What makes an amazing concert?
For me, it’s a number of factors combined – but *always* the music first and foremost.
The right band or artist can be transformative. They can take any space and crowd and make it their own.
Incredible music mixed with a great venue, the perfect company, and a certain je ne sais quoi, and you have absolute magic.
I love list making! And in the High Fidelity tradition of Top 5′s, here’s my list of all time Top 5 Concerts I’ve gone to:
Top 5 Concerts
- Grinderman @ the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, ON, CANADA 11/11/2010
- Jarvis Cocker @ the Fillmore, San Francisco, CA, USA 7/28/2009.
- Adam Ant @ O2 Indigo, London, UK 5/26/2011
- Smashing Pumpkins @ the Corel Centre, Ottawa, ON, CANADA 10/13/1996
- Siouxsie and the Banshees @ Nation, Washington, DC, USA 04/17/2002
Photo Courtesy: Exit Festival
Grinderman – First time seeing Nick Cave and company other then randomly on a train to Brighton (Hove, actually). The Phoenix is also one of my favourite venues in Toronto. The atmosphere was electric. And it was the night I finally clued into the fact that my best friend was a lot more than that. We have a framed photo of Nick Cave from that show in our apartment now.
Photo Courtesy: Pneyu
Jarvis Cocker – Never had the chance to see Pulp in their heyday and I love Cocker’s solo work. It was my last night in San Francisco. I had spent the day wandering the city on my own as my friend Diana had left for the east coast a day earlier. I went to the show solo, and had an incredible time. My heart melted when Jarvis Cocker played Black Magic. I took a Fillmore apple on the way out as advised to do so by my friend Patrick.
Adam Ant – The O2 Indigo was a surprisingly intimate venue and we got rather close to the stage so I could see everything! Emma and I have matching Adam Ant Jolly Roger tattoos and it was sheer luck I happened to be in the UK when Adam Ant was playing. We even met the incredibly talented and lovely Mich Dulce who designs Adam’s hats on the tube ride home after the gig!
The Smashing Pumpkins – I’m usually not a fan of stadium shows, so the fact this concert makes my top 5 list says a lot. Everything about this show was perfect. The performance, my friends, the hypnotically beautiful multimedia design, and of course I met Billy Corgan earlier that day, walking down Rideau Street in Ottawa no less. Surreal and just brilliant.
Siouxsie and the Banshees – I’ve been known to be a little bit crazy for my concert going. I was living in the UK when it was announced that Siouxsie, Budgie and Steve Severin would be reforming the Banshees for a 7 Year Itch tour. The only dates announced initially were stateside. I was living in the UK at the time and flew over to DC for a “long weekend” (ya I know, nuts right?). Diana and I had VIP passes, and I was on top of the world watching Siouxsie and the Banshees from the upper level. A cinematic moment etched forever in my memory.
Reflecting on all the amazing concerts I’ve been to, has also had me thinking about how many bands are still on my list to see. And all the ones I’ll sadly never get a chance to see as well.
Have you heard of Fantasy Sports? Well, why not the same for music? It’s festival season, so I was inspired to do my own “Fantasy Festival” lineup complete with 3 mixes for each day of my faux festival lineup. Total music nerd points. Click on 1, 2, or 3 for the mixtape for that day.
Bonus music geek points if you know what artists Only In Dreams is referencing.
42 bands, couldn’t resist a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe reference either.
What are your favourite concerts you’ve been to? If you could pick any artist or band to see perform – living or dead – who would it be?