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Stereophonics Concert at BC Place

“Anybody here from Wales?” asked Stereophonics frontman, Kelly Jones. “YEAHHHHHHH!!” shouted a tiny minority, me among them. A huge Welsh flag was proudly waved in front of the stage, and further back fans wrapped in Union Jacks, Australian flags and of course the Canadian maple leaf, demonstrated just how multi-national these Winter Olympics have been.

We were in BC Place, the cavernous white dome at the far western end of Robson Street and also the venue for the Olympics opening, closing and nightly medal ceremonies. Tonight the medals were being awarded in Whistler ski resort so we watched it all on the big screens, humming or singing along to the British, Canadian, Austrian and Swiss national anthems.

Music of a different sort followed as the Welsh indie-rockers took to the stage. Bashing out old faves, and newer tracks, the Stereophonics kept the crowd happy with hits like: The Bartender and the Thief, Just Looking, and Maybe Tomorrow. Explosions of light as indoor fireworks and streamers filled the dome were a cool reminder that the party just never stops at Vancouver’s Winter Games.

BC Place isn’t normally a music venue though, home instead to the BC Lions Canadian Football team. We normally watch bands at venues like the art-Deco-style Commodore, Vogue and Orpheum theatres on Granville Street. Bigger acts often play at the General Motors Place (next to BC Place) and the Pacific Coliseum (out near Burnaby).

Annual music festivals are a great way of catching bands we’d otherwise miss – we always try to get to the Vancouver Folk Festival at beautiful Jericho Park in Kitsilano – and the jazz, World & classical MusicFest Vancouver is held all over town.

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Taken on February 20, 2010