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We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap

Vancouver, BC – 2015 was an excellent year for concerts on the West Coast. Vancouver was blessed last year with more than enough monumental shows and thanks to some of our top hip-hop promotors we were fortunate enough to pump out weekly reviews and photo galleries from some of 2015’s best live shows.

From legends like Pete Rock, Ghostface KillaJuicy JPRyme to, Logic, Casey Veggies, Skepta, Joey Bada$$ and more our West Coast editors KassKills and Jamie Sands lead a team of skilled writers to cover a majority of what last year had to offer.

Jamie and Kass took to the archive to recap Vancouver’s most outstanding shows of 2015 in the list below. Special shout-out to Timbre Concerts, Live Nation, Fortune Sound, Blueprint Live, Spotlight Productions and everyone else we have had the pleasure of working with last year. We’re looking forward to going strong in 2016 – see you in the pit.

Top 10 West Coast Shows of 2015

Jamie’s 2015 Concert picks


Mick Jenkins

October 2015, Fortune Sound Club

Top 10 West Coast Shows of 2015

Photo: Jamie Sands

Mick Jenkins is one of those emcees that puts an immense amount of creativity in to his lyrics (watch the video for “P’s and Q’s” to get an idea), coupled with a very powerful voice, it really just makes you want to listen to what he’s saying. When you combine both of those attributes and the ability to flawlessly command a packed venue it’s easy to see how 2015 was so good to Mick.

Shout out Fortune Sound Club & Blueprint Events.

Mick Jenkins at Fortune Sound Club (Live) [Photos]

Jazz Cartier

August 2015, Squamish Valley Music Festival

Top 10 West Coast Shows of 2015

Photo: Jamie Sands

I wont lie, before his performance at Squamish Valley Music Festival I hadn’t heard any of Jazz Cartier’s music, but word was that his live show was extremely energetic. Spending the majority of his set running side-to-side on the stage while rapping, then stage diving and throwing water on the crowd with any other opportunity he had, he most definitely came through with a stellar performance.

Shout out Squamish Valley Music Festival.

Festival recap: Squamish Valley Music Festival Photo Gallery


November 2015, The Vogue Theatre

Top 10 West Coast Shows of 2015

Photo: Jamie Sands

I missed the chance to see Goldlink when he came to Alexander Gastown earlier in the year, so I really didn’t anticipate the explosive performance I was about to see. Although Goldlink was actually one of the opening performances during Mac Miller’s Go:od AM Tour, his genre blending music simply makes you want to dance, a welcome surprise to any hip-hop show.

Shout out Timbre Concerts.

Photos: Mac Miller Returns to Vancouver on New Us Tour

Freddie Gibbs

October 2015, The Vogue Theatre

Top 10 West Coast Shows of 2015

Photo: Jamie Sands

Freddie Gibbs has been making waves for some time now, but 2015 brought his first trip to Vancouver. There’s a raw emotion in both his voice and performance that really can’t be found anywhere else in the game, plus he knows how to play it up to the hometown crowd by wearing a Canucks jersey.

Shout out Blueprint Live.

Photos: Freddie Gibbs at Venue Nightclub Vancouver

Black Opera

February 2015, Venue Nightclub

Top 10 West Coast Shows of 2015

Photo: Jamie Sands

Once again this performance was actually an opening act, and when the headliner is a legendary group like Souls of Mischief, you really need to bring your A-game. Initially there was some confusion as Black Opera came out wearing masks with their groups logo on it, one which could look some what similar to the 3-eyed Hieroglyphics logo (if you happened to be a bit intoxicated- which most people were), but their unique style – that they brand as “Rap’s First Performing Arts Group” – quickly shows you just how talented these guys are.

Shout out Blueprint Live.

Souls of Mischief Hit Venue Nightclub in Vancouver (Live) [Review/Photos]

Kass’s 2015 Concert picks


BJ The Chicago Kid

 July 2015, East Van Summer Jam 

We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap -
Photo: Kassandra Guagliardi

Eastvan Summer Jam 2015 in Strathcona Park. Easily one of the best bands I’ve seen with a live hip-hop act this year. BJ The Chicago Kid tested out “Church” – which at the time had not yet been released – and I was instantly sold as a fan. Of course I had always respected BJ for his hooks and features but this particular performance he stood-out on his own.

I didn’t end up reviewing this show and despite not having anything prepared in the way of an interview, I knew I needed to speak to him. He was super chill, laid back, his band was entirely down-to-earth and he was cool enough to answer a few off-the-dome questions for me. This show was definitely a music highlight of my summer.

Shout-out Timbre Concerts.

BJ The Chicago Kid drops new single in Vancouver; talks album debut

Tory Lanez

November 2015, Alexander Gastown

We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap -
Photo: Johnny Black

Tory Lanez did two shows at this venue in 2015, both of which I attended / worked at. In February he packed in the room of the freshly opened Alexander Gastown, dropped tracks in support of Lost Cause and it was all a great time. Fast forward to November and “Say It” becomes arguably the baddest track of 2015: T.Lanez has a lineup down the block of fans trying to get into the same venue. It was bananas. He literally hung from balconies and walked on the crowd during his performance.

