Deliver Me From Nowhere Benefit Concert, NCSSM, 04/16/2010, originally uploaded by Ash Crowe.
Disclaimer, last night, after this list was finished and ready to post, the Avett Brothers announced a surprise show tomorrow night. It’s going to be The Avett Brothers, Bombadil, & The Low Anthem at the Cradle. That is, three of my favorite bands all together in a venue The Avetts could sell out at least 5 times over. It’s going to be amazing. Just imagine it on this list with a *. I already know it’ll belong on here.
1. Deliver Me From Nowhere, North Carolina School of Science & Math, Durham, NC, 04/19/10 – On the morning of 04/19/10 I packed up a carload of possessions and moved them to Durham. After unpacking, I saw a concert reminder for this show. It was Jason Kutchma and many other really talented folks performing Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska straight through. It wasn’t until I got to the show and picked up a program that I realized it was a fundraiser for a family friend. There are days when it seems simplistic to say that I moved back for the music scene. But after about 2 years of trying to move back, it all happened alot quicker than I’d planned. And that night, sitting in the audience listening to one of my favorite singers perform one of my top 5 all time albums, the music was a confirmation that this was the correct move. The next week I returned to Baltimore to tie up loose ends and pack another car load. The concert rang in my head all week as a reminder of what I was coming home to. photo set
2. Titus Andronicus supported by Free Energy, Duke Coffeehouse, Durham, NC, 09/21/10 – It was, simply, a perfect concert. The band controlled the crowd perfectly. There wasn’t a single jerk in the audience. It was the most fun I’ve had moshing about since I was about 18. The album was #1 on my list. They are even better than that live. photo set
3. Big Star’s Third, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC, 12/10/10 – The best way to explain how awesome this concert was, is to say that standing a couple of feet away from Mike Mills and watching him play the bass wasn’t the most memorable part of the night. There is an obvious theme to this top shows list: the shows that I love the most go beyond music to reach into community. And this concert certainly qualified. Every musician on stage was so… careful to make sure that all the feeling was expressed, that all the beauty carried across. Everyone was having a blast. It was transcendent. photo set
4. Malarkey-gras with Paleface, Magician Michael Casey, Red Collar, and American Aquarium, The Pour House, Raleigh, NC, 08/21/10 – Some concert bills seem like they were designed with me in mind they are so perfect. Everything I wrote about this concert the next day still stands, every word. photo set
5. Brian Fallon & Dave Hause, Black Cat, Washington, DC, 01/16/10 – The first show of the year, and all year long it’s held on to a spot on this list. I’m pretty sure that at some point during this concert Aggie and I both started our mental top shows of 2010 list, knowing that, if this was how the year was beginning it boded well for the rest of the year. And the rest of the year was, simply an embarrassment of riches. This show was amazing from the first moment, but then in the encore, when both singers got onstage for a set made up entirely of covers, the show pushed from amazing to outstanding. photo set.
6. Drive-By Truckers, Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC, 02/12/10 & 02/13/10 – I came home for alot of concerts in the 4 years I was away. It’s fitting that the Truckers two night stand was the last show I came home for (before I just moved back full time). 6 years ago now, at a DBT show at the Lincoln, I met one someone who is still a close from and through whom I met the majority of my friends. So, it fits in more ways than I can enumerate. And beyond all the sentimental reasons I loved this show, the music and performances were amazing. photo sets