The 2014 Look back - The Live Shows.
The live year in review
2014 was one of those “middle of the road” years where I made it out to 17 shows. I've slowed up on consitent reviews of shows, but I should get back to that in 2015. I sort of miss doing them, and like doing them.
January found me at the Wilbur Theater for comedian Jim Gaffigan. My wife had asked for tickets “for whenever he comes around”. He ended up selling out 8 shows and recorded the final two shows for his stand up special (and album) released later in the year. It was fun, I'd see him again for sure.
February sent me to Rhode Island for two shows. Umphrees McGee was up first on the 7th at Lupos. It was an okay show. I went with a buddy that likes them a lot so that is always fun. They were doing a “headphone” tour where you could rent headphones that gave board feeds via wireless headphones. I dug it. Neat idea. 7 nights later I was at the Met Cafe to see the band “Hands”. It was a shame how few people came to this. Hands was the second band on with “Wild Cub” the headliner. I didn't know anything about them and left a little in to their set. They had a moderate alternative radio song on the radio I ended up liking some.
Three shows in March. First was the mighty Caspian at the Middle East Upstairs. In all my years I've been to maybe 3 shows upstairs. I loathe that room so I need to love the band to go. Terrible sightlines if you arrive 10 minutes after the doors open. Hard to get around. Bah. March 25th hit the Opera House for Dream Theater. They recorded this over a live album/dvd. They were good, very technical and it was cool to see them but I felt the mix was sort of off. I've yet to hear the live record. Five nights later it was back to Cambridge for Trail of Dead at TT's where they did “Source Tags and Codes” in full. I saw them on this very tour years ago and it was cool to hear a record that I LOV(ED) played in full. It was rowdy and a lot of fun.
Three in April. Hold Steady were terrific at the Met in Rhode Island on the 12th, then the 19th I went to Fete for the Budos Band. I arrived WAY too early for this and had to hang out for what seemed like hours but once they hit the stage it was great. Its the small room at Fete I saw them in and I'd like more there for many reasons. On the 29th it was to the Paradise to see Slint. I never thought I'd see this band live, now here I was seeing them for the second time. They sounded unreal, but their lack of acknowleding the fans is sort of off putting. We get it..your are mysteroous,but you are in your late 40's..say fucking hi to us.
The hot streak of three shows continued. Opened with Mogwai at House of Blues on the 10th, and then 2 nights later it was elbow at Royale. On the 23rd it was back to the House of Blues for Manchester Orchestra. A plus on this show was I won tickets and VIP access. I could do that all the time. Private restrooms, bar, good sightlines.
Just two in July. Phish at Xfinity Center on the 1st. That was a show I was able to take a new “phan” to. That was a thrill as I think he dug. On the 14th it was time to see Queens of the Stone Age at the Providence Preforming Arts Center. Great venue, the band was tight, but 90 minutes just seemed so short.
June, Aug AND September I made it to no shows.
October made up for it. On the 18th it was time to see Caspian at the Larcom Theater. They were celebrating their 10th anniversary. I was able to go with many friends, and have killer front row balcony seats for the show, but sitting for a Caspian show is nearly impossible. The 30th it was down to Lupos for sort of a last minute show with Mastodon. Always tight.
That was it until December when I headed to Sinclair for Russian Circles. I still struggle with “where to stand” at this venue but I am warming up. It sounded great.
Top 5 shows of the year.
Caspian at Larcom
elbow at Royale
Trail of Dead at TT's.
Budos Band at Fete
Hold Steady at the Met Cafe