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.