2006 Live Music - Top Ten
Posted: 01.03.07 | Categories: [Belle & Sebastian] [Broken Social Scene] [Flaming Lips] [Henri Faberge & the Adorables] [Hidden Cameras] [Joel Plaskett Emergency] [Meligrove Band] [Neko Case] [Radiohead] [The Sadies]
I've been asked to do a “Best of 2006” live music entry. To my closest estimation, I attended somewhere over 70 shows this year, so there is staggering pool to chose from, but I will rise to that challenge. So after careful deliberation here they are (note – I did not allow myself to choose more than one show from the same band, no matter how much I wanted to):
#10: The Meligrove Band @ the Mod Club (January) – this show makes the list because of the total cuteness both the Meligroves and their opener the Spitfires & Mayflowers (sad-face R.I.P.) showed on stage at this CD release show for “Plants Conspire”. When they looked out over the huge crowd you could see their “whoa-mg, are we BIG TIME?!” looks of humble awe. Few local bands deserve all the praise & recognition being heaped on them like this one.
#9: The Hidden Cameras @ the Music Gallery (April) – The Hidden Cameras need to promise me that they will always play in venues with church pews and Christian idolatry. I didn’t even do a photo post on this because I was dancing too hard to shoot, but trust me, it was joyfully transcendent gay dance party as far as the eye could see.
#8: The Flaming Lips @ the Phoenix (March) – it was a bit of a pisser to be on photo assignment for this so I only got to really enjoy the last 2/3 of the show, but it was damn glorious. Giant balloons. Dick Cheney. Confetti in every nook & cranny. Ms. Feist dancing beside me. Also noteworthy for introducing me to Wolfmother.
#7: Henri Faberge & the Adorables @ the Palais Royale (September) – an amazingly well-orchestrated day + evening of exploding hearts & skies in celebration of the release of their first CD. There was so much HFABulous love there that day that it was ridiculous (in the best of ways). The band’s monthly Embassy nights also deserve grateful props for being a one of those magical moments in time when a party amongst friends blooms & grows into the real deal - just before the secret’s out of the bag and the rest of the world pounces on them declaring them rockstars.
#6: Neko Case @ the Rivoli (January) – I’ll admit that I was late getting on the Neko fan train, so this was my first Neko solo show. It’s a rare occasion to fall so completely in love with a voice the very first time hearing it live. Even though her boyfriends were missing, I feel so fortunate to have seen her in such an intimate setting.
#5: Belle & Sebastian @ the Docks (February) – B&S must be doing something right if they make the Docks enjoyable. This show was a total glee-fest - Mr. Murdoch is such a charmer.
#4: Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Phoenix (May) – I think if I would’ve had a better stage position this one might have ranked even higher on the list. Joel pours his heart & soul into every show. And gosh he’s cute.
#3: Radiohead @ the Hummingbird Centre (June) – the Hummingbird’s acoustics are beautiful. Goosebump-inducing even from the first balcony; I can only imagine how much my brain would have exploded had I been closer.
#2: Broken Social Scene @ Olympic Island (June) – this entire day was pretty much perfect. Bloc Party were phenomenal so deserve a nod, but it’s our homegrown BSS borg collective that gave the show such heart. When Kevin Drew said “I could play all night!” - he really meant it. And that night, I think very few folks would’ve minded.
#1: The Sadies @ Dog Day (August) – It was so hard to choose just one Sadies show (I saw them 5 times this year), the Lee’s Palace live recording was a fantastic friends & family affair and my heart did indeed burst hearing Dallas & Neko sing together that night, but a tiny party on a tiny farm in Guelph takes top honours. There was something about seeing some of my favourite fellas play under the stars with farm critters and good friends that made this whole day indescribably magical.
Super-honourable mentions: A Silver Mt. Zion @ Clintons; Akron/Family @ Great Hall; Bicycles @ Tranzac; Final Fantasy + NHS @ Blocks Library show; @ King Khan @ Comfort Zone; Japanther @ Hooch; Old Crow Medicine Show @ Mod Club; Sigur Ros @ Massey Hall; Sloan @ Kool Haus, Wolfmother @ Opera House.