Reviler Best of 2011: Concerts
Snow is falling, people are spending money on crap they don’t need and you are starting to dread all of the time you will be spending with your in laws in the next couple weeks. Cheer up. It is also that wonderful time of year where music sites like yours truly pontificate even more than usual, although in a more orderly and concise manner than we normally do (numbered lists!). For the next week we will be presenting you with a plethora of lists covering our favorite (and least favorite) things from calender year 2011. Today we are looking back at all of the shows we saw this year and we will run down our favorite concerts of the year. Check back tomorrow for the bands/genres that we think are going to be the next big thing in the coming year, or at least the part of the year that happens before the world ends.
STEVE SKAVNAK (@steveskavnak)
1) THE JOY FORMIDABLE @ 7TH STREET ENTRY [4/6/11] – Good luck ever seeing them in this small of a club again. 45 minutes of pure, unbridled energy highlighted by frontwoman Ritzy Bryan’s haunting vocals and vicious glare. You just needed to be there.
2) BON IVER (NIGHT 2) @ ORPHEUM THEATRE [9/7/11] – The year of Justin Vernon reached its local climax with this two night stand, and the second show is widely considered to be one of the best regional performances he’s ever put on.
3) BATTLES @ FINE LINE MUSIC CAFE [10/8/11] – Spastic and intense, one of the most original bands making music these days also delivered one of the year’s most unique live shows.
4) BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE @FIRST AVENUE [8/7/11] – 17 years after their last Minneapolis performance, Mick Jones and gang delivered a Friday night vibe on a Sunday evening, filled with youthful exuberance and humble appreciation.
5) MARKETA IRGLOVA @ CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER [11/25/11] – The lesser discussed half of The Swell Season exuded a kind of grace that was both enlightening and invigorating. Emotionally intense yet approachable, Irglova melted into her music as the crowd melted into her.
1. Bill Callahan at the Cedar Cultural Center
Finally got to see one of my favorite all-time artists live this year and it was (as expected) amazing.
2. Budos Band & Charles Bradley at First Ave
Wow. Charles Bradley stole this show with some intensely infectious energy but the Budos gang were no slouches either
3. N. Mpls Day of Dignity (feat Brother Ali, Atmosphere, Toki Wright, Freeway, Doomtree, and more)
The amount of talent involved in this show was amazing, not to mention the fact that it was free, outdoors, and intimately small
4. Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin at the Cave (Northfield)
Ty Segall finally came to Minnesota and blew away a tiny crowd in Northfield
5. Royal Headaches at the Triple Rock
This Oz band really impressed me this year – particularly the lead vocalists amazing R&B style vocals which somehow perfectly fit the band’s punk/garage aesthetic
Runner up: Beirut at First Ave
This show hasn’t even happened yet but I am pretty sure the only thing that could ruin it is the (very real) possibility of a drunk, overpacked First Ave crowd being obnoxious
1.Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin @ The Cave
I have been waiting for years to see Segall and his sparsely attended (but wildly energetic) show did not disappoint in the slightest.
2.Bill Callahan @ Cedar
I had never seen Callahan live before, which I found out was a gigantic mistake on my part after witnessing this spellbinding performance. It didn’t hurt that he relied heavily on material from his new record Apocalypse, one of my favorite records of the year.
3.Royal Headache @ Triple Rock
I was excited to see this garage punk band from Australia, but I had no idea how much I would like their frantic, high energy show. I picked up their debut LP at the show and it has become one of my favorite records of the year.
4.Group Doueh/Food Pyramid @ Cedar
A spellbinding show, starting with a hypnotizing set by local ambient explorers Food Pyramid and capped by the guitar heroics and infectious beats of Group Doueh. One of those shows that only the Cedar could bring together and the kind of events that remind you how lucky we are to have such an amazing venue in our city.
5.Real Esate @ 400 Bar
- Drive-by Truckers – First Avenue on 10.25 – This was the most spot-on and heartfelt performance I’ve ever seen by these rockers from Alabama. Two and a half hours of rock!
- The Greenhornes – Triple Rock Social Club on 3.26 – The Greenhornes returned with a straight up, kick-ass, rock-n-roll show. The opening band, Hacienda, was also exceptional.
- Man Man – First Avenue on 5.23 – Man Man is crazy fun. I knew little about the band going in, and came out a big fan after this wildly entertaining show.
- Titus Andronicus – First Avenue on 6.12 – They opened for Okkervil River and completely stole the show with their high-energy, pounding performance.
- Deer Tick – Triple Rock Social Club on 11.12 – A raucous and sweaty, beer-soaked good show.
1. Heliotrope 8 – 3 days of some of the best and interesting music this city has to offer in a beautiful theater setting. I only hope someday this annual festival will get all the recognition it deserves.
2. Swans at First Avenue (9/20) – Swans have been on the road pretty constant since their reformation last year and it showed. 2 ½ hours of amazingly loud, crushing music. Sir Richard Bishop’s opening set made things perfect from front to back.
3. The Sleaze / Sinks @ The Hexagon (5/14) – Only a Sleaze reunion show could throw the Hex into such chaos where the railing is ripped off and the stage contains rougly two garbage bags worth of beer cans thrown at the band.
4. TVBC @ the Loring Theater (3/31) – It was a pleasure to see Paul Metzger on electric guitar again in a rare performance from the band.
5. Davila 666 @ the Turf (4/6) – A great wild set from the Puerto Rican garage band
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