Now for the final part of My Top Ten Gigs of 2014. And my favorite gig of 2014 was…
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And now for the third part of My Top Ten Gigs of 2014
2. Band of Horses at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Even now, I still can’t believe I’ve been to a gig at the Ryman Auditorium, aka the Mother Church. I wanted to make sure my first gig at the Ryman Auditorium was something special, so when I found out Band of Horses were playing there, I tried to get a ticket straight away. I couldn’t get one through the normal outlets and ended up paying over the odds for a ticket, but it turned out to be well worth it.
I first came across Band of Horses, the previous year, while I was staying in Columbus, Georgia. I found a cool coffee shop, Fountain City Coffee, and on my first visit, they were playing a track in the background, that immediately grabbed my attention. It turned out to be Is There a Ghost from their 2007 album Cease to Begin. I downloaded the album as soon as I got home and have downloaded all their other albums since, including their most recent Live at the Ryman.
I traveled over 350 miles to get to the gig and it was worth every minute of the six hour journey. Their support, Sera Cahoone was superb and Band of Horses, were every bit as good as I hoped they would be. The acoustics in the Ryman were amazing, and the respect the band had for the venue was palpable. They were on stage for about two hours and I don’t think I stopped smiling throughout those two hours, with the combination of the great music and being in the hallowed Mother Church. This was a night that will stay with me for a very long time!
Here’s a link to a youtube video from that night:
Following on from my last post, here’s Part Two of my Top Ten Gigs of 2014.
5 – Leo and Anto at the Red Light Cafe in Atlanta, Georgia. One of my favorite live bands is the Saw Doctors, who are currently taking a well earned break after 25 years of touring. 2013 must have been the first year for god knows how many that I hadn’t seen them live, so when I saw that Leo Moran and Antony Thistlethwaite, from the band, were appearing in Atlanta, I immediately purchased tickets.
The gig took place in a great little venue, ideal for the intimate acoustic set performed by Leo and Anto. They played a mixture of Saw Doctors songs, some off their own two albums and also a couple of Waterboys tracks, as Anto used to be a member of the Waterboys. There were so many great moments throughout the evening, but my own favorites were a rousing version of Clare Island and a great version of Fisherman’s Blues.
It may not have been a full blown Saw Doctors gig, but it certainly was a damned fine alternative. And I got my photo took with Leo and Anto! Wicked!
4 – Steve Hackett on his Genesis Revisited tour at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, Georgia. My all time favorite band is Genesis, and the chances of me seeing them again live are fairly remote, so this to me was my last chance of hearing some of the songs from the classic Genesis line up of Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett and Rutherford, performed by one of it’s original members.
I’d seen Steve Hackett on his Genesis Revisited tour the previous year in Liverpool, and that was superb, but this set was even better. Every song received a standing ovation from the appreciative American crowd. There were a number of occasions throughout the gig when I, along with loads of other members of the audience, had tear-filled eyes listening to some of the classic Genesis back catalog. Of these, the epic Supper’s Ready was out of this world, it was simply stunning. If I never get to see Genesis again, this was a fine farewell!
3. Pokey LaFarge‘s Central Time Tour at the Finkelman Auditorium, Miami University, Middletown Ohio. I’ve been lucky enough to see Pokey LaFarge a couple of times already, once on both sides of the Atlantic, in Leeds, Yorkshire and in Decatur, Georgia. On both occasions, they were both great gigs. This evening was no exception, the poster below shows the artists who performed throughout the evening, and there was not a duff performance amongst them. Dom Flemons did a superb job as Master of Ceremonies, as well as performing a few numbers of his album. The Loot Rock Gang were excellent, as were The Cajun Country Revival.
The Tillers were given the honor of being the main support act as they were a local Cincinnati band, and they were amazing! They had a lot of loyal support in the audience and they certainly did Cincinnati proud.
And needless to say Pokey Lafarge and his band were spot on once again! The Central Time Tour was a great idea and I certainly hope that it’s something that Pokey LaFarge will undertake again, if he does, I’ll be there!
After yesterday’s Top Ten Albums of 2014, it’s now time for my Top Ten Gigs of 2014. This is a somewhat harder list to compile as I can just play an album to remind myself how good it is, whereas with a gig I’m reliant on my memory, never a good idea!
Apart from the first ten days of the year, all of 2014 has been spent in the USA. I’ve managed to see gigs in five states and went to my first festival in America. For both of the top two gigs on my list I traveled in excess of 300 miles, and yes both were well worth the journey!
So here’s my Top Ten Gigs of 2014, numbers 10 to 6:
10 – Gaslight Anthem at the Shaky Knees Festival in Downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The Shaky Knees Festival was my first festival in America and was also the first festival I’d been to which was held on concrete and throughout which I stayed in a hotel, as there was no camping! But after my initial misgivings it proved to be a great weekend. I’ve seen Gaslight Anthem a few times now, but their one hour slot on the Friday night at the Shaky Knees Festival was one of the best. My particular highlight being a wicked version on The Animals‘ classic, House of the Rising Sun.
9 – Darius Rucker at the US Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina. We took our niece, Alexandra, to see Darius Rucker for her Christmas present. I’ve been a fan of Darius Rucker since hearing his Charleston, SC, 1966 album, which was the soundtrack of my summer of 2013, when I spent three months in Georgia, with my then fiance. Southern State of Mind being one of my all time favorite songs. He played this, along with many other songs from the Charleston album, together with songs from his latest album, True Believers. All of which went down a storm, but the high spot for me was when he performed a couple of Hootie and the Blowfish songs, awesome!
8. – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero at the Shaky Knees Festival. This is a set I won’t forget in a long time. I’ve been to loads of gigs in my lifetime, but haven’t seen a lead singer as frenzied as Alex Ebert. The whole set had the air of a religious experience, with the Alex Ebert, aka Edward Sharpe being the Messiah! Added surrealism came in the form of an onstage proposal from one of the members of the crowd, which needless to say was accepted. One word – Amazing!
7. The Tillers at the CincyGroove Festival in the Southgate House Revival, Newport, Kentucky. This was the second time I’d seen The Tillers and this time they were headliners for the night. You can read more about this gig in my earlier post on the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
6. Dawes at the Shaky Knees Festival. I’ve been a fan of Dawes since hearing them on Bob Harris‘s Sunday morning show on BBC Radio 2, so I was really looking forward to seeing them on the Sunday afternoon of the Shaky Knees Festival, and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed. They were, by far and way, my highlight of the festival. And as an added bonus, they sang my favorite Dawes song, A Little Piece of Everything. Pure class!
Well we’re approaching the end of 2014, so like loads of other music fans, I’ve put together a list of My Top Ten Albums of 2014. And here it is:
10 – Herd Runners by Cherry Ghost
9 – Road of Bones by IQ
8 – Hand on the Plow by The Tillers
7 – The River and the Thread by Rosanne Cash
6 – Northlands by Tony Patterson and Brendan Eyre
5 – Familiars by The Antlers
4 – Abel Ganz by Abel Ganz
3 – Ryan Adams by Ryan Adams
2 – Southeastern by Jason Isbell
1 – Acoustic Live at the Ryman by Band of Horses