I'd like to make a list of the best or most interesting gigs I've seen last year. I've seen so many shows, it's better to make a list of concerts than of new cds that came out. I also noticed I'm not that much a cd listener, I prefer to go see an act playing live. OK, here it goes:
1. The Evens - EKKO, Utrecht. Undoubtedly the best show I've seen this year. The new project of frontman Ian Mckaye of Fugazi hasn't even got a cd out yet, but they're able to create quite a stir with their revolutionary approach to playing live. Refusing to play through the obvious PA system and monitors, they hurl themselves back to the 50-ies where bands unknowingly had complete control of their sound. But the Evens make the decision deliberately, hereby taking the D.I.Y. philosophy to the stage. With a highly original sound that mixes vintage 50-ies with hitech effects, The Evens got me by the throat for the whole show. "It's all downhill from here".
The Evens have promised to come back to EKKO once their record comes out in February, so don't say I didn't warn you.
2. The Beastie Boys - HMH, Amsterdam. All they needed were 3 MCs & 1 DJ to change the course of pop music for ever, and that's all it took to completely take the HMH venue by storm. They could have left it that and get away with it, but they topped it off with their other side of the Beastie medallion: wild 70-ies style chase music in Starsky & Hutch pimp clothing. 'Sabotage' drew the wildest roar from a crowd I've ever heard. "Mixmaster Mike, whaddaya gotta say?".
3. Ben Christophers - EKKO, Utrecht. With his angelic voice, he showed me some new directions you can take as a singer/songwriter. Don't be afraid to use a laptop, and keep it very quiet at times. He also wasn't scared of making silly jokes on stage.