i saw thirty-four bands this year at fifteen concerts. in 2009 i'm going to shoot for 25 concerts / 50 bands. i picked from these 34 bands the ones that really stood out for me. all of these shows have their own separate reviews so i'm going to give you a picture and a link to the post. i was going to do a top five but couldn't narrow it down, so here are six.
6) WE ARE SCIENTISTS at irving plaza on my eighteenth birthday, NOV. 22
so i didn't write a review of this. rest assured it was awesome.
5) MGMT at mccarren park pool, JULY 27. more people than i have ever seen in my life, standing beneath a gentle mist: finally andrew + ben broke out a 14-minute epic and proceeded to jam the fuck out of every song on oracular spectacular, and it was worth it.
4) ANDREW BIRD at tarrytown music hall, OCT 2. awed by the depth of this sound and the way it filled the room, all the way up, all the way around, all the way through everything - "print it on every t-shirt in the land."
3) RA RA RIOT at siren festival, JULY 19. the first of three and the best - deathly hot, i knew every word, i knew "here you are, here you are breathing life into ghosts under rocks" but i have never felt so far from that image and so simultaneously close to it.
2) RADIOHEAD at all points west, AUG 8. you and whose army into idiotheque - some unknown expanse of time: jesus it's incredible to yell these terrifying, hopeless things out, and this is the only time i'd admit it, "take the money and run take the money and run take the money..."
1) VAMPIRE WEEKEND at summerstage, JUNE 14. the second of four and the best - some kind of triumph, everything blurred in the rain, everything divided and multiplied - and here, i waited so long, i waited SO LONG and through so much, "i've been here since january and you still look just as fine."
there is no unifying factor to these shows. in the case of three, it was their first hometown show in months. for one, it was the last show of a giant tour. one of the bands i'd been wanting to see since i was in sixth grade, another for about a year, both with numerous missed chances. for two others it was my second time seeing them perform. five of them seemed genuinely ecstatic to be standing before me playing for me. the other, well, i could forgive them, as they were mind-blowing.
next year i would like to see longer shows from born ruffians and friendly fires! the super-brief sets i heard from each sounded awesome; i'd like to see them do something longer!