Cup’s Best of ’06: The Concerts
I saw a lot of good and some great shows this year. I missed out on some smaller shows that keep the self-kicking alive — Sufjan Stevens, the Chan Marshall solo show, Pernice Brothers, to name a few — but I caught some great ones, too. Here are my favorite shows of 2006.
R.E.M. (Georgia Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony). Okay, so the setlist was a bit pedestrian — “Begin the Begin,” “Losing My Religion,” and “Man on the Moon” — but it was a thrill to see all four back on stage together (plus the always adorable Scott McCaughey). In my world, even an uninspired setlist by R.E.M. is an amazing thing to experience. And the final number of the evening — Peter, Mike, Bill, and Scott backing Gregg Allman on “Midnight Rider” — made up for the predictability
Tom Waits (Tabernacle). A magical night. It transcended a simple concert. This was, after all, Tom freakin’ Waits in his first Atlanta appearance in thirtysomething years. I knew I had to be there, so I went by myself. Best decision I made all year (concert-wise). What a performance.
Beck (Tabernacle). I was charmed by the puppets (just so damn cool), but Beck’s performance was great. “Black Tambourine” stayed on my daily playlist for a month after the show. My only regret is he didn’t dance for me.
Cat Power (Variety Playhouse). It was thrilling to see Chan Marshall in fine form. She was lovely and funny and brilliant … and Dan walked out with a bit of a crush on her.
Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 (Baltimore). The show was a helluva lot of fun, but what landed this one on the list was the encore: Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet” (one of my favorite Dylan tunes, sounding beautiful in Robyn’s voice); “She Said She Said” (can there be a better Beatles match for Robyn’s voice and Peter Buck’s guitar? And Scott McCaughey had the cutest smile during this one); and, of course “I Wanna Destroy You.”
New York Dolls (Variety Playhouse). My last show of 2006 … and what a way to close a great year of concerts. I initially scoffed about them touring; after all, what’s the Dolls without Arthur “Killer” Kane and Johnny Thunders? But David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain proved me wrong. I had so much fun during their performance; I felt 19 again.
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