Last year Paul and I went to a lot of concerts–so much that I called it the “Year of Concerts”. Well, I was wrong. 2015 was not the year of concerts, because 2016 was. While Paul was the one mostly going out, I did join him in quite a few this year, and several of them just happened to be this fall, including one that we took the kids to. And, in a curious turn of timing, 3 of them were literally in a one week span.
We went see Icelandic trio Sigur Ros at Radio City Music Hall, which was mind blowing. They play the dreamiest most atmospheric music ever, so it was a big surprise that it was truly the loudest concert I’ve ever been to. And at RCMH, with its beautiful ceilings and acoustics, that enveloping sound was amazing. It was incredible.We also saw Kishi Bashi at Union Transfer, who is definitely a bigger name now than when we first saw him a couple years ago (so good for him!) and that show was fantastic. Great venue, we were right up close, and I loved checking IG after the show and seeing pictures posted taken from the balcony in which you could see me and Paul on the floor right next to Kishi Bashi when he was crowd surfing while playing his violin. It was such a fun night dancing around and being caught up in his music.
We took the kids to see Weird Al and met a bunch of friends there. That was fun-a guaranteed entertaining time (though it’s the same tour as when we took them before so it was the same show.) We went to see Ben Folds at the Mayo Center in Morristown, and that was awesome. We’d seen Ben just a couple months before, outside at Steel Stacks, standing pretty close to him. This was a seated venue with a very different performance-just Ben solo with his piano. And the second half of the show was all request. It was great. He sounded incredible and he started the show with Annie Waits, which I loved, and he also played The Luckiest, which is a really emotional wonderful song we had played at our wedding.
Here’s a blast from the past-we went to see Squeeze (with opener The English Beat) at the Keswick Theater. I’d never been to this theater before and it was so funky and old (plus we basically drove through The Goldbergs to get there.)
For a venue that seemed like everyone would be seated and tame, this crowd of 40-50somethings did not let that stop them. These fans were there to have a good time and the band was clearly there to play their big hits and have everyone have a good time. It was a lot of fun!
And speaking of older audiences, we also went to see The Monkees at the State Theater. Now, I was a pretty big Monkees fan (even though obvs. they are from a generation older than me) and with Mike not performing with them and poor Davy dying, that just left Peter and Mickey, we decided to go. I had previously seen them (3 of them) in the 80s. I’m so glad we went. I knew every word to every song and it was super nostalgic and sentimental for me that to hear them and also to see projected clips from all the shows on the big screen behind them. Their new album has two super catchy songs on it and they were great. They paid homage to Davy very nicely without letting it get maudlin and I though the overall vibe of the show was great. It was all like a very happy trip down memory lane without being treacly or pretending to be something different. I thought Mickey did not sound great on some songs, but I forgive him. 🙂
Although I had fun at and enjoyed every show we went this year, the biggest highlight was probably seeing Band of Horses at the Fillmore in late September. We had seen them twice before, but always as an opener (first for Beck, then for Neil Young), and also at big open outdoor places. I had really high hopes that this show would let me hear them they way I really wanted to. And it did. It was everything I wanted it to be-energetic, loud, playing all the songs I like, and in a great venue. As usual we stood on the floor fairly close (but not too close as to get poor sound) in the midst of the great throng. It was marvelous and they sounded fantastic. (A good opening act, too!) One more show we took the kids to was the Legend of Zelda symphony. Over the summer we’d seen Pokemon Symphonic, which was lovely, and this was also very lovely. Fun to see some cosplay, and the Mann Center is so pretty. The music was really gorgeous and there were some recorded bits of the people who created it telling about the storytelling of Zelda and the composing, and it was really interesting. And we started the fall by attending a performance of a little know pianist, Tabby.
She’d only had about 3 piano lessons at that point, so played just a few bars of single notes, but she confidently and correctly played them! In the months since she has been really advancing and practicing and I can’t wait to see the next recital.
If you don’t like live music then this probably seems crazy and excessive to you, and I am surprised at how often I have to explain? defend? why we like going to concerts. So I’m not going to do it here, but I will say that one of the things I like at the new(ish) Philly Fillmore is the sculpture in the foyer that says LIVE. Is it live, as in “get out and live a little”? or is it live, as in “live music is incredible”? I think it’s both! When we see, hear, and immerse ourselves in a communal live music experience we are living! So maybe you don’t need to go to concerts all the time, but if you haven’t been to one in a long time, why not make it a resolution in 2017 to go see one live show?