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2012 Highlights: Favorite Concerts

Zola Jesus, D'Aundra Wallace, The Spec, favorite concerts of 2012

Zola Jesus at Crescent Ballroom, photo by D’Aundra Wallace

This year, The Spec ladies have seen a lot of live performances. Shows can make you fall deeply in love with artists, or leave you questioning your adoration of a band that “sucks live.”

Sometimes, the openers are better than the headliner, or the sound is horrible, or you get stuck next to the annoying fan, or there’s a last-minute cancellation.

Other times, all of the bands on the bill are amazing, and you find out about a new band, and you have the opportunity to chat up your favorite musician, and you realize how powerful good music can be.

Check out the musicians we’ve seen live this year and hear about our top five concerts…

ALEXIS:

Non-local bands I’ve seen this year: 1,2,3, Adam Tyler, Amanda Lepore, Astronautalis, AU, Ava Luna, Blue Angel Lounge, Bombay Bicycle Club, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cass McCombs, Cazwell, Chely Wright, Cousins, Crystal Antlers, Daedelus, Deer Tick, Diarrhea Planet, Frank Fairfield, FUN., Generationals, Girls, Graveyard, The Growlers, Gull, Handsome Furs, Headaches, Here We Go Magic, Idiot Glee, Islands, JEFF the Brotherhood, Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, Matt Hopper, Melissa Ferrick, Milo Greene, Natural Child, Noah Gundersen, ONUINU, PAPA, Pree, Purity Ring, RACES, Radio Moscow, Roger Clyne, Saint Motel, Sleepy Sun, The Slackers, Talk Normal, Toro y Moi, Turbo Fruits, Twin Sister, Vacation Dad, Vacationer, Vanessa Carlton, Village People, White Rabbits, William Fitzsimmons, Yacht, Yeasayer, Zammuto, Zola Jesus

Local bands I’ve seen this year: 88mph, A Life of Science, Black Carl, Bogan Via,  B.O.T.S., Club C@zs, Courtney Marie Andrews, D Russ, Darth Midi-ous, Destruction Unit, Downing Street, Dry River Yacht Club, Emby Alexander, Factories, French Girls, Future Loves Past, Good Friends Great Enemies, Gospel Claws, Haymarket Squares, Huckleberry, Hug of War, IAMWE, Japhy’s Decent, Jared and the Mill, Johnny Lee Gowans, Ladylike, Letdownright, Mergence, Me Vale Madre, North Dakota, Playboy Manbaby, The Random Gingers, Rajiv Patel, ROAR, Saddles, The Senators, Skinny Shamans, Sleep Money, Small Leaks Sink Ships, Snail Quail, Snake! Snake! Snakes!, Source Victoria, St. Ranger, Super Stereo, There There, TOAD, Tres Lunas, Underground Cities, Ursus Colossus, Vinewine, Vinyl Station, Wizards of Time, Wolvves, Wooden Indian, YUS

Top five concerts:

It was extremely hard for me to only pick five top shows this year. I feel like I had a chance to see many great new acts I’d never seen before and to share that experience with some of my best friends. After much over thinking, in no particular order, here’s what I came up with…

1. Yeasayer, Daedelus (9/3)

I had so much built-up excitement for this concert as Yeasayer is one of my favorite bands and had just released a new album, which I had on loop. The stage effects, lighting and music were on point that night and I couldn’t have asked for a better show. 

2. Los Dias de la Crescent- Day One (8/17)

The best bands in the Valley, all in one night. The weather was nice, outdoor stage set up looked great and every set ran smoothly. Watch a nice video recap here.

3. Bombay Bicycle Club, Vacationer (10/15)

I had never listened to Bombay Bicycle Club before the concert; however, I quickly realized what I’d been missing. Vacationer was a fun opener and BBC played a great show where I felt any ending was too soon.

4. Milo Greene, JEFF The Brotherhood, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (10/6)

The night was a perfect combination of some great bands, good beer and wonderful friends.

5. YACHT, ONUINU (6/14)

I wrote a review of the show, which nicely sums up my feelings on that evening.



DEE:

Non-local bands I’ve seen this year: 1,2,3, Astronautalis, AU, Ava Luna, The Blue Angel Lounge, Bombay Bicycle Club, Brian Jonestwon Massacre, Cass McCombs, The Cigarette Bums, Crystal Antlers, Daedelus, Deer Tick, Fiest, Frank Fairfield, Friends, Generationals, Girls, The Goat, The Growlers, Gull, Handsome Furs, Here We Go Magic, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, Idiot Glee, Islands, JEFF the Brotherhood, Graveyard, Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, Milo Greene, Natural Child, No Age, Neon Indian, Noah Gundersen, ONUINU, PAPA, Pree, RACES, Radio Moscow, Saint Motel, Sleepy Sun, Talk Normal, Timber Timbre, Toro y Moi, Turbo Fruits, Twin Sister, Vacation Dad, Vacationer, The Walkmen, White Rabbits, William Fitzsimmons, YACHT, Yeasayer, Zammuto, Zola Jesus

Local bands I’ve seen this year: 88MPH, A Life of Science, Black Carl, Bogan Via, B.O.T.S., Darth Midi-ous, D. Russ, Destruction Unit, Dez Vibz, Downing Street, Club C@zs, Emby Alexander, Factories, French Girls, Future Loves Past, Good Friends Great Enemies, Gospel Claws, Huckleberry, Hug of War, IAMWE, Isle of Essence, Japhy’s Descent, Jared & the Mill, John Gowans, Ladylike, Letdownright, Mergence, Me Vale Madre, Midnight Vitals, North Dakota, Otro Mundo, Playboy Manbaby, Rajiv Patel, ROAR, Skinny Shamans, Sleep Money, Small Leaks Sink Ships, Snail Quail, Snake! Snake! Snakes!, Source Victoria, St Ranger, Talisha & the Golden Touch, The Senators, There There, Tres Lunas, TOAD, Underground Cities, Ursus Colossus, Wizards of Time, Wooden Indian, YUS, Vinewine, Vinyl Station, Wolvves

Top five concerts:

1. Feist, Timber Timbre (4/22)

I wrote a review about the show that says a lot…

2. Yeasayer, Daedelus (9/3)

I had anticipated this gig so much. Yeasayer is one of my favorite bands and to be honest, I still had the same zest for the band’s live show as I did when I saw it at a crowded Rhythm Room in 2010 with Warpaint. You have to be careful about having high hopes for shows because those are often the ones that leave you disappointed. Safe to say that Yeasayer had  me buzzin’ to the same degree it did years earlier. The visuals and stage set up were great, and Daedelus was fun to watch too.

3. YACHT, ONUINU (6/14)

The evening started off chill with ONUINU and exploded into a high-energy party when Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt took the stage. They are so good together. I think this 20-second video, I captured, sums up the overall vibe of the show. 

4. Bombay Bicycle Club, Vacationer (10/15)

Simply because Bombay Bicycle Club stayed with me for months after this event. So good.

5. Zola Jesus, Talk Normal, Yus (2/1)

This was a real display of musicianship. Zola Jesus’ set proved how complementary stage set up and effects can be to a live performance. Read my full review here.

Click here to see last year’s gigs list.

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