I usually make a top five gigs list as the year winds up, but tonight I am thinking about those amazing, stupendously heartbreaking moments that you get sometimes with live music, the ones that you go to concert after concert searching for… and it seems like a nice gesture to list some of this year’s here.
Jon Rauhouse’s lap steel solo in the middle of Deep Red Bells, Neko Case at the Clarenden Hotel, Katoomba. You could have heard a pin drop in the nano-moment it ended.
Neko Case singing Middle Cyclone, thrice over. I never noticed this song until I heard it live, and now it haunts me (‘to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love’).
Andrew Bird’s Table and Chairs, Sydney Opera House. I was so happy I cried, goddammit.
El Gatillo, Calexico. Metro Theatre. Four guitars, and it just builds and builds. So evocative. It was just at the Metro, but it felt like the open road. It felt like everywhere (but mostly Arizona…. but also… everywhere). And that whistling…
There’s this song that Catherine Traicos sings, a cover of a song written by her friend Marcus. It kills me every time…
Emily Lubitz’s covers of Famous Blue Raincoat, Suzanne and Hallelujah at Monsieur Camembert’s Leonard Cohen Birthday Bash at Notes last night. That girl has such an amazing voice. I will never have those moments back. I wish I could hear her sing each song again.
And every time I went to a gig with Dave this year and caught him smiling. Queuing with him at late, free Spiegeltent shows. Seeing him so happy at The Royal Crown Review and Qwirz. Him helping me buy my beloved Andrew Bird tshirt (my one and only concert tee). Watching him, poised and pensive, whenever he photographed. The times his arms were around me. And every time I saw him smile. And those smiles. Those smiles.