Dec 15, 2008

Best Live Shows of 2008

They spoke only briefly. They didn't sing. But they played. Oh, they played. Like nothing else I have seen. Ever. In a year of stupendous live shows, 4 men stood tall. Head and shoulders tall. Four men from Texas came to Sydney for the first time and blew me away. Completely. 2008 proved in no uncertain terms that live music is worth it. Worth putting up with rude people, talkative people, drunk people, waiting, tiredness. For when the stars are aligned, seeing great music performed in front of you is a unique and unforgettable experience. 2008 was that sort of year. Especially in those heady nights in January and February when nights blurred into one another. Sometimes we would see the same band more then once. Why? Because it was worth it. But one band outshone all the rest.

Munaf Rayani is some sort of being. His spirit filled us all this night and reminded us that music is not Sony, Pink and Kylie. Or Coldplay for that matter. It is making music that matters and playing it in a matter that touches everyone who sees them. I floated away this night.

Will Sheff wakes the dead, shakes the unliving, embodies the spirit of life. He is emotion and heart wrapped in a suit. A dishevelled suit, because he brings it. ALL THE TIME.

This man (Phil Elverum) is a living, breathing treasure. Sitting on a floor in a church was a memorable and unforgettable experience. So gracious, so gentle, so in touch. And I met him before the show!

Kevin, Brendan, Andrew, Justin, Charles, Leslie, Amy, Torq. All of them. They should have closed this festival. But it was perfect anyway.

I think the floor of the Enmore just stopped shaking now. My face ached from smiling, my heart was full of joy. Such energy, such everything. Wow!

We saw them twice and it was worth every cent. Each night was practically identical, but it didn't matter. The songs are just so good. Superb.

This band is just great. In so many ways. Their musicianship matches their astounding catalogue. Then there is Jeff. That voice.

Britt is the man. And he smiled at me!

How did something this great end up at 9? See above, I guess.

Doug Martsch is quite possibly the finest guitar player I have ever seen.

I was prepared to be disappointed. No way, no how.

See number 9. This band can never disappoint. Never.

I fell in love with Amy Millan. Torq, you're kinda cute as well.

This was better then in 2007 and they played "Broke".

Even confetti can make this venue seem special.

This one exceeded all expectations. Just so entertaining and hearfelt.

She is just so sweet and angelic. And so talented.

18? Doesn't seem fair. We saw him twice, both nights were wonderful.

I would like to see Owen go toe to toe with Andrew.

A night of pure enjoyment and total fun.


  • At December 16, 2008 , Anonymous Bill said...

    Wow. Great list. I can't believe you've been to all those shows (and that all those amazing bands came to your country). I'm so happy Explosions in the Sky ended up #1. That's awesome.

  • At December 17, 2008 , Blogger Mark said...

    Very nice list. I was the majority of those shows but I think I'd just switch the order up a little. Sufjan was unbeatable.

  • At December 18, 2008 , Blogger seanbelling said...

    I think I'm going to agree with you on Explosions In The Sky, I absolutely adored them. Left the show with the biggest smile on my face


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