A fresh start, and a look back

I figured I’d start my first real blog post with a look back at the year that just ended: 2012. It was a pretty epic year for concerts! Here are a few of my highlights.

The first concert of the year was in a small venue in my neighborhood, Lilypad. John Medeski played a solo piano concert (and I think everyone involved is probably still wondering why he picked such a small venue – it only seats about 60 people). I had an amazing seat – right next to Medeski, with a perfect view of every key he pressed. It’s really special to see a real virtuoso from that vantagepoint. You can actually watch and listen to the entire concert here – the person sitting next to me at the show combined both of our video footage with another friend’s audio recording to come up with a complete concert film.

Later in January, I saw Joe Henry for the first time – two nights in a row at City Winery in New York City. I lucked out and he asked my favorite guitarist, Marc Ribot, to join him for those two nights. Ribot also performed a short opening set. The undeniable highlight was a performance of “Tomorrow Is October” from Henry’s latest album, Reverie, in a stripped-down arrangement for voice and two guitars – Henry on acoustic and Ribot on electric. Much more beautiful and striking than the studio version, as much as I like the original.

In the spring I had the good fortune to catch the Underscore Orkestra, who describe themselves as “playing a blend of Balkan, Klezmer, Gypsy Jazz and Swing.” That was one of the most fun shows I saw all year, and I’d never heard of them before so it was a great surprise. They are currently on tour in Australia/New Zealand and will be on a lengthy U.S. tour later in the spring. Keep your eye on their tour page to see if they come your way – highly recommended!

Another surprise for me was (more…)