In a recent lack of inspiration I feel like kick-starting some sort of spark. And yes; I will get this spark from a thing so painfully boring you ought to just turn away now.
GET OUT OF HERE!
Well, perhaps just “list”. At least for a start.
MY BEST CONCERT EXPERIENCES EVER — RATED, NEARLY DATED, AND VENUE’D AS BEST POSSIBLE.
(It should be noted I will do my ratings pitchfork style. (Not meaning I will slash everything))
Coming in at #1, a stunning experience that exceeded my already-impossible-to-exceed expectations. A man from the West, a man whose concert you’ve all read about. You know him. You love him:
SUFJAN STEVENS : STORE VEGA : MAY 1st, 2011 : RATING 10.0+
As my introduction says, this was simply amazing. As my post concerning this concert says, this was simply amazing. I proclaimed The Age of Adz to be my new all-time favorite album, and so far it hasn’t let me down once, hasn’t been outdone and I haven’t stumbled upon ‘something from the past’ that has at all stalled its growing in my ears, eyes, mind.
From the very opening of the concert, Sufjan coming out quietly to meet 2500 dedicated fans, patiently awaiting what unpredictable move this man of the unpredictable would come up with, he looked like he knew we were all in for a treat. The slow, banjo-led Seven Swans started out. All stood in awe for the sheer beauty. We knew he was capable of this from listening to his records, but since he hadn’t played a concert in Denmark since 2006, my estimate is that only a few dozen in the crowd had witnessed this wonder live before. And just as we were all lulled in by the grace, BAM! FLASH! BAM! FLASH! BAM! FLASH! BAM! FLASH! In came the drums — and yes, DRUMS. Two drummers, both drumming their hearts out. It was spectacular, lightning showing from the drums as they were hit. It’s fair to say no one expected this destruction and rebuilding of the new-classic. The crowd was all smiles. Really, just this great, sparkling-eye look on everyone’s faces. No one knew what to say, but it didn’t matter at all. No words could have described the greatness we witnessed. No words can describe it even as I try now. I can only try to come closer than what I did at that time. And so it shifted throughout Seven Swans. Back to Sufjan alone, with his large, white angel wings, giving everyone room to breathe after the shock, and then back to the drum-powered new-edition.
People knew from that moment on, this would be a very special concert. And it became just that. Going through more or less the entirety of The Age of Adz, Sufjan showed what power his album truly possesses — not that it lacks any power (you know what I think of this album) — and proved that nothing is too big for him to take to the stage. I did have a fear that some of the immense texture of the album would somehow go missing live, but it only seemed to go even deeper. Astonishing.
I had a feeling he was a funny guy, but I had never imagined the kind of dry, American humor he has. The Age of Adz is so heavy, really an album you have to take fully in; digest. But he kept up his mood, even apologizing. I’m sure I brought up this quote in my post concerning the concert, but it deserves another showing: “Sorry about the melodrama. I have a nasty habit of confusing heartache with the apocalypse.” He had us laughing so many times one would at time assume we were at a comedy event rather than a concert. But that’s just the kind of artist he is. Knowing what audience he’s with, and giving them exactly what they want. And when you get what you want, and you’re positively surprised in all aspects and feel like your idea of what a concert can be has been expanded… then 10.0+ is the only rating to be given.
Sufjan Stevens rocks.
Next on this list is brilliant as well, and another of my true favorites — live and album-wise. They were the first band that really got me interested in music. You know, wanting to go search for music. Wanting to get to know other stuff than what was looping on the radio. They gave me my first truly great concert experience. They’re Icelandic, they’re jolly in a quiet yet dramatic way, they’re:
SIGUR RÓS : BEATDAY : AUGUST 9th, 2008 : RATING 10.0
As it happens, this was indeed that first truly great concert experience of my life. Outdoors, darkness slowly creeping in from east when they started out. The culmination of a grand day that had seen both VETO, Figurines, Mercury Rev, The Kissaway Trail and others perform earlier. All leading up to this monster of a headliner. I’m sure I seemed different to everyone around me ever since I got the ticket in hand, and haven’t ever really returned to the kid I was before this concert. I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated anything to the degree I did with this. I had heard — worshipped — Sigur Rós for about a year and a half when the concert was announced, and really hadn’t thought of anything other than my wish of seeing them life at some time. My wish was granted, and oh what a delight that turned out to be.
I like to rate concerts on the amount of time throughout the concert that I have a true out-of-body experience. This pretty much set the bar for all eternity. The only thing I can really remember concerning myself from the concert, was that some time between Svefn-g-englar and Untitled #8, I cried. Joyous tears. Other than that, I can only really remember a few screenshots my eyes took and printed to my mind. A few bits of the music from here and there. And the feeling of being utterly blown away, not really recovering my senses until a good 15 minutes after the concert.
I’m so pleased that they release Inni soon; the live-dvd from that tour. That is a must-buy for me, and should be for all people who like Sigur Rós — or just good music and big experiences. Thinking of this concert, I realize it probably shouldn’t be rated lower than Sufjan. Not taking anything away from him, but this concert was just equally sublime. It’s just *such a long time ago* that I had more or less forgot the extreme impact this concert had on me. Yes, put a + on this rating as well. It truly deserves it.
And now I realize the amount of work I’ve given myself for this task. And it’s already past midnight (not that I have anything I need to get up and do in the morning, though. And not that I’m actually tired) so I might stop a bit short of creating a complete list. I will either update this post at a later time, or simply make a new where I go into some of my other great concert experiences. Let me tease you a bit, saying the next part will definitely include some or all of: Beach House, Jónsi, VETO, Dirty Projectors, Titus Andronicus, Arctic Monkeys, Oh No Ono, Florence + The Machine, Mew and Prince.
Let me end this with a small impro-poem.
Sound creates a fear in me.
That this world will never leave me be.
I want to hang around forever.
For if you will not, then music will be my lover.
(The story I’m told,
Is burnt and old.
It speaks of a kind,
That would never leave one’s mind.
It stayed within,
Destroyed the human with sin.
Never able to let it go.
It ate, it stole.
Never able to find a substitute.
It excelled, though creating a hole.)
I will always look your way.
You will always turn your back on me.
That’s how I finally know:
Sufjan’s space-jam is the way to go.