Best Shows I Saw In 2006 (Featuring Your OTHER Favorite Band!)


3 Ene 2007, 5:26

One interesting thing I noticed about my top 30 albums of the year list (which is my prior journal entry here. Please feel free to read) is that I saw a pretty good percentage of the artists live. I can't figure out if that is because I just did a good job of hunting down good shows, or if the act of seeing an artist live meant that I valued the CD more. Whatever the case, here is my top ten shows of 2006. (I'm hoping I haven't forgotten any... I have a bad memory for shows.)

11) mewithoutYou (with Movies WIth Heroes) @ The Chameleon Club in Lancaster...
...Ok, so I couldn't limit it to 10. I apologize a little bit, but not too hard. Movies With Heroes is pretty darn near perfect live. The lead singer is a little too "nu-emo" for my taste, but other than that the band knows how to lay it down. I have to admit that mewithoutYou usually disappoints me a bit live. This is because the first time I saw them (while [A->B] Life was still their only full length) in Harrisburg with Norma Jean and they absolutely slayed. I mean, it was amazing. Ah-MAZE-ing. They have never been able to quite live up to that... though they can come close. This was one of those shows that came close. Part of it was becasue they were debuting new songs and they sounded superb live. I always love it when they play the Chameleon and I was so mad when I found out their post-Brother, Sister tour didn't involve Lancaster.

10) Over the Rhine @ The Chalemeon Club...
...I went to this mostly because I had several friends from work going, but I enjoyed "Drunkard's Prayer" enough to have my own interest in the show. It was, as per their music, a very tender show, and I enjoyed the change of pace. Plus, I scored a hand-written set list after the show, so that was cool.

09) The Lost Dogs @ some church in Harrisburg...
...Ok, so we were late (NOT MY FAULT!) so missed the first four or so songs. But the band (who is a super-group of sorts and features the insanely great Terry Scott Taylor) was really entertaining and laid down good tunes. While they are essentially an alt-country group, it was still really funny to see that the majority of the crowd was in the 40 - 90 year age group.

08) Sufjan Stevens (w/My Brightest Diamond) @ Tower Theater in Philadelphia...
...It was nice to see Sufjan Stevens on this tour, though I have to admit that seeing him last year in more intimate bars/clubs was waaaaay more exciting and electric. This show had the bonus of being able to see Shara Worden as My Brightest Diamond, which was awesome, especially seeing how powerful her voice is without studio trickery. Another interesting aspect to the show was how there was a middle aged lady sitting in front of us who was doing her darnedest to dance in her seat with Sufjan Steven's music. Funny to watch.

07) Danielson @ The Chameleon Club...
...the danielson famile is awesome. There is only one other artist in the history of Christian music (the afore mentioned Terry Scott Taylor and his band Daniel Amos (and sorry to those who clicked into this journal because they thought I saw them DA in 2006... NOT MY INTENTION)) who is as rawly creative and zany as Daniel Smith. Which is on the one hand bad because we need more ceative people in this world. On the other hand, at least we have them! I saw the Famile once at Purple Door, but that was before I owned any of their music (or had even heard anything beyond the song "Pottymouth"). I am wanting to say that perhaps one of the Famile members had "Sufjan" stitched across his left breast... but I could be wrong. That was before anyone knew who Sufjan Stevens was. This concert, as just Danielson was good but not as. It was disappointing that they mostly just played tracks off of Ships, only delving into past material with the encore. But hey, we take what we get.

06) Anathallo, Page France, Denison Witmer @ some club in Philadelphia...
...This show was a lot better than I was expecting. The first band (whom I'm wanting to call The Forms, but I could be wrong... and not tagging for that reason) was kind of mediocre. But the next artist, the marvelous Denison Witmer, was awesome. Not so much because of his performance of his music, but because he has this great, easy manner on stage, even though it is just him and his guitar. He tells these great stories which make you feel like you're seeing something special. Then Page France was a LOT better than I expected. Of course, it didn't hurt that the chick was hella cute and was quite vibrant. But their songs translate a lot better on stage than they do on album, where they have a tendancy to sound very Death Cab For Cutie-ish (not tagged because they suck.) Then Anathallo rounded the evening off with a marvelously textured set combined the flair of Sufjan Stevens with the creshendos of Godspeed You! Black Emporor. The best part was watching the percussionist/horn player/xylophone charmer because he looked so amazingly happy and excited to not just be alive... but to be alive while playing this music.

05) Cursive, Make Believe @ The Chameleon Club...
...After an opening band or two Make Believe came out and both shocked and awed me. I had heard their Shock of Being cd (reviewing it for Decapolis) and found it so-so. Well, seeing it live just totally brought their craziness into perspective and it was stunning to see how technical the guitar work actually was. Then Cursive came out and the crowd reacted with so much freaking out that I thought U2 had stepped onto stage. The majority of their set was high energy and crowd pleasing. I was glad that the Chameleon is set up with a balcony for the over-21 crowd so I could avoid getting jostled.

04) Eagles of Death Metal @ The Chameleon Club...
...This was one of the most exciting rock n roll shows I've been to. The band plays their schtick perfectly in front of a crowd and, despite my inntial disappointment that Josh Homme wasn't drumming, the band absolutely slayed. It was both remarkably sexy while being interestingly KIND at the same time. An odd mix, but definitely was both.

