It is hard for me to narrow down my favorite shows of the year, mainly because I go to so many, but also because it is hard to put individual shows up against say, The Avett Brothers at Kings or any of the other extraordinary special nights (festivals or otherwise) this year. So, first, my top 5 favorite special event shows of the year.
So first my favorite of those standout nights:
1. 3/23/12 – The Avett Brothers/Old Ceremony/Filthybird/Schooner/Jack the Radio – Kings
There were two other venues participating in this one day Racing The Cure event. I’m sure those other venues were great that night too, but I was determined to get into Kings and see the Avett Brothers play a club show again. This was the only show all year where we actually sat outside the venue in queue starting at around 5 PM to get in. And the wait paid off . All the bands did a fine job leading up to the headliner. And then just a few rows from the front, it was magical to see the Avett’s like this again. photo set
2. 9/6/12-9/9/12 – Hopscotch Music Festival – mostly at Slim’s to be honest
At Hopscotch this year 80% of the bands I saw this year were either locals or playing at Slim’s or both. This means I had pretty much the best Hopscotch I could imagine. I was primarily at Hopscotch to shoot video for the Indy/Hopscotch video team and the coordinator for that, the alwayS outstanding Dan Schram, gave me a schedule that played right to the things I love. It made for a wonderful bar full of great friends, great music, and alot of time standing on the stairs at Slim’s leaning out over the crowd with my camera. All Hopscotch photos here and highlights here.
3. 6/12/12 – This day: Wood Ear – Bull City Records, Hiss Golden Messenger/Michael Chapman – Pinhook, Langhorne Slim/Ha Ha Tonka – Casbah
I’m a huge fan of earlier shows and this was just one of those days where everything lined up perfectly: Wood Ear’s in-store for their CD release, followed by Michael Chapman then Hiss Golden Messenger at Pinhook, and for a night cap the amazing Ha Ha Tonka opening for the wonderful Langhorne Slim. 5 stellar bands, otherwise ordinary night in Durham where all the concert stars aligned to remind me of how lucky I am to live in such a great part of the country for live music. Wood Ear pics here, Michael Chapman/Hiss Golden Messenger pics here, Langhorne Slim/Ha Ha Tonka pics here.
4. 8/4/12 – Janelle Monae – ArtsCenter, Pipe/Flesh Wounds – Pinhook
By my count there were 5 people, myself included, who went from the amazingness of seeing Janelle Monae in the tiny ArtsCenter to Pinhook to see Flesh Wounds & Pipe. And by my estimation we five were the luckiest people in the Triangle that day. Janelle Monae photos here & Pipe & Flesh Wounds photos here
5. 6/29/12 & 6/30/12 – Death To False Hope Fest – Motorco
I love you guys. I already said everything I need to say about this weekend earlier in the week. Don’t imagine I could say it better.
Posted in avett brothers, best of lists, bull city records, casbah, dtfh fest, durham, filthybird, flesh wounds, ha ha tonka, hiss golden messenger, hopscotch, janelle monae, kings, langhorne slim, motorco, motorco garage, old ceremony, pinhook, pipe, raleigh, schooner, slim's, woodear
Beautiful to come home form the beach in time for this show.
Cory’s new album Mutt is out on Bloodshot, it has been a long time coming, and if you’ve been going to Cory’s shows the last few years you already know quite a few of them. But while listening to it on the way home yesterday, I was delighted by how well it worked as an album. Go pick it up if you haven’t already.
Audra Mae was one of the two openers, and goodness, she has a great voice.
Full photo set
Durham, what a stunning evening & night last night was.
After a day of clouds and rain, the sun came out just in time for Woodear’s CD release in-store at Bull City Records.
Then almost everyone at Chaz’s went to Pinhook for the first in what I hope is a great series of Old People Shows starting at 7. Michael Chapman’s set was up first and sounded great.
Hiss Golden Messenger finished up the show at Pinhook with a truly gorgeous 5-piece band. The show was so beautiful, so packed, that it was almost odd to walk out onto Main and relize it was just dusk.
Then it was on to Casbah, for Ha Ha Tonka’s set. I don’t have words for how much I love this band. I have gone to shows just to see their opening set, so to see them here as the penultimate band on this night was just amazing.
And Langhorne Slim closed out the night, wonderfully.
I made my way out of the bar as the encore rang out, just at midnight, into the humid but perfect Durham night.
Durham, I’m running out of ways to say amazing, beautiful, perfect.
Photo sets from Woodear @ BCR, Hiss Golden Messenger & Michael Chapman @ Pinhook,
The second day of Bull City Metal Fest really stretched the bounds of metal to the point where even I, as someone unversed in the distinctions between the types of metal, could see the diversity in the genre. The Saturday shows also contained the best set I’ve seen so far this year. I love watching things come together so it was simply stunning to watch a set by Braveyoung followed by a set by The Body followed by a set of the two bands together. The collaboration would have been amazing alone, but when informed by their solo sets it resonated with the music each band brings to the table. Really excellent stuff.
Photo highlights from day 2:
Shadow of the Destoyer
For the second year the Casbah hosted a diverse Bull City Metal Fest. Metal as a genre is pretty far out of my wheelhouse so I’ll save the review covering the genres and intricacies of the music to someone else. What I’ll say is this: it was a heck of good time.
Some photo highlights:
Church of Wolves