This year was by far the best concert year I’ve ever had. I cannot remember the last time I saw so many great shows in one full year like this. Despite last year’s dredg concert and Glassjaw reunion show, this year was a concert year that was full of opportunities that were not missed. Whether it was seeing Wu-Tang reunite or seeing Incubus after 8 years or seeing bands (Woven, Division Day, etc) from the west coast that seldom tour in the east coast, this year freakin’ rocked. Here are 5 out of 10 of my favorite concerts of this year.
10. Incubus / Satellite Party / Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / The Bravery / Township at the Fleet Boston Pavilion, Boston, MA – I was fortunate enough to catch my beloved Incubus 8 years ago at their prime in Poughkeepsie, NY; this time around was completely different. First off I wasn’t a 16 year brat living for the moment and the band I was seeing did not playing all my favorites. However, someone else was; Perry Motha-F%#in’ Ferrell. Mr. Ferrell’s Satellite Party played all my favorite gems from Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros and completely blew me away. After that set I expected the entire album of S.C.I.E.N.C.E. to by played from Incubus. Unfortunately, I was left with only Summer Romance.
Download: Incubus – Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song) from the album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
Download: Porno for Pyros - Tahitian Moon from the album, Good God’s Urge
9. The One AM Radio / Animal Hospital at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Cambridge, MA – If you’ve ever heard One AM Radio, you know that you can not exactly stand-up while listening to their music. So what better place to see them than a small movie theater setting? The atmosphere was, for lack of a better word, perfect.
Download: The One AM Radio – Flicker from the album, The Hum of the Electric Air!
8. Minus the Bear / Subtle / ELA at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA – I’ve already seen the Bear twice and I wasn’t expecting much. It wasn’t that I was sick of them; it was just that the new album, Planet of Ice, had not struck me as a “live” album. I was pleasantly proved wrong.
P.S. – Subtle was brilliant and bizarre. It’s been 4 months and I am yet to form an opinion on them.
Download: Minus the Bear – Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!! from the album, Highly Refined Pirates
7. Rock the Bells featuring Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Cypress Hill at the TweeterCenter in Mansfield, MA – I know there were more artists, but since my ticket said the show started at 4:30pm when it really started at like 10am, all my brother and I were able to catch was those 3 artists. Nevertheless, this show was unbelievable. Wu-Tang in particular was full of energy and made the entire venue feel as if they were in the best seats. Plus Nas was smart to play nearly everything off Illmatic.
Download: Wu-Tang Clan - Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit from the album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Download: Nas – N.Y. State of Mind from the album, Illmatic
6. Wintersleep / The Slip / Phonograph at the SPACE in Portland, ME – I really didn’t find Phonograph or The Slip that entertaining nor did the crowd. Plus, It seemed that no one having a good time. But once Wintersleep took the stage, this kind of magic seemed to hit everyone the venue that night. Everyone knew that what they were experiencing and listening was something to remember. It's very rare that Wintersleep tours outside of Canada, so be on the look out; Wintersleep is not a band you need to ignore.
Download: Wintersleep – Jaws of Life from the album, Untitled