During my earlier adulthood in my Melbourne life, I was obsessed with seeing live music. I'm a huge fan of the experience as well as of almost all music itself. It was a strong healthy diet of my favorite kind of soul food. But with moving to New York and adjusting to a totally new and unpredictable freelance lifestyle, buying tickets to a show in the distant future was just too risky when I had no idea at all if I'd be free to see it. Sadly over a few years of living in New York City, a music mecca, I was ironically seeing no live music at all.
This realization hit me at the end of 2013. It definitely felt like a huge hole in my soul. So for almost the first time ever, I made a New Years resolution that I intended to stick to. At least 1 live band a month through 2014. And I wanted it to be really diverse. A broad spectrum of styles and it had to be a different venue every time. I felt genuine excitement at seeking out new sounds, old sounds, new genres and a variety of New York's performance spaces.
Admittedly, I did miss September, it was a busy month that just flew by. But over the year, I saw everything from the Austrian opera, Wozzeck at the Met Opera to hip hop producer DJ Mustard's awesome show at the Williamsburg Music Hall and even Z100's Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden featuring people like Taylor Swift, Pharrell and Iggy Azalea to name but a few. The whole experience was so satisfying that I will make it my New Years resolution for this year also. Hell, maybe even a life resolution.
Oh yeah, the headline. "And the winner is..." I gotta say the best show of all that I saw was Tame Impala at the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side in November (pictured above). First of all, the venue is an incredibly restored majestic old theater, Tame played an epic spaced-out super-tight set, the visuals were gigantic and all consuming and to top it all off, the sound guys totally nailed it. Plus I'm a huge fan of the band, so being able to sing along to every word really helped.
The 2014 list of shows -
January - The Reverend Vince Anderson and his Love Choir at the Union Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
February - Steve Malkmus and The Jicks at the Bowery Ballroom in downtown Manhattan.
March - Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera in the Lincoln Center, Manhattan - The Rubber Bandits at Mercury Lounge in the Lower East Side, Manhattan - "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill" at The Circle in The Square Theater in Times Square.
April - Banned Books at Death By Audio in Williamsburg Brooklyn.
May - Brian P. Worsdale. and the ISO Symphonic band at the Green-Wood Cemetery in South Slope, Brooklyn.
June - War on Drugs at 50 Kent as part of the Northside Festival in Brooklyn.
July - DJ Mustard at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
August - Polyphonic Spree at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
September - NOTHING
October - Elton John at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 13th Annual "An Enduring Vision" benefit at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan.
November - Tame Impala at the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.
December - Z100's jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden featuring Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, Arianna Grande, Sam Smith, Pharrell, Gwen Stefani, Nick Jonas, Charlie XCX, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor, Calvin Harris, Maroon 5, Jessie J, One Republic and more.