Enough of Northern Irish politics, solving Labour party issues and worrying about who “Croz” is, here are my top 15 gigs of the decade if anybody cares. Feel free to add yours …
1. Paul McCartney – Sept 20 2018, Bell Centre Montreal
Not actually the best concert of his I have seen or even the best live music I heard in the last decade, but I took my then 12 yr old daughter and hearing her singing along, seeing her dance and the wonderment on her face made this the best concert going experience I have had. Real horns helped too.
2. Kate Bush – Sept 24 2014, Eventim Apollo, London
I never thought this would happen, who did? I avoided spoilers before flying over and showed up knowing (almost) nothing about what she was going to do. Not without some minor issues (son Bertie), but a stunning theatrical experience that I doubt we will ever see the like of again, She sang magnificently and the closing Cloudbusting had me in tears (not for the first time, that night)
3. The Zombies – Apr 1st 2017, Le National, Montreal
Odessey and Oracle in full from the front row, doesn’t get much better than that (except 1 and 2 naturally).
4. Wilco – June 27th 2016, North Adams MA
Could pick any number of Wilco shows but went for this one. Part of the bi-annual Solid Sound festival, a magnficent show in the rain, was my first time there I hope there will be many more visits.
5. Bruce Springsteen – Jan 27th 2018, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York
Bruce on Broadway, I haven’t listened to the album or watched it on Netflix. I know nothing can create the feeling of being there with less than 1,000 others. A funny, moving, transcendental experience.
6. David Byrne – Aug 4th 2018, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto
Now Byrne is on Broadway. This was the lead up tour, completely original and thrilling.
7. Kraftwerk – Aug 4th 2018, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto
The 2nd time I have seen them, not sure what is live and what isn’t but seeing them is like seeing The Beatles, you are seeing the best there is that does this kind of music and there was a hint of hysteria in the air. Amazing.
8. Manic St Preachers – Apr 27th 2015, Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
The Holy Bible in full, stripped down band playing one of the greatest albums ever made.
9. McGuinn and Hillman – Sept 17th 2018, Egg Center for Performing Arts, Albany NY
Sweetheart of the Rodeo in full, and the closest I will ever get to seeing The Byrds. More tears.
10. Neil Young – Jan 12th 2014, Massey Hall, Toronto
Neil solo and acoustic in a legendary venue. What’s not to like?
11. Rolling Stones – May 25th 2013, Air Canada Centre, Toronto
Was my 27th time seeing them, but one of only two I saw in the last decade. I bought a dirt cheap “Lucky Dip” ticket and ended up inside the tongue stage setup. I could have touched Mick’s wiggling arse. I didn’t, but they were pretty good that night.
12. Leonard Cohen – Dec 5th 2012, Air Canada Centre, Toronto
In a period of just over a month I saw Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Who and Leonard Cohen all at the same venue. This was the pick of them, my first and last experience of Leonard live. What a performer.
13. Radiohead – July 31st 2016, Osheaga Festival, Montreal
An uncomfortably hot night and an uncomfortable rammed concert experience, but a memorable summer outdoor show mainly centred on then new album Moon Shaped Pool plus a good chunk of OK Computer.
14. Rufus Wainwright – Dec 4th 2010, Massey Hall, Toronto
I think the last show I saw before my marriage broke up. We witnessed a unique experience where Rufus played the whole of his most recent album (All Days Are Night: Songs for Lulu) alone on the piano, the audience were asked not to applaud or make any noise until the last song was finished. Everybody obeyed and to see and hear the 12 song cycle hearing nothing but his voice and his piano was mesmerising (2nd half was more conventional).
15. Joni Mitchell – June 19th 2013, Massey Hall Toronto
This was not actually a Joni Mitchell concert, but instead a tribute for her 70th birthday. It was known she was in attendance, but she was not billed to perform. Other performers such as Rufus Wainwright, Bill Frisell and Kathleen Edwards rattled through chunks of her catalogue. Then she appeared, recited a new poem and performed Furry Sings the Blues and Woodstock (with everybody else). She hasn’t appeared on stage since and I doubt she ever will again.