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
Fun set by Old Ceremony last Wednesday at Duke Gardens. Next Gardens show is tomorrow with Dex Romweber.
Full photo set here
Across all 4 venues on the night of 3/23/12 the Racing the Cure benefit raised $45K. It’s a stunning amount.
The music was as awesome as the cause. We were installed at Kings all night (got to Kings at 5P to line up, in fact) so we missed out on the other venues, but I hear they were all wonderful.
Kings was just a treat and an amazing night.
Jack the Radio started the night off and did a really good job getting the crowd moving.
Schooner followed and matched the energy in the room with a very energetic set – maybe it’s just because I’ve seen more Organos shows than Schooner shows lately, but I’d forgotten how much of a rock band Schooner is. Friday night was a great reminder.
Filthybird followed with a beautiful set.
The Old Ceremony turned back up the volume with a great set. They promised a new album in June. It’ll be great to finally have the newer songs on an album.
Then, finally, 7 hours after we got to Kings, The Avett Brothers took the stage. Y’all know I don’t consider myself a great writer about music, and even on my best day I don’t think I could sum up what this show meant for me and the friends I was with. This show, and the Cradle show a year and a half ago, are the two Avetts shows I’ll always remember.
This was the set list:
Murder in the City
When I Drink
Denouncing November Blue
Cigarettes and Whiskey
Look Up Look Down that Lonesome Road
I Killed Sally’s Lover
Go to Sleep
In the Curve
At the Beach
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
I cried straight through “When I Drink.” I called my mom and let her listen along during “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” (yes, at one in the morning, my mom is awesome). And for all the rest I sang and danced and enjoyed.
It was a delight.
full photo set
This photo pretty well sums up the delightfulness of the night. The show started early with (elementary school) students playing while kids in heelys zoomed around, a couple hours later high schoolers took the stage for amazing spoken word, followed by the 1-2-3-4 punch of The Beast, Midtown Dickens, The Old Ceremony, and Megafaun.
Delightful and hopefully it raised alot of money for the school’s art program.
full photo set
Amazing night of music community.
Details on the event
full photo set
And I will stand up high on the sea wall
Where the wind is blowing strong
And I will push this rock to the top
Of every hill that comes along
And I will take the stand and raise my hand
And offer up this song
And I will sing my tune until my voice is gone
-The Old Ceremony, “Til My Voice Is Gone”
Last night’s Old Ceremony show at Motorco is going somewhere on my list of best shows I’ve seen this year (it’s a competitive list). Start to finish just so much fun. Great crowd at Motorco who were singing and dancing along to every song. And the unplugged encore at the front of the stage was a joyous and beautiful cap to the night.
Full photo set here
Amazing night. Night two starts in an hour. Get there. Rock.