“Initiation” could have possibly have been my most favourite single live tracks performed all year. Kira Hunston killed it on the review on this show as her debut to the HHC West Coast team and Johnny Black was nice on the photos.

Shout-out Timbre Concerts and Alexander Gastown for this one too.

Tory Lanez does more than just Say It for Vancouver


A$AP Rocky

November 2015, Roger’s Arena 

We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap -
Photo: Kassandra Guagliardi

This was my second time seeing Rocky live and in a space more than four times the size as the last. It was during the Rocky and Tyler Tour stop at Roger’s Arena with Tyler, The Creator, Danny Brown and Vince Staples and the venue was packed with thousands of screaming under-agers. Fortunately I had the plug that night and got to snaps flicks and take notes from super-close side stage – which definitely added to the hype.

Although Rocky’s performance ended a little pre-maturely for my liking, “L.S.D” was played with such perfection, not to mention the stage set-up was on point, and the A$AP Mob ended up partying at Alexander Gastown for the official after-party. Between seeing Flocko on-stage at a 7000k plus capacity venue to seeing the him and the Mob show-out for an intimate after-party of 400, this was entirely one of the dopest nights to happen this year .

Shout out Live Nation, Timbre Concerts & Alexander Gastown.

Tyler, The Creator gets nasty; A$AP Rocky pulls out quick in Vancouver

The Weeknd

December 2015, Roger’s Arena

We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap -
Photo: Jamie Sands

This was the first time I’ve seen The Weeknd perform and although I have to say the big arena shows are not my favourite (I prefer the sticky, over-crowdedness of an cozy venue) I’m glad I witnessed this future legend in his prime. It was like what you can imagine seeing Prince during the time of Purple Rain was like. Absolutely incredible, so talented. What a voice.

Technically this was my birthday week so I didn’t end up reviewing this show. Prachi Kamble did a great job of that though, and of course Jamie on the photos. As far as stadium shows go, this was one of the best I’ve seen.

Shout out Live Nation.

The Weeknd Takes Vancouver Behind The Madness

Majid Jordan

December 2015, Alexander Gastown

We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap -
Photo: Kassandra Guagliardi

What is a better way to see this epic duo than on the verge of colossal success, at an intimate venue, for roughly their first promoted live show ever?  Nothing. This is one of my top 5 shows – in life. Ever. I first caught them for their soundcheck – where they ran through their entire set and meticulously tweaked every single song – and could I not move. Then again for their full show, with lights dimmed and crowd in-place, Majid Jordan are stunning, captivating and absolutely beyond compare. There are hardly words to describe the disposition of this event but Prachi Kamble took in the show and painted a beautiful picture. I took some photos too…and probably 35 Snapchats and a few Instagams. What a night.

Shout out Timbre Concerts & Alexander Gastown

Majid Jordan give Vancouver a night of sophisticated sounds

Honourable Mentions:


Travis Scott

April 2015, Venue Nightclub

We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap -
Photo: Jamie Sands

This was a night that equally enthused me as it did turn me off. Travis Scott is one epic temper-tantrum throwing asshole, but he puts on a hell of a memorable fucking show.

Shout out Blueprint Events.

Travi$ Scott arrives in Vancouver on high horse (Live Review) [Photos]

Erykah Badu

June 2015, Alexander Gastown

We got it live: 2015 West Coast Concert recap -
Photo: Kassandra Guagliardi

This was another one of those shows where you attend and can’t believe you witnessed. Erykah Badu played her catalogue of classics at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre and afterwards stepped into her alter-ego Low-down Loretta Brown and DJ’d for an intimate crowd at Alexander Gastown. We didn’t have a chance to cover either events and although her time on the mic was limited, being 5 feet from a legend while she spun her favourite tracks was worthy of a mention.

Shout out Timbre Concerts, SlowJamSundays & Alexander Gastown for being apart of most of my favourite 2015 concerts memories.

Twitter: @kasskills | @jsandsphoto

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Kassandra has her hands in several cookie jars. Born in Ontario but raised on the West coast, she is currently located in the wonderfully diverse East side of Vancouver. With a passion for all things creative KassKills is a hair stylist by day and HipHopCanada's West Coast Regional Editor by night. Music and public relations are her true passions and although she didn't inherit the talent of her musician father she makes her mark on the industry through other avenues. By night you can catch KassKills at almost every Vancity hip-hop show, shaking hands and snapping photos while covering and supporting the local music scene. On top of that she works closely with one of the cities most reputable concert promotors, Timbre Concerts. Kass is a hustler by nature and works hard to play a key role Vancity's hip-hop scene. Over the years she has seen, photographed and interviewed many of hip-hop's top artists such as T.I, Raekwon, Sheek Louch, Noreaga, Black Milk, Waka Flocka, Ab-Soul & Dizaster.

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