It is humbling to say that most of my favorite moments this year I didn’t get on film. I actually have a habit of closing my eyes at all my favorite moments; I hear better with my eyes closed, to commit it to memory I lower my camera.
I saved this post for New Years Eve because for me the moments are all about connection. They are the parts in a show, in a night where it feels very personal. These seem good to talk about today when we are preparing to wrap up this year and start a new year full of promise.
Since it is the end of the year, a few thank yous to things started:
Thanks to Motorco and Pinhook for being my homes away from home. For all the great show, the great friendships, for understanding, for letting me help y’all with the lights, just thanks. Thanks to all the promotors and bookers who were excellent to me this year. Thanks for all the behind the scenes moments I got to see (and sometimes shoot) this year: soundchecks and rehersals and nervous fretting. Those of y’all who let me shoot or just be there for those moments, y’all know who you are and hopefully know how thankful I am. Thanks to everyone for the late night convos.
And, honestly, thanks to everyone who allowed me to shoot, who greeted me with hugs, who helped me really feel like I was exactly where I belonged.
So here is a list favorite moments at concerts in 2011 (this excludes all the shows I’ve already talked about this week). This isn’t a critical list or a ranked one. These are the moments where I happily closed my eyes and enjoyed.
- Birds & Arrows delivering a surprising and amazing set of Bruce Springsteen covers at 506 (1/7)
- Jesse Malin singing “Cigarettes and Violets” in his encore at Kings (1/16)
- Everytime Scotty jumped on stage to sing along at DTFH fest (Arliss Nancy, Mixtapes, I’m sure I’ve forgotten others) (1/20-1/22)
- Curtis Eller forcing the crowd at 506 into participating (1/29)
- Leaving for a family function after Free Electric State opened at Motorco (3/11) and arriving back in town to the tunes of Greenland is Melting at Fullsteam (3/13)
- J Roddy Walston standing on his piano at Kings(3/27)
- Returning from my sister’s wedding celebration to see Dave Hause play on the Pinhook back porch for me and about 15 of my friends.(4/25)
- Phil Cook, Christy Smith & Heather McEntire singing a song together at Motorco Garage (5/6)
- Standing on the front row right in front of Amy Klein at the Titus Andronicus show at the Cradle (6/1)
- JKutchma doing me the honor of playing my showw opening at Amplified Art (6/3)
- Roadside Graves playing “West Coast” at Slim’s (6/24)
- “Flashes & Cables”,Centro-matic, 506 (6/25)
- “Love Emergency”, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Motorco (7/6)
- Watching Whistling Dixie at Pinhook (7/11)
- Listening to Gillian Welch & David Rawlings in the light rain at NCMA (8/3)
- The show so loud I watched the liquor shake in the bottles behind the bar at Pinhook (8/18)
- Pretty much every set I saw at Slim’s during Hopscotch: JEFF the Brotherhood, Xray Eyeballs, the first JKutchma & the 5/5ths show, Last Year’s Men (9/8-9/10)
- The hurt I put on my brain by going from Liturgy at Kings to Mount Moriah at Berkeley (9/9)
- How I ended my Hopscotch: The Prayers & Tears, (run a couple city blocks), Des Ark, (run a couple city blocks), Bombadil, two Lost in the Trees songs, (rickshaw ride),Titus Andronicus. Perfect. (9/10)
- Pretty much the whole Low Anthem show at 506, this was my 11th favorite show this year, so close to perfect, it restored my attention span after Hopscotch, it was fantastic.(9/18)
- Standing in the hardest rain I’ve ever been in, head thrown back singing along to every word at Fleet Foxes at Raleigh Ampitheater (9/21)
- That was followed by changing outof soaked to the bone clothes and running into Pinhook to hear Midtown Dickens closeout the night with a stunningly good set (9/21)
- The crazy weekend where I tried to shoot every show in Durham (and nearly succeeded) flying from one venue to another, wonderful music at every turn (9/22-9/25)
- 2 covers off Nebraska in one night (one by BJ Barham, one by Micah Schnabel) at Slim’s (9/28)
- Wild Flag (10/21)
- Sitting next to my dad at a Mount Moriah show (10/22)
- Standing on a bar stool and hanging on to the bar to shoot the awesome of Restorations & Red Collar at the Cave (10/24)
- Both Prince covers YahZarah did at Casbah (10/28)
- Spider Bags w/ Reese McHenry at La Salamandra (10/28)
- Almost People covering Elway with Elway at Motorco (11/2)
- “Alex Kona”, Strand of Oaks, 506 (12/5)
- “Santa Fe”, Beruit, Cradle (12/8)
- “Measure of Me”, Amy Ray, Motorco (12/10)
Wow, what a year. I hope y’all ring it out with all the glory it deserves. And here’s to an even better 2012!
Links to all year end coverage:
Year End Concert Stats