It's no secret that I go to a ton of shows. If we've been friends for more than 5 minutes, or you follow me on any sort of social media, you know this. The past few years I've attempted to count them all up and do a recap. After combing through an entire year's worth of social network posts, and my memories, i've arrived at a number.
*There were several days where I attended more than one show a day/night.
Best Shows I Attended in 2013
1. Fall Out Boy (Reunion Show) @ The Studio at Webster Hall - NYC
Hands down this one wins for 2013. Fall Out Boy are one of my favorite bands, and they had been on "hiatus" since 2009. On Feb 4th of this year, FOB surprised everyone (well, most) by announcing their reunion, new music, a tour, AND 3 tiny club shows (in Chicago, NYC, and LA). There was NO doubt in my mind that I was going to make the NYC show, despite having just been up there 2 weeks prior. Luckily my friend, Chad came through for me, and I was on a plane to NYC the next morning. I'm not entirely sure how it all happened but we made it in that night and to the front/right side of the stage. No opener, no scrims, no frills. Everyone in that tiny room was there to see their favorite band, and had done everything in their power to make it happen. Fall Out Boy took the small stage to an enthused audience, and looked genuinely happy to be there, the entire time. We were blessed with old songs, deep cuts, singles, and "Light 'Em Up" (released the day before). The whole crowd sang along as loud as they could, as they were diving off of the stage or catching those who were. The energy and passion in that small room was infectious. I was on Cloud 9 for a week following that. I don't think I'll ever top that moment, as a fan. We had all been waiting for this, and we finally got it.
2. The 1975 @ Short Mountain Distillery - Woodbury, TN
Like most of my Nashville friends, I was OBSESSED with the 1975 this past summer. Lets be real, I still kind of am. We got word of them headlining a new festival out in the middle of nowhere Tennessee, so we made arrangements and hoped for the best. The afternoon before The 1975 were supposed to play in Woodbury, the local radio station had them in to play a few songs and do a short interview. It was incredible. Lauren and I then made the drive out to the country to watch them play a full, headlining set in the middle of a field. They went on a little before midnight, to a crowd of about 150. I couldn't have planned it better. The 1975 were phenomenal live, and their set that night at the Moonshine distillery only furthered my love for them. See my shots from the show here.
3. Fun. w/ All Get Out @ The Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN
I was already excited to see Fun. play my favorite venue BUT THEN my good buds in All Get Out were added as openers at the last minute. My friend Sam flew in from NYC for the show, Lauren from Texas, and my roommate Kelsey made up our group for the night. I was nervous for the All Get Out boys to open for such a red hot pop act, and in one of the nation's most historical venues… but I shouldn't have been. Gordon's drums sounded HUGE in that room and Nathan gave it his all. I sat in my church pew holding a giant beer and trying to hold back tears of happiness. (ugh, when did I get like this?). I was such a proud mom. Those boys were a long way from playing the Summerville American Legion. Then, Nate Ruess and Co. took the stage to a sold out Ryman crowd and were flawless. Opened with a B-Side "Out On The Town" and ended with The Rolling Stone's "You Can't Always Get What You Want". The Spin gave the show a(n unheard of) RAVE review here.
4. Paramore w/ Tegan & Sara @ The Belmont - Austin, TX (SXSW Showcase)
I've always been a Paramore fan. I saw them play New Brookland Tavern, opening for The Rocket Summer, back in 2006. I hadn't seen them in a few years though, and I was looking forward to it. My SXSW companion Lauren was REALLY looking forward to Tegan & Sara. I never really got into T&S like all my friends had, but their set at this show changed my mind. They were incredible live. I went on to see them 2x times at SXSW, I was so in love. Then Paramore took the stage and basically blew the roof off of that garden courtyard (had there been one). We were up closer when their set started, so I could get a few photos before blending back into the crowd. By mid-set, Lauren and I were smack in the middle of everyone, and I just kept looking at her and mouthing "WOW! HOLY CRAP!". Hayley has always been a powerhouse, but she really brought it that night. The Fleetwood Mac cover into their song "In The Mourning" didn't hurt either ;)
5. David Ramirez w/ Noah Gunderson @ 12th and Porter - Nashville, TN
A Nashville crowd is notoriously hard to play for. Everyone in this town can play, sing, write, and serve drinks better than the person standing next to them. It's hard to keep their attention and gain their respect. Noah and David pulled off the nearly impossible at this show. First off, 12th and Porter was PACKED from the moment Noah Gunderson took the stage. He was incredible. Then, David Ramirez came on and you could've heard a pin drop in that venue. It was unlike any other show I've ever been to. At one point David even addressed the crowd, worried that they were asleep or bored. However, that wasn't the case, they were just captivated by his music. David wowed us all with just his acoustic guitar and some really, really sad songs. I'd seen him before this, and I've seen him after, but this show is still his best in my mind.