Nerdventures: Chris Hadfield & the VSO

He spoke eloquently and passionately about his love for space and music. But what I will remember most from spending an evening in concert with Chris Hadfield is that he’s first and foremost a husband and father.

Chris entertained the sold out crowd at the Orpheum theatre (joking about our “typical” Vancouver spring weather) with a Larrivée guitar (the same local company that made the guitar that’s currently on the International Space Station) on his hip and a whole lot of charm. Even when he wasn’t singing, Chris would often glance back at the orchestra behind him with pride or look to conductor John Morris Russell for his musical cues. Those little moments made me an even bigger fan of Col. Hadfield.

nerdventures chris hadfield vso

Photo credits: VSO

He sang from his own personal repertoire, including a beautiful lullaby he had penned for his daughter while he was away in space (Space Lullaby) and one co-written with his brother, Dave, a silly tribute to their home and native land (In Canada).

Of course, no concert with the Rocket Man would be complete without the Bowie classic Space Oddity (with some minor lyrical tweaks) which was preceded by a moving tribute to the late rock legend.

But my personal favourite had to have been his stirring performance of Is Somebody Listening? which he performed back in 2013 from the ISS and was accompanied by nearly a million kids across Canada. He sang every line with so much heart and joy. It was evident that he was fiercely proud of this song in particular.

The concert was a deeply spiritual experience. When Chris shared his stories of his time spent on the ISS late at night, over-looking the Earth and the universe from the Cupola, his words transported you there. You were floating right next to Chris himself. Time was suspended. It was perfectly quiet and perfectly still for a few brief seconds. The only word that could even come close to describing that evening? Magic.

My deepest thanks to Col. Hadfield for everything he’s done as astronaut, musician, proud Canadian, and ambassador of nerdom. For more from Chris visit his site:

‘Til next time,


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