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Thread: 2011 - Gigs of the Year!

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    2011 - Gigs of the Year!

    We have an AOTY and a SOTY, so let's complete the trio and have a GOTY.

    Which live experience jumped out at you during 2011?

    Warning: don't just list all the gigs you've seen, or I'll be forced to intervene and post videos of the Ophelia Hand Gesture as punishment. Not really, but try and keep it to your most memorable moment(s).

    I shall nominate two.

    Björk @ Manchester International Festival, July 10.

    Put simply, one of the most unique/strange/weird/brilliant live shows I've ever seen and my first time seeing her. Performed in the round, with a choir, bespoke instruments, and video screens with graphics and David Attenborough voiceovers, in a Victorian market hall, it was quite the experience.


    PJ Harvey @ Royal Albert Hall, October 30.

    I saw her in February and came away a bit disappointed, feeling it all felt a bit distant and cold. This show had many of the same songs, and a similar no-talking policy until the encore, but something about it was just magical. Electrifying atmosphere, excellent performances, and PJ with her black dress moving in and out of the shadows was a sight to behold.

  2. #2
    Tens Across the Board Banjee's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Miami Beach
    The gig of the year for me was Glass Candy at The Vagabond. It was pure disco magic-- Johnny Jewel killed it with his live remixes of the songs and there really is no other front- woman as charming as Ida No. Not to mention that after the show Ida spotted me wearing an old Italians Do It Better shirt. She walked right over and started a conversation with my friends and me, posed for pictures, and disco danced a bit ( we bumped butts!!!!!). Most amazing night ever! And now I hear that they're coming back in Jan. with the Chromatics!!!!! "For a good time call Glass Candy"

    My biggest regret was that I didn't get to see Hercules and Love Affair. I had tickets to the ID Music fest solely to see H&LA, but the festival got rescheduled under the threat of a hurricane. The hurricane never hit (yay! not complaining), but the rescheduled date got cancelled as well. Too many of the acts couldn't rearrange their prior commitments for the rescheduled date. It really, really sucked, especially since Andy changes up the members of the band for each project. Who knows if Shaun Wright and Aera Negrot will return to play with H&LA
    Last edited by Banjee; 12-06-2011 at 09:12 PM.

  3. #3
    worth a million in prizes .chris's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    The two top concerts for me this year were Robyn @ Radio City and Tori @ The Beacon Theater. The Robyn show was one of my all time favorite concerts. I had such a fun time dancing around with my friends. And she was so amazing. Tori was on fire for her show and the string quartet really made the whole thing unforgettable.

  4. #4
    I am not a loony beanstew's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Gig of the year, and one of the best I've been to ever, was Anais Mitchell's Hadestown performance at The Union Chapel. It was astonishing in every way. Thea Gilmore playing the part of Persephone was an added bonus.

    Other highlights:

    Blondie at Somerset House. A band I have loved for 20 odd years but had never seen. It was one of my most highly anticipated gigs and they didn't not disappoint. I had got there super early so was right at the front and in the middle so I had a brilliant view and Debbie was on fire. The band and audience alike were all having a great time. I got a setlist and one of Clem Burke's drumsticks.

    Pink Martini at The Royal Albert Hall. Conga Line in the RAH. Enough said!

    Roger Waters at the O2. My friend and I ended up with front row seats! It was pretty intense. Roger has been a musical hero of mine for most of my life so to be so close was very special. A real sound and visual spectacular.
    Maybe for once, someone will call me "Sir" without adding, "You're making a scene."

  5. #5
    Don't turn away Partisan's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    I made a list of my top 10. I had a wonderful time at all of these, so I didn't want to leave out any. There are quite a few on my honorable mention list that I thought were wonderful as well. All in all, I thought every show I saw was very good in 2011 (apart from other factors, like a shitty audience at Crystal Castles), but the first 5 (technically 6, since I consider both Tori shows to be one big experience) are some of the best shows I've ever seen. 2011 was a fun year for me in terms of concerts.

    1. Tori Amos — Beacon Theater, NY (Dec. 2/Dec. 3)
    2. Britney Spears — Nassau Coliseum, NY (Aug. 2)
    3. James Blake/Austra — Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY (Oct. 6)
    4. Robyn/Diamond Rings/Natalia Kills — Radio City Music Hall, NY (Feb. 5)
    5. CSS/MEN/EMA — Webster Hall, NY (Oct. 22)
    6. Sufjan Stevens/Diamond Rings — Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY (Aug. 3)
    7. PJ Harvey — Terminal 5, NY (April 20)
    8. Karen O (Stop the Virgins) — St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY (Oct. 21)
    9. Portishead — Hammerstein Ballroom, NY (Oct. 5)
    10. Neko Case — Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA (Feb. 4)
    When they're calling
    From the edge

  6. #6
    Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras Malike-pakile's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    PJ Harvey in Berlin
    Robyn in Berlin
    Sufjan Stevens in Leipzig and Berlin
    Tori Amos in Berlin
    St. Vincent in Berlin

  7. #7
    I am not a loony beanstew's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    I forgot about Sufjan! His show was amazing. I didn't expect anything quite as, um, spectacular.

    Best festival set was Joanna Newsom at End of the Road.
    Maybe for once, someone will call me "Sir" without adding, "You're making a scene."

