Thursday, December 15, 2016

Year In Review 2016- Favorite Live Show

The live show is a slippery thing. There are lots of variables at play, most having little to do with the performance itself. Does the venue have enough bathrooms? Is it going to rain? What day of the week is it on? Did I have a shitty day at work before hand? Did tickets cost waaay too much? All of this effects one's opinion of a live show before the band even tunes up and with reason, but when the stars align, there is no place RtBE would rather be than in the moment of magic occurring spontaneously from the stage.
Live Music Has No Equal!
Taken By The Fantastic Megan Donohue
While we can't see every show that is out there, we try our hardest to see as many as we can here at RtBE. Sure there are a few left in the calendar year, but for now, here is a listing of of the best concerts we were fortunate enough to have seen in 2016. Also because who doesn't love arbitrary rankings, one show at the bottom took the top prize as RtBE's 2016 Favorite Live Show. To continue our Best of 2016 just click that Read More button and get started
If there is a review it will be linked in the title. We are NYC based so most of these shows happened here, and will include video if we can find some. Last year was no contest, we knew the winner when we saw it. This year things were different there were lots of good shows but no stand alone HOLY SHIT night. Any of these could have won the title, very little separates the honorable mentions from the champ this year in our minds.

Honorable Mentions:
The most recent show we saw because The Boys were back in town! God Damn it felt good to have the classic Hold Steady lineup ripping through their best songs and really hitting their stride. We go to Hold Steady shows differently. Normally we find a  sweet spot for sound and just enjoy the concert, with tHS we sing our lungs out and dance like a school girl. This night was a blast, here's hoping they play much more in 2017.

From the most recent to the earliest show on this list. Back in February we went with Paddy to check out our collective man crush Jason Isbell and he owned the Beacon. Jason was a treat and we hope he makes this temple of tunes an annual tour stop. 

The best hardcore show of the year had old school guys playing at half their age and rocking the park that basically is the ground zero of hardcore punk rock in NYC. It was 1,000 degrees that day and we almost passed out twice, but shit it was fun...and for a good cause, here's hoping Dr. Know continues to recover. 

While we were disappointed by Band of Horses newest album, their live show was anything but a letdown. The band was on and their perfect vocals, big guitars and simple rhythms bounced out of the visually glorious (if bathroom and beer stand lacking) Summerstage venue in the center of Central Park. 

and just missing our top spot....
What a night of music. Prince had just passed away and the band opened with "Purple Rain" (see below) then proceeded to tear through The River then played a full set of hits, unreal. Our good friend and Springsteen obsessive Tom got us to go and we can't thank him enough, The Boss still has it on all levels. 

And finally, RtBE's Favorite Live Show of 2016

So here's the deal. A group of us were actually going to see Dr. John multiple nights here in NYC in February but Mac canceled because he was sick. We were sad, who knows the next time he will play NYC? Then out of nowhere I was upstate visiting family and found out he would be playing for free at a a street fair in downtown Albany. Cosmic. Taking the whole family to the show and getting to see a living legend up close (closer than the person taking that video up there) with my mother was a hoot. 

With the whole family there, longtime friends, the sheer randomness of it and a set from Dr. John that included deep deep cuts played expertly? That pushes this one to our choice for show of the year. Sure, Bruce was "technically better" but sometimes the sum of the parts just add up, and the personal feelings and family love pushed the good doctor to the top this year.  

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