maandag 2 januari 2017

Wo.'s favourite live shows of 2016

Another year over, another opportunity to look at what shows I've been to and to reflect on them. It is of course impossible to compare live shows. They are over as soon as the last note is played and what remains is a memory, a feeling and some impressions. Although I saw slightly less shows in 2016 than in 2015, probably the circa 30 acts I saw, that is including the Mariachi bands in Mexico, is far above what the average person sees in a year. This is the list of the shows that I have the fondest memories of or were truly special.

10. Mariachi at the IGF in Guadalajara
Unfortunately I can not name one band by name. It is the general feeling, the melancholy nature of the mariachi that gives all these, to me nameless, bands a spot in this list. The music made an impression tied to the location of Guadalajara.

9. Gregory Page, De Oude School, Warmond
So full of style and grace (a show by) Gregory Page is. Emulating the music of my grandparents of the 20 and 30s, the show is special, despite the fact that it is only Gregory Page that we got to see. There's no need for me to play this music at home, but in the intimate surroundings of De Oude School it worked like a miracle.

Photo: Wo.
8. Elenne May, Amstelkerk, Amsterdam
At the cd release show in October, the band played 'Veggie Patch In The Desert' from beginning to end in a concentrated, yet perfect way. The acoustics and atmosphere of the wooden church became a part of the music of Elenne May, making the concert an experience as well as a show.

7. Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam
Together with the younger men of Promise of the Real Neil Young played a 3,5 hour plus show, running though his whole back catalogue in the mid-tempo section. That led to some surprising choices that I have not heard before live. A 20 minute version was no exception, building up the tension perfectly.

6. The Maureens, Q-Bus, Leiden
The Maureens returned to the Q-Bus as a machine of perfection, after the tentative try out one year earlier. With the songs of that beautiful album 'Bang The Drum' now successfully in the bag, they played a near perfect show of perfect pop songs.

5. Steve Waitt, Q-Bus, Leiden
Years flew by without new Steve Waitt music. That all changed this year. Now with a band behind him, again Steve Waitt mesmerised the Q-Bus with his singer-songwriter songs based on his piano playing. The foursome rock where it should, rolled where it could and held back in all the right places. Steve Waitt is a talent who ought not to go by unnoticed.

Photo: Wo.
4. De Staat, Gebr, De Nobel, Leiden
"Op De Staat staat geen maat", means something like De Staat grows ever bigger and better. This show following the release of 'O', marked a departure. More is possible. Visuals are an integral part of the show and the music is ever bigger, more compact, tighter. Torre Florim is a crowd manipulator first class with an audience that surrenders, fully, in its participation. Almost scary were it not that it's harmless, in this context.

3. Broeder Dieleman, Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht
At the 12,5 year Snowstar Records party, Broeder Dieleman played a great show. Without compromise the songs were presented to the audience. Tonnie Dieleman led his band through all the eccentric parts of his private universe built around parts Dieleman memories, Zeeland lore, nature and family history. A screeching, bowed acoustic guitar plays a big part in the music, that was played by a few surprisingly familiar faces.

2. De Kift + Rats On Rafts - De Kift, Haarlemmerhout + Patronaat, Haarlem
Cheating again. Two shows in one. De Kift in the Haarlemmerhout was a huge party as a part of its 'Wee Mij' tour. So much energy was sent from the podium to a largely unsuspecting audience. It was almost a waste. + At the release show of the joint album of the two bands another form of energy was led loose, again on an in part unsuspecting audience. Two bands merged in a way that companies merging can only dream of. Rats On Rafts and De Kift each time add the best of themselves to the other band's songs, leading to hybrids with large clumps of balled energy. A triumph.

Photo: Wo.
1. The Analogues. Schouwburg, Velsen
The Beatles. Need I say more? Played to perfection by this Dutch band of musicians of different backgrounds. Identical instruments to the ones used by The Beatles while recording were found and played on, creating a sound that The Beatles could only achieve inside a studio. The Analogues recreate it on stage. Even more authentic than Paul McCartney plays The Beatles' songs in 2016. It was so impressive and the music so good that a number 1 spot is inevitable.

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