Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kyle

Favorite concert experiences

Recommended Posts

There was once a time when I would go to 20 to 30 concerts a year and picking my favorite shows of a year was a difficult proposition. However, this year I went to two, so it wasn't too difficult. And, as it so happens both were unbelievable.

1. Belle and Sebastian & the New Pornographers (the Paramount - Seattle)

Way, way better than anticipated. One of my favorite shows of all-time actually. Even without Neko and Bejar, the Pornos were stunners - all rock, all the time. B&S were great showmen as well. After listening to their ubur lo-fi work for so long I was surprised to see how polished they were live. Although they can come off as mopy on album they had a blast live.

2. Rosie Thomas & Korby Lenker (Triple Door - Seattle)

Triple Door is the best venue I've ever been to, hands down. Set up as a dinner theatre it is clean, has great sight lines, you're sitting down and the sound is amazing. For those of you who have never seen Rosie Thomas live, do yourself a favor and catch her on tour. Never has there been such a difference between speaking voice and singing voice. Her singing voice is powerful and lively. Her speaking voice, high pitched and hilarious. She's also practically a stand-up comedian live (not surprising, since she has been known to moonlight as a comedian under her alter-ego "Sheila"). Great show and great fun.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James Galway - Benaroya Hall, Seattle

The Chieftains - Benaroya Hall, Seattle

T Bone Burnett - The Moore, Seattle

Cherryholmes, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - Darrington Bluegrass Festival

Joe Craven - Wintergrass

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a tie:

1a) Sigur Ros -- The first time I've seen this band live, and they were fabulously ethereal and loud. Yes, those two concepts do go together quite nicely.

1b) Birdmonster -- Four band members, 15 audience members, and a sweaty, good time was had by all. My favorite concert venues are dank basements that hold about 50 people, with rusty pipes overhead dripping dubious liquids onto your head. That was the setting for Birdmonster, and they ripped it up as if they were playing for 15,000 instead of 15.

Worst Concert Experiences of 2006

Paul Simon -- I swore that I would never again attend a concert at a massive outdoor amphitheater, left with the choice of watching the ant-sized performers on the stage, or watching them on a Jumbotron screen. I broke my vow. When will I ever learn?

Amos Lee -- Amos didn't want to be in a concert hall in Columbus, Ohio. After a short time, I didn't want to be there, either.

Next Monday, The Hold Steady in Cleveland.

Edited by Andy Whitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't see nearly enough live shows this year, but the handful I saw got me through...

1. The Arcade Fire - Paramount

One of the best shows I've ever seen. I still get an adrenalin rush just thinking about it. It felt like trying to remain standing in the blast of a 747's jet engines.

2. T-Bone Burnett - The Moore Theater

A dream-team of a band jamming until our ears bled. The concert was much, much more satisfying than the album... and I say that as a big fan of the album.

3. Over the Rhine - The Glen Workshop

Gosh... about half of the show was new material, and all of that new material was fantastic. Too bad we have to wait until summer for the actual album.

4. Bruce Cockburn - Benaroya

Half a regular Bruce show, half an instrumental Bruce show. As pristine and perfect as any concert acoustics I've ever experienced.

5. Over the Rhine - Neumo's

A solid Drunkard's Prayer show... better performances than their show at the Tractor a year before.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to see one more show this month just so I can do a complete Top 10.

1. Sonic Youth and Be Your Own Pet -- The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC

I left that show thinking, "I can't believe I wasted the last fifteen years not seeing every Sonic Youth show within a 200-mile radius." Watching Kim Gordon dance to and sing "Drunken Butterfly" from just a foot or two away was the best three minutes of my concert-going life.

2. Calexico and Oakley Hall -- The Bijou, Knoxville, TN

Oakley Hall would have shown up 99% of headline bands out there. They are an amazing live band. Calexico, improbably, was even better.

3. Bruce Cockburn -- The Bijou, Knoxville, TN

4. Aimee Mann -- The Bijou, Knoxville, TN

5. Richard Thompson -- The Bijou, Knoxville, TN

6. Ryan Adams -- The Bijou, Knoxville, TN

7. Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think -- The Bijou, Knoxville, TN

8. Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers -- The Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, TN

9. Rhys Chatham and USA is Stupid -- The Bijou, Knoxville, TN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How was Do Make Say Think live?


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not much for concert-going. Don't get me wrong--I love the sound of live music and I've seen a few really great shows but the potential for disappointment is so high and more times than not I leave the concert thinking I would have rather bought a few CDs.

Even given my slight aversion to concerts I'm a little surprised I can only remember going to one show this entire year!

It was Bonnie Prince Billy at The Department of Safety in Anacortes, WA and I tried really hard to like this concert but it was the one show that his female vocalist counterpart went home for her mother's birthday (Mother shmother...). And if any of you have heard his new album (which is very good by the way) you know that the female vocals are pretty integral to the feel of a lot of the songs.

So, below is a list of my best live experiences of 2006:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How was Do Make Say Think live?

Fantastic. I actually preferred them to Broken Social Scene, who, I should add, put on an amazing show. Together, the two bands played for 3+ hours. But seeing BSS live confirmed the impression I'd had after listening to their records -- I like them in theory but all of their songs are utterly forgettable. And I mean that literally. I've listened to Broken Social Scene (the newest full-length) 20 or 30 times and can't hum a single tune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you don't have any DMST albums, I highly recommend their purchase.

Having foresworn live music for practical reasons, my favorite live experiences of the last year have been:

1. The old guy with the bagpipes that plays on Saturday across from the train station.

2. The two little boys who play bagpipes every day in August just down from the castle terrace.

3. The younger old guy with the bagpipes that plays every day across from the courthouse.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well if you don't have any DMST albums, I highly recommend their purchase.

