Sunday, January 10, 2010

2009 in review: Live Music

Okay, this is the last of the review posts.  The looking back has dragged on long enough, and really ... year-end summations are about the most self-involved posts you can make in a medium that's inherently self-involved.  But 2009 was a very good year for music and me, so here are the stats:

Total shows (counting each day of multi-day events): 63 (up eleven from 2008!) Performers seen for first time (headlining, in this particular incarnation): 8 (Viper and his Famous Orchestra, 7 Worlds Collide, Neil Finn "solo", Pronto, Liam Finn + Eliza-Jane, The Long Beds, The Avett Brothers, Dave Rawlings Machine)

Performers seen for the first time (support or other variety setting): 20 (Tortoise, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Freakwater, Joe Pug, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Akron/Family, Jonathan Wilson, Murry Hammond, Heartless Bastards, Dungen, Snow Patrol, Patty Loveless, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, Nicole Atkins, Jesca Hoop, The Latebirds, Punch Brothers, Josh Harty, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Mountain Goats)  

I avoided festivals for the entirety of 2009!  Which hurt me a bit in the "performers seen for the first time" category.

Seen most often: Wilco, Liam Finn, Andrew Bird, Neil Finn

A note on 2009 Wilco shows:
I didn't want them dominating the list below, because I saw so much good stuff last year.  But in all honesty, 2009 was nuts.  Saw many great shows, period.  Jody Stephens coming out for a cover of Big Star's "In the Street," the first live Feist guest appearance for "You and I," I "played" Jeff's guitar, saw Conan, early listen to Wilco (the album) at Hotel SnS, observed part of an album art photo shoot in Milwaukee,  "Happy Birthday" sung from the stage in Holland, a song dedication.  I might as well retire!  But I won't.  As lucky as I was in 2009, if I just see some plain old regular shows in 2010, that's more than good enough. 

(Other) favorite concert moments of 2009, in no order:

  • "Don't Be Scared" live for the first time at the Big Shoulders Ball on the eve of the inauguration, 1/19
  • LeRoy Bach performing "Special Day" and "Dad Says" at Hotel SnS, 7/10
  • Jayhawks with Marc, Gary, and Karen together again for the first time in fourteen years, 5/29
  • The Decemberists' multi-drum attack on "The Rake's Song," 8/5
  • Singing along with Justin Vernon and the rest of the Riverside for "Wolves," 10/11
  • KT Tunstall, Jon Brion, and Elroy Finn's bottle solo at the 7WC2 show, 8/16
  • Neil Finn performing my two favorite solo songs back to back, 8/18
  • Liam Finn bringing out Glenn Kotche for "Red Wine Bottle" and "Cinnamon Girl," 10/10
  • Chris Thile and the rest of the Punch Brothers covering Radiohead and The Cardigans in the Little Room, 11/20
  • U2 at Solider Field, "Ultra-f*cking-violet," 9/12
  • Scott Avett playing a kick drum about two feet from my face, 10/21
  • John Darnielle's improvised song, 12/16

Rock 'n' roll.


shannon said...

You are so lucky re: the guitar. Did you play it during spiders? At the show I went to this summer he let the 10 year old next to me play and I about died. I thought he was coming for me!

BeeKay said...

Yep, it was Spiders. I know it was usually kids who got to play, so I'm still not quite sure if I should be insulted or what. Heh...

Shannon said...

Don't be insulted. I'm envious.

thevalet said...

I'm just catching up on various blog posts, but nice recap! I'd sort of forgotten some of those moments, and I'm glad I got to experience more than a few of them with you...