The live music experience is exactly that. An experience. It's more than just hearing your favourite songs reproduced live. It is, when done right, a vital connection between you and the artist and when the crowd is good a connection between the audience and yourself as well. When the planets align, we all come together to experience songs we love. Hopefully played with emotion, passion and that inexplicable feeling that we can't sometimes explain but we know what it is. It's feeling the hair on the back of your neck raise up a bit, it's the feeling of your heart pounding in your chest. Sometimes it's just pure fun and crazy eye smiles. Sometimes a tear is shed. Sometimes memories are made to last forever.
2012 had many great moments. Sydney Festival started the year with a bang with great performances by A.A. Bondy, PJ Harvey, Dan Deacon and Eleanor Friedberger. Laneway produced the goods again with Girls and Feist killing it and lovely discoveries found in EMA and Austra. November saw Harvest Festival put on a great day with Liars and Sigur Ros astounding all that saw them. 2012 also meant the return to Australia of the almost legendary Radiohead. They didn't disappoint anyone lucky enough to see them. Kanye West also gave us the stadium style show we wanted even if the sound was way too loud. But it was a Brooklyn band that stole the show in 2012. Their album was sublime. Their show even better!
1. Grizzly Bear @ Metro Theatre
Quite simply a perfect show. A band absolutely at the top of their game. Harmonies, melodies, sublime musicianship. Breathtaking one could say.
2. Fleet Foxes @ Sydney Opera House
A near perfect night. Two albums in and greatness beckons. Great seats for a great show. They also do the whole harmony thing pretty well.
3. Bon Iver @ Sydney Opera House
This was some show. From beginning to end were swept away with the sheer talent and astounding songs that enthralled some from start to end.
4. My Morning Jacket @ Enmore Theatre
Their reputation for enormous live shows precedes them. They did not let us down. They just give everything and then some more. Rock and roll!
5. Father John Misty @ Oxford Art Factory
Fun, fun, fun. Never stopped smiling. J. Tillman can sing with anyone and his dance moves are cool too. Plus my sister in law met him afterwards!
6. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy @ Sydney Opera House
A legend blew us way with his genius stark and present.
7. Feist @ Enmore Theatre
Holy cow the lady can put on a rockin' show.
8. Radiohead @ Sydney Entertainment Centre
Yeah, they pretty good this band. They have a future...
9. Dirty Three @ Sydney Opera House
Warren Ellis is not one of us.
10. Girls @ Oxford Art Factory
So much raw emotion and beauty. They will be missed.
11. Dan Mangan @ Notes
Dan is one huge slab of raw humanity.
12. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks @ Factory Theatre
He's Malk. He's a legend. He's too cool for school.
13. The Mountain Goats @ Metro Theatre
Repeat after me. They never give a bad show.
14. A.A. Bondy @ Idolize Spiegeltent
Under the Parramatta stars we were dazzled.
15. Ryan Adams @ Sydney Opera House
Ryan shed the bad boy image and gave us his heart.
16. Jonathan Boulet @ Metro Theatre
Perhaps the most fun I've had at a gig in 2012.
17. The War On Drugs @ Oxford Art Factory
Guitars, guitars and more guitars.
18. Billy Bragg @ Enmore Theatre
Stories, lessons learnt, minds and hearts expanded.
19. Jack White @ Hordern Pavilion
Mr White is some sort of beast. He has IT.
20. Charge Group @ Red Rattler
Australia's best band? I like to think so.