Troy's Top Ten
I attended 95 shows/festivals over the last 365 days, I saw over 150 unique acts in five states. Here's my favorites from the past year:
Festival: Gem City Shine - Stevie Wonder / Fonzworth Bentley / Michael Che / Chance The Rapper / John Stewart / Teyana Taylor / Thundercat / Dave Chapelle / DJ Trauma /Kanye West’s Sunday Service - 8.25 in Dayton, OH
Tour: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit / Father John Misty / Jade Bird - 6.17 @ Fox Theater - Detroit, MI
10. David Gray – 6.8 @ Akron Civic Theater – Akron, OH
9. The 1975 – 5.14 @ Express Live! Festival Setting – Columbus, OH:
Probably the overall the most fun at a show this year. The band, it’s back-up dancers and the fans love every minute of the colorful show.
8. Snow Patrol – 4.27 @ The Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN:
My first visit to the legendary Ryman and my first time seeing Snow Patrol, the sound in the venue Is probably the best in any venue I’ve ever been too.
7. John Mellencamp – 2.19 @ Stambaugh Auditorium – Youngstown, OH:
Mellencamp’s show is like a you’re favorite worn-in jeans (or painting overalls): you know it’s going to work and you’re going to be able to get what you want with it.
6. Leon Bridges – 5.5 @ Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica – Cleveland, OH:
Leon’s old school soulful sound filled the amphitheater and the lake during the first outdoor show of the season. A no frills show that just focused on Leon’s voice and the band.
5. The Killers – 7.6 @ Mall B – Cleveland, OH:
It was one of the hottest nights of the Summer when The Killers played as part of the MLB All Star Week concert series. Most bands would phone in a set that wasn’t technically a part of their tour but the band delivered a fiery set that had the beyond capacity crowd of the Mall B lawn signing and dancing. Not bad for a free show in Cleveland, OH. The bands first in six years.
4 Thom Yorke – 9.29 @ Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA:
Thom is best known as the front man of Radiohead but from time-to-time to steps out to do a “solo” thing. Playing as a three piece band in a small theater has close to the same effect as Radiohead in amphitheater’s and arenas. The brightest and best visual show of the year.
3. John Mayer – 7.28 @ PPG Paint Arena – Pittsburgh, PA:
John has taken his time with Dead And Company the last few years and has used it to expand his own show, which in the past where already a top-notch show of musicianship. Playing “ two sets” and a career panning setlist, John and his band shred all night with a perfect backdrop of beautiful visuals.
2. Jason Isbell – 12.19 @ F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts – Wilkes-Barre, PA:
Seeing Jason stripped down with just an acoustic guitar and just one other member of The 400 Unit, Sadler. Jason gave stories behind the songs and about his life, something that doesn’t always happen during a full band show. He and Sadler took turns jamming out and shredding the acoustic guitar with a delightful take on songs from the last few albums and some rarities. The whole set was a treat
1. Bon Iver – 3.29 @ KeyBank Theater at Playhouse Square – Cleveland, OH:
When I saw Bon Iver nine months ago perform in Cleveland for the first time I assumed there couldn’t be a show that was going too this one for me and after about 80 more shows it stood true. The show was perfectly imperfect, the band reacted all of the layers and sound from their three albums and it was simply a breathe-taking, goosebumps inducing, beautiful evening of music. It was one of those shows I will always look back on and remember.