Monday, December 17, 2012

The 33 Best Live Performances of 2012

I realized a lifelong dream in March when I experienced a concert at Royal Albert Hall.  It's no surprise, consequently, that the fulfillment of my ambition is my favorite show of the year.  The death of Barney McKenna- the last original "flounder" of the Dubliners- three weeks later adds to a sad sense of additional significance to the show.

Mind-bending performances by Vijay Iyer, Enrico Rava and Tord Gustavsen assured me of jazz's ongoing artistic vitality.  CS Luxem's unhinged gig allowed me to relive of my roots in punk rock house concerts.  Primus appears at #7 not because I'm a big fan (I'm not), but because the 3D and Quadrophonic experience it offered permanently raised the bar.  I heard Philip Glass amplified and a sublime acoustic outing by Europa Galante.

Why 33?  I've witnessed 330 individual performances so far in 2012.  My streak of taking in at least 365 individual performances per year has come to an end.

The 33 Best Shows of 2012
1. The Dubliners- Royal Albert Hall

2. The Vijay Iyer Trio- Folly Theater

3. The People's Liberation Big Band- RecordBar

4. Enrico Rava's Tribe- Winningstad Theatre

5. Vivica Genaux and Europa Galante- Folly Theater

6. CS Luxem- FOKL Center

7. Primus- Uptown Theater

8. Pat Metheny- Folly Theater

9. The Tord Gustavsen Quartet- Queen Elizabeth Hall

10. Philip Glass and Tim Fain- Helzberg Hall

11. Slipknot- Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

12. The Matt Otto Quartet- Westport Coffee House

13. Dead Sara- Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

14. Kelly Clarkson- Independence Events Center

15. Trivium- Liberty Memorial Park

16. James Taylor- Starlight Theatre

17. The Anat Cohen Quartet- Folly Theater

18. Tech N9ne- The Midland

19. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra- Folly Theater

20. Lamb of God- Uptown Theater

21. Mission of Burma- RecordBar

22. Hammerlord- Beaumont

23. The Gipsy Kings- The Midland

24. Bob Asher's tribute to Fela- RecordBar

25. Parallax- Take Five Coffee

26. Danzig- Uptown Theater

27. Mutemath- Beaumont

28. Alaturka- Kansas City Academy

29. Eddie Money- Old Shawnee Days

30. Delfeayo Marsalis- Blue Room

31. Bobby Watson with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra- Unity Temple on the Plaza

32. Slash- The Midland

33. The McFadden Brothers- Gem Theater

The Ten Best Opening Acts of 2012
1. American Head Charge- Beaumont, for Mushroomhead

2. Foxy Shazam- The Midland, for Slash

3. Testament- The Midland, for Anthrax

4. Darius Rucker- Sprint Center, for Lady Antebellum

5. Christina Perri- Starlight Theatre, for Jason Mraz

6. Making Movies- Knuckleheads, for Los Lobos

7. Sylosis- Uptown Theater, for Lamb of God

8. Orgone- Crossroads KC, for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band

9. King's X- Uptown Theater, for Kansas

10. Uncle Lucius- Crossroads KC, for Shooter Jennings

I conducted similar exercises in 2011, 2010 and 2009.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


Anonymous said...

Glad to see Matt Ottp with Anthony Wilson somehow managed to beat out Kelly Clarkson. LOL!!

Happy In Bag said...

I'm not ashamed of my affection for that Kelly Clarkson concert. Perfect pop songs + strong voice + engaging personality + 3,000 giddy fans = win.