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Friday, December 13, 2013

Best Concerts of the Year 2013

It's the time of the season for... LISTS! We begin our end-of-the-year best-of with our favourite concerts. A very special 2013 has been in this regard, not only because the fantastic amount of live music seen this year, but for the places where we have seen the bands. Anyway, a great top ten, hope you like it!

Josh Rouse in Barcelona
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
10. Josh Rouse (Music Hall, Barcelona, March 8th)
One of my first tasks at Indienauta, and a complete surprise. An artist I thought it was "gone" (for me) "reappeared" (for me) in full form, because his latest album bring us back the melodic talents of the Nebraska's singer-songwriter while his charms on stage remain intact. Welcome back Josh. 
9. Savages (Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona, May 24th)
I told you. This is not your average band. Despite the troubles lead guitarist Gemma Thompson had with her guitar halfway to their gig, which unfortunately killed the momentum afterwards, Savages proved at Primavera the mind-blowing quartet they are, with singer Jehnny Beth confirming her staggering stage presence. More coming soon in 2014, can't wait.
8. Adam Green and Binki Shapiro (Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona, May 26th)
Hipsters doesn't go to massified Festivals like Primavera Sound until "the big names" are playing, so one of the best things a person that loves music can do is go as early as possible to enjoy the first performances of the day, under the sun and without hordes of "posers". That way we were able to fall under the very particular spell of one of our favourite "weirdos": Adam Green in his new, vintage incarnation. Showing his awkward, goofy charisma (how you can't love his dumb, crazy dances), his chemistry with "partner on crime" Binki Shapiro and his undeniable talent for creating a perfect pop pill was wonderful. What a fun thing to do is seeing Mr. Green live.
7. Jane Joyd (Music Hall, Barcelona, April 20th)
Please listen to Jane Joyd. Please do yourself a favour and discover what an amazing artist she is, you'll thank me, granted. She's not just a pretty, gifted voice. She's a musician with a purpose, with an ambitious scope and determination to arrive there. Surrounded by a fantastic band (still got puzzled when I remember the masterful drummer), at Music Hall she swallowed us into her particular, extremely intense and rich world. Don't miss her.
6. Beach House (Sala Apolo, Barcelona, March 13th)
I don't think Beach House will ever play again in such an intimate venue in Spain. Victoria and Alex are "too big" (and too attractive for "posers") so enjoying them in place where you can hear all the subtleties and experiment all the feelings their songs can provoke to the listener is a gift. Their music was made to became the soundtrack of your life, and at Apolo there was plenty of moments to be remembered. Now I can say at least once I saw Beach House as their music deserves.  
5. The Very Most (The Crux, Idaho, August 31st)
I know my dear friend and TVM's mastermind Jeremy Jensen won't agree with me. And truth is that some sounding little issues and a short setlist made the gig imperfect. But you cannot imagine what it meant being there, in front of him and his band, in Idaho, after crossing three States and sharing a weekend with him and his lovely family. If you follow this blog (if not, welcome!) you already know how much I love the music of the The Very Most. But this was much more than a gig. It's a friendship.
4. Camera Obscura (Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, June 19th)
Ready for "Desire Lines" in SF
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Not really adjusted to the American time-zone and I'm able to watch one of my favourite bands, at the front row, with an audience willing to enjoy their music (my two previous experiences with them were so-so). An exciting day through touring the swinging city of San Francisco ended in a marvelous way, with Tracyanne Campbell and Co. showing all their indiepop mastery. Finally I saw Camera Obscura the way I dreamt of. Now to make it even better I just need to hear them in Scotland and meet Tracyanne after the gig. Easy, right?
3. Local Natives (Primavera Sound, Barcelona, May 25th)
A big surprise this year (look for "Hummingbird" among the best records of 2013 on the forthcoming list), so it was a very attractive bet for me at Primavera Sound, high expectations indeed. But I wasn't expecting them to be that amazing live! What an extraordinary performance, passionate and contagious. What a way to certify here's a band to follow.
2. Eleanor Friedberger (La [2] de Apolo, Barcelona, October 5th)
Pretty similar to Local Natives. Liked her previous disk, but not to the extent of expecting such a wonder like "Personal Record". Few things as genuinely addictive as this album have come out this year. So seeing her was mandatory. The night started promisingly with an acoustic show for a dozen of lucky guests. Then I had the chance to chat briefly with Eleanor, and finally, like everyone at Apolo, I felt in love with this woman after a stunning show: sweet, energetic, dynamic, vibrant. 2013 has been her year.
1. The National (Hollywood Forever Cemetery, L.A., August 11th)
Soundcheck with The National, L.A.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
MY band. In LA..Front row. No fights. No massification. No fakers. The National full of confidence, relaxed and amused, making a miracle: transforming a cemetery into a place for celebration. The celebration of a band that, since 2005, is (un)arguably being the best around. Sound was terrific, performances were intense and I believe the audience had the feeling we were very close to them. Then the encore arrived. "About Today" was breathtaking. And the singalong version of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" completely teared me down. I stop here or I'll get emotional again. One of the best music experiences in my life.

Want to check last year's best concerts? Just click here
And 2011s? Then check here

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