Fall Arts Preview: 5 Must-See Concerts and Music Festivals

Lionel Richie, the first-ever (!) Westward Music Festival and more performances to check out this fall.

1. Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey

Two legends of pop/R&B hit-making (combined album sales: more than 300 million) tour the continent together at contrasting periods in their respective careers, Richie having been reassessed as a timeless treasure following years as a meme punchline and Carey trying to restore lustre to her brand after the lip-syncing tire fire that was New Year’s Eve 2016. September 3, Rogers Arena, ticketmaster.ca

2. Westward Music Festival

If the future of summer festivals appears somewhat unstable (the Guardian considered the recent collapse of Pemberton a harbinger), perhaps the answer is to move them into the urban core and make them much less predictable? The inaugural Westward features up-and-comers such as Long Beach rapper Vince Staples, First Nations electronic trio A Tribe Called Red and local singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas at various venues in and around downtown. September 14 to 17, various venues, westwardfest.com

3. The New Pornographers

Their first recording was made in 2000 for a lark. Yet despite seeming destined to not last 17 minutes, this Vancouver-centred collective—based around linchpin singer-songwriter Carl Newman—is now celebrating 17 years. Like any band that rules one very exclusive domain, the Pornographers’ exemplary pop-rock—which evokes the 1970s/1980s golden age of AM Top 40—has been taken for granted of late. It shouldn’t be: this year’s Whiteout Conditions is their career masterpiece. September 29, Commodore Ballroom, ticketmaster.ca

4. Hanson

Whether you love or hate them for it, Hanson made history: the Oklahoma siblings’ multi-million-selling “Mmmbop” hastened the end of grunge and brought about the pop renaissance that continues to this day. In celebration of their (gulp!) 25th year as a band, they return to help us forget how old this information makes us feel. October 18, Vogue Theatre, ticketfly.com

5. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Classic Broadway

The VSO is rarely so crowd-pleasing as when it performs classic “pops” from the 20th-century theatre stage. Grammy-winning guest conductor Jeff Tyzik—alongside vocalists Doug LaBrecque and Lisa Vroman—leads the orchestra through the songbooks of Gershwin, Sondheim, Lloyd-Webber and others. December 1 to 2, Orpheum Theatre, vancouversymphony.ca

Check back for more on the hottest theatre, comedy and visual arts shows in Vancouver, part of our 2017 Fall Arts Preview!