With that in mind, I present my top five concerts for 2005. I attended 7 concerts this year, a personal best I hope to improve upon in 2006. I enjoyed each one, but still can't help but dwell on the shows that got away, including The Arcade Fire, Snow Patrol, and Pretty Girls Make Graves.
5. The Killers with Tegan and Sara- This falls at number five more due to the venue than the acts themselves. I enjoy The Killers, and they're a bigger band than I expected to be able to see in Calgary. Tegan and Sara are my favourite band. So this one should have been a top draw for me, but the venue tempered my enthusiasm. Originally scheduled to be held at the University where all the concerts we go to are held, it quickly sold out after a few hours (before we could get our tickets). The Killers were too big for that venue. They changed it to a small arena show, which on the plus side, meant we could attend (a bigger plus after the opening act was announced). But, sitting up in the stands is far different than being down on the floor for a show. You don't feel the music in your chest, you don't feel like the band is connecting with you. It kinda feels like you're watching other people watch a concert. Plus, most of the crowd had no idea who Tegan and Sara were, which pissed me off. Still, a great show. I wrote more about the show after I attended it, which you can read HERE.
4. Hot Hot Heat with Louis XIV and The Futureheads- This was the first of two times seeing Hot Hot Heat this year (the second was for free at the Calgary Stampede, and did not make the list). They were amazing live (moreso this time indoors than the free show when we had to dodge assholes who didn't even know who they were, and the sound got lost in the air), complete with a psychedelic light show. But, I pretty much hated both warm-up acts, which knocks the show down to number four.
3. Stars with Apostles of Hustle and Montage- This show was in the old Mac Ballroom at the U, which is my favourite venue for a show. Nice and intimate. I wasn't completely into the warm up acts (ie, I didn't run out and buy their albums), but were entertained by them. Since they're Arts & