The year in live music..


With an average of about four shows per month (3.8 to be exact or 46 in all) in 2006 there was destined to be at least a few shows worth talking about in 2007. A common denominator this year seemed to be of course about witnessing a great live performance from a favorite musician of ours, but also at the same time, just getting together with friends to hang out and be stupid at the same time. If it weren’t for that other Hot Chip show in the late fall and the pre-partying beforehand, would have I been able to drop the infamous Slinger? A December trip out to Los Angeles to witness Wired All Wrong obviously sparked many classic moments that will inevitably be referenced for years and that’s not even beginning to talk about their tight act at the Viper Room that one Saturday evening. Catching an act of a favorite musician will always bring upon something to talk about with your friends, but when your stomach is filled with a mix of Mickeys, Sparks, Lip’s E&J and your also around good company, then you have a lethal combination of destined debauchery and just straight up good times.

5. Josh Caterer, Scott Lucas, and Elizabeth Elmore at Schubas-7/4

Just seeing Josh Caterer of Smoking Popes fame who has the most unique voice in all of my rock catalog would have been plenty for this holiday show at the most ideal venue for an unplugged show of this caliber, that being Schubas. Josh had a month long residency in July and every week’s show had a “special guest” who realistically could have been anyone, maybe even Jesus himself. Upon walking into the bar, I quickly realized tonight was going to be a straight up throwback gig with Scott Lucas of Local H notoriety and Elizabeth Elmore, formerly of the band Sarge. Two of these three performers were guilty of acquainting me with what music could truly be over 12 years ago, and then the cute, petite Elizabeth Elmore solidified for me that a punk meets pop group could be fronted and rocked by a little redhead in the late 90’s.

Every song that we were graced with that night from all three performers was the definition of nostalgic for me. Each musician played songs from their now timeless albums that I can say; I grew up on. Josh Caterer and Scott Lucas were partly responsible for the music boom in the 90’s that was taking place in Chicago, and everyone who was fortunate enough to witness this gig can now understand why that explosion even began. Amazing musicians that are doing big things.

4. Hot Chip at Subterranean-3/20

One Monday night in late March, a group of white, yet rather soulful and bouncy gentlemen from London came to the small upstairs bar that is Subterranean. There was enough wave of excitement over the Internet to bring plenty of eager spectators to witness what turned into the most enlightening and energetic shows I have ever witnessed on a Monday night. The amount of equipment alone was something worthwhile to behold, but when they began to rock, this was when we realized Hot Chip was well worth all the hype.

3. Secret Machines at Park West-10/9


Pink Floyd is realistically just a name to me, but if I was to behold them back in their heyday, I can only imagine a Secret Machines show would be the modern times equivalent. When a band concocts their own 360-degree stage with some of the most choreographed lighting system you’ll most likely ever take in, you know they aren’t fucking around. On stage, these three gentlemen from New York by way of Dallas put out a simply enormous sound that seems to be almost robotically accomplished due to their impeccable timing. If it weren’t for traveling to LA and getting crazy whacked for Girl Talk, this would have been hands down the best show of the year, musically speaking.

The live closing track of the year: First Wave Intact

2. Wired All Wrong at the Viper Room-12/9

Courtesty of J.G…


A four-day weekend in itself is worth noting, let alone in Lost Angeles with three other avid music fans that were up for anything, even staying in boys’ town to witness this newfound supergroup. It was Matt Mahaffey and his new group at the infamous Viper Room, which has history for days, so inevitably this was going to be a timeless one. We called, and Phoenix wasn’t available. For a band still in its infancy, every song was performed as if they’ve been doing this for decades. The timing and energy on stage and in that petite venue was simply incredible. That night, everyone had good rhythm.

1. Girl Talk at the Empty Bottle-9/9


What can I possibly say about this one? Girl Talk himself billed this one as a party meets concert, so before he even dropped the first beat, we knew it was on. Obviously, the performance he and his fans put on this Saturday night in September at the Empty Bottle was talked about enough to hype up tickets for his New Year’s Eve show to as much as $150, even though face value was $22. Take the laid back, dirty Empty Bottle with a booming sound system, a kid coming off an 8.4 review on Pitchfork, and quite possibly the party record of the year, to create the nastiest, sweaty dance party most likely this venue has ever witnessed. Since Girl Talk is just a man and his computer, he compensates by inviting whoever the hell wants to come up on stage to bust a move along with him. As far as I can remember, (I can’t) there was not one person in that club not bouncing up and down to the sounds of Greg Gillis’ lethal laptop.


4 Responses to “The year in live music..”

  1. January 7, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I’m pretty sure this could be my list as well. Great job! 46 shows? How will that be topped in ’07?

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