Top Ten Shows Of 2012, pt 1

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Since we’re at that point now, and I’ve already run my top 25 albums and top 25 songs if the year so far, I figured we may as well finish out the trifecta and talk about some great concerts. Living in Chicago, there isn’t a shortage of amazing shows to see night in and night out. Obviously I don’t make it to all of them, and there have been some that I wish I hadn’t missed. For the most part, though, if I really want to get to a show, I do. It’s been a pretty great year so far, and looking at my calendar through September, the good times won’t be stopping any time soon.

So here we go. See if you can’t spot a couple of my favorite music venues.

10. Canasta 10th Anniversary Show, June 2 at Schubas

I feel like, more than anything, this was an education for me. I missed out on most of Canasta’s existence, but I made up for it by rocking front and center for this show.

9. Islands, March 1 at Lincoln Hall

Sometimes I just go to shows to enjoy them and not worry about writing a review. So I never wrote about this one. If I had, too much of it would have been filled with trash talk about the “fans” who had no idea what the new songs were even though the album had been out for a couple weeks already. I thought it was great.

8. First Aid Kit, April 6 at Lincoln Hall

One of my favorite surprises of 2012 has been First Aid Kit. I don’t understand how the Swedish have such a grasp on American folk music, but they do. Between these sisters and The Tallest Man On Earth, artists in the US need to step up their game to compete.

Continue reading “Top Ten Shows Of 2012, pt 1”

Emily Wells at Schubas 5/4/12

Emily Wells is the best individual performer I have ever seen. I’ve been to better shows, been in better crowds, but I’ve never seen anything as impressive as Wells behind her musical devices. She’s an artisan who handcrafts perfect melodies and weaves intricate background tapestries for us to enjoy.

The crowd on hand for this particular evening was large, but not too psyched. Multiple times the gentleman speaking for the Portland Cello Project mentioned how mellow everyone was. His band-consisting of five cellos, a flute, a French horn, and drums-played three songs by Watch The Throne and one by Lil Wayne. It was fun at first, but the novelty wore thin for me after they played “Niggas In Paris.” By the time they got to “H.A.M.” I was ready for them to leave. Not to say they aren’t talented. They are all very able on their instruments, but I’ve heard hip-hop on classical instruments before. Continue reading “Emily Wells at Schubas 5/4/12”