Top 9 Concerts of 2013:
Short Re-Summaries of Each concert!
1) GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS
NY State Fair
Grace Potter's show at the state fair was one of the most amazing performances ever seen at the chevy court. Grace plowed through a plus 2 hour set, slamming the wet fairgrounds with her signature guitar moves. She was simply a tour de force, and what made the night was perhaps the covers she selected to sing, including a rare version of 'American Girl' by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Grace Potter is one of the most talented musicians out on the road today, and should be seen by all.
2) AVETT BROTHERS/GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS
It's only fair to confirm that Grace Potter & The Nocturnals are twice at the top for this year's best concerts. A month before her State Fair performance, Grace performed with the Avett Brothers at CMAC. It was a unique concert because this was only two dates that the two bands would perform together this year, and for the first time they would be together in many, many years. The two bands packed the house at CMAC to a near sold out concert and probably Grace's biggest show yet in Upstate NY. Both bands played for almost 2 hours each. The Avett Brothers were simply amazing live, it was surprisingly one of the most crowd friendly concerts I've ever been. There was non stop dancing and clapping, as well of course singing from the beginning of the show to the very end. The Avett Brothers are one of the finest folk rock groups you can see out on the road today that are a clear American band and not based in the U.K. (They were before Mumford & Sons)
3) WIDESPREAD PANIC
After seeing Widespread Panic live, one can tell why this band has such a following and sell out shows every where they go as well as headline Bonnaroo music festival every few years. They are a jam band that are different from Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead, yet share the same type of thundering experience those groups might have had. The guitar, base, drum and keyboard work this group has to offer is simply amazing. The group also do not shy away from long concerts-their concert at the landmark was 3 in a half hours long, almost 4 hours making this concert one of the best of 2013.
4) THE LUMINEERS
Another folk rock group that performs exceptionally well in concert is The Lumineers. They are young but ever so extremely talented. Most of their wonderful tunes aren't necessarily their radio hits, and the bands perform their non radio hits even better than the ones we all know to love. The group interacts with the crowd extremely well, and The Lumineers are one of the only groups where each member goes out into the crowd, and not just the crowd-the actual lawn, to perform and sing several songs. It was a pleasant and wonderful experience.
5) GARY CLARK JR
North Coast Music Festival
September (Labor Day) 2013
One of the most inspiring new blues-men, Gary Clark JR can sure play the guitar. He showed this by absolute force at the North Coast Music festival during his hour long performance in Chicago. The musician swayed and wooed the crowd as he hammered away at his guitar and sang too with his ever so demanding high pitch voice that blends in perfectly with his music. But be warned, Gary Clark JR likes to crank up his amps LOUD!
6) JACK JOHNSON
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
This reviewer use to absolutely hate Jack Johnson as little as over a year ago. But, after seeing the man perform live, one must give in and begin to listen to that acoustic guitar swaying hippie. Out of all the bands at this years Farm Aid, Jack Johnson got the crowd going the most. His music is perfect for any festival as its extremely dance friendly and enjoyable to listen to. How can you not dance and simply enjoy 'Banana Pancakes live after all?" Jack Johnson is well worth seeing live. Many people may remember a dozen or so years ago the musician performing in clubs and small casinos across the nation before getting so big, and now his hard work and touring has clearly paid off.
7) KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND
Another inspiring relatively young blues guitar, Kenny Wayne Shepherd sure knows how to play the guitar. While his concert was surprisingly relatively short (only an hour and a half) the power behind his music is incredible. While he does have a band behind him (and a lead singer), it's clear that Kenny Wayne Shepherd is the driving force of his band. He puts everything into a performance. After starting out only 14 or 15 years old, by now, Kenny Wayne has figured his mojo out as to one of the most dominant blues guitarists in today's musical world that is well worth seeing live.
New Indie band? Check. Female and male lead singers? Check. Dance friendly tunes that keep you swaying all night? Check. This is Grouplove, who have several songs out on the radio you might know that even is played on Krock. "Try checking out Tongue Tied". The band is great seeing live and are extremely energetic. Lead singer Hannah knows how to control the crowd as well, as she seems to know how to tease the boys and men in the crowd by actually promoting crowd surfing, dancing and moshing. (to a friendly extent of course) The two lead singers of this band go together extremely well live. With only two albums out, Grouplove are a bunch of new talented musicians from L.A. that have a bright future in front of them.
9) BLINK 182
Who would of thought that a near 20 year old punk band can still not only perform, but perform well? People maybe thinking Blink 182 are nowadays dead after most of their hits smashed radios during the nineties and early 00's. Yet, Blink 182 haven't died off yet. They headlined the sold out Riot Festival 2013 in Chicago. And guess what? Their actually fantastic live and were the best ones out of the entire festival. The crowd moshed hard to their face paced tunes and jumped up and down. Every sang almost every word of their songs, proving Blink 182 still indeed has a large following. Their fans are all surprisingly friendly as well and are great conversationalists . Travis Barker is still a stuck up little punk, but you know? He's got talent, and a rock and roll attitude that kicks ass. So, if anyone needs a reminder of those pre-high school and early high school days of the nineties, go to a Blink 182 concert.