This will be the first in our Top Ten of 2013 music series. Stay tuned for Top Ten Music Videos, Top Ten Songs, and Top Ten Albums. Youtube playlist of live clips of each band included below!
The Top Ten Live Shows of 2013:
10. Diarrhea Planet @ Glasslands
Heard great things about their live show, and had the rumors verified at a raucous, sold out show at Glasslands.
9. Diiv @ The Wellmont Theater
With apologies to How to Destroy Angels, their opener Diiv, with their spot-on shoegaze, stole the show.
8. Graveyard @ The Bowery Ballroom
Lead singer Joakim Nilsson might be the best rock vocalist in the world, and his band displayed an even greater tightness then ever at Bowery Ballroom.
7. Yeasayer @ Governor’s Ball
Though the festival will be most remembered for the endless mud pits and Kanye West debuting Yeezus material, the most fun I had all day was the hit filled set from the Brooklyn indie-rock vets.
6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ The Music Hall of Williamsburg
From their records, you might suspect an Unknown Mortal Orchestra show to be a bit polite, even sleepy. But lead singer Ruban Nielson turns out to be a guitar hero of the highest magnitude, and their live show is a relentless, shredding romp.
5. Menomena @ Webster Hall
Without a doubt one of the most underrated bands of the 2000s, Menomena has yet to release a not-amazing album. With the addition of a crack touring band behind the central duo, the band finally is bringing their off-kilter, masterful arrangements to life on stage.
4. Tame Impala & The Flaming Lips @ Terminal 5
Behind The Terror, their darkest and best album in over a decade, The Flaming Lips have tripled down on eyeball and eardrum scorching psychedelia. But it was the upstart Aussies, who have gone from bedroom project to world class festival band, that stole the show with their thick, driving grooves.
3. Sigur Ros @ The Mann Center of the Performing Arts
When Sigur Ros came on the scene with the plaintive, gorgeous “Svefn-g-Englar” in the late 90s, even fans couldn’t have imagine they would become and arena-sized rock band. But at Philly’s beautiful Mann Center, Sigur Ros ran the gamut from neo-classical to heavy metal. They’ve become the Pink Floyd of this generation.
2. Jim James @ Prospect Park Bandshell
I liked Jim James’ solo record well enough (in fact, I liked it better than the last couple of My Morning Jacket albums), but I had moderate expectations for the live show. James proved me wrong, tearing through a set of solo tracks and covers that equaled, if not surpassed, many of My Morning Jacket’s live shows I’ve seen. And that is really, really saying something.
1. Queens of the Stone Age @ The Masonic Temple
On the rainiest night of 2013, Queens of the Stone Age held a secret show for people who bought their newest, excellent …Like Clockwork at a local record store. Playing to less than 1,000 people, the band played the new record in its entirety, and it’s to their credit as an elite, world class rock band that they made every single one of these new songs sound like a classic. The three song encore, all from the seminal Songs for the Deaf, was the icing on the cake.