2013 was a year of crossing off a bunch of bucket list bands and songs to see live. It wasn’t the most stand out year… probably because I didn’t really attend as many major concerts this year. I missed out on a bunch of concerts in Vancouver including two I seriously wish I hadn’t missed. I wasn’t there to see Pearl Jam perform ‘Jeremy’ live in Vancouver. And I missed out on seeing Nine Inch Nails in Vancouver as well. But there were still a ton of memorable major moments I was able to capture on video So let’s get to my Top 20 Magmazing Major Concert Moments of 2013.
3. – Phoenix & R. Kelly at Coachella 2013 Weekend One- Ignition (April 13, 2013)
And the award for most bizarre cameo in a music festival headlining set goes to… R. Kelly showing up to perform a mashup of his song Ignition with Phoenix’s 1901… Phoenix being a headliner was already weird enough. Then there were all the rumors and hype about Daft Punk making a surprise appearance. When R. Kelly started by singing the opening lines from his song ‘Bump N’ Grind’ I think half the audience was wondering “Why is someone singing an R. Kelly song?” and the other half was wondering “who the hell is that?” I guess the bizarreness of the whole situation is what made it memorable and #3 on my top moments of 2013.
6. – Blur at Coachella 2013 Weekend One- Song 2 (April 12, 2013)
Another “bucket list” song I’ve wanted to see live since I was in high school. I’ve never seen Blur live. So seeing Song 2 on the main stage at Coachella 2013 was a major moment for me and is #6 on my list this year.
8. – The Postal Service at Coachella 2013 Weekend One- Nothing Better (April 13, 2013)
Another song I’ve wanted to see performed live for a long time. So getting Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis’ duet on video was a highlight of my year. One of the most surprising things about The Postal Service live is how many guys were belting lyrics out during the set. Did not expect that…
11. – The Lumineers at Coachella 2013 Weekend One- Slow It Down (April 14, 2013)
So I posted a bunch of video from The Lumineers set at Coachella not thinking anything of it when suddenly I noticed a spike in hits for supposedly no reason. Then I discovered fans of Glee’s Chris Colfer were all going nuts over the fact he was in the background watching the performance side stage and standing with someone that fans seem to argue whether or not is someone he’s going out with. This video of ‘Slow It Down’ and a couple other videos garnered thousands of hits simply because of Chris Colfer. I don’t get what the big deal was but that’s why this is my #11 moment of the year.
12. – Violent Femmes at Coachella 2013 weekend One- Blister in The Sun (April 13, 2013)
Not only did The Violent Femmes perform an album front to back… Not only did I get to see ‘Blister in The Sun’ performed live… I saw lead singer Gordon Gano backstage and got him to autograph my Coachella guide. No big deal. haha
14. – Wu-Tang Clan at Coachella 2013 Weekend One- Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F*** Wit (April 14, 2013)
Trying to shoot video of Wu-Tang clan was a bit like organized chaos. Not being super familiar with the members of the group I kept getting lost. Even with that challenge, Wu-Tang Clan was fun to watch and the crowd went was huge. The band should have been on the main stage in my opinion. I chose this moment because the song reminds me of the Wu-Tang Financial skit on the Chappelle Show.
This passed weekend I had a slight dilemma. There no less than three shows I wanted to attend and I could technically only go to two. Georgia Murray was performing at Felicita’s Pub at UVic, only a five minute walk from where I live. John Mann, lead singer of Spirit of the West, was performing a house concert and East Vancouver’s The Boom Booms were headlining a show at Sugar Nightclub. I ended up going with the latter two simply because I had never seen either live before.
First up was John Mann. This was a house concert put on by The Victoria House Concert B. Andy Briggs, the organizer hosts acoustic shows at his home with a 60+ person capacity. Every cent raised from ticket sales go directly to the artist performing. The Facebook group has grown to over 500 members and members have seen the likes of Vince Vaccaro, Current Swell, Shaun Verreault of Wide Mouth Mason, etc. This John Mann concert was the 50th Andy has hosted and John Mann has performed on multiple occasions.
Saturday night he performed a mix of Spirit of The West songs, his past solo work and also some brand new songs that will be in a forthcoming album that centers around songs he wrote while battling rectal cancer. A great time was had by everyone at the show. John had some amazing stories to tell between songs including one that totally explains some of the lyrics in ‘Venice is Sinking’ (see video below). That particular story was hilarious.
After the house show I high tailed it down to Sugar Nightclub to see The Boom Booms with Mike Edel and Carmanah opening. Timing-wise, I thought I’d end up missing both openers, but I happened to only miss Mike Edel. Which was okay since I’ve seen Mike on many occasions. I arrived just as Carmanah started their set. Going in, I had never heard of, nor even heard any music by, Carmanah. Actually for the most part I was going to this concert at Sugar completely blind. I hadn’t even listened to much of The Boom Booms. I went to this concert simply because The Boom Booms were a finalist in the 2011 Peak Performance Project. I totally forgot the band placed 2nd in the whole competition behind Current Swell.
So I had no expectations walking in the door. What I stepped into was a packed sold out show with an opening band that kinda blew me away. Carmanah pretty much stole the show to me. According to their MySpace and Facebook pages, Carmanah are a 5-piece folk/rock band from Victoria. But within that you can hear some jazz and reggae influences. What struck me most from their set was the lone lady in the band. Laura Mitic plays fiddle, guitar, flute and has a flawless voice. The dance floor was full for this set. I think the floor might have had slightly more people there for this set than the headliners. It’s probably because of the home town advantage, but still… an opening band filling the floor with people jumping and dancing definitely tells you there’s something special about the band. They even performed a two song “encore”.
I think the only problem the band ran into was a little bit of feedback sneaking in during a couple songs. Another surprise highlight of the performance for me was when they performed a song that I later found out was called ‘Coachella.’ The song was so timely considering the Coachella Music & Arts Festival announced their lineup and sold out in 3 hours last week. When the band broke out in the song’s chorus all I could think was “are they actually singing “Coachella” in this song?” Yes… Yes they were… I don’t know if the song is about the festival, but it sure got me thinking about it and how I’m going for the 6th time.
Click here to see all video I shot of Carmanah at Sugar
Next up were the headliners, The Boom Booms. If I had to describe the band I would say it would be like mixing the vocals of Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill with the ensemble sound of Ozomatli. Seriously, the lead singer’s voice sounds like Caleb Followill at times. The Boom Booms were fun to watch. A mix of rock, latin, and raggae music with some artist participation thrown in. I totally see why they made the top 3 in the Peak Performance Project. The got the whole dance floor to crouch on the ground at one point. You can’t get an audience to do that if you suck. Unlike many bands where there’s one or two members that command the most attention while others are just hidden in the background, each one of this six person group seemed to have moments in the spotlight.
This show at Sugar is a prime reason why people should go to local concerts even if you haven’t really heard of bands on the card. You just might discover something you like. Besides… tickets for this show were $12! That’s less than a movie which I’m sure many have paid more for to suffer through some really terrible movies.
Speaking of local concerts. Go to see Steph Macpherson & Redbird at Lucky Bar on January 21, 2012. That show is $7! That’s less than ONE BEER at Irish Times or the Bard & Banker. Seriously, you will not be disappointed.