When the music meets the moonlight, magic happens. Somehow, setting the concert scene outside makes the whole live performance experience even more captivating to the senses. Over the past two weeks, I was lucky enough to see my trifecta of favourite singer/songwriter dudes – Phillip Phillips, Ed Sheeran, and Gavin DeGraw – at outdoor venues…
Phillip Phillips at the PNE Amphitheater (August 16th)
After a hit show at Rogers Arena back in March, Phillip returned back to his favourite Canadian city to play at the opening night of the PNE’s Summer Concert Series. I’m not even exaggerating with that statement – he REALLY does love Vancouver. And that’s largely because his audience does things like lighting up their cell phones during “Tell Me A Story” (yes, we did it again!). If you have yet to see Phillip Phillips and his band of brothers live, pull the “Trigger” and run (or “Fly“, but don’t walk) to a show near you. You’ll “Unpack Your Heart” and “Lose Yourself” in the music because they are electric.
I had missed Ed the last two times he did shows in Vancouver [first time, I had to choose between him and Carrie Underwood (I’m sorry, but she’s my Queen) and second time, he was opening for Taylor Swift and tickets were out of my price range], but the third time was certainly the charm! Within a picturesque beachside park in West Vancouver, Ed busted out an incredible one-man show of his trippy hip-hop infused brand of folk-pop to a crowd of 12,000 concertgoers – a crowd that eagerly contributed to A+ sing-alongs to his hits “The A Team“, “Sing“, and many more. The most memorable part of the night was when he sang my four favourite songs of his – “Afire Love”, “Thinking Out Loud”, “Give Me Love”, and “I See Fire” – all in a row. Boom, nailed it!
Gavin DeGraw at the PNE Amphitheater (August 26th)
With ten years of awesome records under his belt, Gavin DeGraw will be releasing a Greatest Hits album this fall. Does that make you feel old? Because I sure do. In celebration, the Piano Man did a show at the PNE and performed a selection of his best songs (including the anthemic “I Don’t Want To Be” and the uplifting “Soldier“) along with his new single, “Fire“. As always, Gavin’s top-notch musicality, charm, and groove made for an classy, cool, and unforgettable evening.
All photography and videos by yours truly.