Tue. Mar 15, 2022 at 8:00pm PDT
All Ages
48 days away
0.00 CAD $ - 159.00 CAD $
All Ages
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Event Stats
48 days away
0.00 CAD $ - 159.00 CAD $
All Ages
Event Description

Doors 7:00 Show 8:00 PM 

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  • One Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate & Matching Lanyard


The artists who would come to be known for

posterity as Sparks commenced inventing their often-copied, seldom-equaled

brand of music back around 1970, when pop was young and brash and the Southern

California airwaves awash with a contingent of post-British invasion

inspirations like The Kinks, Barretts Floyd, and The Seeds. The purchase of

countless shiny-sleeved import LPs convinced young Ron and Russell Mael that

this enticingly provocative presentation would be the ideal means by which to

impress upon the public their idiosyncratic take on life, art, and everything.

Their efforts crystallized in 1971, with the addition of another pair of

brothers, Earle and Jim Mankey, and drummer Harley Feinstein, incorporated

under the uncommon name of Halfnelson. Produced by wonderboy and kindred spirit

Todd Rundgren, the groups startlingly original debut yielded a local hit (local

being Montgomery, Alabama); then vanished from view. Their label, with the

mysterious logic that only record companies possess, decided that their

sportcentric moniker was responsible for the albums less-than-stellar

performance, and suggested a Marx Bros-inspired name change: thus Sparks was


A Woofer In Tweeters Clothing, was released as a follow-up, with high

psychedelia-cred coming from helmer James Lowe of The Electric Prunes. Once

again, clever nomenclature didnt translate to runaway revenues; and the group

found itself at an impasse. The icebreaker came from across the pond, where the

band had been welcomed enthusiastically by Continental types on a brief 1972

transatlantic jaunt. In quick succession the Maels parted ways with their LA

compatriots; hopped a plane to Heathrow; recruited a group of London

players-about-town to back them; and in 1974 began recording (with producer

Muff Winwood) the album that would make Sparks a Kimono-My-House-hold name in

the UK. Within 8 months of emigrating, the group had infected the Isles with

the melodic diabolism of the #2 hit This Town Aint Big Enough For Both of Us,

regularly frightening the nations children with their Top of the Pops

appearances. Propaganda, released mere months later, pushed pops margins yet

further and saw more Sparks in the charts. By all appearances, the band was

well and truly on its way.

But the musical climate was changing. Glam, with which Sparks had been jumbled

in for lack of more accurate categorisation, was on its last gasp.

Constitutionally incapable of sticking with the tried and true, the brothers

commissioned Tony Visconti to produce 1975s Indiscreet, which remains to this

day an aptly named artefact of impressive and enduring strangeness. While

musical revolution was not on the program in any comprehensive way, far more

daunting obstacles barricaded US airwaves, namely AOR

and MOR. The boys found themselves in a culture-wide

musical vacuum. Optimistically speaking, Big Beat (1976) can be regarded as

Sparks attempt thoroughly to break the mold of their perceived preciousity. But

the albums badass intentions faltered under the disjunction of Babs Streisand

producer Rupert Holmes matched to a backing band of NYC

pop-punks. Things went from cod to odd on 1977s Introducing Sparks, Columbia

Records attempt to present Sparks as radio-friendly product.

Once more, though, metamorphosis was in the offing. The Maels had recently been

enthralled by the synthetic seductiveness of Donna Summers dancefloor hit I

Feel Love, produced by Munichs mastermind of all things bleeping and looping,

Giorgio Moroder. Sparks and he crossed paths and set about inventing

electronica. 1979s Number One in Heaven is regarded as a benchmark in the

development of the genre which soon grew into synth-pop and later into dance,

trance, and techno. The following year, Terminal Jive added more structure to

the mix and yielded the bands biggest success, the 750,000-selling When Im With


Ron and Russell moved home to California and smack into the zeitgeist. KROQ-FM, the only LA station that mattered, got hold of 1981s

Whomp That Sucker,. KROQ played the hell out of Whomp

and its successors, Angst in My Pants (1982) and Sparks in Outer Space,(1983)

turning the group into hometown heroes.Following 1984s underrated Pulling

Rabbits Out of a Hat, they began again to retrench in more experimental

territory. Music That You Can Dance To, (1986) in sharp contrast to the

surrounding banality, dreamed up a landscape of sonic extremes; and along with

1988s Interior Design, saw their themes becoming more circumspect and

emotional, evocative perhaps of the challenges of holding the musical course

while navigating a sea of change.