I second that recommendation.

I think this is the first year since I can't remember when that I didn't go to any shows, and I missed some good ones -- Joanna Newsom, Asobi Seksu, mewithoutYou, etc. Hopefully I'll do a little bit better in 2007 and be less curmudgeonly.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the Rhine with Hem in Nashville and Atlanta. I couldn't resist scoping out two dates on their Sweet Infatuation Tour, and, though the setlists were almost the same, both shows were knockouts. Over the Rhine performed generous sets that were full of surprises, humor, and moments of astounding beauty. These dates were both much better than the strong show they played in Knoxville last fall.

Wilco at Knoxville's Tennessee Theater. Their recent, more experimental albums have caused most folks to forget that these guys happen to be a first-rate rock and roll band. This show was a revelation, and my love for Wilco skyrocketed-- their performance was taut, energetic, and sparkling with a reckless, careening energy. It's even better than their live album, which is a phenomenal set in its own right. Oh, and the new material they played makes me hopeful that their next album will be their best yet.

Old Crow Medicine Show in Knoxville. These guys are fantastic showmen, and they bring an authenticity to their music that you just don't hear in many other modern bluegrass outfits. Good, mostly clean fun.


Partner in Cahoots

www.cahootsmag.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a hard time playing anything other than this for about two weeks when it came out.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old Crow Medicine Show in Knoxville. These guys are fantastic showmen, and they bring an authenticity to their music that you just don't hear in many other modern bluegrass outfits. Good, mostly clean fun.

They don't play bluegrass and never have.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, I haven't been on here in a year or so (my wife had twins). And I missed it. And the best gig I saw in 2006 was a thing called Came So Far For Beauty in Dublin which was a four hour show of people covering Leonard Cohen songs, included in the line up were Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Mary Margaret O'Hara and Beth Orton. Awesome. But then again Leonard Cohen is about the best songwriter in the world IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, I haven't been on here in a year or so (my wife had twins). And I missed it. And the best gig I saw in 2006 was a thing called Came So Far For Beauty in Dublin which was a four hour show of people covering Leonard Cohen songs, included in the line up were Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Mary Margaret O'Hara and Beth Orton. Awesome. But then again Leonard Cohen is about the best songwriter in the world IMHO.

And with that crowd doing the covers, no wonder it was a great show.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best - Denison Witmer / Page France / Anthallo

Worst - Jars of Clay

Of course I only went to two but I was still mildly disappointed in Jars.


"I am quietly judging you" - Magnolia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DMST's Goodbye Enemy Airship . . . has gotten quite a bit of play around my house since the concert. What other albums do you all recommend?

All of their releases are quite good in their own way. Goodbye Enemy Airship... is probably my fave (that last track is a monster!), but & Yet & Yet would be a close second.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorites:

1. Robert Randolph and the Family Band - The Pageant, St. Louis. Robert tore the roof off that joint!

2. My Morning Jacket - The Pageant, St. Louis

3. Over the Rhine - Blueberry Hill, St. Louis - The jazziest I've ever seen them

4. Mute Math - Cornerstone 2006

5. Lost Dogs - Cornerstone 2006

6. The Choir - Old Roxana Theater, Roxana, IL - A rare concert appearance

7. Hem - Blueberry Hill, St. Louis

8. Devotchka/My Brightest Diamond, Blueberry Hill, St. Louis

9. Joanna Newsom, Blueberry Hill, St. Louis

10. Kevin Max/Violet Burning, Off Broadway, St. Louis

Edited by Crow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to launch a thread like this for 2011. Maybe we (Josh) can just update the title of this thread?

Lyle Lovett played Wolf Trap two nights ago, the last stop of his summer tour. No opening act. Lovett and his large band played for 2 hours and 20 minutes. I don't think I've ever been to a concert with a main act that played that long.

So much of what makes a Lovett show worth seeing are the people that surround Lovett. Like James Taylor, he attracts amazing musicians and, very importantly, great backup singers. I once saw Lovett solo, and while it was fun, a large band and a solid group of singers bring out the best in hymn and his songs.

My wife, bless her heart, bought tickets mainly because she knew I would enjoy the show. She's not too familiar with Lovett's music. Apparently my incessant playing of Lovett's stuff predates our relationship -- a startling revelation (have I really been listening to this guy that long? Yes -- even longer). So she sat patiently, but when I wanted to stick around for the encore (goes with the territory, right?), she tensed up a bit. I could see she was thinking of the time it would take us to get out of the parking lot, the babysitter, the costs. But she listened politely for a song. Then for one more.

She reached a tipping point during the third and final song, which was a mostly lengthy instrumental in which several large-band members took very long solos. First the guitarist. Sarah leaned over as the solo wrapped and said, "I hate these things" (meaning solos).

Then the pianist. After that Sarah started speaking aloud -- not shouting, but loud enough so I could hear her over the music -- "if this goes on much longer, we're going to leave."

Then ... the cellist! That did it. The guy hardly even used a bow, for goodness sake! He was doing things on the neck of the cello that I can't even describe. By the time he took the bow back in hand and started into the wrapup, my wife was guffawing loudly. This was annoying to those around us, I'm sure. I got annoyed early in the concert when some people two groups to our left kept talking. I couldn't understand what they were saying; they just chattered on through a couple of early songs. Didn't they come to hear Lyle?

At least Sarah held out till the very end. I wish she'd have lasted just a few minutes longer, but then ... you wouldn't be hearing this story.

Great show. But of the two, count 'em, TWO concerts I've seen this year, this one would rank second, behind Brad Mehldau at the Library of Congress.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...