Monday, November 5, 2012

Best & Worst Shows of 2012

Even though it isn't over, I like to start my "Best Of" lists early and I figured it was perfect timing to do my favorite shows of the year. Since I'm a smartphone picture addict, I will include digital folksy self shot images of each show, because I care.

1. The Weeknd
St. Andrew's Hall - Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Within the past year there is no artist I have listened to more than The Weeknd, check here for proof of this. So to say I was excited for this show would be a ridiculous understatement. St. Andrew's was about 250 degrees and it was my last time being around someone I ended up developing true feelings for, so the evening remains bittersweet in that way. Forgetting personal drama, this show was unbelievable and not only my favorite show of the year, but one of my 3 favorite of all time. A perfect setlist, a crowd that sang along to EVERY WORD of EVERY SONG and so much talent that it was off the charts. This was the type of show that you know you will brag about being at in the future.

This didn't stop throughout the entire show. Leading to a performance of Drake's Crew Love that had everyone in attendance singing "This Ain't No Fuckin Singalong", it was a singalong and it was the best show of the year with a bullet.

2. Deftones
Royal Oak Music Theatre - Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Anyone who knows me knows that Deftones are one of my two hands down favorite bands of all time, this instance was the 2nd time I had seen them this year and my 16th time ever. Deftones are one of the most consistent live bands I have ever seen and the fact that they played new songs which blew the crowd away made this the one. Sadly though in 2012, Deftones are one of the only "rock" bands I still actively listen to, hey at least I picked one of the best.

3. Crystal Castles
Royal Oak Music Theatre - Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

This was my first time seeing Crystal Castles and needless to say I was blown away. The show was two days before I had surgery so the mood I was in was oddly great and the show didn't disappoint. If I had to describe this show I would steal a phrase from a friend who said "there were a lot of lights, loud noises and it was really fun" which is simplistic but completely true. The end result of this set is dreadfully regretting missing them at Lollapalooza 2011.

4. Insane Clown Posse
Emerald Theatre, Mt. Clemens, MI - Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

This show ended up being a swan song for the Emerald Theatre in Mt. Clemens as it was one of the last they hosted before closing. It's also hard to state just how fun and entertaining ICP are live, and this show was no exception. Explaining why I love ICP is something that I have never really been able to do well, I always thought they were absolute geniuses that were so far ahead of everyone else that no one realized it. 2012 also was the year that The Almighty Death Pop, their best album in YEARS was released (and also the year they decided to cover Yo Gabba Gabba and cemented themselves as legend in my eyes). There is a reason that I listened to these guys so much in high school and maintained my love throughout this whole time, ICP are original, unpretentious and have much better music than anyone ever gives them credit for. Watch this Shockumentary style video from the show:

5. Radiohead
The Palace of Auburn Hills - Monday, June 11th, 2012

When Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press interviewed me about the first Metro-Detroit Radiohead show in over 15 years, I said "You'd see the tour dates every time: never Michigan, never Michigan, never Michigan," which is why I saw them in Chicago in 2008. Well in 2012 the wait was over and it was a fantastic show that lived up to expectations. The stage, lighting setup and sound were incredible, with the only slight downside being a setlist very heavy on King Of Limbs (other than Pablo Honey, their weakest album). For me 2012 seemed like the end of an era, one which Radiohead stood atop as the most creative and interesting band in rock music, so it's fitting they finally came to Detroit to end the streak.

Worst Shows of 2012:
1. Frank Ocean
Saint Andrew's Hall - Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Was Frank Ocean's Channel Orange dominating your summer? Because if not it should have been. So the August 1st Frank Ocean show sold out rather fast and it seemed too perfect to get to see such an amazing artist right at his peak. Well it was cancelled on the day of the show due to illness, not postponed but CANCELLED! I will never have a chance to see him in a venue like this again and it makes me sad.

2. Wu-Tang Clan
Royal Oak Music Theatre - Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Wu-Tang Clan are one of the greatest rap groups of all time and this is an easy given, but live they suffer from the fate of having too many live mics on a stage at once, making everything just blend together in a mess. The traditional late 90's method of hip hop performances is something that fails miserably in an era with Kanye, Jay-Z, Eminem, Weezy and Drake having sick full band arena worthy performances. I waited 15 years to see Wu-Tang as a collective and while it definitely wasn't the worst show of the year, it sure was the most disappointing.

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