29 December 2008

08 Year in Review

Aught-eight was a surprisingly good year for live music both in quantity and quality. I knew a move from Boston to Rochester would diminish my musical choices quite a bit, but I did have a hopeful feeling that there would still be enough to sate my live music addiction. My feeling was indeed correct. The choices were fewer, but all that did was make it easier to decide which shows to see, and even got me out to see some great bands I definitely would have missed in a more saturated environment. Anyway, here is my list for the best 8 shows of 08, with a mix of the second half of the year thrown in at the end. Click the links for original reviews.

8. El Ten Eleven @ Bug Jar
I had never heard of El Ten Eleven but after reading a brief preview of the show in the paper, I thought it might be something I'd like to check out. And I was right! Hot damn! It was a Monday night, and a long freaking wait inside the small club for their headlining set, but well worth it. Probably the only time I have ever walked out of a show and bought 2 albums from the same band.

7. My Morning Jacket @ Radio City Music Hall
6. David Byrne @ Landmark Theatre
5. Wilco @ Auditorium Theatre
The only thing these 3 had going against them were high expectations. Met and exceeded for all 3. Also they happened to be the 3 longest encores of the year. MMJ did it all in one break, Wilco and Byrne forced 2 and 3 standing O's respectively from their audiences.

4. Apollo Sunshine @ Beat Kitchen
So happy to get to see Apollo Sunshine this year, what with their outstanding new album and all. I had to go all the way to Chicago to do it, and stay out way late on a weekend work night, but completely worth it. Not the best AS show I have ever seen, but I have a hard time ever missing an opportunity to catch these guys.

3. Phil Lesh/Levon Helm @ Highland Bowl
Best venue I attended this year, helped tremendously by the gorgeous summer afternoon, but also just a great spot right in the city with a super-chill outdoor party atmosphere both on stage and in the crowd. Seeing Levon was a great treat, and I really loved the new version of Phil's band, a lot more than others seem to. The song selection was great and the playing even better.

2. Fiery Furnaces @ Bug Jar
When it popped up on the calendar that the Fiery Furnaces would be playing the teeny tiny Bug Jar I was floored. When I popped up at the venue and the Fiery Furncaces were actually on stage at the teeny tiny Bug Jar, well I was just floored. Just a crazy crazy show in a crazy crazy atmosphere. I had to remind myself I was in Rochester.

1. Akron/Family @ Boulder Festival
These guys got inside my head and just turned up the happy juice, I was in heaven. Mindblowing.

Biggest disappointments: Mike Gordon @ Thursdays in the Park. I never got around to reviewing this one, but let's just say, booooooring. Way too jammy with a way underpar band.
Other than that, having to miss Dr. Dog the day after Akron/Family at the Boulder Festival, missing not one but two local MMW shows, arriving too late for Earl Greyhound, and getting sold out from the Felice Brothers.

Best new discoveries: El Ten Eleven, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Syme, Wax Fang, Le Loup, Cornmeal

Download my 2nd half mix here. My first half mix can be found here.
1. Sympathy for the Devil (w/ Jerry Joseph) Widespread Panic 8 July 2008 Rochester
2. Hey Jude Derek Trucks Band 11 July 2008 Rochester
3. The Other One > Phil Lesh & Friends 12 July 2008 Rochester
4. Another Reason to Go Vetiver 6 December 2008 Detroit
5. Raising the Sparks Akron/Family 21 February 2007 Edgar's Club Clemson, SC
6. Wonderwall Ryan Adams & The Cardinals 27 September 2008 Rochester
7. Dirty Black Nag Cornmeal 9 October 2008 Syracuse
8. The Doctor Will See You Now Wax Fang 2007-11-17 - Headliners Music Hall
9. Better Change Your Mind Apollo Sunshine Daytrotter Session
10. k10 El Ten Eleven Sunset Tavern 5 June 2008 Seattle
11. Impossible Germany Wilco 6 December 2008 Rochester, NY


Spencer said...

I was at the Bug Jar when the Furnaces played as well... what a show!!! I was right up front with a DMST shirt on... I think there's a YouTube clip of it out there...

Anonymous said...

I adore Apollo Sunshine. They're so talented and have awesome taste too - ive been checking out Drummer Jeremy Black's featured top 10 playlist on erockster.com. so far so good.