For music junkies like me, nothing beats going to concerts. Nothing beats the after-show feeling accompanied by ringing ears (please wear earplugs). People get so pumped to make a pilgrimage to experience an artist’s work. Whether it’s a basement bar, an arena or a festival stage, seeing a beloved artist in real life is often a highlight of a person’s life.
The best shows I’ve ever attended in some sort of order:
10. Neutral Milk Hotel
NMH is one of my favorite bands, and their performance at Bonnaroo last year was a highlight of the festival for me. Jeff Mangum came out by himself and opened with “Two Headed Boy,” and naturally ended with “Two Headed Boy Part 2.” Experiencing a band like NMH, who hasn’t performed together in years reunite in a festival setting, is nothing short of nostalgic. I was back in the ‘90s, and so was the rest of the crowd.
9. Taking Back Sunday
I saw TBS on the first show of its “Tell All Your Friends” tour in 2012. The best part about the show was they hadn’t played some of the songs in so long, the guitarist and bass player messed up a few times. It made everything feel so human. This one truly felt like a reunion, with 2012 marking the 10th anniversary of “Tell All Your Friends.” I had seen TBS at Warped Tour twice before the tour, and the difference was off the charts. While all shows were phenomenal, the Warped Tour sets lacked the visible melding of the band members displayed at the Cleveland House of Blues.
8. MS MR
Lizzy Plapinger is one of the most dynamic performers I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Seeing MS MR was a complete accident – I fell upon them performing at Bonnaroo and stayed for the entire set because watching Lizzy was absolutely mesmerizing and the music was electrifying. The interactions between Lizzy and Max Hershenow, producer, conveyed such great emotion to the audience that I instantly felt that connection between the two musicians, and the chemistry translated into the music.
7. Brand New
Ending the concert on Jesse Lacey playing “SoCo Amaretto Lime” along on stage just put a lump in my gut and gave the performance a level of resonance that lasted for at least a week. It was everything my middle school heart could have asked for: the perfect balance of explosive energy and angst.
6. Circa Survive
I am absolutely certain this is a biased choice, seeing as Circa has been my favorite band since middle school. They probably could have done a horrible job, and I’d put them on this list. Anyway.
I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to a venue right across the street from Ohio State University’s campus. The show was small and intimate and could not have been more perfect. I was right up front against the rail, so close to Anthony Green I’m pretty sure he was flinging his sweat on me and I could see his individual eyebrow hairs. Anthony gives the band this kind of energy that really draws you in to the music. The entire band has great chemistry, though it’s easy to get distracted by Anthony, as he is a very dynamic performer and a great front man.
TO BE CONTINUED or something…
Megan Osborne can be contacted at [email protected]marshall.edu.