Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Best Bootlegs

Every year at this time come the endless lists of best of the year.
I also decided to choose the 20 best 2014 concerts published in the blog.
It´s merely my opinion... I hope you enjoy the list.

At the Austin City Limits festival, St. Vincent played a characteristically badass set that went way more bonkers than usual - in the best way. In a set that primarily comprised highlights from this year’s self-titled album and 2011's Strange Mercy (both of which are must-listens), Annie Clark got a bit acrobatic. She climbed the scaffolding, as well as participating in some audience chicanery that involved nabbing some folks’ clothes. She ended up with a crutch at some point as well.

After the amazing performance in Bonnaroo Festival, Jack White perform another historic concert and the longest set in his entire career - 2h45m.
Mixing solo material, White Stripes classics and even a Raconteur ditty or two, White's set was marked by a series of dramatic stops and starts, with the band exceptionally tight in their movements, giving off the impression White must have found the best of the business in Nashville.

Arcade Fire closed out the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival once more last night. The band had plenty of surprises in store for the crowd, including guest appearances from Beck and two familiar-looking robots.
The band had just started performing when frontman Win Butler announced some "very special guests:" two robot lookalikes, decked out in all-white suits and helmets. Later on in the evening, Beck reportedly donned a Pope bobblehead costume and joined Arcade Fire onstage for a cover of Prince's "Controversy."

Damon Albarn put everything into a set that traversed his new solo record and the best of his material with Blur, Gorillaz and the oft forgotten The Good, The Bad & The Queen.
Accompanying Albarn were an impressive four piece band he called The Heavy Seas.

Goat didn't seem a bit fazed by the environment, burning through a hot set of Afro-beat-inspired psychedelic-fuzzed-out rock 'n roll. The masks plus a self-invented origin mythology left us uncertain of the names of the seven players in the band but the two women who front the group were exciting to hear on the songs.

Capturing the nervy, manic energy of Kentucky alt-rockers Cage the Elephant, this bootleg gives fans an unfiltered version of their music with a blistering 13 song set.
Recorded during Rock en Seine Festival, this shows the great back and forth that can happen during a live show, with the band and the crowd playing off one another to create a feedback loop of rock & roll energy.
One of the best live bands in 2014.

John Dwyer, San Francisco rock luminary (who recently moved to Los Angeles) and apparently inexhaustible human wellspring of weird, lovely noises.
After their official blink-and-you-missed-it “hiatus” a few months back, Thee Oh Sees have already released another album, and this show featured a whole new lineup behind leader John Dwyer.

These Louisville legends of abstract rock go deep into their intricate layers of sound at Primavera Sound 2014.
Infrequent re-union shows since 2005 have gone on to prove that Slint’s music has lost nothing of its seductive power.

Temples appear on stage without much fuss or rigmarole, looking like the raiders of an Oxfam positioned somewhere in the vicinity of Woodstock and appearing resplendent in their retro finery; outfits as indebted to their heroes as their music, complete with flares, necklaces and sparkly socks. Great performance.

Deerhunter flooded Roskilde Festival with its psychedelic rock compositions and dynamically bipolar vocals. The smoke loomed over the crowd, part vapor and part weed, perfectly adding to the mind-bending ambience of the concert. With the surreal marriage between the visuals and music infiltrating the audience’s minds, it seemed everyone was lost in the sensory mirage.

The band headed to the 800-person capacity Cubby Bear in Chicago for an intimate screening of the first episode of Sonic Highways. The premiere was followed by an hour and a half set from the Foo Fighters which included hits, rarities, covers and Sonic single “Something From Nothing.”
One big moment from Foo Fighters’ show at Chicago dive bar Cubby Bear, when Dave Grohl welcomed Naked Raygun’s Jeff Pezzati on stage to cover “Surf Combat.”

Pixies bringing a new meaning to nostalgia in the King Tut tent. Even without Kim Deal, the band proved themselves to be in good form. Paz Lenchantin, who is playing the all important role of the female bassist for the band, just doesn't quite hit the same mark in songs like "Gouge Away". We can't all be as cool as Kim Deal, after all.

War On Drugs are a psychedelic band without the distortion of phased sounds and blurred shapes and a rock band without any ponderous heaviness.
The band have the songs, they have the presence and, best of all – on this night at least – they had some indefinable spirit that puts both songs and presence into another sphere.

For this set, recorded live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, Merrill Garbus, the mad genius behind tUnE-yArDs brought along two frenetic dancers and backup singers, an extra percussionist, a bassist, and two enormous pairs of glittery blue eyes that stared the audience down from the back of the stage.

Suede’s comeback has been a model in how to do things right - they even managed to make one of the best albums of their career and chart it - an unheard of maneuver on the trade comeback circuit - normally it’s tried and tested hits and occasional new material so everyone can fuck off to the bogs for a piss.
Suede have defied fashion and that thrilling rush of youth and two decades later are a great British rock band who can own a headline slot at a festival like this.

It was loud, it was exciting and it was exhilarating.  You could call it garage rock, psychedelic rock or glam rock.  It was done at a breakneck pace and ‘the kids’ enjoyed a good old stage-dive.
Yes, Ty Segall knows how to strangle a good noise out of a Les Paul and, yes, he’s got a good rock ‘n’ roll scream on him.

Cloud Nothings was founded in a Cleveland basement, the one-man recording project of Dylan Baldi, an unassuming, then 18-year-old student of song with a breathtaking ear for melody.
The band`s Pitchfork Festival performance was the most balanced and varied set they do this year, which also means it was the best.

Cvrches has made the music festival rounds in the summer, and this musical promiscuity is a direct indicator of how silly popular Lauren Mayberry and the Scottish rock trio have become over the past year. On a sunny first day of Austin City Limits, they took to the stage and once again entertained their hardcore fans and brought in some new ones.

After nine years away, Beck made his return to Coachella. The renowned singer-songwriter supported the release of his latest album, Morning Phase, with a 13-song setlist. In addition to new songs, he played a cover of Donna Summer’s “Think I’m in Love”, an alternate version of “Gamma Ray”, and a medley of “Where It’s At”, “One Foot in the Grave”, and “High 5 - Rock the Catskills”.

It's not as if they've struggled to draw before at Lolla, bringing in a huge crowd in 2009 and an even bigger one in 2011. So they didn't have to push all the non-recent stuff to the side, especially considering Alex Turner and co. don't quite bite into the newer material with as much ferocity. Granted, the tracks on "AM" continue the band's impressive maturation.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to highlight some good boots I haven't checked out yet.

    And, more importantly, thanks for all the great music you're sharing! Believe me, it's very much appreciated :)


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