Last year, I decided to write about my favorite concert moments. Because I was most likely lazy and didn’t really want to provide much context, I wrote about them in awards format. It’s now 2012, and I am still kind of lazy, so I will do this once again. I even used the same image as last year.
In terms of the last few years, 2012 was probably the year I attended the least amount of concerts. Maybe it was because I spent six weeks out of the country. Maybe I suffered from concert-itis. I don’t know. 2011 will never be topped. I have embraced this fact and will still continue living. Having said all that, 2012 had it’s share of great moments. Here they are.
2012 Panicky For Most Loving Frontman – Charles Bradley, Feb 11, Lee’s Palace
Charles Bradley’s first show in Toronto was easily one of the best of the year. If ever there was a man who took the road less travelled to success, it was Charles Bradley. Now at a spry age of 63, the man hit the stage with a storm and seemed genuinely touched by the sold out Lee’s Palace crowd. Throughout the show, Charles often spoke of the importance of love and never stopped mentioning how much he loved the crowd and his fans. It seemed genuine, and was hard not to get swept up in all of it. Especially if you have seen the documentary about Charles Bradley. Great show.
2012 Panicky For Douchiest move by a fan – Person who told Charles Bradley Whitney Houston died right after the show
Was that completely necessary?
2012 Panicky For Best Dancing on the Ceiling concert – Lionel Richie, March 14, Moody Theatre
SXSW is always about decisions. Do I go to show and risk not getting in? This is something every SXSW attendee asks themselves every hour. On March 14, we also asked ourselves this. Lionel Richie was playing. We were interested. A few tweets indicated the theatre was not entirely packed. We made the decision to go.
What a decision.
Mr. Richie gave us a healthy dose of pop and showmanship and combined with a high amount of alcohol intake, made our first night at SXSW music one of the most memorable. It was a party that went on all night long. He also brought out what’s left of Kenny Rogers to sing The Gambler and eat some fried chicken.
2012 Panicky For Most Anticipated Concert – Jesus & Mary Chain, March 15th, Belmont
Every year at SXSW, there seems to be a show you feel like you must go to. For me this year, it was Jesus & Mary Chain. One of my favorite bands, the group decided to do one show in Austin, Texas this March and I was determined to go. How determined was I? I actually lined up before the venue opened to get a spot. I was not alone. The lineup wrapped around the block. Luckily, there were some acceptable bands on the bill, including New Jersey’s own Titus Andronicus, who later on would release one of my favorite albums of the year. The show exceeded my expectation, as the Scottish band played a full ninety minute set without imploding. As luck would have it, I would see them again in June, in Hong Kong. Speaking of which
2012 Panicky For Best Pre-Drinking Experience – Jesus & Mary Chain, Hong Kong
You see, in Hong Kong, you can drink publicly. So before the J&MC show, everyone who was going to the show congregated around 7-Eleven where you can purchase 2 cans of beer for roughly 2 dollars Canadian. Then just as the band is about to start, you walk from the 7-Eleven to the venue, and then discard it as you enter. How amazing is that? Speaking of which.
2012 Panicky For Best Convenience Store – 7-Eleven
Anyone who goes to Asia can attest to the importance of 7-Elevens. They are on every block. That is necessary. Want to walk to a club? Just go to 7-Eleven, pick up your drink, open it and drink and walk to the next one. Eventually, you’ll end up where you want – in a great mood. Also, in Japan, 7-Eleven has pretty damn good food. A close second for this award goes to Japan brand Lawson, which has good chicken nuggets and those triangle Japanese rice treats.
2012 Panicky For Best Crowd Singalong – Bronze Prize: Keane – Somewhere Only We Know, SXSW
Keane’s signature track is a track that simply, everyone knows the words to. You might be a macho man and all, but you know it. This was quite evident during their showcase at the Filter Cedar Courtyard at SXSW when a bunch of hipster bros started shouting at the top of their lungs to this the second Tom Chaplin started the first verse.
2012 Panicky for Best Crowd Singalong – Silver Prize: Any Bruce Springsteen song – Buffalo or Hamilton
One of the best decisions I made this year was to follow my friend Dwayne’s advice and go see Bruce Springsteen. The man is a beast of a performer and unlike any I’ve seen. His fan’s are among the most dedicated and loyal out there and his songs are just tailored made for singalongs. Go to any Springsteen show and you will soon find yourself yelling along to the classics like anyone else. It’s a great experience. Going to the shows in Hamilton and Buffalo made me feel like I was one with the common man, down in the trenches, keeping it real, drinking Budweiser and being completely okay with that.
2012 Panicky for Best Crowd Singalong – Gold Prize: Madonna – Like A Prayer
Let’s just face the facts, this is one of the most sing-along-able songs of all time. You know all the lyrics. Your unborn kid knows the lyrics and when Madge herself belts it out at the end of a 2 hour show with all the lights on and an entire choir on stage, you will definitely be singing along.
2012 Panicky for Best cover (tie) – Janelle Monae – I Want You Back and Aloe Blacc – Billie Jean
These two covers from their respective Toronto concerts were easily the best covers I witnessed all year. Both were Michael Jackson covers, which should be no surprise. Janelle Monae’s pitch perfect note for note cover of Jackson 5’s track was so good you could say it was probably as good as the original. On the other hand, Aloe Blacc’s smoldering r&b take on Billie Jean highlighted the absurdly amazing hooks and melody of that track. It was a different take on the original, but it was a great take. Which is better? I can’t decide.
Stay tune for Part 2! Where I will give awards for
- Worse Venue Design
– Best use of Crowd
– Best use of props
and many others!