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Aktivator's top 15 live shows of the year

Discussion in 'Live Concert Reviews.' started by Aktivator, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Aktivator

    Aktivator aka Hightea

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    15. Mazzy Star-Coachella Indo,CA
    14. Aranis-NEARfest, Bethleham, PA
    Aranis- Belgian acoustic chamber rock ensemble led by upright bassist and composer Joris Vanvickenroye. Featuring interlocked bass, violin, flute, accordion, and piano lines, Aranis' evocative music stirs the mind and spirit alike. Their album Roqueforte expands their musical palette through the addition of drummer extraordinaire Dave Kerman. Great performance Dave Kerman made an interesting twist to their sound. He played with air cans, bones and a deck of cards :oyea:
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    13. Florence + The Machine-Coachella Indo,CA
    I've Seen Florence a few times and her live show continues to progress. I love her outstanding vocals which go great with her witty poetry.
    She entered as a silhouette from behind these stained glass doors
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    12. Tori Amos-Le Poisson Rouge, NYC
    Tori did a great short set for an NPR taping. It was nice to see Tori at a small club after so many years of seeing her in large venues. Also since it was a taping the audience was silent. Tori's new album is with a a orchestra and while she couldn't bring that to the states she just used a string octet. Highlights: Smokey Joe, Taxi Ride, Purple People, Cloud on My Tongue

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    11. Neil Young and Crazy Horse/Patti Smith-Barclays Center, Brooklyn
    I saw two shows on the tour and this was the better one. Patti Smith played a great warmup set. Patti still has lots of energy after all these years. Highlights:
    Dancing Barefoot, Gloria
    Neil and Crazy Horse whipped thru a great set of old and new songs. While they are not as good as the 70's or 90's versions they still bring a great show. highlights: Walk Like a Giant, Powderfinger and Cinnamon Girl

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  2. Aktivator

    Aktivator aka Hightea

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    10. UK-NEARfest, Bethleham, PA
    We first saw UK in July of 78 as an unknown warm-up act for Al Dimeola in Central Park. Were told when we got there that the band was Jobson, Wetton, Holdsworth and Bruford -our jaws dropped. 34 years later and only two original members (Wetton and Jobson with the addition of Gary Husband and Alex Machacek) we was looking forward to this show and it didn't disappoint. After tearing through several UK songs they did an amazing version of King Crimson's Starless. Jobson is a pest about no cameras so no pictures from me. Always loved Jobson's violin here is a picture of it:
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    9. Andrew Bird - Gezelligheid show-Riverside Church, NYC
    Another one of my favorite modern artists. I've seen Andrew Bird a few times but this might have been his best. In a beautiful and perfect sounding church Andrew came equipped with his violin, guitar and giant horns surrounding him:

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    Though he played most of the show on his own, Tift Merritt and Alan Hampton joined him for the second haft of the show.

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    8. Marillion - Irving Plaza, NYC
    I've never understood why Marillion has such a small following even after all these years of great albums and music. In america they get the prog label and never get the light of day.
    Marillion always give a great live performance and was glad to catch the second of two shows at Irving Plaza. Knowing their NYC fans go to both shows they told the audience they wouldn't repeat any of the songs from the previous night. It led to some deeper cuts (This Strange Engine,Three Minute Boy,Cannibal Surf Babe) as they played songs from over their whole career including from the Fish era. H is one of my favorite singers.

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    7. Pulp-Radio City Music Hall, NYC
    Prior to the early 00's I had never heard of Pulp (F*ck American radio) so never saw the original shows. We spent a good part of the mid 00's dancing at a friends dance party called Misshapes. When I heard they reformed and were going to play Radio City Music Hall I jumped to see them. I've seen Jarvis solo but to see the whole band was a treat. Great show and Jarvis with his quirky looks put on a great show.


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    6. Änglagård -NEARfest, Bethleham, PA
    Änglagård a band that quietly put out two epic albums in the 90's. Combining influences from romantic and modern classical, 1970s symphonic rock, and Scandinavian folk music with prodigious compositional skill and emotional depth, Änglagård are a jem to see live. They put out a great comeback album in 2012 and with their three mellotrons and an impressive drummer stunned the NEARfest audience.

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  3. Aktivator

    Aktivator aka Hightea

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    5. Radiohead-Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
    After seeing Radiohead at Coachella Music Festival in California, we returned home to see Radiohead in New Jersey. The perforamnce at Coachella was amazing but the more intimate performance in Jersey was the better show. I did wonder if Radiohead could keep the great live performance after what I considered a sub par album. However, once again Radiohead proved their live shows and rework of new songs live always make the studio songs sound better.

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    4. Fiona Apple-Bowery Ballroom, NYC
    We saw Fiona three times in 2012. I gave the nod to the first show which was billed as a warmup show for the tour. Fiona's new albums is one of my favorites of the year and her performance was better than her last tour. She only did three new songs but the old ones were fantastic including covers of It's Only Make Believe and Across the Universe.

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    3. Sigur Rós-Prospect Park, NYC
    One of my current favorite live bands. This show was outside in Brooklyn on a beautiful summer night. Sigur Rós creates the perfect landscapes and soundscapes for an outdoors concert. This performance was topped off with meeting the band including Jonsi after the show.
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    2. Bjork-Roseland Ballroom
    I've seen Bjork a number of times but this was the first time I had seen her up close (3rd row standing). Bjork performance was sort of in the round as it was on a round stage with all members moving around thruout the performance. Clad in a biomorphic electric blue dress with nautilus-shaped whorls at the breasts and hips. Bjork performed songs from Biophilia, her new album, and used some of the new instruments she’d commissioned for the project. Among them were the musical Tesla coil (a high-voltage transformer housed in a cylindrical cage and making sound with controlled arcs of electricity), a MIDI-controlled pipe organ (which Björk triggered by means of an iPad), and the gravity harp: a set of four pendulums with plectra rhythmically plucking strings. At times the concert felt like a science fair with demonstrations by a lovably eccentric teacher and amazing vocals by the icelandic princess highlighted this live show.


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    1. Kraftwerk-MOMA, NYC - This was the easily the best show of the year. First we were all shut out of tickets for the hard to get show. Then while on vacation in New Orleans my cell phone rang and I was told I won tickets to the first nite, Autobahn, of an 8 nite run at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). With an audience of only 400 all wearing 3D glasses Kraftkerk performed the entire Autobahn album and a selection of other hits thruout their career.
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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  4. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Busy year!! One thing I was looking forward to, before entering into the thread was checking out your awesome pictures.

    I was right! Awesome pictures!! :grinthumb :cheers2
     
  5. electric funeral

    electric funeral Just listening music

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    Really good concerts and pics. You really have an eclectic taste of music.
     
  6. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    AK was a busy guy in 2012.


    Thanks for sharing your concert pictures :)
     
  7. Aktivator

    Aktivator aka Hightea

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    thanks Magic, electric funeral and Metal.
    Actually the last time I saw under 40 concerts (saw 39 in 2012) was in 2000. :oyea:

    I completed a little description for all of the shows.
     
  8. Soot and Stars

    Soot and Stars I AM SOOT!

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    Just plain jealous! That is all! :tongue:
     
  9. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Yeah I gotta start getting my butt to more shows :uh:
     

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