Recently I’ve been thinking of the best concerts that I’ve ever been to. I consider sound quality, set design, creativity, music and of course live performance. Obviously how I experienced each show is unique to me but here’s the top 5 shows that I’ve been to. I’ve tried to include a video of that performance and a little description on how I viewed it.
1. Fever Ray – Webster Hall, NYC. 2009.
This show was extremely difficult to photograph and video. Everything was enshrouded in darkness and smoke. There were lasers. There were amazing costumes that they wore to add even more mystery to it. Those lamps throughout the set were strange. There was incense burning. It was a very odd mixture of things and it added to the mystery of the music and the performance. Hands down the best and most unique concert that I’ve even been to. It’s hard to find a video that gives justice as to how unique this show was. It’s going to be hard to top this show.
2. Coil – Irving Plaza, NYC. 2001.
This video is actually the entire performance. My experience is very different than everyone else’s. I actually had the privilege to hang out with the band the night before. Out for sushi and drinks. The band ended up using 2 of my friends from that night in the performance. Around the 50 minute marks is when they come out in their underwear covered in blood while holding a sheet of metal which the singer begins banging his head into it before kneeling into some sort of prayer. You can see it was hard to really photograph them because their suits were glowing. It was purely experimental, who knows what drugs they were on then. It was their only performance in the US and are considered on of the most influential underground bands from the last 30 years.
3. Dead Can Dance – Radio City Music Hall, NYC. 2005.
This concert was incredible. It was only 1 of 2 shows in the US that were played with a full orchestra. This video is one of my favorite songs of theirs. Live there is so much energy. However, imagine all the synthetic strings and electronic horns were actually played by the full orchestra. Added so much more to the energy level. It was a beautiful show. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard’s voices were nearly flawless. An amazing show. I wish there was video of it somewhere.
4. John Maus – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia. 2011.
Easily the shortest concert that I’ve ever been to. I don’t think it was even 20 minutes long. Also easily the most energetic performer that I’ve ever seen. Although this clip isn’t from the show that I’ve been to it’s from the same tour. I actually ran into him in the bathroom before the show and you can see that he’s getting into the zone. Talked to him after the show and he’s a totally normal guy. Seriously looks as if he’s handicapped from his performance though. Even though it was really just a glorified karaoke it was the only show that I’ve been too where I smiled the entire time.
5. Depeche Mode – Spectrum, Philadelphia. 1993.
Great production. Great performance. Great show. Enough said.