  8. #8
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Scissor Sisters - Atlanta 4/8/2011
    Kylie Minogue - Atlanta 5/6/2011
    Sia/Oh Land - Atlanta 8/3/2011
    MuteMath - Birmingham 10/20/2011
    Tori Amos - Atlanta 11/29/2011

    The Scissor Sisters put on a lively, sexy, and fun show. Kylie Minogue's show was the first time I have seen her Live, and it lived up to all of my expectations and exceeded them. I was on a Kylie high for days after the show. Sia/Oh Land was a fun show. Sia's vocals were a bit rough at the beginning but as the show progressed, the show got better. I found that Oh Land was an amazing opener, and I think I actually enjoyed them more than Sia, Live. MuteMath playing Live is where it's at. I wasn't really hooked onto them based on listening to their cd's, but seeing them perform at Workplay, which is such a small venue, really made me appreciate the band. I like their cd's more now after seeing them live. It was a high energy show! Lastly, Tori Amos' show was a highlight of my concert-going year. I was able to meet her beforehand, and then met people from the internets that I have never met before after many years, and that was just the icing on top of the cake. Plus she played vigorously and with such passion! Loved Star Whisperer, Hey Jupiter, Spark, and Cruel LIVE!

    Now for the rankings...

    1. Kylie Minogue
    2. Tori Amos
    3. Scissor Sisters
    4. Sia/Oh Land
    5. MuteMath

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    New York, NY
    Probably My Brightest Diamond free outdoor show previewing the new album. If you're doing a whole set of songs I don't know and I'm still riveted, you're doing something right. Just could've done without the dancing, but whatever. And free!

    Sia/Oh Land, Tori, Brandi Carlile and Nicole Atkins all rank up there as well.
    Last edited by Nick; 12-07-2011 at 01:22 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2010
    My top gig of the year was definitely Feist at BAM. Simply put, she was enchanting. I've seen her twice before, once apiece for the Let It Die and Reminder tours. When I saw her touring behind The Reminder, she seemed somewhat distant--I had the sense she was trying to make sense of her sudden fame, and I saw her in an odd venue. The show at BAM was phenomenal, though. She was in GREAT spirits, and the venue is beyond amazing. Her voice is a wonder, of course, the new songs sounded gorgeous live. She was playful, funny, and charming as hell throughout. At one point she invited the first few rows on stage, and people sat down on stage while she sang several songs. She had this wonderful way of making the audience feel connected to her and making the night feel very intimate and special. Songs that I didn't love on the album (like "A Commotion") sprang to life live, and now I have a better appreciation of them. It's one of the best shows I've ever seen. She also did a version of "Cicadas and Gulls" that was heartbreaking.

    Other great shows:

    I also really enjoyed seeing Brandi Carlile at Town Hall. She sounds amazing live, and sang a cover of "Calling All Angels" with her sister that gave me chills. Teddy Thompson at City Winery was also terrific. It's a TINY venue, totally relaxed and intimate. He has a beautiful voice, is funny onstage, and did some surprising covers--ABBA's "Super Trooper," for example, which was actually incredible. He's really wonderful live. I don't think he always makes great albums--he's better live, IMO.

    Robyn at Radio City was fun. One of the things that stood out about that concert was how little she needs to put on a good show. And it introduced me to "The Girl and the Robot," which is awesome, and I didn't know it existed. It's now one of my favorite Robyn songs.

    As for shows I didn't love ...

    Toro y Moi at Webster Hall. I knew who they were but didn't know their music. I went with someone I was briefly dating who liked them a lot. They were super boring. Patrick Wolf at Le Poisson Rouge ... not a bust, really, but PLEASE STOP INTERRUPTING YOUR OWN SONGS. It got really, really, really annoying, and took me out of the songs more often than not. It was not charming. It was not cute. Again, it was annoying. Period. Also, as much as I love PJ Harvey, I found her show at Terminal 5 to be a little too cold and detached for my tastes. I've seen her a few times before and know how phenomenal she can be live, but this didn't really do it for me.

  11. #11
    megaphone to my chest MikeEP's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    top 5 shows:

    Bon Iver - House of Blues, Boston
    Tori Amos - Orpheum Theater, Boston
    Robyn - House of Blues, Boston
    Stevie Nicks - Bank of America Pavilion, Boston
    The National - Bank of America Pavilion, Boston

  12. #12
    Senior Member Hannah.'s Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    I only went to three shows this year (so far; I'm seeing Tori next week): The Decemberists, Gillian Welch, and Iron & Wine. The best one was The Decemberists, surprisingly. The show was a lot more energetic and fun than I thought it would be. All of the gigs were great, though.

  13. #13
    Senior Member northern_lad's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Groesbeek, Netherlands

    01 Gillian Welch @ Paradiso Amsterdam
    This was for sure one of my favourite concerts ever. The show was intimate and very dreamlike. The crowd was fantastic as well, very quiet during the songs and incredible enthousiastic afterwards.

    02 Low @ Doornroosje Nijmegen
    My introduction to this band. I went into the show with no expectations and was blown away by this duo. Hypnotic songs with him on guitar and her on drums.

    03 PJ Harvey @ Paradiso Amsterdam
    A cold and distant show, but a bit obvious with the material from LES.

    04 John Grant @ Merleyn Nijmegen
    05 Marianne Faithfull @ Orpheus Apeldoorn
    Last edited by northern_lad; 12-07-2011 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Added photo

  14. #14
    My gig of the year, without a doubt, was LCD Soundsystem's last show at Madison Square Garden. It epitomized EPIC and was emotional and fun and incredible. 3.5 hours of dance-rock-tastic!
    Sound is the blood between me and you

  15. #15
    Aprs moi le deluge SisterDew's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    best concert of this year was without a doubt sufjan stevens (10 may at the cirque royal in brussels). it might even have been the best concert i have ever seen (admittedly i have not seen an enormous amount of concerts in my life, but still).

    it was crazy, intense, emotional and pure party all at once. impossible soul alone would have been worth the price of the concert ticket.
    Last edited by SisterDew; 12-08-2011 at 12:23 PM. Reason: picture's not working...

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