(photo via here)
I was fortunate enough to see a great deal of shows in 2011, and it wouldn’t feel right not looking back and tracking down which shows were the best of the best. Whether it was catching bands like LCD Soundsystem & The Strokes at the always massive MSG, seeing Crystal Castles at a firehouse, or the many bands at Bonnaroo, there was plenty of great 2011 shows that I will always remember.
Lists are always fun, and I’m in a groove, below is my top 25 shows of 2011. You know it was a good year when The Strokes don’t even make your top 10, and you saw them twice.
25. Friendly Fires, The Naked & Famous, and Cults @ Central Park Summerstage (August 7, 2011)
24. The Drums @ Bowery Ballroom (November 2, 2011)
23. Real Estate @ Bowery Ballroom (November 23, 2011)
22. Passion Pit @ Cornell University (November 5, 2011)
21. The Horrors @ The Studio At Webster Hall (August 9, 2011)
20. Beach Fossils @ 285 Kent (July 2, 2011)
19. The Antlers @ Bowery Ballroom (May 20, 2011)
18. Wild Beasts @ Le Poisson Rouge (July 14, 2011)
17. The Vaccines @ Bowery Ballroom (January 20, 2011)
16. Death From Above 1979 // The Drums @ The Williamsburg Waterfront (July 22, 2011)
15. Animal Collective @ Prospect Park (July 12, 2011)
14. Caveman @ Glasslands Gallery (October 21, 2011)
13. Death Cab For Cutie @ Bowery Ballroom (June 1, 2011)
12. Cut Copy // Foster The People @ Prospect Park (August 11, 2011)
11. The Strokes @ Madison Square Garden (April 1, 2011)
10. Bon Iver @ Prospect Park (August 10, 2011)
- All the magic of their two albums came to life beautifully during a perfect mid-summer night. It was after all the hype of the new album, but right before all his recent fame. It was perfect.
-Sufjan Stevens is just a natural performer. He put on an incredible show with lots of theatrics, costumes, and even cool lights. The real magic was when he played songs from Illinois. Hearing those songs took me back to highschool and brought back all those old memories. Now that’s live music for you.
-The most recent of all these shows, so the review may be fresh in your minds. It’s likely to be the last time I see them for a while, and I’m ok with that because they were electric.
- I love The Walkmen, but didn’t expect them to sound as stunning as they were during night 1 of Bonnaroo. I sacrificed finally seeing Sleigh Bells to see them play, and I don’t regret it for a second. They finally played “The Rat” for me as well. Just saying.
- I saw Radiohead play the Roseland Ballroom the night before my 21st birthday. I think you get the idea.
- Boy, did Fleet Foxes sound magical this night. United Palace Theater was the perfect place to sit down and take in all the beauty that surrounded you. Fleet Foxes are stars, and this concert proved it.
- Everything you heard about Crystal Castles live (the good), is 110% correct. Alice Glass used me to propel herself into the crowd. It was just a big giant dance party/rave. A genuine great time. Everyone needs to experience this band at least once.
- It was a humid night, I was dripping wet, dehydrated, tired, slugging back warm beers, with no room to breath in a restless crowd. Then Arcade Fire came on, and all was forgotten. I was soon reminded of how great of a band that these guys are. They are saving rock music.
- Arctic Monkeys are playing one of the smallest shows that they will ever play in Brooklyn? I thought I was dreaming. Being able to sing along and watch the Arctics work their magic from a mere few feet away was beyond a dream come true. It’s probably never going to happen again, and I realize how fortunate I was to experience it.
1. LCD Soundsystemâ€™s Final Show At Madison Square Garden (April 2nd, 2011)
- An easy #1 choice for me. I dropped an insane amount of money (yes, I do pay for my tickets most of the time, shocker?) to sit at the nosebleeds, and it was absolutely worth it. If that show was truly LCD’s last show ever, then I was blessed with one of the finest musical memories of our generation. James Murphy and friends jammed out for nearly 4 hours. They took intermissions, brought out guests such as Arcade Fire, and put on one of the greatest performances that I have ever seen. I’m sad that they are gone, but I’m happy I have such a happy last memory of them.