Seen any good concerts lately? Sept 24, 2008 10:00:17 GMT -5
Post by Cambridge on Sept 24, 2008 10:00:17 GMT -5
best live act in the United States of America plays the 9:30 Club on December 13 if you're not afraid to get weird.
Jack, DBT puts on a good if overhyped live show, IMO. I haven't seen them since Isbell left, but the rest of the band is still intact and the set list should be about the same.
Good live shows I have seen in the past year or so:
The Black Keys -- good tunes, lots of energy, a lot of sound from just 2 dudes.
Billy Bragg (plays 9:30 Oct. 27) -- Going to a Billy Bragg show is like going to church -- expect to hear some preaching but also the best one-man-with-a-guitar show on the planet. I've seen him at 9:30 and although it's kind of a big venue for his tunes I still recommend catching his show.
Be Your Own Pet -- Jemina Pearl might give Liz a run for her money, Boz.
James McMurtry -- Sounds much bigger live than on his albums. Expect a healty dose of Bush/Cheney-slandering between songs.
Alejandro Escovedo -- Professional. If at all possible see him at the Continental Club in Austin -- he's there most of the time when he's not touring.
My Morning Jacket -- I was never a huge fan of MMJ's albums, but my God are they good live. Jim James' voice has this weird eerie quality to it that is somehow not captured by normal human-made recording devices, and their songs are built to rock out/be expanded in a live set.
Alice Russell -- saw 1/2 of a SXSW set this past March (left to go see B. Bragg) and wish I had seen the whole thing. Doubt she's touring stateside anytime soon -- she's from the UK -- but perhaps the London Hoyas can check her out.
Venue-wise I also recommend checking out the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles -- it's overpublicized but still pretty cool.
Artists/Bands I have not seen live but want to see (comments, please)
Steve Earle (how I have never managed to catch a Steve Earle show I have no idea)
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Carrie Ann Hearst/Shovels & Rope (current random obsession)
Band of Horses
Bands I have recently seen live that fell short of expectations:
The Black Angels
Willie Nelson (I've seen him three times in the past four years -- he had 1/2 a voice for one of those shows)
God I miss living in Austin.
Cut Copy -- Saw them two years ago in Cat Club in SF. Awesome. I didn't even know they were playing or who they were at the time, but they lit up the crowd and had everyone, and yes, that includes me, dancing all night. You might even find some pictures of it on facebook. Embarassing. Reminded me of a Soviet show I saw at TT the Bears in Cambridge about 6 years ago.
Band of Horses -- Saw them twice, both times at the Filmore in SF. Both times they blew my mind, but particularly the first time (2006?) as I hadn't really heard much of them at the time. Very passionate and entousiastic performance. Waaaay more than you would imagine based on the albums. Basically, they tore into their set like there had been a giant pile of pure bolivian white backstage. Also, the poster the Filmore provided (Filmore gives them out free every show) is one of the coolest they've ever produced.
Vampire Weekend -- Saw them in SF last year. Solid performance. I was expecting something on the level of an Arcarde Fire level showing, especially considering how electric the crowd was before the show, but the truth is their music is a little more subdued than Arcarde Fire and while they tried their darndest to whip up the crowd into a frenzy, it never reached fever point. I think my expectations were too high...I still LOVE the album though and listen to it an inordinate amount.
Wilco -- They blew up at Outside Lands in SF this summer. Sorry you had such a bad experience, but they absolutely dominated the crowd. Probably also was somewhat influenced by the "mood" in the air around me...or something.
Spoon -- I agree with that one. I saw them at the knitting factory in NY a while ago, like maybe 2004, and they just kinda jammed out. It was very loose and not at all what I expected.