Best Live Music Experiences in 2014
I've done the math, and I saw upwards of 250 musicians perform in 2014. It might seem impossible to pick just 5 favorites out of those masses, but I had absolutely no problem picking out these 5 stand out Live Music Experiences of 2014!
No. 5 // Bear's Den at Mercury Lounge- 01 Mar 2014
Bear's Den have an unparalleled ability to connect with and command the attention of their audience. This is never more apparent than during their, now famous, acoustic crowd session encores.
No. 4 // Damon Albarn at Governors Ball 2014 & Gov Ball Afterparty at Irving Plaza- 06 & 08 Jun 2014
This time around Damon was at his most vulnerable, musically speaking. Performing brand new introspective, solo material in front of festival size crowds was no doubt a bit daunting. It was definitely the most meaningful performance of that weekend for me. I think I can speak for all who attended that the highlight of the performance was when Damon played the first note of his melodica, giving away De La Soul as the surprise guest. Gorillaz was officially, albeit briefly, reformed on stage for us. I skipped the much anticipated Outkast comeback to be with Damon, and I regret nothing!
No. 3 // Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at Celebrate! Prospect Park- 26 Jul 2014
Nick Cave spent most of 2014 touring with the Bad Seeds, promoting 2013's "Push The Sky Away". After a couple of failed attempts to photograph this tour, I decided to relax and enjoy a Nick Cave show without my camera...ok with a camera, but from a fan's point of view in the crowd. I've never seen a more raw, angsty, energetic, intense, yet happy performance from Nick Cave. He spent most of the performance interacting with and commanding the crowd, singing from the audience and relishing in the love and admiration.
No. 2 // Peter Hook & The Light at Irving Plaza- 07 Nov 2014
Seeing Joy Division live was never meant to be for me. On the eve of Joy Division's first N. American Tour, Ian Curtis sadly took his own life. I was also only 4 years old at the time.
Joy Division and New Order have always held a very special place in my heart, when they weren't tearing it out.
I had the very gratifying experience to photograph a 3 hour Peter Hook & The Light show when they performed a full Joy Division set as well as New Order's albums "Brotherhood" and "Low Life" in their entirety.
After my 3 songs from the photo pit, I went upstairs and secured a prime spot on the balcony to watch and photograph the rest of the show. It was about this time that I finally let myself cry the tears of joy I'd felt welling up since song 1 in the photo pit.
Andy Rourke, formerly of The Smiths accompanying Peter Hook as a special guest during the "True Faith" encore only solidified this show as one my best live experiences of 2014!
No. 1 // A Place To Bury Strangers at Death By Audio- 27 Oct 2014
A Place to Bury Strangers earned the top spot with equal parts Chaos, Order, Heart, Noise, Melody, Angst, Nostalgia, Bruise, and Smoke Machine.
Death By Audio had only 3 weeks left of shows before closing on 22 Nov. The crowd was starting to show their nostalgia for what literally could have been APTBS's last home base show.
Despite the very visual experience of a APTBS show, it was clear that visual overload was, ironically, a means to have us focus on the music.
We were front and center, at the heart of the Death By Audio "bruise zone". At times the pushing felt aggressive, but all you had to do was turn around and see the look of bliss on the faces in the crowd to realize they were all just overcome by the moment.
In true APTBS fashion the show ended in the back room with a still reverberating guitar hanging from a ceiling tile. RIP DBA.