The Zone @ 91-3 signed on the radio June of 2001. And since that time, The Zone has sponsored a large number of Zone Shows. I didn’t come to the Zone till the spring of 2003, but I have done my best to reflect on some of the best concerts I can reckon from our extensive list of Zone Shows.
Were there better shows? maybe… in fact I can think of a bunch of great shows that aren’t on this list. I didn’t include anything that wasn’t a numbered Zone Show or anything that wasn’t in Victoria.
I wanted to include Rifflandia, it was Zone sponsored, but not a Zone Show… but it deserves a mention because it was so darn fun and the few shows I caught this year completely ripped! About half these shows I was at,m the other half I am relying on eye witness reports of their greatness and my jealousy of not being there. Here we go.
10) Sum 41 #1 Legends August 15th, 2001
The first Zone Show. I was not there but after talking with Sara, she felt that it would be important to mark the historic first in the franchise of “Zone Show” that featured a band that would continue to grow. When Sum 41 returns to Victoria now, they take up residence at the Arena, so if you were there back in the summer of ’01, you saw something special.
I originally wanted to include Sloan #60 Legends October 19th 2003. Sara asked, “what makes that show so special?”
I remember it as being one of the first big rock shows I got to MC as a young buck rocking the evening show on the Zone, but more importantly, there is this Zoner that phones my show from time-to-time that told me the story of his life and that show.
He brought a girl out on a first date to that rock show and they would end up getting married and are still married to this day. He always tells me how special Sloan and the Zone are to them because of that first date. awww, cute.
Our first big arena show was aptly, Zone Show #91, Our Lady Peace Save On Food Memorial Center, April 26 2006.
One of my great modern rock shames. Being the junior announcer on the Zone still, I had to work while everyone else went down to Centennial Square to see this hot new band with a hit single called “Somebody Told Me” open up for Sam Roberts!
08) Beck w/ Band of Horses #159 Royal Theatre August 27th 2008
I included this show for a couple reasons. One: Coral and her friend Alix got to meet the lead singer of Band of Horses outside the Theatre. Two: Beck totally slays. Three, Band of Horses just keep getting better. To see them in the theatre is a treat.
Fuck it rained that day. I was outside huddled under a tent in the down pour for an epic live-to-air pre-show that included performances and interviews from all the bands involved. It was Rise Against’s first time in Vic and marked Billy Talent’s rise to the top of the Canadian Arena Rocking pyramid.
They came in ’04, they conquered in ’09. The Killers jammed out a bevvy of radio friendly hits, were gracious to allow an interview on the Zone, fired up an impressive stage show and just generally exceeded expectation.
05) Metric #101 Legends March 29th 2006
Metric’s first time in Victoria was a handful of years earlier opening for Hot Hot Heat at Sugar, then again headlining with Death From Above 1979. Those shows were good, but this show, headlining in the basement of the Strathcona Hotel was great! Metric was starting to firmly establish themselves and you knew then that these guys were gunna be huge! Just read the The Zone DJs top records of the year and almost everyone has Fantasies on their list.
04) Tragically Hip #174 Save On Food Memorial Center June 20th 2009
The Hip have had more than a few amazing shows in Victoria. I personally preferred their visit in January of 2007 for Zone Show #116. Then I saw them at the Commodore with my brother CJ. That show was spectacular. But talking with Dylan Willows, he said that #174 was the BEST Hip show he had ever seen. The special shout out that Gord had for the Times Colonist’s music writer Mike Devlin was go down in infamy ’round these parts.
There is a trend on this list for the best shows being later int he decade. I think that is happening for two reasons. The first being that I remember them better and second, the Zone is growing as a radio station and bigger rock acts are choosing our fair city. I’ll take it.
Queens is arguably the biggest band we play on the radio. Not only are these guy important to our playlist on the radio, Josh Homme delivers the goods on stage. Was a joyful man to interview and just generally owned the evening.
02) Tool #143 Save On Food Memorial Center December 1st 2007
It was my mother’s 50th birthday party on December 1st… and so I had a date in Coquitlam for the shin-dig. And I missed one my all-time fave bands. I am not too broke up about it however, I’ve seen Tool live more than once and every show they do is special. I can only imagine that a concert that sold out instantly was as insane as I imagine. this will be a show that Zoners will celebrate forever, along with,
01) Nine Inch Nails #161 Save On Food Memorial Center December 5th, 2008
Could there have been a more perfect live experience in Victoria of the arena variety?
The lights alone were worth the price of admission. Trent had an exceptional set list, great energy and excitement for the entire evening. I didn’t want it to end.
There were a lot of great shows in Victoria, a lot club gigs, little festivals, Meatloaf. I could write all day about some of the adventures I’ve had watching Bob make out with some random goer in the beer line of the Def Leppard concert, falling down a flight of stair and cutting my leg at Pirate Party (that was after puking and sharing the hot tub with the twins… male twins… awkward), Plants and Animals, Lucky Bar in general, open Air at Centennial Square (RIP) all those crazy SUB parties up at UVic, Band of the Month shows… oh the list.
Actually, Meatloaf was pretty good.
Go with yourself.