Having installed one of the first available in-home configurations of a

professional recording studio to make Interior Design, the Maels resumed pop

duties purely as a duo. The Scottish collective Finitribe fortuitously proved

to be solid Sparks fans and brought the boys to their label for 1993s National

Crime Awareness Week.' It brought Sparks resoundingly into the 90s and started

the stirrings of an appreciation for their body of work. Happily, the boys

immediately justified all the attention by concocting an album deserving of the

accolades. 1994s Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins managed to marry the raw

vitality of their dancefloor discoveries to their perpetually sumptuous

melodies, trademark witticisms sharing space with ever-evolving emotional


Energized by this latest burst of recognition, the band aimed the next project

at introducing the new fans to the material in their extensive catalogue. In

essence a tribute album to themselves, the impeccably named Plagiarism(1998)

encompassed a Sparks Greatest Hits of sorts, with the added attraction of the

songs engaging and up-to-the-moment reworkings. Lavish orchestrations settled

side-by-side with Weillian turns and aggressive electronica, certain enhanced

presentations even evoking meanings alternate to the original versions.

Longtime enthusiasts Jimmy Somerville, Faith No More and Erasure added texture

with guest performances.

And so Sparks headed into the new millennium with their 18th album, Balls.'

Their first concert DVD, 'Live In London,' captured not

only much of the aggressive 'Balls' spirit, but also showcased many of the

Sparks' classics and the band's exciting live performance. 2002 saw the band

release their genre-defying opus, 'Lil' Beethoven.' Their 19th album constantly

challenged and pushed the boundaries of smart-pop to a new level. The 9

mini-operettas offered a glimpse of the craft and care that the Maels relish in

their recorded works. Three years on and Sparks completed work on their 20th

album Hello Young Lovers which is, quite simply an extraordinary masterpiece.

To achieve such enormity and expansiveness Ron and Russell Mael worked in a

limitless vacuum for the best part of 18 months. The only inspiration taken

from any current music was the provocation to go as far as possible in the

opposite direction. When writing and recording Lil' Beethoven Sparks broke the

rules, but in creating Hello Young Lovers the rule book was thrown away.

Following superb reviews, Sparks embarked on a European and British tour in which

Hello Young Lovers was performed in its entirety to amazed audiences. The

summer of 2006 saw Sparks perform, for the first time, live festivals all over

the world, which included headlining the Big Chill Festival in Britain.

Following these critically acclaimed live performances the band hit the road

again and played ton their devoted fans throughout the UK and Japan where they

completed a profoundly successful year.

When faced with the challenge of what to do next, Ron and Russell have, in the

past, not just risen to the challenge but surpassed any expectations. So when

asked what plans they had for their 21st album 'Exotic Creatures Of The Deep'

their answer was typically audacious: "How do we best unveil our new

album? How about playing in concert every single song off of every album that

preceded it, all 20 albums on 20 consecutive nights, culminating in the

premiere of our latest? Thats approximately 250 songs, or for you musicians, 4

million, 825 thousand, 273 notes. Come celebrate each and every one of those

notes with us!" Sparks, Los Angeles

And so, in May and June 2008 Ron, Russell and their band of LA musicians played

each of Sparks' 20 previous albums, one each night, at the Islington Academy in

North London. The sheer preposterous nature of the undertaking attracted media

attention throughout the world. On June 13 Sparks performed album number 21 'Exotic

Creatures Of The Deep' to a packed house and rave reviews at London's Shepherd's

Bush Empire. Further live dates followed including an astonishing performance

of the album at the band's alma mater UCLA and a

show-stopping headline performance at FujiRock in Japan before Sparks returned

to London to play two nights at the Forum.

Sparks' career then took an unexpected but perhaps not surprising turn when

Sweden's national radio station Sveriges radio commissioned them to write and

produce an original radio musical. Sparks created, "The Seduction of

Ingmar Bergman," a musical fantasy based on the internationally acclaimed

film director Ingmar Bergman. The part-Swedish version of the recording was

broadcast in Sweden in August 2009 accompanied by a limited edition CD of this

original Swedish version. The international English-language version of 'The

Seduction of Ingmar Bergman' was broadcast in Britain on BBC 6

Music in November and released in November 2009 as a double vinyl and a limited

deluxe boxset on the band's own label Lil' Beethoven Records. Reaction to the

musical was nothing short of astonishing. Sparks are now developing the musical

for cinema with the award winning Canadian director Guy Maddin and in 2011 they

presented the musical in a live format at John Ford Amphitheatre, a performance

that was the highlight of the Los Angeles Film Festival.

In June 2012 Ron and Russell premiered their Two Hands One Mouth show at Bush

Hall in London. In October 2012 the 'Two Hands One Mouth' European tour saw the

American brothers tour as a duo for the first time. With no band & no

computers, Ron (two hands...on keyboards) and Russell (one mouth...on vocals)

presented the very essence of Sparks and their extensive catalogue in a show of

impact, energy and aggression. The tour was recorded and released in spring

2013 as Sparks' first ever live recording. In April 2013 Sparks made their

debut appearance at the Coachella festival and played an acclaimed run of USA dates.

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Venue Details
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Vogue Theatre 918 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L2
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