her first album in her mid-40s and quickly built a reputation as one of the most passionate and powerful women in music. Last year, however, Jones was diagnosed with bile-duct cancer, later determined to be pancreatic cancer. After a surgery and extensive chemotherapy sessions, the spirited Jones opted to get back on the road as soon as possible. Widely regarded as one of the best live acts of today, catch a reinvigorated Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings at the Commodore Ballroom on April 5 along with English R&B/soul singer and guitarist James Hunter.
When American synth-pop band Future Islands made their television debut on The Late Show in March, David Letterman shook their hands with a huge grin on his face and exclaimed, “I’ll take all of that you’ve got!” Frontman Samuel T. Herring is positively magnetic with his unique growl and the way he dances around the stage like dads drunkenly do at weddings. Letterman loved Herring’s unique moves so much that he turned it into a recurring bit: during his monologue later that week, he unexpectedly exclaimed “Let’s dance!” as producers switched to a clip of Future Islands’ performance. Future Islands play The Rickshaw Theatre on April 4, so get on your best ‘80s-inspired outfit and don’t forget those dancing shoes.
Young the Giant at The Commodore Ballroom – April 2-3
California indie rock band Young the Giant had two hits with their songs “My Body” and “Cough Syrup” in 2011. After riding the success of their debut self-titled album on tour for a few years, the band headed back into the studio to record a follow-up. Released in January, Mind Over Matter is the impressive result, an effort that shows their rise from small indie band to potential arena rockstars. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s soaring vocals are what allows the band to stand apart from the average rock bands of today. Young the Giant play two shows with Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy at the Commodore Ballroom on April 2 and 3.