This is it. The end of an era. Since 2011, David and Ambrosia Vertesi have been organizing the annual #SingItFwd event, with proceeds going to the St. James Music Academy, a music school for underprivileged children in the Downtown East Side.
But this year, the shows came to an end with a giant, star-studded two night finale at the Vogue Theatre. They brought back old favourites, and new voices, for two completely different lineups to say goodbye.
Each artist got a short, 3-song set (usually) and while in past shows they had been more acoustical, this year saw a mix of stripped-down and full-band sets. Hosted by Tamara Stanners (of The Peak) and Cory Ashworth (formerly of The Peak), the night also included interstitial videos of various bands with the SJMA kids.
Both nights are covered in this post, so click through to see everyone that played, the surprise (and not-so-surprise) guests, and who covered which David Bowie songs!Read More
David Vertesi and friends are at it again. The same folks behind 'The Biltmore Phil-harmonic' and 'Biltmore Over Troubled Water' -- tribute nights to Phil Collins and Paul Simon, respectively -- are back, this time with a night honouring the King of Pop. And like the other nights, it was all benefiting Sing It Forward and the St James Music Academy, leading up to the final Sing It Forward concert, this time TWO nights at the Vogue Theatre, January 14 & 15th.
The usual "house band" of Johnny Andrews on drums, Andrew Rasmussen on keys, Mike Young on bass, and Tristan Paxto on guitar were joined by Katie Schaan on backing vocals and Raphael Geronimo on percussion, with a rotating lineup of Vancouver singers to hit the highs (or attempt to anyway, in some cases).
The night started with some children from the St James Music Academy for an instrumental "Smooth Criminal" on violin, before the band took the stage. Like the other months, I won't give a song-by-song account, just some highlights with Christine McAvoy's photos below.
I hadn't seen Katie Schaan perform live in a long time, so it was nice to see her providing backing vocals all night, as well as belt out "The Way You Make Me Feel". If you're a fan of Bend Sinister, then it shouldn't be a surprise how good Dan Moxon was for his cover of "Smooth Criminal", Parker Bossley had the moves when he did "Rock With It", and Danielle McTaggert from Dear Rouge did a really fun "Billie Jean".
Lots of the performers were in costume, and there were even props, like when Hey Ocean! performed "Will You be There" and loosed a large inflatable orca into the crowd (sadly, the Biltmore ceiling is too low to reenact the famous ending to Free Willy).
The highlight of these tribute nights always seems to be Tonye Aganaba. She was on stage a few times, playing MJ to Chin Injeti's Paul McCartney, doing a beautiful "Man in the Mirror", but my favourite came early on as she and JP Maurice did an amazing "Beat It".
My other favourite performance was one I think should have ended the night (instead of the "better-in-theory" version of "We Are The World"); the lights dimmed and Zach Gray hit the stage in ghoulish makeup for a killer rendition of "Thriller", complete with dancers coming out from the back and into the crowd for the choreographed dance number.
And as the night ended, David Vertesi teased the next tribute night, for Hall & Oates, though didn't say when, so it sounds like these nights won't be slowing down any time soon. Who do you want to hear them do for a future tribute night? Let me know in the comments.
(Me, I suggested to Vertesi, in all sincerity, that they should do a "Weird" Al Yankovic tribute night. It would be amazing.)
Click through for a gallery of Christine's photos, and the full setlist!Read More
Just over a month removed from the tribute to Phil Collins, David Vertesi and crew were ready for another go 'round. This time, it was a tribute to arguably one of the greatest songwriters, Paul Simon. And, once again, it was all benefiting Sing It Forward and the St James Music Academy.
With the same backing band as last month -- Johnny Andrews on drums, Andrew Rasmussen on keys, Mike Young on bass, and Tristan Paxto on guitar -- there was a rotating selection of some of Vancouver's finest singers covering a range of songs from Paul Simon's oeuvre.
And like last month, it would be impossible to give a full rundown of the night, so I will touch on a few of the highlights for me. JP Maurice appeared a couple times throughout the night to sing a couple of my favourites from Graceland, the title track and "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes". A really fun cover of "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" came from Parker Bossley. The unparalleled voice of Dawn Pemberton (deservedly) got the biggest ovation for the namesake of the night, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as the last portion of the night cranked out the hits one after one. And they wrapped up with a couple singalongs; Chin Injeti, joined by Tonye Aganaba and the surprise guest of the night Michael Bernard Fitzgerald for "Call Me Al", the entire room singing along; and then the stage filling with everyone who sang that night for the big finisher, "Cecelia".
Click through for a photo gallery of every single person singing onstage:Read More
The Pemberton Music Festival happened last week and 3am Revelations was on site to capture some of the amazing performances over the course of the weekend.
First off, huge thanks to Acura Canada for the RDX (lovingly nicknamed "Dracura") for the weekend to get to and from the festival. There was tons of room for all my camping gear and photo equipment and I made a pitstop at Porteau Cove along the Sea To Sky Hwy to have some lunch in the sunshine. Photos of both are in the gallery above. For more info on the RDX click here.
If you were following our social media accounts you would have seen I attended everything from TJ Miller in the comedy tent to...
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