I think I've consciously been trying to dial back on the number of gigs I've been attending. Money has been a little tight, and I've already seen a lot of the bands that I'd like to see live. In the past, I've made lists with at least 10-12 shows (just favorites) I attended over the course of the year. I even remember one list that named close to 20 favorites. This year has been slower for me, which is okay I guess. Save some money and eardrums. So this year, I'm gonna roll with a top 3. See? I told you I haven't been to many this year. So here goes...
3. Like most indie kids, I love the Pixies and Doolittle is probably my favorite album of theirs, depending on which day you ask me. Apparently, many people in the bay area love the Pixies as well, as they played three sold-out shows at the Fox Theater. Not only did they play Doolittle in its entirety, but they played a handful of b-sides from that era, including my faves Manta Ray and Into The White. It was really, really great (despite being surrounded by hipster douchebags and chatty scenesters).
2. Madcat Joe tipped me to Fever Ray about a year ago, I think he played If I Had A Heart for me the night before we were gonna leave for Mexico. I loved it right off the bat, it was creepy and ominous. I had sorta figured that, like The Knife, there wouldn't be much chance to see a Fever Ray gig. So it was pretty much a no-brainer when some limited tour dates were announced, including a San Francisco stop. The venue wasn't exactly my favorite, but there's not much room to be choosy in this case.
Naturally, I thought the performance was excellent, or else I wouldn't be writing about it right here. There was a collection of old lamps that would flicker to the beat of the music. The performers were backlit most of the time, which lent to the spooky atmosphere which also consisted of dry ice fog and lasers. They played most of the album and they also included a cover of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Stranger Than Kindness. Completely mesmerising.
1. Bat For Lashes gets the barest of nods over Fever Ray just because of the venue. The Great American Music Hall is far, far superior to the Regency Ballroom. The band was tight, the sound was great and Natasha Khan has a fantastic voice (not to mention she is gorgeous). They absolutely KILLED Pearl's Dream, which is my favorite song on Two Suns. I dunno, everything about this show was just perfect to me.