I’m not one for New Year resolutions because I’m not in the business of making promises I can’t keep, but in 2012 I had committed myself to making 2013 the Year of Doing Things; of doing & saying yes to almost anything. Somewhow, it became the Year of the Concert for me. I handed over my credit card to Ticketmaster & saved my pennies. I was fortunate enough to attend nearly 20 shows this year, including Jay-Z’s Made in America festival. Here are some of my favourite shows of the year:
4. Pearl Jam/Fleetwood Mac
This year I got to see two sets of living legends preform. When it comes to concerts, I have two lists: one is Must-See and the other is Sure, I’ll Go. I’ve been yammering to anyone who shares a love of Stevie Nicks & co. that if and when Fleetwood Mac went on tour, I would be there. And then that finally happened this year. It was far from the most extravagant production I saw this year, but it was personal, it was surprisingly lively, it was memorable and then, at one point, Stevie hugged and kissed Lindsey and I had to be carried out of there.
The other set living legends I got to see was Pearl Jam. After driving a few hours out of Toronto to London Ontario (for those unfamiliar with London, Ontario think any given episode of Roseanne and that is what it and it’s people resemble). I was nervous; I’m new to the Pearl Jamily! But, thankfully, it was a Greatest Hits-like show and guys, they sang “Last Kiss’ and I, again, had to be carried out of there. For 3 hours this summer, Eddie Vedder sang to me and it was like nothing else.
3. Bruno Mars/ The Moonshine Jungle Tour
Radio killed Bruno Mars. You know all of this songs. You know all of the words, you’re sick of him, I know and I get it. He will not leave your car alone, but, fortunately enough, all of that goes away live. Whatever Justin Timberlake thought he was doing with The 20/20 Experience, Bruno Mars was actually doing on his Moonshine Jungle Tour. It was 2 hours of lively, energetic, over-the-top, singalong deliciousness and I was in heaven.
2. Kanye West/ The Yeezus Tour
I had seen Kanye live when he toured with Jay-Z for the fantastic Watch The Throne tour, but it hadn’t fulfilled my desire to see him live by himself. This desire had finally come true this year with the Yeezus tour, which I was able to check out not once, but twice, his two Toronto shows, which were also the last shows of the tour. Out of all the concerts I have ever been to, The Yeezus Tour was the most percise in execution; for the biggest diva in the game, it started and ended on time, there were no glitches; I couldn’t find a flaw in the show…and then came the rant. I have never seen something suck the life out of the room so fast. Now, excluding that, this tour was everything I needed and wanted it to be and more. I would have preferred a different set list but this was a reminder that when he stops talking, Kanye is both a performer and an artist and is one of the best live-acts today.
1. Mumford & Sons
I’ve seen Mumford & Sons twice now and each time it’s been a religious experience and by religious I mean I’ve cried because I am a shell of a man and they just get me. You don’t have to understand the praise towards them and I know you are tired of their sing-song-folk-shit, but when I say they are the hardest working guys in this business right now, I mean it and they have remained the most genuine through it all. I’m talking about them like I know them, which I don’t, but that’s because when you see them live, they invite you into their world. There is no theatrics with them and I don’t want there to ever be: there is just some lights and a lot of vocals and a lot of genuine banter. Seeing Mumford & Sons live means you get vocals that are as perfect as they are imperfect, interaction that is never forced and never too much, and, for true fans, everything you could want and more.