04 January 2007

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.



At 1/04/2007 08:02:00 AM, Blogger Ben said...

I particularly remembered your New York Dolls review and the video you posted.

I was astonished, they still rocked like 19 year olds ! No wonder you felt the same.

At 1/04/2007 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I'd love to see Tom Waits live. He had a private dinner at my friends' Chicago restaurant. As huge Tom Waits fans, they were like pigs in shit.

At 1/04/2007 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Ummmm . . . Social D at the Tabernacle? Just because you didn't see it doesn't mean it wasn't one of the best shows of the year. Ha ha ha

At 1/04/2007 12:37:00 PM, Blogger bigshoulders said...

Some great shows, Beth! That opening night back in Auguest for the Orphans tour was awesome! Standing outside for hours in the Atlanta sun was well-worth the experience.

@ Chris: I hope your friends washed their hands before fixin' the food. hehe.


At 1/04/2007 08:16:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Your concert reviews and mentions are always great Beth. I would have loved to see Beck, Cat Power and Tom Waits but a major highlight might also have been getting to see you seeing REM at the induction.

At 1/05/2007 03:39:00 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Must've been fun-- especially the Beck show because it looks so cute, what, with the puppets and all [plus their music is awesome].

If you like their music, you should listen to Ratatat-- probably one of my favorite bands.

At 1/05/2007 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Bubs said...

Wow. You go to a lot of cool shows. Your enthusiasm made me resolve to get out to more shows this year.

We were lucky to see Tom Waits at the Auditorium in Chicago. What a show--well over two hours, and it was just amazing.

At 1/05/2007 01:03:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

I am still soooo jealous that you got to see the Dolls!

At 1/05/2007 11:29:00 PM, Anonymous DJ Cayenne said...

Other than the Cat Power show, I did not make any of the rest of your list. The Sufjan Stevens show at The Fox was ridiculously good, as was Cat Power at The Earl. I always enjoy the Elvis Death Day/Birthday Celebrations that King Sized puts on twice a year. One or the other is coming up soon at The Variety.

At 1/06/2007 02:36:00 AM, Anonymous m said...

here are my best concerts of the year--in no particular order...

the eels, the raconteurs, the new york dolls, john doe, billy bragg, the pernice brothers, dead moon, jon langford with sally timms, the minus 5, robyn hitchcock with the venus 3, sleater-kinney, neko case, pf sloan, jeff tweedy, the decemberists and patti smith.

the worse? ryan adams. i still need to send him a bill for wasting my time.

i can't wait till we meet up and see a couple of shows together. we will rock..so hard!

by the way, the raconteurs and cat power are on this weeks 'austin city limits.' check your local listings...

At 1/07/2007 05:16:00 PM, Blogger Old Lady said...

I certainly do enjoy reading your music reviews. Within the next couple of months I plan on getting a player of some sort. I desparately need something when I am on exercise equipment!! I read on the treadmill, but the other machines won't accommodate a book. When I do, I will return to you for reference!


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