Best of 2011: Live Shows

>> Saturday, November 12, 2011

And on we go.....

Earlier this week, we went over the list of the best album covers of 2011, and now, as promised, I am going to discuss with you my favorite live concert experiences of 2011. Should be a good time, stick around. 

1. The Rural Alberta Advantage at The Tractor Tavern, Ballard WA. (Land of Pines and Lord Huron in support)

I wrote about this as one of my Show of the Day entires a while back, and, to be honest, a lot of this blurb here, is going to be stolen from that, as it was written in the moment, and a much better glimpse of the all out awesomeness of that show. The best show I have been too, not just in 2011, but ever. Here is what I had to say....
The Rural Alberta Advantage blew my fucking mind. There is not a lot more to say. That band can put on a show. I know I mentioned that Land of Pines were clean, but RAA put them to shame. Rarely does a band live up to the live recordings. Never does a band surpass them. Until last night. The RAA blew their record out of the water. Now, I have loved their 2009 release "Hometowns" hard. But I was having trouble falling for more then a track or two of their 2011 "Departing" release, but after the show, I listened again, and again this morning, and it is now a front runner for my top spot of the year. It's crazy how much a show can impact a record. But to get onto the show itself there are a couple points I would like to make:

First, Amy Cole, keyboardist, xylophonist, and single drummer extraordinaire, I love you. You win.

Second, My co-blogger's asshole husband and I have debated about this band and their drumming. We were certain that either the group was using drum machine for their fills, or utilizing studio tricks to get that crisp crazy timing. And holy fuck were we wrong. That was the most impressive drumming I have ever seen. And to be honest, I might still win the debate, I think he might be a robot, which, technically speaking, is a drum machine. Seriously, listen to the drumming in the third track below. I win.

Third, A little under 4 weeks ago, I posted the song "Good Night" and my SotD. And I was certain from moment one, that it was one of those great album songs, that would never see the dark of night at a show. But, I got the best birthday wish ever when the band pushed through the crowd, stood on three chairs and did an unplugged, nearly prefect rendition to a packed, breath-held tractor tavern. It will easily become one of my favorite concert memories. We win.

It really was, and still is, a concert that we talk about with the highest esteem. Often followed by the words, "best show ever."

2. the Head and the Heart at The Showbox at the Market. Seattle, WA. (Supporting David Bazan, Supported by Damien Jurado)
Don't worry. I am not going to be as wordy with the rest of these concert recaps, that first one was unavoidable.
Sadly, we did not catch any photographic evidence of this show, but, believe me, it was the bees knees. We, Stevie and I, got to the show early enough to take advantage of our age and dim witted peers, to get into the bar pre-show, get a number so we could get in early enough to get primo seats on the rail, just to the side of the stage. Prefect, easy going vantage. It was a no fuss concert. We even made friends, and when I say we, I mean Stevie, as she can befriend any stranger.
Anyways, we were at this show just the see THATH, who, at the time, were still small potatoes. And man, they did not disappoint. It was a special show. But, mostly, I got to go to a show with Stevie, just her and I. And we had fun. I remember the music, sure. But I remember conversations, and laughs, and good times that the music provided the soundtrack for.


3. Citizen Cope at The Triple Door. Seattle, WA. 
This was another show where it was just Stevie and I, but this one took a bit more convincing than THATH did. I have been a fan of Citizen Cope since his first record dropped in 2002. In fact, his sophomore album and a handful of songs peppered my best of the decade lists. But, you would not hear the same thing from Stevie, as she was not a "fan." But, I think the show converted her. 
Rather than have an opener, Citizen Cope, just opted to play two full sets. It was a hellofa choice. Just the man, and his guitar, and a spot light. And anyone who has been to The Triple Door, will attest, that is just not a better venue in Seattle. The show was so good that the girl sitting just to the left of me was crying. Like she was moved to tears. And, instead of laughing at her, I knew her better. It was that good of a show. 


4. Brett Dennen at The Moore Theater. Seattle, WA. (with Dawes in support)
Front row. That's all I have to say. Front row. 
Ok, I'll say a little bit more. Before show: Brett Dennen = Huge Fan. Dawes = No Clue. After show:  Brett Dennen =  Huger Fan. Dawes = Top ten record of 2011. For the rest of this recap. See the pictures below.

"Come Back Kid (That's My Dog)" by Brett Dennen

"So Well" by Dawes

5. Campfire OK at The Space. Tacoma, WA (supported by Kris Orlowski and Tony Kevin Jr) 
This is the most recent show I've had the pleasure to take in, and it was fantastic in it lowkeyness. On a small stage, overlooking the lights of Tacoma, the three bands took to the stage, and at one point, floor, and melted faces. Sadly, this show took place during the brunt of my back injury, so I spent most of the show, sitting in the back of the venue on the couch letting the waves of music wash over me while my concert going partners boogied. But, it was such a different concert going experience, that it stands out. I got to see a show from a different angle. 

 Tony Kevin Jr
Campfire Ok
"Wish You The Best"


Anonymous,  December 7, 2011 at 10:33 PM  

i also went to the damien jurado, head and the heart, and david bazan show. I have to agree; it was a great memory.

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