Centre Point: Music is best live

Concerts abound in Vernon, so turn off the MP3 player for a few hours and immerse yourself in the human side of life.

  • Apr. 13, 2014 7:00 a.m.

The first live concert I ever attended was such an amazing experience. It was in the late-’90s and I’ll never forget being among my overexcited peers as my all-time favourite band, Jars of Clay, played an incredible set.

Fast forward to 2014, I now follow Jars of Clay via social media and I took the opportunity to attend an online concert where they played through their 1995 debut album. Sitting at home alone, I revelled in the music that defined my teenage years. The band was still amazing, but the performance was missing something: the palpable energy of the crowd.

Digital downloads and new media make music more accessible, but perhaps less “human” than ever. It’s the human element that gives us memories to cherish for 20 years or more. So turn off the MP3 player for a few hours and immerse yourself in the human side of life. Here are a few concerts happening in the coming weeks to get you started:

The Grant Family is at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, April 19. Five drummers will be joined by special guests for a night of swing, R&B and jazz. The evening also features a drum battle between the Grant brothers and the dance floor is always open. The music starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup, online at www.vernonjazz.ca or at the door.

Friday, April 25, the Montréal Guitar Trio is back by popular demand at the Performing Arts Centre as part of the North Okanagan Community Concert Association’s 60th season. Known for their endless energy and humour, these three guitarists dazzled their Vernon audience in 2012 with their award-winning concert performance.

Having released six studio albums, their repertoire includes everything from jazz to classics originating from all corners of the world. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are on sale through the Ticket Seller by calling 549-SHOW (7469).

On April 26 and 27, Kal Tire Place is host to a two-night mega concert event: SpringFest 2014. It’s a showdown of East vs. West as Karl Wolf, Kardinal Offishall and JRDN perform on April 26 to take on Faber Drive, These Kids Wear Crowns and Tyler Shaw, who take the stage on April 27. Doors to this all-ages show open at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday and you can call the Ticket Seller at 549-SHOW (7469) for one- or two-night passes.

And for the parents of performance artists-in-training, registration for the Performing Arts Centre’s summer musical theatre camp are on sale now. Missoula Children’s Theatre returns to the centre July 7 for with sets, lights, costumes, props, makeup, but no cast members. Sixty-four participants will rehearse throughout the week and by Saturday, July 12 there will be two public performances of this years’ play: Alice in Wonderland. Call the Ticket Seller at 549-SHOW (7469) or go online to www.ticketseller.ca for more information on this exciting theatrical opportunity.

Enjoy the shows!

Brian van Wensem is the audience development coordinator at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.