I know, I know, everyone does a top 10 list! I’ve been sucked in and decided to write one as well of the live shows I’ve seen this year. Now, I write on just about every review that it’s a top 10 show, but I’ve really thought about it and set aside an actual top 10. I haven’t reviewed all of them as I have not been writing this review the whole time. I do have a few more shows left before the end of the year, but I’m pretty sure this is the list, here it goes:
1. Chris Isaak! (Gruene Dance Hall) This was the BEST SHOW EVER! I have loved loved loved Chris Isaak for twenty years and he is still the best. He can still hit those high notes and I shivered while he sang my favorites. It was a hot summer day, about 102 outside and he was wearing a full on wool suit with his band. He even came out in a mirror ball jacket. This is actually one of the best shows I’ll probably have in my life (unless my dream of Eric Clapton comes true)
2. Bob Schneider (at Sam’s Burger Joint) – this was a solo show (so, yeah, you’ll see another Bob show will be on this list). This was the second time I saw Bob and I was blown away with everything he did that night. First time I’ve seen a “looper” which was super cool. Bob puts on a mighty fine show and I’m looking forward to seeing him again the end of this week. Every time I hear the recording of Batman I just laugh and laugh, it’s a great way to fix the blues.
3a. Avenge Sevenfold (Alamodome) – I had very low expectations for this show, and was terrified when all of the “stuff” came out onto the stage. It’s typically (typically!) a sign of a weak band that needs props to keep up their sound. All of the fire enhanced this show! It was absolutely one of the best large site shows of the year…despite the props, which were so hot they seemed to burn off my eyebrows! I would totally go see them again.
3b. 10 Years (Warehouse live) – I have probably seen this band more times than Bob and I’ve seen Bob a lot! Every time I see them they are better and better. They an absolutely lovely band that spend time with their fans, sign just about anything and will stand around having their photos taken over and over. This was the best show I have seen of theirs so far and can’t wait for the next time they are on tour.
3. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (Sam’s Burger Joint) – I have no idea how all the Honeybears fit on the stage, but I’m so glad not only that they did, but they were able to do their sweet dance moves (I have pictures posted) I love love love this band! Now, if you are sensitive to language etc, this is not the band for you. If you have a sense of humor and love an amazing classic sound, you will love this band too!
4. Gary Clark Jr (Sam’s Burger Joint) – I saw Gary Clark Jr open of Citizen Cope last year and it was so so. But on his own, it was a jam! The Austin native has been making some headway into the main stream, and justifiably so. He’s like a young, skinny BB King. Check him out!
5. Tune Yards (Auditorium Shores) – this show was much much much to short! If she ever makes it down this way I’m running to that show. You either love her or hate her. I love her! There sound is raw and emotional. And her use of the looper, dude! Unbelievable.
6. Chris Cornell – (Paramont Theater) – this was another one I had no idea what to expect since it was an acoustic (opening/sold out) show and without the rest of Soundgarden…it could have gone either way. He has some interesting solo stuff and it was a really great 2 hour show! I loved when he brought out a record player with a vinyl piano recording a friend of his did to accompany one of the songs. It was a different way of doing that whole acoustic thing.
7. Bob Schneider (Threadgils) – I said I’d put in another Bob, well here it is. This was a SXSW show at a classic place in Austin (Janis Joplin played there). This was the third show they had done that day so they were a little tired, but they kept it going. There was a little girl up front and Bob cut out the language from the songs and left me something I can play for the family (well, if you ignore the first part) I have this recording and listen to it over and over.
8. Ghostland Observatory (Whitewater Amphitheater) – was not a big fan of the opening DJ but the laser light show was unlike anything I have seen before. It was outside and the way it danced in the trees was so wonderful. I plan on seeing them again and experience it upfront…though I think ya might miss something of the lasers and be blinded. I would love to see the two guys up close.
9. Last but not least – Jimmy Eat World (Warehouse Live) – this was another one of those shows I didn’t know what to expect and was kind meh about. When the smoke machines started up I was much less excited. I was pleasantly surprise (obviously, duh!) and it was a really great show. They had the whole audience moving and singing with them. It was powerful! I have some photos of that show as well and will put them up there. If you have a chance to go see them it is well worth the money/time!
Bonus: Jack’s Mannequin: I put this one on here because I loved the whole show! Their openers were strong and interesting. That makes a huge difference. I’ve seen a bunch of shows with some really horrible openers and this was such a tight knit group ya just fell in love with them all. I have all of their music as well after hearing their stories. I did review this one, so check it out if you would like to know the openers names.
There were so many more shows that I would have loved to put on here, but I told myself it was a top 10 list not a top 25…I can’t wait until next years shows! There is some awesomeness coming up!