My live music wrapup, 2014 Part 1

Hey all, starting 2015 I thought I’d get more active with blogging about music, as well as all the sports stuff I follow.

Since I attend, on average, about a gig every single week here in London, I thought I’d compile a list of all the gigs I can remember going to this year.  And then…I’m going to follow that post up with a series of posts listing the best concerts I’ve been to in my entire life (yeah, I’m going to go way back on some of those shows).

So.. trolling through my stub collection, here’s what I’ve got for 2014…so far (being the frugal fan, I must also mention whether I got a deal on the tix too):

Boyz II Men (Indigo at the O2 – face £41 / Paid avg £22.50) Dec 5

I was expecting more. It was a great venue and a good crowd who were really up for it, but the three remaining members of Boyz (maybe the greatest R&B band in the past 30 years?) played for just 1.15 mins and had backing vocal tracks accompanying them. A little too effortless for my liking, but it was fun.

Sun Kil Moon (St John at Hackney Church – paid face £28) Dec 3

One of the strangest gigs I’ve ever been to. Singer Mark Kozelek has a haunting voice and is the most ‘literal’ lyricist I know of (song titles include ‘Richard Ramirez Died of Natural Causes’). But he was sitting for most of the gig, and we got there late, stuck way in the back of a huge chapel (1400 capacity). He mumbled often in between songs, and started a strange beef with the band ‘The War on Drugs’ who were playing a gig across town the same night. After launching into a cover of ‘I got you babe’ with a female member of the crowd, and a few Christmas carols, he rounded off the night with an impromptu encore entitled ‘The War on Drugs: Suck My Cock’. There you have it.

Rich Robinson (of The Black Crowes) – (O2 Islington Academy – paid face, £70 for VIP ticket including pre-gig meet and greet and private acoustic 3 song session). Nov 12

Rich is one of my all-time favorite guitarists and the show was a treat. He’s a great dude too, and getting a signed photo pre-gig made it even better. Catch him either solo or with The Crowes any chance you get.

Ryan Adams (O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Face £35 / Paid avg £22.50) Sept 18

Probably my favorite singer-songwriter out there at the moment. Just a tremendous talent and his new self-titled album worth playing on loop. Johnny Depp came out and played three songs with the band for encores. How bout that for a good night out?

Foo Fighters at Invictus Games Closing Ceremony (Olympic Village – Face £49 paid avg £25)

I’m not the biggest FF fan, but it was my girlfriend’s birthday gift and it’s her favorite band. Yes, you read correctly: it was a birthday gift, but I didn’t buy tix in advance. Instead, I swallowed hard and found two separate people selling spares at the door (after a 1 hour commute).

David Gray (Union Chapel – Paid face, £37.50+fees) Oct 23

Amazing venue, and I’m a big David Gray fan but this was a pretty sleepy affair.

Jason Mraz (Royal Albert Hall – Paid face, £55 (whoa)) Sept 26

The ticket said 730pm which is exactly when he started. But I didn’t know Mraz plays 3 hour shows…so I missed the first hour and change. Bummer. What I did see what pretty fantastic. He’s got great stage charm sported an all-female backing band, and has those great strumming/reggae/beachie kind of tunes. I’ll see him again, and I’ll show up on time. Only bummer were the two young women to the front, and two to the side of us snapping selfies THE ENTIRE time.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (Electric Ballroom, Camden – Paid face, £18.50) May 22

This was the second time I’d seen Jason in less than a month, and the third time in less than a year. He’s one-of-a-kind and a legendary Nashville songwriter in the making.

That’s it for part 1…stay tuned for part 2…and, eventually, the countdown to best gigs I’ve ever been to.

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