Top Ten Shows of '03

Glenn Boothe gboothe2 at
Fri Jan 16 19:03:09 EST 2004

I don't remember all the shows I saw last year - nor could I rank them
easily, but some of the more memorable off the top of my head are:

1) Arthur Lee & Love [Forever Changes Tour] - (Warsaw, Brooklyn, NY.)
Actually, this was one of the best shows I've seen in my entire life. 
Arthur Lee backed with a horn and string section...something I was
surprised more bands didn't do until...

2) Belle & Sebastian - (Carolina Theatre)
...basically, this was like an updated version of the Arthur Lee show.
 To see both in a span of five days was overwhelming!

3) Polyphonic Spree (Cat's Cradle)
I couldn't have been a bigger skeptic when I walked in to the
cradle...and walked out one of their biggest fans.

4) My Morning Jacket (Cat's Cradle)
I only knew little about this band beforehand and actually went to see
one of the opening acts...but walked out a believer.  As good as it
is, the record doesn't match the live show (so go see them next week!)

5) Bettie Serveert (first time - Cat's Cradle)
Another show I went to somewhat relunctantly...and was blown away (and
walked out with one of the best records of the year.)

6) New Pornographers (Cat's Cradle and Bowery Ballroom, NYC.)
The reason I'm pro-CD burning.  I liked the first record, got a burn
of Electric Version, fell madly in love with it and went to see the
band play twice because of that burn.  Let's see, instead of making a
measly buck or two from me buying the album now, last Summer the band
made more like $25 bucks from me (well, I was on the guest list for
one of those, but still!)

7) Ted Leo/Pharmacist (Coney Island, NY)
Part of the Siren festival where other live highlights included Radio
Four, Northern State and !!!.  Unfortunately, the one band I wanted to
see most, The Kills, were not so great live (love that record though.)

8) Grandaddy (Austin, Tx)
It was great to finally see them live; although they played a lot of
stuff off the yet-to-be released (and still somewhat disapointing)

9) The Buff Seeds (Pianos, NYC.)
One of my fave UK imports lived up to the promise of their EP's.

10) Trachtenburg Family Slide Show Players (Cat's Cradle)
The show was a lot of fun, but I have no interest in hearing the
record sans slide show.

I didn't include any local bands, but The Comas at Go!, in between The
Sames and Jett Rink in December, probably put on my favorite show of
the year by a local band (although seeing Cool John Ferguson at All
Peoples Grill was quite memorable as well.)

Honorable Mention: Johnny Marr at the Cradle.  Okay, the show wasn't
life-changing, but to be in the same room as one of my musical heros
is always a treat.  Heck, having seen both Johnny Marr and Arthur Lee
play this year, I could take a whole year off from seeing live

Some shows I missed for a variety of reasons: Yeah Yeah Yeahs (caught
the last three songs), Mogwai, The Fall, The Buzzcocks, REM - I'm sure
one if not all of those would have made the cut.

Okay, I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff, but it's good to know that,
having gone to both CMJ and SXSW this year, most of my favorite shows
were the ones in my own backyard...glenn

ps:  I was only going to write about two or three bands, but the more
I wrote, the more it jogged my memory...

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