Friday, December 29, 2006
Favorite Concerts of 2006
My girl Chan live at Town Hall, NYC 2006
Cat Power La Cigale Paris, France November 11, 2005
Cat Power, "The Greatest" (yousendit link) (a taste for those who aren't sure they should d/l the whole show)
I went to lots of shows this year and figured I'd kick off my look back at 2006 with the best concerts I saw all year. For the record, I didn't include any bands that played at DJ events, so no Hot Chip at Making Time or Uffie at Ed Banger Showcase.
1) Cat Power at Town Hall
This was the one, the show that comes to mind when I try to remember why I care about rock/indie music. I had loved Cat Power for awhile already, but it was her latest album, The Greatest, that I considered to be her best. I was incredibly excited for this show, although everyone has heard the stories about Chan Marshall and her erratic behavior in concert. Mang, every single moment of this show was perfect. The new songs were just as good as the recorded versions, the Memphis backing band were smoking, Chan was in great spirits. I won't drone on and on about how good the music was or how beautiful she is, but I will tell one story that sums up why this night was so magical. After a numerous encores, the band and Marshall began to finally walk off the stage for good. Suddenly, Chan ran back to the piano and spontaneously played my favorite song of all, "I Don't Blame You." It was beautiful, sparse, poignant and I believe all for me.
1) Spank Rock at the Mercury Lounge
Thinking back to this show makes me want to cry. It was such a wonderful night, one of those shows as parties that just doesn't happen much anymore. Spank Rock came to NYC and destroyed the city, as the youngest hardest working man in show business did the album, danced, came into the audience, had the crowd dancing from the first beats. It was so unlike any NYC show. Why, you may ask? Because most of the audience had travelled from Philly to see their boy. The end of the night featured a full-on dance party with most of those people on stage. It was beautiful and was a simple snapshot of why I love Spank Rock and why I love Philly so much.
3) Love Is All at Starlight Ballroom
It's a sign of just how amazing the above shows were that this one comes in third. One of the greatest things as a music fan is the unexpected, the band you didn't know about it blowing your mind. Love Is All were the first band to blow me away out of the blue in a long time. I had read about them and knew they existed, but wasn't in attendance for their performance this night. No, I was there to see The Go! Team. Poor Go! Team, as Love Is All blew them away and made the final set of the night irrelevant. LIA
4) Kudu at Nublu, every Tuesday night
Aww mang, Kudu is my group. For real, there's no band that I saw as many times over the course of the year; I was on some Deadhead shit with them most of the year, catching them every time they played in NYC and I was there. I chose their weekly Tuesday residency at Nublu as my favorite show(s), as it was the most amazing experience to watch an amazing, up and coming band perform a few feet from me, giving the audience a chance to see them grow with each gig. I will be telling people one day that I was there in the beginning.
5) Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins at Church sanctuary and TLA
This is definitely the most surprising inclusion on the list for me. At least, if you had asked at the beginning of the year. I was a casual fan of Rilo Kiley, really enjoyed their last album, liked their show at the Troc, but nothing intense. Then, I went to see Ms. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins perform at the First Unitarian Church in Philly and suddenly I was in love. This first show was amazing, as we sat in church pews (as opposed to the normal space in the basement and listened to this wonderul country-tinged music and Jenny's gorgeous voice and all the great songs from the album. She followed it up a few months later with an amazing performance in a much bigger, less intimate venue, which confirmed that this is the real deal. And that Jenny Lewis is a star. And that I will always listen to my good friend TA and her recommendations.
Honorable Mentions) Peaches at TLA, Ratatat at the Khyber and The Presets at the Khyber, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Blood On The Wall at the Troc, TV On The Radio and Grizzly Bear at the Starlight Ballroom and Animal Collective at Starlight
1) Gogol Bordello at Troc
I can't even begin to get into all the reasons why this show sucks. This was the night where I became the obnoxious guy, where I probably should have seen the light. Gogol was shockingly average and the opening band was the worst band I heard all year (close second goes to the TLA Jenny Lewis opener). Ugh, this is the last I will ever think of this night.
1) Four shows in 4 nights.
It took me months before I was ready to go see another concert.
There you have, the best shows I saw all year. I want to thank TA, MG, my bol JT, JK, anyone else I attended a show with and all of the amazing promoters and clubs in Philly and NYC who have brought these amazing shows to us, especially R5 Productions, the best independent promoter in the country. I am really looking forward to 2007, seeing more of my favorites, getting new favorites and having those amazing moments that only come from being in a sweaty club listening to music. Support local music.