Best Live Performance of 2003? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-28-2003, 07:05 PM
So which bands did you all see live in 2003? I only managed to make it to two live performances this year, but I packed a lot into one concert this summer in Vancouver. The concert at the Plaza of Nations was a mega-indie concert featuring The Flaming Lips as the headliner, with Modest Mouse, The Starlight Mints and Liz Phair as opening acts. I'm a huge Modest Mouse fan (not literally!) but I have to say I was really disappointed by their set. Starlight Mints (another favourite) and Liz Phair were nothing to write home about, but The Flaming Lips totally blew the 20-something crowd away. Had to be one of the best concerts I've ever seen, especially in an outdoor ampitheatre. I was mere feet away from the stage for FL and MM and it was such a kick to see these indie guys up close and personal.

Unfortunately, the venue is located in an urban, residential neighbourhood and the ever-so-foxy Wayne Coyne, apologized for ending their set before he wanted to, but its part of the contract that concerts must end by 11 pm. (He pushed the encores until 11:30).

This band is such a kick to see live. I would highly recommend seeing them if they come to your city. However, I wouldn't be surprised if they start playing the big venues since they released Yoshimi. One of the most memorable moments from this concert was when I was wondering around the concert venue in the afternoon, and saw The Flaming Lips doing their sound checks. So cool to see them doing "The Test is Now Over" from Yoshimi for their sound check. :)

Another live highlight was the New Year's Eve concert by one of my favourite Canadian bands, 54-40. I had a great time, squished against the stage, completely unaware that my concert buddy had been removed from the concert by the Mounties for smoking a joint in the stands. Heheheh... I found him after the concert, waiting outside the coliseum. Happily, no arrests, but he was banned from coming in to see the rest of the concert. :-)

I would love to see more live performances in 2004! Got any recommendations?


12-29-2003, 04:10 AM
I didn't see as many shows this year as I did in 2002, but this was the best of the few. Hot Tuna was a distant second. I can't remember much of the details, but a search of the old board got me the attached mini-review that I did after that one;

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Los Lobos review at the Wittaker Center. Wow!
Swish - 10:11am Feb 5, 2003

The band played for nearly 2 and a half hours, including the encore which lasted about 30 minutes. I won't do a complete review since YECH just did so last week, but I'll tell you they were smokin'! They played nearly everything from their latest release, Good Morning Aztlan, and plenty of material from their vault of music. Highlights for me? Probably my favorite of the night was their extended version of "Just a Man" from Kiko, with some blistering solo work from David Hidalgo. Another fave was their version of "Little Wing" during the encore. It just blew me away. If you have a chance to see this band live, just do it. You won't regret it.


12-29-2003, 04:55 AM

12-29-2003, 05:32 AM
If it wasn't for Jazzfest, it would have been almost a total washout.

Los Lobos and Sonny Landreth were the absolute highlights of the year. I cannot reiterate what has been said numerous times before on this board (and much more eloquently than I ever could) that these are two acts not to be missed, no matter what your favorite genre is.

Local groups we caught, and mini reviewed, that were worth catching again were Jack Ingram and pretty boy Rusty Weir. Now that my burner is up and burning again, I'll rip a few cuts by each off, along with some Darden Smith, and mail em out to the usual suspects.

This coming year, I would kill to see Flaming Lips. Since they're from this neck of the wood, I figure we got a good chance to seem em. Going to see Rory Bloch next weekend, at a coffee house no less, if I can talk Mrs. Nasty into it. She has this thing aboat gorl singers...That should be an excellent start to what will be, almost by definition, a better live concert year (can't wait for Jazzfest 2004).

Dusty Chalk
12-29-2003, 09:58 AM
Pretty bad year for me, concert-wise, as well, but two that I remember distinctly were Blue Man Group and Peter Gabriel, so they tie for first place. Both have been released on DVD, BTW, and have been discussed at length on the old board, so I won't repeat descriptions.

I think I saw Lacuna Coil/Tapping the Vein this year also, and possibly something else, but that was way early in the year (could have been last year), but nothing in recent memory compare to my two summer concerts.

Oh, yeah, I think I saw Crack The Sky this year, also.

Cool idea for a year-end thread.

12-30-2003, 03:21 PM
Among my top concerts in 2003 were...
Dream Theater; Queensryche; and Porcupine Tree.

But, by far, the best concert experience was the Sars Festival. We got there late, and missed The Flaming Lips :( . I really wanted to see them. But we did see Blue Rodeo; The Guess Who; Rush; AC/DC (who rocked the house down!); and The Stones (who were a big let-down). Oh yeah, of course, I can't forget Justin Timberlake :rolleyes: .

Trans-Siberian Orchestra were also a big highlight of 2003 for me.

12-31-2003, 06:45 AM
Both bluegrass bands, and both during the summer.

Yonder Mountain String Band played two nights at the Mishawaka Amphitheater outside of Fort Collins in May. We went and camped out downstream from the venue (which rivals Red Rocks for shear atmosphere and beauty of surroundings). Was a cold night (snowed the night before the concert), but the foot stomping music kept us warm.

Then saw Nickel Creek play in downtown Denver. Huge disappointment. Sound was great, but their style of play in the live setting was too close to "pop" for my tastes. In fact, the guy that opened up for them blew them out of the water.

Definitely hope to make more shows this upcoming year.


Rob B in CT
01-12-2004, 04:14 PM
My wife and I saw a lot of live music in 2003. Possibly the best show was Joe Jackson touring with the same band that released 'Look Sharp' in 1979 and 'Volume 4' in 2003.' New tunes sounded great live, as did the old. Fun-filled day as we saw Joe after leaving a Celtic festival that featured Gaelic Storm and Natalie MacMaster.

Other highlight shows from 2003 included: Pat Metheny solo and trio featuring Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez; Emmylou Harris with the Spy Boy band, including an opening solo set by Buddy Miller; Steve Forbert in a solo set that featured Jimmie Rodgers' tunes from 'Any Old Time;' a great set from Lyle Lovett, featuring virtually all of 'My Baby Don't Tolerate,' plus many older favorites; and the Brad Mehldau Trio and Matt Wilson Quartet at the Litchfield Jazz Festival (a festival that has programming that is consistently as good as Newport and other major festivals).