100 Live Bands

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Fev 21 2007, 4h05

After this weekend I will have surpassed the mark of having seen 100 different bands live. If all goes to plan, whatever band opens for Chin Up Chin Up on Saturday should be #100. The openers still haven't been announced, which is actually pretty funny. If there are no openers or if I've already seen them, then Kimya Dawson's show the next day should do the trick. I'm very much looking forward to that one, since Kimya is rad and probably the absolutely coolest individual currently living today.

Anyway, I just wanted to reflect on some items concerning the bands that I've seen.

My favorite concert was seeing Gary Jules and Jim Bianco in Minneapolis in August. It was cool to begin with because it was so far from where I'm from and because it was such a coincidence that he happened to be playing there during the short time I was in the area. Secondly, being pretty drunk also helped. And third, the fact that he played Greetings from the Side, at my request was awesome. And fourth, the fact that he and I chatted for awhile after the show and then he signed my copy of his self-titled "To Dean - Much Respect".. awesome night....


The best opening band I've ever seen is a difficult one. It's split between two bands. The Redwalls are right up there. Such a tight set and perfectly chosen songs that emphasized all of their great southern rockingness.

The Winks opened for Akron/Family when I saw them recently and really blew me away. Just the presence of a cello in a rock band is somewhat reminiscent of Rasputina but the dynamic of the band is totally different. Tyr was just adorable, first playing and singing, then tap dancing in the crowd. Also, the band asked the crowd to tape the performance using a digital camcorder. I had the distinct pleasure and honor of being the one to tape Tyr during her foray in the crowd.

The most intense live track I've ever seen was Little House of Savages. I've heard recordings of them doing it live and none of them sounds even half as crazy as it was at the time. I'm not even that big of a fan of their albums but they are a band that shouldn't be missed live.

The best live cover I've seen is probably The Spirit of the Radio (Ted Leo covering Rush). Contrary to a critical review of it, I think it's a genius choice of cover because of the relevence of the lyrics and the kinda pretentious nature of Rush.

The worst headliner I've ever gone to see was probably Hot Hot Heat. I won't link it so that HHH fans don't rape me, but they were just dreadful. It just was such a good oppurtunity for them to play an intimate show, but they simply had no talent whatsoever. Thankfully the Redwalls had already made it a good night.

The most intimate show I've seen was probably Cast Iron Filter in my friend's backyard. Even though they were a decently small time band, playing private shows like that was definitely a generous step on their part and was much appreciated.

Some other highlights were meeting Ben Folds in Elmira, seeing Arcade Fire only a couple weeks before they started hitting it huge, trekking to Montreal to see The White Stripes (who certainly didn't disappoint) and seeing Ted Leo and the Pharmacists five times. Ted has never let me down and I sure hope I can see his pharmacist show at least fifteen more times.

I could go on and on... of Montreal and Apollo Sunshine at the McCarren Pool this summer were magical and I'll always remember the White Stripes playing in Camden New Jersey at my first real concert.

Well anyway, that's all the rambling I'll do but I just wanted to reflect on an awesome three and half musical years of live music.

Dean

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