Before I dive into my Top 10 albums of the year, I want to discuss some of my favorite shows of the year. And by shows, I mean full shows, not just specific performances. I'll discuss 10-6 right now. Before we start though, honorable mentions go to:
Rin Tin Tiger/The She's
Now onto shows 10-6. Do keep in mind that the numbers are kind of relative. All shows were fantastic.
10. Lil B @ Regency Ballroom, 11/15/13
Lil B ‘The Based God’ made a very #rare appearance in San Francisco on Friday night. The show was completely sold out and was a blast. Stunnaman and Lil Uno of The Pack provided a fun, booming opening set performing bangers and some choice cuts from The Pack’s past like “In My Car”. At one point, Stunnaman invited a bunch of girls on stage and had them twerk. That was fun. Bitch Mob/Task Force was in full affect at the sold out show. A lot of people were rockin’ pink gear, myself included. I saw this one dude who had a custom made pink shirt that had all of Lil B’s album covers; respect. At around 10pm, the myth, the legend, Lil B came out, performing his recently released hit, “4 My.” Throughout the night, Lil B kept the energy and positivity at max and played deep cuts that I didn’t recognize at times and played all the hits from Ellen DeGeneres, Like A Martian, I Own Swag, to more recent hits from his multiple 2013 mixtapes like 4 Me, Eat, and Flex 36. He even performed Vans with Lil Uno and Stunnaman. He ended the set with I’m God; I Love You, both with the beat and a capella (he actually cried, it was beautiful); and ended it with Total Recall. Overall, the show was a lot of fun and it was awesome to see Lil B in the flesh
9. Mastodon/High On Fire @ Slim's June 26th, 2013
Shout out to Converse for making cool shows and doing cool stuff like putting on a lot of free shows in San Francisco. In honor of a new outlet shop being opened up in San Francisco, Converse held a weeklong residency at Slim’s, hosting awesome line-ups each night, with each night being a different style of music. The only way to get into one of these shows was to win tickets, and luckily my friend Ben won tickets to the night that featured Hot Lunch, Saviours, High on Fire, Mastodon, and some band called Quicksand. Unfortunately Quicksand headlined and Mastodon and HoF had short set, but still, High On Fire and Mastodon for free in a my favorite club venue for free was an incredible experience, if not just for bragging rights alone. While I did enjoy High On Fire and Mastodon a bunch and being only a few feet away from Troy Sanders was incredible, their sets were short and fairly lack luster. That’s why this is only #9.
8. Neurosis/Yob @ Regency Ballroom December 29th, 2013
Final show of the year was a good one. Got front row and pretty much center for the whole gig and witnessed some awesome sludge metal. Yob laid down the heavy, playing kind of a throw back set. Neurosis was absolutely hypnotizing and brutally heavy. Only bummer was that the set got cut short. This shot was definitely a great way to end the year for shows.
7. Black Sabbath @ Shoreline Ampitheater, August 26th, 2013
What more is there to say? I saw the Riff Lord, Tony Iommi, along with Ozzy and Geezer, perform a killer set of classic songs and some solid new tunes. The show was a fun time and I ran into some awesome people before going to my seats. The set-up time after Andrew WK’s “set” was short and so getting straight into this black sabbath was great. I got to hear some all times favorites (INTO THE VOID, Children of the Grave, Black Sabbath) and a bunch of other classic songs. The band sounded incredible. Only complaint was the 10 minute drum solo. Fuck that noise. Overall, approximately 2 hours of Black Sabbath was incredible. All hail the Riff Lord.
6. My Bloody Valentine @ Bill Graham Civic Center August 23rd, 2013
This show was unlike ones I usually go to. The crowd was pretty diverse, ranging from old fans, hipsters, and new age MBV fanatics, and a decent male:female ratio. I didn’t really know what to expect from the crowd or how’d they react to My Bloody Valentine’s performance, or how I would really. I’m used to expressing appreciation for live music through moving my body and headbanging, etc, so when the band started I just kind of braced myself for sonic bliss and let instinct take over my body. And that instinct was to stand there and take in amazing performance that My Bloody Valentine put on, from the second row of the crowd. The band sounded incredible. Kevin and Debbie had such amazing tones; Kevin producing other worldy walls of sound and plain and simple, Debbie had some of the gnarliest bass tones ever. Bilinda sounded great throughout the entire night and Colm’s drumming was really lively and brought a great dynamic to the band’s live sound. The setlist was full of some of my favorite tunes from Loveless, MBV, and all of their EPs. Everything sounded perfect and it was just a really blissful experience. My only complaint was that the leads on songs like “Soon” and “I Only Said” were either performed on keyboard or pre-recorded. It would’ve been cool to have seen those melodies recreated on guitar, like they are on the record. But overall this performance was like nothing I’ve experienced before.