While most of you are busy de-Christmas-ing your homes (My tree is staying up till at least mid-January, since I love the lights!), getting organized, and thinking about what you’ll do in the coming year – or at least where you’ll go/what you’ll wear to ring in 2012 tomorrow night – I am taking a short drive down memory lane.
And? You probably don’t need me to tell you that it’s been quite a year. It seems like it’s been “quite a year” across the board for pretty much everyone I know. There were good times, bad times, and there was lots of change. But one thing I can say that 2011 was absolutely great for was live music. I think nearly all of my favorite bands toured this past year, and I was lucky enough to be able to see many of them.
Here, in photos, is a brief retrospective with a playlist at the end. Enjoy!
30 Seconds To Mars – Atlanta, 1.28.11
I blogged all about this show here, in case you missed it. What a way to start off the (concert) year! One of my favorite shows of the year.
Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights - Birmingham, 2.23.11
This was Music Mama Tiffani (Sound Check Mama)’s birthday show. The music was loud, soulful, bluesy, and rockin’; the place was packed; and we had a blast catching up with the band post-show. I think all concert experiences need to end like this one did.
100 Monkeys – Atlanta, 7.26.11
I finally got a 100 Monkeys show that didn’t end in utter misery for me. For more on that AND this show, go here. This was also the last show I actively tried to review for this site, as I’m thinking folks are not all that interested in posts about concerts.
Honda Civic Tour featuring Matt & Kim, My Chemical Romance, and Blink 182 – Atlanta, 9.21.11
Now THIS was a show that should have been reviewed. We spent most of Matt & Kim’s set walking around, but made our way to our pit “seats” for MCR’s performance….and they were so ON! The energy in that place was out of this world, and they’re such amazing performers that their songs sound incredible live as well as recorded. Laura was particularly happy to have the show started with “Na Na Na (NaNaNaEtc, NaNaNa ad infinitum, NaNaNa4Eva! I am not counting all the “Na Na Na”s in parentheses, get it ?), and I was happy to hear “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” live.
Blink 182 was amazing to see live as well. We got all the old songs we loved and a few of the new ones. We got a LOT of suggestive banter via Tom DeLonge, lots of blurriness from Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker was his usual phenomenal self. And? He made the whole show for me, with the drum solo, a medley of songs from his album Give The Drummer Some, on his mighty levitating drum kit!
Both bands kept us on our feet, jumping and moving all night long in the sweltering Georgia heat, and was, hands-down, my favorite show of the year. Laura and I discussed this at length on the car ride home, and we honestly couldn’t decide whose performance we liked better. Off the chain, indeed.
Foo Fighters/Social Distortion – Atlanta, 11.7.11
This is definitely another show that should have been reviewed, or gushed about, or something. We made it into the arena in time to see Social D perform a few songs before closing out with their rockabilly rendition of “Ring of Fire”, and the guys still have it. They’re definitely a band I’ll be back to see as soon as I’m able!
But the Foo Fighters? Gah, where to start with that one……
First off, my friend Laura should be doing this one, as she’s really the only one who can do it justice (and the only one who hasn’t forgotten one single teensy tiny detail about it like I have!) This was just an incredible night all around. The band still performs with an energy which rivals that of their much younger counterparts. They played to a sold-out (or very close to it) Gwinnett Center arena for nearly four hours, during which we were treated to the band’s many hits, some classic rock covers, acoustic versions of their own songs, and a promise to come back and play a smaller venue.
Of the four of us in our little group, two sets of hands actually touched a stick thrown by Taylor Hawkins before it bounced on down to…who knows? My hands were not among the two, but I am told it felt “sweaty.” Ah, good times.
Jason Isbell – Huntsville, 12.23.11
I’ve STILL not managed to see the Drive By Truckers live, but at least can now say I’ve seen Jason Isbell. This show was local-ish boy Jason’s last performance of the year, and was at Crossroads, which is my absolute favorite place to catch live music in Huntsville. I have so many fond memories of that place, and this was the perfect show to wind down the concert year.
I know you’re just dying to know what my favorite show of the year was, aren’t you? Well, based on performance and pure musicianship alone, it should be the Foo Fighters. Based on those same things, it should also be 30 Seconds to Mars. But I think my favorite performance of the year was MCR’s. I couldn’t really pinpoint why, either. Sure, their musicianship and performance was top-notch as well, but even that’s not it. I just know it was somehow pure magic, and that’s all that really needs to happen to make a show your favorite, right?
So, what shows did you see this year? Go ahead and tell me all about them in the comments