Whew. Whatta year, amirite?! Yes, new music may have been a bit lacking, but fortunately the one constant that remains is that there's a shit-ton of great live music coming through NYC year-round. When I moved to Williamsburg in '08, I did so almost entirely because of the proximity to so many music venues; nearly 6 years later, that remains my biggest motivation for sticking around.
In fact, my show-going affliction reached new heights this year - I did a rough count last week, and if I wind up going to the New Mastersounds afterparty following the Phish show on December 29th, I will have seen a robust *98* distinct concerts in 2013. According to Jalepzerz' / MeatBox archives, that's a personal record (although I've eclipsed 90 shows in several other years), and as proof, I uploaded literally hundreds of videos to my YouTube channel, effectively documenting my own crime spree.
So, here I sit on Christmas Eve, workin' on my final post of the year for this blog; a post that focuses solely on the highlights of my showgoing for the year. In 4 evenings, Phish NYE Run starts, and if some notable, epic shit goes down, several of these lists could be (at the very least) a bit out of whack and (at most) completely irrelevant. I welcome that. :->
See you in the new year, everyone!
Best Live Show of the Year - Phish at Hampton Coliseum, 10/20/13
Top 10 Phish shows I personally attended this year:
10.) 10/25/13 DCU 9.) 11/1/13 AC 8.) 8/4/13 BGCA 7.) 11/2/13 AC 6.) 7/6/13 SPAC (fuck off, I loved this damn show) 5.) 10/19/13 Hampton 4.) 7/14/13 Merriweather 3.) 10/27/13 Hartford 2.) 10/26/13 DCU 1.) 10/20/13 Hampton
The best three non-Phish arena shows I saw in 2013:
16.) Split Open and Melt at SPAC, July 6 15.) Rock and Roll at BGCA, August 3 14.) Crosseyed and Painless at Holmdel, July 10 13.) Twist > Under Pressure at AC, November 1 12.) Theme from the Bottom > Shaft theme at AC, November 2 11.) Drowned at Worcester, October 26 10.) Harry Hood at Merriweather 9.) Runaway Jim at BGCA, August 4 8.) Stash at Merriweather, July 14 7.) Carini at SPAC, July 6 6.) Carini at AC, October 31 5.) Golden Age at Hartford, October 27 4.) Piper > Taking Care of Business at Hampton, October 20 (yup, this is cheating) 3.) Light at Merriweather, July 14 2.) Seven Below at BGCA, August 2 (in spite of the butchered composed section) 1.) Carini at Hampton, October 18
After having never been inside Barclays Center during its first year-plus of hosting concerts and assorted events and such, I found myself entering the fortress of distressed steel for the third time in less than a month. My enjoyment of the two shows I saw recently at this venue (Yeah Yeah Yeahs in mid-September, Atoms for Peace a week or so later) was related directly to the concert sound inside the arena at each show (YYY's - great, A4P - shitty); what would Nine Inch Nails' live show have in store?
Within moments of Trent taking the stage it became plainly obvious that this evening would be more about the visual spectacle than anything else. And what a spectacle it was! In fact, this was likely the most visually stunning live show I've ever seen, featuring smoke, laser beams, innumerable lighting effects, and, most impressively, a series of huge, transparent curtains enveloping the band that allowed for all kinds of crazy bullshit. I'll spare you an excruciating description of what went on, because there are few things in life lamer than some dude trying to describe a light show (GOD! I WISH YOU COULD SEE IT!), but check out this article for some great GIFs and plenty of relevant quotes from Trent and his art designer.
The "deluxe" version of Hesitation Marks comes with several remixes, which is kind of unintentionally hilarious considering that practically every single song on this record sounds like an inferior remix of The Fragile's "Somewhat Damaged." What's more, this album contains what appears to be Trent Reznor's first attempt at writing a "summer jam," the results of which are embarrassing.
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
The party album of the year, if you're really into throwing overrated, boring parties.