The 2013 Concerts I'll Never Forget
I reviewed a lot of concerts this year. Partly I love live music, and partly it was a way to get out the house for cheap. Really though, I was excited to spend the year exploring every musical experience this part of the world has to offer. From shows I knew would be great to shows I kind of stumbled into that smacked me round the head with their sheer brilliance, it was a musical 2013 I won't ever forget. Here, in no particular order, are my favorite picks -- gigs I will remember until I'm really, really senile. I even made up some meaningless awards, so you know this is an end of year thing.
Kiernan Maletsky Not pictured - Bosnian Rainbows. Pictured - a rainbow.
I did not have the first idea what I was going to get from this concert. I was still mad at Omar for the Mars Volta ending, and someone had told me Zorch were good once. It was one of those gigs you're not even sure about attending. You know the sort, where you feel like you might be paying actual money to be disappointed and frustrated for several hours, as if you were attending a Cowboys game.
Zorch remains the full-on weirdest thing I saw in 2013, a pair of normal-looking guys that have no time for things like verse-chorus-verse structure or indeed time signatures, yet still play at a pace that would make Megadeth blush. I spent a long while exchanging looks with my colleague that established we didn't really understand a single thing that was happening right now, but it was fantastic. Bosnian Rainbows, meanwhile, were triumphantly great -- another feather in the cap of Rodriguez-Lopez.
For things I will never forget, I will take Teri Gender Bender's manic chicken walk and complete madness with me to the grave. That lady is nuts. I give this concert my 2013 "Totally Unexpected Gem" award. I capitalized each word so you know this award is serious.
Spillover was a wonderful, wonderful festival with a scarcely-believable line-up all on their way home from SXSW. From taking in Parquet Courts and Vietnam at Sandbar, in the warm sunshine and with my toes in the sand, I trecked to the Double Wide to witness the far darker and scarier metal stage. Who should be there but the one and only Nick Oliveri, long time stoner rock hero of childhood Gavin, ready to unleash the sort of mayhem on a tiny venue that only Nick Oliveri can?
In an audience of what can't have been more than twenty people, I saw one of the guys from Kyuss play a version of "Allen's Wrench" that was so fast and brutal that I still have several hairs that haven't returned to place. I clung to the side of the stage and swung my body in a manner that can only be described as dangerous to those around me. I give this gig my "Fuck Yes" of the year award.
Rachel Parker I STILL CANNOT DESCRIBE ANY PART OF THIS SHOW PROPERLY
Now, I really hate the Verizon Theater. It's in the middle of freaking nowhere, parking is expensive, and they've still somehow managed to make it difficult for everyone to get in and out despite the absence of any noticeable impediments to that goal. That said, you can't deny that the sound system is crystal clear most of the time. I saw a Mastodon set there once that managed to accomplish the impossible and separate bass and treble from the chaos.
Sigur Ros there was as perfect a concert as I am likely to see in this or any other year. So incredibly overwhelming was the whole thing, so spiritually complete and soaring and magnificent and affecting and heartbreaking, that I am still having trouble describing the actual concert several months later without sounding like I'm teaching some sort of "spiritual wellness" class, as you can see. Holy baby Jesus though, it was unbelievable. I couldn't speak for several hours afterwards. I was never even a massive fan of their records. I give this concert my "I Have No Way Of Describing The Joy This Concert Brought Me" of the year award.
Head over the page to find out who won my "Thank Fuck For That" award.