Finding the Art in Everything

11 January, 2009

Live Music

I am really looking forward to Brett Dennen and Erin McCarley on Friday.

And I was thinking, with deep gratitude for my musically savvy friends ( him and her), how much incredible music I've had this year. A Paste article inspired me to make one of my top-five* lists.

My Top-5 Shows in 2008

1. Iron and Wine, at The Plaza Theatre in April. There was a version of "Trapeze Swinger" and one of "Resurrection Fern" that a handful of us can't get over.

Tilly and the Wall, at the Social in July. People can't get the impact of a Tap-dancing percussion section until they've seen this dancer have the time of her life dancing/playing with a kick-ass band.

Manchester Orchestra, at the Social. It's touch to pick a single show, because I saw them three times. They are always great to see, but the worst one was at House of Blues, where they opened up for Say Anything. I think the energy of the January show was best, but I was most familiar with them at the June show. I can't pick, but I do know I'm not the same after getting their discography. They answered my cry a year ago for needing new music.

Kevin Devine at the Social, September. It was one of the smallest crowds I've ever seen at The Social, and I couldn't have expected something so intimate. He gave a really meaningful show and had a lot of face time before and after. I really want to be his friend.

Coldplay- my first arena show, and I'll probably never see anything like it again. I have been a longtime fan of this band, and I know they're the kind that anyone can like, but they play an outstanding show--fantastic production and musicianship, with a French post-revolutionary Neo-classicist art theme. Amazing.

Honorable Mentions include Band of Horses at a rainy skate park in Tampa, and Inkwell at the Back Booth. These are both good bands, but these shows make the list more for their sociological experiential qualities: One makes the list for introducing me to the violence of hipsters, the other for introducing me to the vile quality of some clubs and openers in Orlando. I'm never again ready for auxiliary percussion and bathroom queues with musician-punting Breanne.

I didn't mention a good HOB show by Jimmy Eat World, because it took place in December of 2007. They are one of my favorite bands, and it is funny to note that Megan was irritated by the garage-band quality of their performance and forswore live music because of it.

* It is important to note that "Top-Five" does not indicate any kind of priority order. In fact, it is quite the opposite: a refusal to pick a single favorite.

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