2014 is a crazy good year for live music in my world. In addition to Paul Simon & Sting and the highlighted shows below, I’ll be seeing OK Go twice (in SF and SLC), Tom Petty at Outside Lands, and Paul McCartney at Candlestick Park (the last show ever! …Candlestick’s that is, not Paul’s). I’m pret-ty pumped, to say the least.
Here is a glimpse of my May and June in music….
Kishi Bashi @ The Fillmore. 5/17.
I’d been wanting to see Kishi Bashi in concert since I became obsessed with him last year. So I was stoked (yes, STOKED) to hear about this show. It ended up topping the list of my favorite concerts ever, even with the very drunk couple next to us who kept elbowing me and stepping on my feet. Kishi Bashi and his band put on an incredible show (special shout out to Grizzly Bearded Banjo Man, you sir are wonderful). I thought I already loved KB’s new album, but of course the songs are that much better when played live. How can a song about a piece of steak be SO delightful?
I also loved how genuinely excited KB was to be at the Fillmore. He made a point to mention that it was his biggest show so far, and that he never would’ve thought he’d be playing there two years ago when he was touring with Of Montreal. It made me feel lucky to live in the bay area, where the venues are just as exciting as the acts. :)
Video: Atticus in the Desert
Nickel Creek @ The Fox. 5/19.
Nickel Creek is from my hometown of Vista, California. Which is noteworthy because no one famous ever comes from Vista, California. But these guys happened to make it! It took some recollection, but I realized that I’d seen Nickel Creek before, like 10-15 years ago at the Smoky Hill River Festival in Salina, Kansas. Pretty sure that’s the only time that a band from my hometown has played a show in my dad’s hometown, but I could be wrong.
Anyway, they’re a really awesome bluegrass trio whose mandolinist Chris Thile you might’ve heard of (if you are a mandolin fan). Plus, they hadn’t played together in 7 years so it was a pretty epic reunion.
Video: Hayloft (couldn’t find a video of this one from the Oakland show, but it was one of my favorite songs so this is a vid from earlier in the tour)
The Spencer Owen Timeshare @ The Starry Plough. 6/7.
I’ve been to a lot of T.S.O.T. shows in the past year, but this one might just be my favorite so far. I’m not sure I can even pinpoint why…but I loved it, the crowd loved it, there was dancing, and there was saxophone. What else could you ask for? Also, the venue was really fun too. +1 for The Starry Plough!
The band is going on tour this July, and although I have work and don’t want to be all groupie status (well, I kind of do), I’m going to try my hardest to go to as many shows as possible. So exciting!!
Videos: My Troubled Past and Deserve You More (I’m lame and only start recording halfway through each song)
The Mountain Goats @ Bottom of the Hill. 6/14.
I saw the Mountain Goats in December of 2012, and became an instant fan. They played at the Fillmore in 2012, but this time the show was at Bottom of the Hill (a much smaller venue which has also hosted the Timeshare!). I loved how intimate/informal the show was: it was just John Darnielle and Peter Hughes playing acoustic guitar and bass (except when a string broke on JD’s guitar and he had no backup so used the opening band’s electric guitar).
Can I also just reiterate how awesome the crowds are at tMG shows? Probably the most attentive and dedicated fans I’ve ever seen. There are people that know every word to every song, even the deep cuts on cassette tapes from 1993 (I know this because they played the entirety of Transmissions to Horace and there were people singing along to every song). These shows are so much fun that I think whenever the opportunity comes up to see a Mountain Goats concert, I will make it a point to be there.
Video: California Song (same venue, but 6 years ago)
That’s it for now. But stay tuned for my OK Go/TPetty/Macca follow-up in August. Until then, I hope you find good music to listen to and I sincerely hope you check out OK Go‘s new music video which debuts TOMORROW!