My Top Ten Concerts Of 2017
This is this time of the year, when you try to look back to remember the best moments of these past 12 months. Concerts are for sure the best parts, and I went to a lot of them in 2017. If I had to pick the best shows I have attended this year, I would end up with these ones, which are my top ten concerts of 2017, in chronological order:
Prophets of Rage at the Teragram Ballroom January 20th: The Prophets scheduled this show in the intimate venue quite unexpectedly and I got a ticket to my great surprise (I hadn’t been able to get one when they played the Palladium). Tom Morello’s sentence has stayed with me since ‘it’s not the time to agonize, now it’s the time to organize,’ although I don’t know if the revolution against Trump has made any progress since that time. However we raged very hard for one night, plus it was the last and only time I saw Chris Cornell.
Hanni el Khatib at the Teragram, February 9th: I have always liked Hanni’s music and his last album is as diverse as it is rocking, his series of songs transcend musical genres, from a hip hop attitude to a disco dance floor. This show was a lot of fun.
Ho99o9 at the Echoplex, May 19th: What a chaos, and what a party! After seeing plenty of hip hop artists this weekend, I realize that Ho99o9 should be the only ones that matter, rap with a punk attitude and a desire to annihilate everything you know. This gig was a true revelation and a riot, may be this is where the real revolution was happening,
Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival May 27th (also 28th and 29th): Although the festival lasted 3 days in Las Vegas, Saturday was the highlight of the weekend because of the headliner: Iggy Pop. I saw him three times this year, a crazy accomplishment for him as for me. He was in remarkable shape each time, and the Punk Rock Festival under Las Vegas’100ºF heat, was such an insane experience.
Arroyo Seco Weekend June 24th and 25th: The highlight of this new and family-friendly festival was certainly Tom Petty, who unexpectedly died a few months later. It was the only time I saw him, and it is a very moving memory.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Greek Theater, June 29th: Certainly the best concert I have attended this year, may the best concert ever. It was an incredible experience, I was so close to the stage that I was touching Nick Cave’s legs and feet all the time. He is an incredible performer and I don’t know how he will be able to top this level of dramatic intensity during a concert.
Valerie June at Twilight Concert Series, August 3rd: Valerie June is so talented and so gracious when she plays her inspiring songs that she caught the attention of the ‘god of songwriting’ as she called him, Bob Dylan himself. This show at the pier was a beautiful under-the-stars event, but the real star was shining on stage.
Mark Lanegan at the Teragram, August 28th: it was my first Lanegan show, and I enjoyed it to its fullest. There were all the elements I love during a show, it was an intense film noir ambiance haunted by Lanegan’s legendary baritone.
Desert Daze, October 13rd-14th-15th: Another festival, and a transforming experience in Joshua Tree, with all the extremes of the desert, the burn of the sun, the coldness of the night, and the dust, plenty of dust during some intense and restless 3 days of music! It was also another crazy Iggy Pop show, killing it after so many other artists. I am still exhausted when I think about it.
Thom Yorke at the Fonda, December 12th: I was once again very surprised to get in, to attend front row a concert so coveted by so many. A Thom Yorke concert is not a Radiohead show, but it is as close as you can get, and his experimental electronica sounds like a cosmic discotheque, which keeps Thom on a constant dancing floor.