03) The Violet Burning @ The Schreiber Pediatric Center...
...Mark this down as the weirdest venue for a show, ever. I was expecting a church, since that was who facilitated the show... but no! Apperently the church meets in a doctor's office... so that is where the show was. It was literally in a doctor's office loby... no stage, just amps and mics set up on the floor in one of the corners. The turn out was low (looked like mostly uninterested youth group kids who were there because a rock band was playing at their church) yet the band put as much into the show as when I've seen them in not just regular venues, but festivals and such. It was pretty awesome.

02) Man Man, Pattern is Movement @ MaCROCK in Virginia...
...My sister was going to school at EMU and my uncle lives right down there. So when I saw on Pattern Is Movement's website that they were playing just a few minutes from there I decided that I had to go. As it turned out the whole family was going because my sister was in a play that was showing that same weekend. So I got to do double duty... see my sister in a play and go to a music festival hosted by JMU. Thankfully, both of the artists I wanted to see were in the same bar (there were different venues spread out across Harrisonburg) and that bar was literally two minutes from where my uncle lives. MaCROCK was Friday evening and all day Saturday. PiM and MM were both Friday evening. I get to the bar before the first band a camp out. I suffer through much mediocre sets, got upset because the only beer the bar carried was Corona and Corona-ripoffs, and then Pattern is Movement played. It was really good. It was the sort of set that I don't think you could appriciate unless you already knew the music. And then Man Man came out and blew. us. away. It was like a religious experience. I hesitate to even explain anything about the concert for fear of cheapening it. I decided that I wasn't going to come back for any more shows on Saturday because my heart wasn't going to be in it.

01) Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, The Magic Numbers, and Ween @ The Allentown Fair in, uh, Allentown...
...Notch this up as another oddity. The Allentown Fair apperently has music most nights which you can pay extra to get into. Other evenings featured music like The Black-Eyed Peas and Gretchen Wilson. Somehow this evening scored the amazing line-up you see above. I went with my good friend Jeremy. He was mostly interested in The Flaming Lips and The Magic Numbers. My interests were firmly staked with Sonic Youth. We got there at the opening of the fair, which was either 11am or noon. Started walking around, seeing the sites. Then after we ate we decided to visit the beer garden. On our way there we were rounding a corner and I saw a guy walking towards us who looked suspiciously like Thurston Moore. And walking behind him was someone who looked just exactly like Kim Gordon. And Lee Ranaldo. It was, in fact, the whole band out enjoy the fair before their concert duty. I could only stand and stare as they walked past us. I watched their receeding forms get lost in the crowd while thinking idolotrous thoughts. I was really excited about that, but not so excited as to ignore the fact that there was an insanely great guitar player jamming by himself in a pavilion in front of a crowd of mostly ancient people. (I think his name is Frank Sivak, which I got off of Allentown Fair's website... a search of google revealed no other information on the man, despite the schedule calling him a guitar legend.)

He was awesome. Just... awesome. Played any request someone shouted out (old rock n roll and blues songs, mostly) and also played the banjo. Then we went to the show. The Magic Numbers were sweet. I didn't know much of their music before hand but came away a fan. Then, in one of the great injustices known to music, Sonic Youth played next. I could understand The Flaming Lips headlining... (though purely from an entertainment standpoint), but it was a great insult that they would have to play before Ween. Thankfully it was still a normal-sized set, at least for what SY is probably used to. It was just jaw dropping. I never heard a Ween song before, but had some hopes that perhaps they would be pretty good. WRONG. It was a horrible, terrible, insanely awful set... and they played forever. I didn't think they would ever end. However, the set did illustrate that as insulting to SY as it is to have Ween playing after them, realistically Ween has one helluva fan base that definitely out massed us SY folk. I have trouble appriciating The Flaming Lips' music, however their live show is very entertaining and kept me captivated. In the beginning Coyne got in a large plastic bubble and rolled out over the crowd in it. He actually rolled right over Jeremy and I twice. We were pretty proud about that. And they had these large streamer cannons that would go off... it was a huge production. Lights, camera, action! While the show didn't make me a believer in their music, I would not hesitate to see them live again.

mewithoutYou @ The Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown...
...Horrible, terrible, bad, wretched, God-forsaken venue. I have a journal that outlines the whole thing, if you're interested. Suffice it to say it wasn't the band's problem. It was entire the venue.

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players @ The Chameleon Club...
...This would have been a lot better except they had a family emergecy (grandmother was sick) so neither Jason Trachtenburg's daughter (the drummer, backup singer) or wife (slideshow projector operator) were there. So he did his thing with the opening band, who performed the same duties as his family, just not as well. It was still amusing... just... sad that the whole family couldn't be there.

If any of this information sounds familiar, it is because I did a "Top 20 Live" journal a month or two back, where I went through my top 20 aritsts to see who I saw live.


  • magnumforce2006

    w00t for shows I was at! All the others SUCKED!

    4 Ene 2007, 1:12
  • weezescorcho

    ^^^^^ This man makes a point. aw man I can't believe Cursive went to the Chameleon ;_;

    4 Ene 2007, 22:49
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