I'm now in the final day of my last day in KS before I drive nearly 2000 miles to Oregon. I've been thinking of all the concerts that A Forest and I have gone to over the years. I don't know what my concert going life will be like in Portland. Wah-Wah is exactly into music, but she's agreed to try a few. Still, it's not the same going with someone who doesn't appreciate the same music you do. A Forest and I saw a lot of concerts (and hopefully more to come some day) and here's a review of some of the best ones:
1. U2 (obviously) in St.Louis 2005 during the Vertigo Tour. --You can't top a U2 performance. The lights and music are so uplifting. I remember this show was especially bittersweet since my three month's of unemployment last year was about to end
2. U2 in KC during the Elevation tour 2002 . The only U2 concert I didn't have to drive all day to get to. It's U2, what else can I say!
3. Sigur Ros in KC in 2006. Wow this band really blew me away. The show was a perfect blend of how art can relate to music. Abstract images with the music was simply beautiful and emotional too. I remember I never wanted it to stop.
4. Coldplay in KC in 2003 during the Rush of Blood to the Head tour. All the reasons I like Coldplay can be summed up in that night. Chris Martin made Memorial Hall feel like a very intimate place. I saw them again in 2005 at Verizon and it just wasn't the same outside
5. Travis in Lawrence in 2002. With a great album ("the invisible band") to draw from, Travis was great. They sound sensitive and serious, but they could be a lot of fun too. I remember they closed the show with "Back in Black"
6. Starflyer 59 in Lawrence at the Bottleneck in 2002. I remember it was a Sunday Night and the weather was really bad. There weren't even a lot of people there which means we had the place to ourselves. We saw Starflyer a little later (or earlier) that year at the New Earth with Jason on guitar and one other guy on bass. That was pretty cool to hear them stripped down
7. Asobi Sesku at the Record Bar in KC in Oct 2006. I can't believe how small the lead singer is, but she could sing. Asobi Sesku did some fine shoe gazing. They were beautiful. Lots of guitars and distortion. Everything I love about music
8. Keane at the Uptown in KC in 2004. I think they won A Forest over that night. Their songs are so catchy. I was surprised that they mixed imagery and art so well with their music. Wish they had more songs to play that night
9. The Stills at the Bottleneck in Lawrence in 2004. Before they changed their sound and released a horrible second album, the Stills had a lot of promise
10. REM at Starlight in 2003. They were doing there first Best of tour and played a lot of songs I never heard live before. I especially enjoyed hearing "Nightswimming" for the first time live.
11. Joy Electric and Violet Burning. A Forest and I have seen these two bands so many times that I lost count. I always enjoy Violet Burning and Michael Pretzil's sermons half way through the show. He's a real man of God and knows the power of music
Shows that weren't so great
1. Mogwai at Lawrence in 2006. I like Mogwai, but I have to say that I was getting a little bored. No vocals, just music that sort of runs together. Nice light show but no images to go with it
2. Michael Knott at the New Earth in 2004. I hadn't heard a lot of Michael's material, but he's got a very distinctive voice. Unfortunate this night he was intoxicated and a mess. Apparently he was having marriage problems and actually broke down while performing. He didn't even finish any songs
3. Depeche Mode at Starlight in 2006. I've been bitchin about this for a while. First the opening band She Wants Revenge was done playing by the time we got there. We actually arrived when the show was suppose to start. When DM took the stage, it was pretty impressive with the props and lights. Soon however, it was obvious things weren't right. During his first break, Dave Gahan took off and didn't come back. I expected better from them