Another year livin' the dream. Another year of coming face to face with my musical heroes. Sometimes I feel very fortunate indeed to be able to have a lifestyle where I can witness first hand on stage the live majesty of so many great artists. For the fact of Australia being seemingly so far away we do all right. Especially living in Sydney, the first port of call for most touring bands. Hey, it's not New York but we do all right.
Once again there were many great moments on the live scene. And there were two great festivals. Well three, I forgot the always impressive Sydney Festival. But Laneway was once again great, with Deerhunter, Local Natives and Menomena killing it live. Then in November we had the very first Harvest Festival, which proved with a monster lineup a great success. The National, The Walkmen, Phosphorescent and The Flaming Lips all proved their greatness. But there was one band which stood alone.
They are from Austin, Texas.
1. Explosions in the Sky @ Metro Theatre
Serene beauty, heart stopping power. A symphony of kinetic emotions. There truly is no one like this band. A sight to cherish and behold. Spiritual.
2. Okkervil River @ Metro Theatre
Maybe their best show yet. A thundering apocalypse of rock and roll. Then add in a touch of heart, spirit, passion and joy.
3. Menomena @ Factory Theatre
Longed to be my number show until late developments (see above). Despite losing Brent Knopf they didn't lose a beat. Truly intoxicating and bedazzling.
4. Will Sheff @ Toff In Town
A truly special weekend in Melbourne was topped off by seeing one of this generation's great songwriters in an intimate space in the great city of Melbourne.
5.The Books @ Seymour Centre
2011's most unique show. A masterful display of ingenuity and originality. A cosmic collision of words and sounds that has stayed with all year.
6. The National @ Enmore Theatre
Their victory lap. Self assured, confident. Emotionally connective.
7. Kurt Vile @ Oxford Art Factory
The hype was there. But this was great. A man to be reckoned with.
8. Modest Mouse @ Enmore Theatre
Flying under the radar perhaps, but greatness still lives.
9. The Felice Brothers @ Annandale Hotel
A ramshackle night of America came to the 'dale.
10. Sufjan Stevens @ Sydney Opera House
Wow! There is NO ONE like Sufjan. No one.
11. Beach House @ Beck's Festival Bar
They subtly get under your skin. Victoria is something else.
12. Charge Group @ Kings Cross Hotel
Australia's finest rocked a great new venue. Also killed it at Goodgod.
13. Grinderman @ Enmore Theatre
On a hot and sweaty night we worshiped at his feet.
14. Grinderman @ Factory Theatre
Little were we to know that there would be no more.
15. Built to Spill @ Metro Theatre
Legends to me, greatness never sounded so good.
16. Sebadoh @ Metro Theatre
Heroes of the 90's return triumphantly.
17. Grouplove @ Oxford Art Factory
Fun, fun and then just a little more fun.
18. Deerhunter @ Metro Theatre
Always a imposing presence live. Confounding but mesmeric.
19. The Paper Scissors @ Kings Cross Hotel
Always, always killer live.
20. Owen Pallett @ Famous Spiegeltent
A timely reminder of his huge talent.