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Old 01-03-2016, 01:32 PM   #1
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Best Concerts of 2015

Since we have the best albums thread going, I figured to start this up for the best show you attended last year. My top five:

1. U2 at Madison Square Garden

I saw U2 three times during their MSG run and each concert was incredible in its own way. For the first show, I went in completely fresh, having avoided any setlist spoilers throughout the year. So of course, when the band played Gloria, October and Bad, it was a wonderful surprise that gave me a shot of pure adrenaline. The second show I attended was with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. I couldn't ask for a better way to see Angel of Harlem live for the first time than with a full brass section. Finally, I was at the last show of the U.S. leg, meaning an appearance from The Boss. I couldn't be happier with the shows I attended. U2 is still the greatest live act for me.

2. Savages at St. Vitus

I absolutely loved Silence Yourself and saw Savages during that tour. But this time, I was in a tiny venue, right up against the stage. For starters, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was the unexpected opener, playing a series of guitar loops only a few feet in front of me. I was close enough to read his effects pedals. So you can imagine how intense and exhilarating it was when Savages ripped through songs old and new at that distance. Jenny Beth practically fell on top of me in her efforts to connect with the audience. This was a show that let me completely cut loose.

3. Blur at Madison Square Garden

Blur is one of my favorite bands, but I never had an opportunity to see them live. I thought they would remain on my bucket list forever, but with the announcement of The Magic Whip came U.S. tour dates, one of which was luckily in New York. Blur made the concert more of a greatest hits set, with only a few songs from the new record, which suited me just fine. Who knows if I'll ever get to see them again? The band was in good spirits and dynamic as ever, which Graham Coxon doing barrel rolls during Beetlebum. Plus, the opener was Courtney Barnett, whose sound translates well in a live venue. Couldn't ask for anything more.

4. Sleater-Kinney at Irving Plaza

Another intimate show with a band that I didn't think I'd see live. I was worried I blew it when I missed them in the Spring, but was happy to see them in such an intimate venue. Just watching the interplay between all three of them was fantastic, as was the song selection that stretched from Dig Me Out to No Cities to Love. Plus, Fred Armisen came out for a cover of Rock Lobster. Awesome concert and great way to end the year for me.

5. Garbage at Kings Theatre

Taking place one day after Blur, this was another great opener/main act combo, with Torres taking the stage before Garbage. Her songs are just as raw and powerful live as on record. As for the main act, since Garbage was celebrating their 20th anniversary, all of the songs they played were from 1995/96. So I heard their entire debut, plus a boatload of b-sides. While the b-sides were unfamiliar, they were really great and the band had a ton of fun playing them. Shirley Manson is an absolutely captivating and commanding frontwoman and the rest of the band can still create an explosive sound.

Honorable Mention:

Steven Wilson at Best Buy Theater
Philip Selway at Le Poisson Rouge
Grimes at Terminal 5
Opeth at The Beacon Theatre
The Joy Formidable at Brooklyn Bowl

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Old 01-03-2016, 01:58 PM   #2
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Run the Jewels
Sharon Van Etten
Zola Jesus
Purity Ring

All pretty memorable. RTJ had so much fucking pure energy on stage. Very inspiring. Ride was goddam righteously loud. One of the loudest gigs I've ever seen. Sharon is so grounded and likable in her performance. Gorgeous tunes, too.

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Old 01-03-2016, 02:25 PM   #3
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1. Father John Misty at Union Transfer
2. The War on Drugs at Tower Theater
3. Chvrches at Electric Factory
4. Tame Impala at Tower Theater
5. EL VY at Union Transfer

Biggest Disappointment: Kurt Vile at Union Transfer
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:50 PM   #4
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Reposting from the best albums thread:

1. Sufjan Stevens - May 1st, 2015
2. Blur - October 23rd, 2015
3. D’Angelo and the Vanguard - June 21st, 2015
4. Okkervil River - November 22nd, 2015
5. U2 - July 19th, 2015
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:47 PM   #5
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I was just thinking about a thread like this this afternoon. I'll narrow mine down to the top five, but it will be difficult; this was a really good year for concerts.

1. Bang On A Can All-Stars performing Eno's Music for Airports.
A-Mazing. I'm not a huge Eno fan, but this performance was stunning. I bought the cd, which is very good, but it comes no where near this performance.

2. Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela performing Beethoven's 7th Symphony.
The entire Immortal Beethoven series was spectacular, but this performance was breathtaking. Just amazing.

3. Sturgill Simpson at the Ace Hotel Theatre.
I couldn't talk myself into this one, even though I really liked his second album very much. Finally my husband told me to just get a ticket already. It was a great show. Yeah, he's a country singer, but a country singer who plays psych whilst he sings. And he sings beautifully, which is always a key thing if you want to be a singer.

4. U2 at the Forum May 27.
I saw all five LA dates, and I liked them all, but this was the night of the day Dennis Sheehan died. It was an emotional show, the kind U2 do best. They were sad, but the show went on with slides and remembrances of Dennis.

5. The Kills at the Glass House.
The Kills are always good live, but this show was the best I've seen of them. They were both hitting on all cylinders and Allison sounded great and was having a ball. Plus, the Glass House is a great venue overall, anyway.

Others that were very good:
Pacific Symphony and wild up-- They did a piece by Bryce Dessner from The National. Not a fan of the band, but now I really like Bryce Dessner's classical compositions.
Crocodiles at the Satellite-- A good opening band and a drunk set of Crocodiles, a tiny venue, and the company of Ashley and Travis. You really can't beat that.
Dungen at the Echo
Dungen played music. I love them.

I could go on; there are maybe 3 or 4 more to list. It was a good year.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by martha View Post
Crocodiles at the Satellite-- A good opening band and a drunk set of Crocodiles, a tiny venue, and the company of Ashley and Travis. You really can't beat that.
Dungen at the Echo
Dungen played music. I love them.
Martha gigs are 2/2 as far as I'm concerned. Glad I could accompany you to these, they were great. Crocodiles threw beer at me.

Now, as for my own list. You were also at this one. I was on the rail though:

5. U2 @ The Forum 5/27/15

4. Run the Jewels @ FYF Fest 8/22/15

3. Kamasi Washington @ California Plaza 7/25/15

2. Spiritualized @FYF Fest 8/23/15

1. Kendrick Lamar @ The Wiltern 11/11/15

You will get chills listening to the buildup of that last performance. I've never seen anything like it.


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