Being a regular contributor on here on TIG takes the show going experience from something you do on the weekends to part of your regular routine. I’ll never forget shoving five shows in one week, or running from set to set during Bumbershoot trying to frantically interview all the local bands. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m here.
Very few shows I regret seeing, the vast majority were really good. But there’s a distinct ten still stuck in my mind, shows I talk about to this day. The bands who made this list are not just comprised of musicians who stood up there and played — these were performers who demonstrated how their band is more than a job or hobby, it’s their lives. In each case they provided a memorable experience where I left feeling I’d just witnessed the most talented artists making music today.
10] These Arms Are Snakes @ the Vera Project February 24
With a line of fans down the block, Steve Snere was also at his finest, climbing on speakers and verbally lashing the crowd.
9] Hella with the Dirty Projectors @ Neumo’s March 5
8] Built to Spill @ Showbox October 6
This show also contained some of the best on-stage jamming of the year.
7] Blonde Redhead @ Showbox April 21
6] The Arcade Fire and Bjork @ Sasquatch!/Gorge May 26th
Perhaps it’s blasphemy when I say the Arcade Fire did a better job, but I stick by my word. They put on the big-stage performance I expected from the Icelandic songstress. If only that damn wind wasn’t a-blowin’.
5] Sunn 0))) @ Neumo’s November 2
By far the strangest show I witnessed all year, that fact alone puts them so far up on this list. This wasn’t just a show, it was an experience.
4] Lightning Bolt @ the Vera Project April 6
I cheated by standing behind the band for this performance. It was necessary, as half the glory was watching the expressions of those in the front as they teetered on the brink of being shoved onto the duo. The two-piece take chaotic noise and turn it into complex sound.
3] Kinski @ the Crocodile October 1st
I can’t say much more than what I did in my review. Definitely my third hardest show to write about.
2] Grizzly Bear @ Neumo’s September 6
These four New Yorkers showed Seattle that their hometown is ruling the music scene currently.
1] Battles with Bronze Fawn @ Neumo’s November 3rd
I’m still at a loss for words on this show. A-maz-ing. Battles yet again proved, like Grizzly Bear, that NY is where it’s at right now. Talk about a math-rock fan’s dream. Standing front row my ears were about to explode, the drummer was sweaty half way through the first song, and the band looked like they were having so much fun, they were all but high five-ing each other. The crowd was radiating high energy as well. Plus, Neumo’s was packed up almost like it was at Block Party! I have personal ties to members in Bronze Fawn, so to see them play at Neumo’s for the first time to a sold out show for one of the best live bands in the nation, I couldn’t be beaming with pride anymore.
Jonathan Zwickel of the Stranger hit the nail on the head with his review of the show. It seems he couldn’t find the right words to say either!