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Jack Johnson performing

Jack Johnson Impresses at Deer Lake Park

There were few visible patches of green grass left on the fields at Deer Lake Park by the time the opening act went onstage yesterday night. Lined up in makeshift rows were blankets and lawn chairs belonging to fans patiently waiting to spend a musical evening with Jack Johnson.

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Warming up the crowd for the evening were California rockers Animal Liberation Orchestra who slot in to replace the original opener. Michael Kiwanuka cancelled the rest of his tour dates with Johnson to illness and doctor’s orders to rest. ALO are signed to Johnson’s label, Brushfire Records, and have eight full-length albums under their belt. The friendship between ALO and Johnson date back over a decade and have also collaborated in their musical efforts. This union was noted when Johnson joined the band onstage briefly for the harmonies in “Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down”. The band discussed one of their first experiences playing in Vancouver to a small crowd at the former Richard’s on Richard’s, which was quite the contrast with the sold-out crowd at Deer Lake Park last night.

As the first notes of Johnson’s own set began, fans sprung up from the comforts of their sprawled out blankets on the field to catch a better view of the stage. Johnson’s first song of the evening was “Hope” from his 2008 album Sleep Through The Static. The backdrop of Deer Lake Park provided a balanced mix of beauty and serenity, which made it the perfect venue for the second edition of Johnson’s From Here to Now to You tour. The weather was in full co-operation, as pointed out by Johnson himself at one point during his set. Johnson’s previous tour stops in Vancouver saw him play a theatre and an arena, and Deer Lake Park surpasses both in being an ideal venue for the Jack Johnson experience.

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The sold-out crowd was eager to hear all of their favourite Jack Johnson songs, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Pulling from his catalogue of crowd favourites, Johnson performed a number of his biggest songs to date, including “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing”, “Bubble Toes”, “Breakdown”, and “Upside Down” – to name a few. Of course, “Banana Pancakes” was also on the list and on everyone’s minds, as the Rocky Point Ice Cream truck even created a flavour to commemorate the song. The way that the sold-out crowd sang along to Johnson’s songs is affirmation to his popularity and in the way that his music connects to the fans.

It was a wonderful sight to see fans of all ages coming together to enjoy the music of Jack Johnson. Although the season of summer concerts is slowly drawing to a close, the memories of the music that we have all enjoyed at Deer Lake Park this year will stick with us. The last show of the Concerts in the Park series will be Jack White on August 28th. For more upcoming events in Burnaby, be sure to check out the Tourism Burnaby information page.