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May 18, 2007
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Volume 35
Issue 20
 
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Where It's At
Where It's At: Virgin Festival in Vancouver, BC welcomes The Killers, AFI, My Chemical Romance, Metric and 40 other great acts
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Virgin Festival w/ The Killers, AFI, My Chemical Romance, Metric and others
Sunday-Monday, May 20-21 - 1:30-10:30pm daily
Thunderbird Stadium - $40 (CA) per day + $1 for HIV and youth charity donation


If you're not into roughing it at The Gorge to get a birds-eye view of Bjork at Sasquatch, then head north to Vancouver for the Virgin Festival featuring The Killers, AFI, My Chemical Romance, Hot Hot Heat, Mute Math, Metric, Billy Talent, Rise Against, Stars of Track and Field, Tommie Sunshine and a roster of terrific up and coming rock acts from the US and Canada. This is the first-ever Virgin Festival in Western Canada, which has already established residencies in Toronto, Baltimore, and its hometown of London, England. The event takes place at Thunderbird Stadium, on the very scenic campus of the University of British Columbia.

The Killers have been touring steadily since the November release of Sam's Town, the Las Vegas outfit's sophomore album and follow up to 2004's Hot Fuss, a must-have for any Gay-owned MP3 player. They earned two Grammy nominations for "When You Were Young" (SGN's Top 25 Singles/Tracks, 2006) and won a Brit Award for Best International Group earlier this year. In October, The Killers performed to a packed house at the Paramount Theatre, reviewed by SGN A & E writer Richard Kennedy. The rock quintet, featuring the sexy and muy macho Brandon Flowers, have a date at Seattle's WaMu Theater (almost sold out) on Sunday, and then drive up to Vancouver for a Monday night headlining appearance at the festival. The Killers will play hits from both albums, and I expect the main floor to become a human trampoline during "Somebody Told Me" (SGN's Top 10 Singles/Tracks, 2004).

AFI, led by openly Gay singer Davey Havok, has also toured everywhere and anywhere for the past several months. They headlined a performance at last year's Bumbershoot, drawing a huge audience to Memorial Stadium after a 90-plus degree afternoon. "Miss Murder", the initial cut from AFI's strong-selling effort Decemberundergound, reached the top spot on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. My Chemical Romance, who I bumped into at their Seattle hotel lobby in December, are one of those bands that continue to attract large crowds to their live shows in each city they go to. In Seattle, they'll open for The Killers at WaMu Theater. At the Virgin Festival, they close out Saturday night's concert. Metric, fronted by the versatiley talented Emily Haines, will provide the two-day shindig with a nice dose of pop-punk-electronica.

I'm really looking forward to the Virgin Festival, especially since it takes place in one of the most fabulous cities on the West Coast. Tickets, with proceeds going to HIV and youth charities, are on sale at www.virginfestival.ca. Should you decide on an impromptu road outing to Vancouver, my top hotel pick is Opus, a favorite of A-list celebs and rock stars, in the Yaletown district. Aside from wooing Hollywood's elite, Opus hosts several same-sex ceremonies yearly and sponsors social events in connection with Gay ski week. Plus, they have the friendliest staff and hottest Towncar drivers around. Visit www.opushotel.com for details on room rates and amenities, including complimentary Internet and wireless service, for your next stay in Vancouver - perhaps for Gay pride festivities in early August.

Log onto www.seattlegayblog.blogspot.com on May 20 and 21 for special coverage of the Virgin Festival in Vancouver. Adam White, lead singer of Canadian rock band The Reason, will be speaking with Seattle Gay News backstage at the event. A. Rodriguez

Artist essentials: Sam's Town and Hot Fuss by The Killers, and Decemberunderground by AFI.

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