Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favorite Concerts of 2014

First off, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and thank you for checking out my blog. I want to wish all a healthy, safe and rocking 2015. Keep going to shows and supporting your local record shop and music scene.

Now to get on with my favorite shows of 2014. I got to see quite a few shows this year and as usual it's hard to pick my top ten, therefore I will list my favorite shows of the year in order by date. All shows were in Edmonton unless otherwise noted.

* Mike McDonald at the Blue Chair Café January 18th. This show was recorded for Mike's solo album that was released in November. It was my first show of the year and a great way to start the year.

* Against Me! at the Starlite Room March 28th. This was my first time seeing the band. A great show by Laura Jane Grace and band, touring for their awesome album Transgender Dysphoria Blues.

* Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at the Starlite Room April 8th.

* Black Sabbath and Reignwolf at Rexall Place April 22nd. Ozzy and band sounded way better then I was expecting. Openers Reignwolf were decent too. An incredible show.

* Blitzen Trapper at the Starlite Room June 18th.

* Joel Plaskett Emergency with Blitzen Trapper and Bry Webb at Olympic Plaza in Calgary June 20th as part of Sled Island. Joel Plaskett stepped up to headline this show after Neko Case cancelled. A great bill, and what's more fun then standing in a down pour of rain and then standing in ankle deep water for a couple of hours. All worth it to see these bands.

* Joel Plaskett Emergency with Elliott BROOD at Flames Central in Calgary June 20th, also part of Sled Island. A great double bill. Watched Joel play the outdoor show, then ran to Flames Central in time to catch openers Elliott BROOD play. So double whammy of Joel and then got to meet Joel and band after the show. Only bummer about this show was my brother breaking his arm at the show. Damn steps.

* War Baby and Gaytheist at the Bamboo Tiki Room in Calgary June 21st, also part of Sled Island. I just took a chance on this show and was blown away by these two bands. A small room with loud music, good vibes, good times!!!

* Rocket From The Crypt with The Blind Shake at Olympic Plaza in Calgary June 21st. I was looking forward to seeing RFTC again as it had been years since I last saw them. But what really blew me away were openers The Blind Shake, a band I had never heard of before and have to say they were probably the best live performance I saw all year. Incredible energy and music from this three piece band. A must see live.

* Steve Earle and the Dukes at Myer Horowitz Theatre June 27th. A great performance by Steve Earle.

* Jason Isbell at the Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park July 27th as part of the Interstellar Rodeo Festival. A performer I have been wanting to see for some time. A great show, class act festival in a great outdoor venue. Saw so may good acts during this festival.

* The Lone Bellow July 27th, a band I had never heard before but became a fan of instantly. Great harmonies, well wrote songs and great energy.

* Gord Downie with The Sadies July 27th. Gord being his usual weird self and with a great backing band The Sadies.

* The Hold Steady July 27th, as you can tell, this day was the best of the three day festival. Such a fun day full of great performances.

* Misery Signals at the Starlite Room August 15th. Nice to see the original band together again after ten years performing their album Of Malice and the Magnum Heart in its entirety. A great metal/hardcore show.

* Leeroy Stagger at The Artery September 11th. Always good to see Leeroy play live, especially with full band and in a great intimate venue.

* Ryan Adams with opener Butch Walker at the Winspear Centre October 9th. First time seeing both performers in concert. I had never heard Butch Walker before, but very impressed and Ryan Adams was spectacular. One of my very favorite shows of the year.

* The smalls at the Starlite Room November 14th. An old Edmonton metal band back together after thirteen years apart. I saw them earlier in the summer at the Sonic Boom Festival. They were good there, but this show blew that one away. The band was way tighter, longer set, and their crowd. One of four sold out shows at the Starlite Room.

* Mark Mills at the Buckingham December 13th. Mark is such a fun performer you can't help but have fun at one of his shows, as well a great venue.

* Chuck Ragan at the Pawn Shop December 19th. An incredible show, what I would imagine The Boss was like seeing when he first started. Chuck played with such emotion and dedication to his music you couldn't help but get wrapped up in his lyrics and music, just him and his guitar. Awesome.

Not a bad year for shows. A shout out to all those that came out to some of the shows with me this year, Janis (Love You),Cuz, Captain Citrus, Hurl, A-Bomb and Buzzard. Good times!!!

Looking forward to what 2015 brings for concerts.

I highly recommend the Sled Island Fest in Calgary and the Interstellar Rodeo Festival in Edmonton. If you want to discover new music, these festivals will do it.

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