Much the same every year, we kick off the Year end editions with he Top Ten shows of 2017. After many shows, multiple festivals, thrills and smiles, I’m pleased to announce the shows that were a cut above the rest. Without further adieu, here they are. Enjoy!
10. THE WEEKEND, VOODOO FEST
While I’ve been a moderate fan of Abel’s for quite some time, I had never seen the act commonly known as the Weeknd as he closed the opening night at Voodoo in tremendous fashion. With an otherworldly stage truss hoisted and moving above the stage, the Weekend dropped plenty of hits and slow games in a show that drew in both old fans and newer fans.
9. MARIAN HILL, BONNAROO
Oozing seductive qualities on the Thursday at Bonnaroo, the trio known as Marian Hill captivated the audience for her hour long set. I had listened and loved the music beforehand, but seeing the up and coming band serenade the crowd during the set made it clear to everyone in the crowd that this was an act that we should plan on hearing more of in the coming years.
8. CHVRCHES, BONNAROO
Since first falling in love with Lauren, Iain and Mike on a clear blue day at Roo truly brought my love to the next logical height. The band engaged the large main stage crowd for the duration of their set, dropping all the best known songs with a similar electronic bounce that cultivates their sound. One of the great acts of the whole festival, and our number 8 on the top shows of 2017.
7. TAME IMPALA, BONNAROO
Much like the times before when I’d seen them, Kevin Parker and company rocked the late night set in true fashion. Sure they didn’t play their entire scheduled time, but no one in attendance seemed to mind during moments where tame clearly had control of the massive crowd at the Which stage. Hearing songs like “elephant” and “Feels Like We’re Going Backwards,” made the crowd rock and swoon in ways few psychedelic rock bands can manage to entertain a crowd.
6. TOOL, VOODOO
Having seen them over twenty times by this point, You mostly know what to expect fromthe Prog rock gods from California. This show, much like all the other shows I’ve seen, didn’t disappoint. Their strength lies in the way the band can go from heavy clunkers and bass heavy beats, while also showcasing Keenan’s voice. They’re a band I’ve loved forever, and they still know how to deliver a show that leaves everyone in awe and excited at what they’re witnessing.
5. THE CURE, U.N.O. LAKEFRONT ARENA
Meant to be the first show of the tour until a date the previous day was added, The Cure killed the audience for well over three hours. They way they can manage to play for ages and not lose a step is both admirable and intimidating, even to fans like me. Sure I love love the cure, but damn, three hours is a long ass time to watch a band. That being said, the song selection, vastly different from the previous night's show, is a testament to not only how much this band loves to play shows, but also just how many songs they have in their moody, dark environment
4. REFUSED, FREE PRESS FEST
Literally the only band I was super excited to see at this middle of the road fest. Like many I had fallen in love with their seminal release “The Shape of Punk to Come,” but once you see the band present those songs live, a whole new element emerges. Infused with the spirit of punk, the Swedish group delivering a shockingly tight show despite the less than enormous crowd. Truly one of the last unicorns in the world of music, and boy am I happy to have seen them.
3. BECK, SAENGER THEATER
For years and years I had tried to see Beck Hansen to no avail. One show sold out instantly, and the next chance at Jazz Fest was rained out to do a hardcore storm. Finally though, the time came to see Beck deliver his eclectic brand of alternative rock. To say it was great show would be an understatement. The gentle nature Hansen brings to his art shone bright, and hit after hit had the capacity crowd dancing and singing alone.
2. KRAFTWERK, ORPHEUM THEATER
Wow, what a show. Not only in the sense that this was the German electronic foursomes first ever New Orleans show, but it was in 3d too! The show was mind-altering in many ways, and firmly cemented their status as a band who can deliver in the live format in spades. Trippy visuals accompanied every song, and while the band barely said a word to the crowd, they really didn’t have to. The music was more than enough and drops on the countdown at number 2. I don’t know how many more years this band will be active, but do yourself a favor and check it out if you get the chance.
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, BONNAROO
Having never gotten the chance to see the New york ensemble, the trip to Roo was done out of necessity in order to finally see on my favorite all time bands. Many people were less than thrilled at the band headlining, but anyone who saw that show quickly found out they were a clear choice for headliner. In my opinion not only was it the best show of the festival, but one of the top ten shows I’ve ever seen. Every song fed off the crowd's energy, and it doesn’t hurt when the band closes their 90 minute set with the one- two punch of “Dance Yrself Clean,” and the beyond legendary “All My friends.” Dancing and singing along with friends new and old truly made for a once in a lifetime set from this absurdly talented band. Thanks for reading!
Landon Murray is a music connooisseur who craves sounds of all shapes and textures. He's seen over 2000 bands and looks forward to welcoming you into his world of sound,
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