|The Besty's 2016|
Time flies when you're having fun. Either that, or time just keeps moving faster as my birthdays continue to pile up. The end of the year is usually marked by New Year's parties, concerts and shenanigans. Once again I'm listing off (chronologically) the best live performances that I was fortunate enough to catch. As in years past, I will acknowledge the best of the best, via The Roo Ratings. Have a great end to 2016 and have fun ringing in the New Year.
• STS9 - The Wiltern - January 30th *
It was my favorite person's birthday weekend, we were in LA and the band straight shredded. They dropped Herbie Hancock bombs and doused the hyped crowd with some Tupac. We also danced and kicked it with some famous people, for real. This was probably the best I've ever seen from Sector, 2.0 or otherwise. Thanks Agent M for sharing your world with me. Big ups to our Culver City crew. Video
• Cavaliers at Kings - Sleep Train Arena - March 9th *
My favorite player in a city not too far away. Sacramento hosted LeBron in the arena he played his first NBA game in. Sleep Train is no more, but damn, what a cool throwback scene. There were wooden bleachers, heady beer and an intimacy that will be tough to replace. This was my first time seeing James in person. He commanded the floor and captivated attention. The Cavs won, sweetening the night for this hoops-crazed NBA fan. On a side note: I was able to catch this game, as well as a handful of Golden State games, meaning I saw both of the clubs that battled in The Finals. My nerd alert is reg'n high right now.
• Anderson East - Sweetwater Music Hall - March 10th
Great artists emerge over time and Anderson East is definitely carving his own path. He's an old soul with more than his fair share of talents. The band is super tight and his lyrics breathe on their own. The Sweetwater was the perfect venue for a group of musicians who truly care about their craft. Not only did they play material off of Delilah, they dappled the night with soulful and unexpected covers—Van Morrison and Mariah Carey, to name a couple. It was a cool night to share with one of our favorite friends.
• Billy & The Kids - Sweetwater Music Hall - April 18th
Thanks for hooking us up, you know who you are. As far as I'm concerned, this was the best night of Dead music I've heard in quite some time. A wonder-band formed around the drumming of Billy Kreutzmann obviously sounds good in theory, it's even better when it actually finds magic. This show ripped. Sounding good never sounded so good. I love it when originals team up with fresh faces; there's a different, better energy when the pillars of yesteryear share with the flag-bearers of the future.
• Paul Simon - Greek Theatre - June 3rd *
The Greatest passed on this night... Paul Simon told everyone in attendance that Muhammad Ali had died. I welled up with tears, my emotions spurred by the loss of a legend. I too had lost a legend. Leading up to this show I had suffered personal loss. Thanks to Paul, and the emotionally-in-tune crowd, we were all sharing a surreal moment. Life is beautiful because it is finite. Paul Simon sung to us, and he branded us with the news. Heartache and joy were co-mingling. In a night when he played new material, plus all his hits, it was his profound respect for the champion of champions that will stay with me. He shared the sadness with us during the second encore. He bravely gave us, as a sign of appreciation, "The Boxer." A powerful, timeless, and heartfelt night to remember. sigh.
|The Besty's 2016|
RZA & Paul Banks threw down—love me some bang'n hip hop. A night only San Francisco can create.
Good night. Drop the mic. Uber to Kabuki. Late night sushi. That shit was real. Banks & Steelz. We all have voices. eightychoices.
• Dancing at Lughnasa - Main Stage West - October 14th (opening night)
Agent M strikes again; her ideas are always the best. It was opening night, and a chilly one, at our local play house. We tackled that quickly with a Russian River red wine. Irish roots met modern portrayals and everyone nailed their roles. What a fun and entertaining night. I highly recommend live acting on stage; it's completely captivating when executed with honesty and humility.
• Robbie Robertson - Dominican University - November 16th
As the old saying goes, it's who you know, not what ya know. It was nice to have both aces up my sleeve for this. What an interesting night, the type that I hanker for. Thanks Agent M and Radio Silence. Video
• STS9 - The Fillmore - November 20th
Night two was a tough ticket to get (Thanks J), so it seemed only right to give Jerry a high five as we ambled up the stairs of The Fillmore to grab a drink and scope the posters, as per usual. It must have been in the ether. Early on Sound Tribe launched into a "Monkey Music" that would morph into "Dark Star." As fly as that was, the second set was pure fire. Sector merged new-school with old, as their energy never left the extreme. I was stoked to hear them drop dance party bombs while kick'n it with Agent M.
Each event with an * denotes the best of the best. The Roo Ratings are held in the highest regard. Hip hop, hoops and STS9 are Salty favorites. Pip is looming over the basketball games now, and she too likes it when music thumps. If I had to guess, Wanda is more of a Paul Simon type. And who doesn't love Ali? RIP to all the great ones we've lost this year.
Have a safe New Year's Eve!