IHeartRadio Beach Ball @ PNE Vancouver, BC
September 3, 2017
Having been invited to review a line up of artists that I would normally not have gone to see, I found that it pulled me in and had me singing along to some songs that I had heard on the radio and engaging with those around me. At one point I was even dancing, singing and smiling- having fun?! …ahhh Lorde she’s definitely got a hold of a piece of my heart now.
When Shawn Hook first moved to Vancouver he entered the annual talent show at the PNE fair and won, this was his first performance at the PNE since then, and I arrived to hear the last song of Shawn Hook’s- set- a duet with Ralph who had performed earlier in the afternoon.
As Shawn exited there was a noticeable buzz of anticipation for crowd favourite Lorde. I believe that this was Lorde’s first time performing in Vancouver, BC and was a late comer to the day’s lineup being announced only 3 weeks earlier. While perusing social media it was definitely not widely known that she would be performing and there were many shocked and slightly devastated fans commenting on images and video clips of her performance stating how upset they were to have missed her play.
LORDE at IHeartRadio Beach Ball 2017 PNE Amphitheatre
The music started for “Homemade Dynamite”, and the crowd screamed and rushed towards the stage. Fans from the bleachers stood up and start streaming towards the barrier gates. Fans held up signs saying things like “ I Heart Lorde”. It was a multigenerational crowd, with lots of young girls dancing on their dads shoulders. Lorde appeared slightly self-conscious of her amazing talent, she’s awkward and super duper sweet as she took the time to engage with the crowd including a talk about one of the crazy rides off in the PNE backdrop- “that spinny ride, it intrigues and frightens me”. She also made mention to the crowd that “you all look like summer”.
The crowd enjoyed the set, with many dancing and singing along. Lorde has a way to engage and bring the audience to life with her music, and at one point was given a slushy on stage and stated that “I’m going to suck up this slushy” yet still managed to captivate and entertain her audience. With a 9 song setlist, she was able to take the time to comment numerous times about the girls in the crowd “awesome girls in this crowd” with a special call out to a girl in green hat and a girl in red.
For “Green Light” she asked us all to sing along which in turn had the crowd going wild; girls screaming “I love this song”. Lorde’s show was a teaser for her die hard fans who will eagerly anticipate her return to Vancouver on March 8, 2018 for her show at Rogers Arena.
SCOTT HELMAN at IHeartRadio Beach Ball 2017 PNE Amphitheatre
With a super young crowd all dancing and singing along, Scott engaged them- repeatedly insisting for them to “make some noise”. Of course, following Lorde he had to give a shout out to her. With beach balls flying everywhere during his set, the sun beating down on the crowd, and bubbles flowing from the Airmiles SMILE PIT the summer and beach atmosphere of the festival was in full stream. Scott then commented “how you guys doing? Its pretty hot out there. I wrote this song when it wasn’t that hot out” then started into “That Sweater”.
The heat, oh man was it hot. No shade to be found anywhere and I got the sense that the crowds stayed for their fave performers and left for others to find shade and a reprise from the blasting hot sun that didn’t let up till late into the evening.
THE STRUMBELLAS at IHeartRadio Beach Ball 2017 PNE Amphitheatre
As the sun set over Vancouver The Strumbella’s belted out “Wars” to start off their set. The crowd sang and clapped along with band. Simon shouted out to Vancouver and talked about coming through Vancouver in the past and playing the Railway Club. Simon and Dave gave clapping lessons to the crowd that eagerly participated. Simon’s outfit was very fitting to the Pacific Northwest- red flannel, aqua hightop cons and burgundy jeans… though may have been a mistake in the scorching heat. “Sharks” was definite crowd fave as they all sang along- Simon stated that it is the ankle biter fan fave!
LIAM PAYNE at IHeartRadio Beach Ball 2017 PNE Amphitheatre
The crowd screamed Liam’s name; young teenagers screaming and chanting his name. It was a large crowd filled with millennials dancing and singing along to his music with many numerous dance circles throughout the crowds both within the gates and outside the gates. The bleachers were empty as everyone had crowded the stage to get a closer look at Liam and his dance crew. Liam thanked the crowd for their support and even gave shout outs to the few people left sitting in the bleachers. I have to admit that Liam and his dancers put on a great performance giving it their all for their few songs… but no boy bands for this girl.
ALESSIA CARA at IHeartRadio Beach Ball 2017 PNE Amphitheatre
Clearly a crowd favourite and the show that many had been waiting for all day long. By this time the bleachers were empty and the floor area was filled with all those that had once been sitting. As the crowd waited for her band’s equipment to be set up they chanted her name in anticipation. The lights and smoke machine came on and the crowd roared as she took to the stage. With a mix of millennials and young tweens with their parents, I could definitely see why parents would encourage their daughters to like her and her music as she is very confident and clearly has a voice for what she believes in and a message to give to her fans.
A couple of notable parts in the set came early when during “I’m Yours” Alessia ended the song by altering her lyrics and adds “But I tore down my walls, And opened my doors; And made room for one; So, baby, I’m yours; Oh, VANCOUVER, I’m yours.” Then for “Four Pink Walls” Alessia gave the crowd a pep talk about how “your dreams are valid just like mine”. She is clearly a confident young woman with a message to send out to the younger generation about self confidence, never letting yourself get down and ensuring that you follow your dreams.