Here are the first half of my top 10 live music experiences of 2012!
10. Creators Project SF w/ Shabaz Places, Zola Jesus, Squarepusher, Yeah Yeah Yeahs 3/17 (Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA)
The Creators Project made Coachella even better in 2010. Naturally when me and my friends heard about this FREE Creators Project sponsored event in our area we hopped on it like a fat kid on cake.
Little did we know however that this would be one of the coolest things we attended all year. Tons of art and light installations all over the place that each were mind blowing in their own way. The mayor of San Francisco walking around checking them out. World class food trucks right outside. That lineup! It being 21+ allowed us to walk around in and out of the two large buildings with drinks in hand. We easily made it to the front for the acts we cared about. Basically everything about this was amazing. Did I mention it was FREE!?!?
Check out my Creators Project event playlist on Youtube below:
9. The Weeknd 5/8 (The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA)
This show was sold out like crazy. To the point where everyone I met at the concert had paid over $100 to be there off some scalper online. I ended up last minute saying screw it and went to the show early with no ticket in hand. While in line I was feverishly searching craigslist for a ticket when out of the blue I get a message on Facebook from the one and only Paul Tollet, founder and creator of the Coachella Music Festival!!! I was really surprised and had to curb my excitement so I didn't look crazy to the people in line around me!
He said this:
To top this off if it weren't enough, a worker from The Fillmore started walking the line to everyone who paid over $100 to see this show that they just released a few tickets at the box office for face value! I ended up getting in for $30 bucks!!!
Since I had this cash burning a hole in my pocket and things were going my way so well I ended up buying a round for the people around me once we got inside and we became a large crew which was a lot of fun. Weeknd fans are the best!
Oddly enough, there was no opening act so the show ended up being over before 10PM. This also meant I was still pretty wasted once it was over. I went out and grabbed a poster that The Filmore was giving out and realized I was still a bit too drunk to drive so I decided to wait and see if I can grab a quick picture with Abel while I was sobering up. After a while he was brought right into his trailer but stayed around to sign the posters of the people who stayed behind which was really nice of him. All in all this is about as perfect of an experience I will get at a Weeknd show.
8. Sufjan Stevens 12/5 (The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA)
This is the first (and possibly last?) time I have ever seen a Sufjan Stevens concert standing up. He usually holds his shows at large venue's with orchestra and balcony seating. For a standing Sufjan concert, you can only really look to The Independent for a smaller legitimate venue he could have held this in than the Great American Music Hall. It was a perfectly intimate setting and definitely the best Christmas related concert I have and may ever go to. Thankfully, he also broke up some of the Christmas Songs with his own classics throughout so it never got boring. It was incredible to sing and bring new life to these classics along with the whole crowd and Sufjan's wild band!
7. Jeff Mangum 4/9 & 4/10 (The Fox Theater, Oakland, CA)
Last year me and two buddies flew to Boston to see Jeff Mangum perform in case he only was doing a few shows on the East Coast then disappearing again. Something we wouldn't have been able to forgive ourselves for. Luckily, he decided to not only come to the West Coast but also to play Coachella this year which had been a dream of mine for many years.
These two shows were amazing because we had GA standing tickets and could get as close as we wanted (last year we saw him from a seated balcony). If you know anything about Neutral Milk Hotel you can understand how rare, unique and incredibly powerful these sets were.
6. Radiohead/Other Lives 4/11 (HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA)
We lucked out on tickets to this concert super last minute. While in front of the HP, we a bit afraid things with the tickets would fall through. Thankfully everything worked out all too well. Not only did we get in, we got closer to the band than we ever have! Other Lives were a great opening band. Radiohead ended up playing a better set at this show than both weekends of Coachella. Altogether the San Jose set list is known as one of the best ones of this tour.
Just look at that N64 amount of glee on Ramzi's face!