Be sure to check out the rest of my top 30 concert experiences of 2011! See you in 2012!!!
Without further ado, here are my top 5. Enjoy!
5. System of a Down and Gogol Bordello 5/15 (Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA)
Back in 2001 I got sick for like two weeks from some type of flu. It was a few months after 9/11 so all day for two weeks I would do nothing but watch news on 9/11 and listen to the new System of a Down album “Toxicity”. That I would say is the most intimate I was with this band and made me really excited to finally be able to see them live. Also most of them are Lebanese like me, which would always made listening to them interesting when they were guests on Love Line back in the day. Many times they would talk about their latest trips to Lebanon on the radio show.
Me and Anthony scored great seats near the front and raged out to our Arabic brothers!!
What can I say? The BasedGod knows how to deliver an amazing show. This concert was just one of the craziest parties I’ve ever been to. Lil B came out with a bottle of grey goose and started pouring it in everyone’s mouth then passed it into the crowd to get everyone going. He played some of my favorites such as Cold War and Like a Martian. Everyone was cooking and having an amazing time! TYBG!
Check out my homies @whitegxrl , @MauricePrice , and I going HAM in the video below!!!!
3. Jeff Mangum 9/10 (Jordan Hall, Boston, MA)
Ever since we heard “In the Aeroplane over the Sea” back in 2004 me and my longtime friend Ramzi Kawar (Guitarist of the San Jose collective Bell Thieves)have said we would go anywhere in the world if Jeff Mangum ever reunited Neutral Milk Hotel for a show. This year, the year of impossible concert accomplishments, allowed us to prove ourselves true. We booked a flight over to Boston along with our friend Kyle to see the master perform.
The Boston trip was a wild ride full of great food, sights, pimps and hoes. We also checked out Harvard, the Museum of Fine Arts, and many of the sites around the Boston area. Amazing trip overall. The highlight however was of course Jeff Mangum’s performance. After awkwardly making his way to his seat at the front of the stage he started right away with my favorite song “Oh Comely”. I swear to you I cried four separate times just in that song alone. At this point no one in the audience dared utter a sound and barely could make a breath. The next track was Two Headed Boy Part 2 and right before the first chorus Jeff Mangum uttered under his breath “I can’t hear you”. That is when every single person in Jordan Hall began to sing along. I have never had such strong Goosebumps in my life and could barely breathe for a while it was so powerful. I have dreamt of seeing these songs live for so many years I never expected it to supersede all of my expectations. After an incredible show and awesome encore the crowd just did not give up clapping. We clapped after the lights went up and they told us to leave for about another 15 minutes before Jeff Mangum ended up coming back on stage. This was the only time in the tour this happened!!! We weren’t allowed to video tape but I got some shots of him coming in for the encore and at the end of it, but the whole song is audible in the video J
2. The Throne 12/14 (HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA)
My first concert ever was the 1998 KMEL Summer Jam when I was 12 years old. The headliners of that show were Jay Z, Jermaine Dupre, and Mary J Blige doing a set together. Unfortunately I was 12 and couldn’t convince the person who took us there to stay for the last act so I missed it. My next opportunity possible to see Jay Z live happened at Coachella 2010 after he came out of retirement for Blueprint 3. Again, I had the misfortune to miss him then as well because Coachella booked Fever Ray at the same time and Fever Ray is even more rare and amazing to see than Jay Z.
Now top this off with the fact that ever since I first saw the “New Workout Plan” video in 2005 I was Kanye West’s biggest fan. Especially ever since the Taylor Swift fiasco I felt I was the only person defending Kanye for over a year. Coachella was what helped deflate some of my crazy Kanye passion over the last few years so I almost wasn’t even expecting big things from this show in comparison.
Once I got there and realized how amazing the VIP experience I got myself was going to be though I knew I was going to have one of the best concert experiences of my life. To start off, Jay Z came right next to my section to walk onto the platform they had in front of our VIP section to start the show with HAM and Who Gon Stop me, two of my absolute favorite Jay Z verses!
I then learned from that experience with Kay being so close to position myself right for when Kanye came to our area. As you can see in the 2nd video, I am in a prime spot to video tape him when he comes down from the podium, and the most amazing unexpected thing happened. HE SHOOK MY HAND!!!! TWICE!!!!! I fucking couldn’t even believe it and began cooking so hard to the fact that Jay Z was also playing one of my favorite new songs of his “On to the Next One” at the same time. It was one of the most perfect moments of my life.
1. Coachella 4/15-4/17 (Polo Fields, Indio, CA)
I think this speaks for itself:
Friday I saw:
New Pants, 12th Planet, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Brandt Braer Frick, !!!, Ozomatli, Titus Andronicus, Skrillex, Odd Future, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Lauryn Hill, Kele, Interpol, Cut Copy, Beardyman, Crystal Castles, Kings of Leon, Robyn , Boys Noize, and Chemical Brothers.
Saturday I saw:
EE, Mariachi El Bronx, Joy Formidable, Twelves, Foals, Gogol Bordello, Two Door Cinema Club, Erykah Badu, Cage the Elephant, Glasser, Laidback Luke, Lil B, Elbow, Shpongle, Mumford and Sons, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire.
Sunday I saw:
Menomena, Delorean, MEN, fun., OFF!, CSS, Death From Above 1979, Duck Sauce, Trentenmoller, Durran Durran, The Strokes, Kanye West
All that along with how amazing the Creators Project made all of the acts, stages and the whole fests aesthetic was just a blast. I also scored Dave Chappelle tickets in such a clutch way on Sunday for 4 of us who went the next day in San Francisco (we drove straight there from Coachella). Jumping for an hour and a half to Cut Copy, Kanye hovering above us as he proclaimed “I fantasized about this back in Chicago”, and seeing all of the cooking utensils people brought for Lil B’s legendary set. It was just a perfect festival experience.
I have a ton of amazing video from the festival, I hope you enjoy them and had a good time reading about my 2011 experiences. Here's to 2012!