The Pink Mountaintops, led by Stephen McBean, are headlining a show at the Queen’s on April 13. (Photo submitted)

The Pink Mountaintops, led by Stephen McBean, are headlining a show at the Queen’s on April 13. (Photo submitted)

Pink Mountaintops and others to play psychedelic rock in Nanaimo

‘Rock ‘n’ roll mystic’ Stephen McBean and his band headline April 13 show

A musician who has been described as “one of the last rock ‘n’ roll mystics” is headlining a show in Nanaimo next week.

Stephen McBean and his band Pink Mountaintops, along with other artists from Nanaimo and beyond, play the Queen’s on Thursday, April 13.

McBean, who was raised in Victoria, has been a staple of the Vancouver Island music scene for decades, however he’s most known for being the frontman of Black Mountain, a Juno-nominated psychedelic-rock band.

Peacock Pools, named after the peacocks that run wild in Arcadia, Calif., is Pink Mountaintops’ newest genre-bending album that was mostly recorded in McBean’s house there during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“It was mostly inspired by just friends throwing ideas back and forth, trying to stay sane and creative, and somewhat productive while we kind of sat and waited for the best,” said the artist. “You could say it’s a pandemic record, but it’s not a sad record. It was like trying to make a fairly rocking record, via isolation.”

READ MORE: Revitalized musical about infamous cult leader returns to Nanaimo

The album offers several styles and genres, taking inspiration from disco, folk and metal, even covering Black Flags’ Nervous Breakdown, but to longtime fans of McBean’s work, his lyrical ability stands out the most.

“He’s one of Canada’s best songwriters, for sure,” said Dave Read of Caveman and the Banshee, a psych-rock duo playing the April 13 show.

Along with Pink Mountaintops bandmates Tygh Runyan and Andrew Moszynski, McBean will also be joined onstage by Nanaimo’s Caveman and the Banshee, as well as Sonder, a post-punk quartet from Cumberland.

The Queen’s show starts at 9 p.m and tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Nanaimo is one of six shows Pink Mountaintops is playing on its Vancouver Island and coastal B.C. tour.

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