February 20, 2010 | 2010 Olympics >
Vancouver, Festivals & Events
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The 2010 Cultural Olympiad has brought to Vancouver and Whistler hundreds of amazing events – music, theatre, dance, puppets! – during these Winter Games. And it’s some of these ticketed events that have been really special. Last night I was at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the second night of Hal Willner’s Neil Young Project, a three-hour+ tribute show featuring some tremendous Canadian and US performers including members of Toronto’s Broken Social Scene, Ron Sexsmith, Metric and, spectacularly, the most venerable Lou Reed (pictured in the middle of photo) and Elvis Costello.
I’ve never been to the Queen E (located right next door to the Aboriginal Pavilion on Hamilton and W. Georgia in Vancouver) and it’s a slick, modern theatre with great sound. While the show itself was a bit slow at times (not sure about the choice of some of Neil Young’s more sleepy rareties), there were some amazing gems as well: Emily Haines’ from Metric doing “A Man Needs A Maid” Ron Sexsmith’s covers of “New Mama” and “Star of Bethlehem”, Eric Mingus (son of jazz great Charles Mingus) doing a spoken-word version of “On the Way Home” and Elvis Costello’s “Cowgirl in the Sand” and “Cinnamon Girl” (which he performed brilliantly with NYC’s Joan as Policewoman). Lou Reed did a crunchy rock version of “Helpless”, which sounded awesome.
In all, I felt proud to be among happy music fans who were in such high spirits during these Olympic Games – and it was nice to be able to show off a sunshiney and glistening Vancouver to these great out-of-town-artists!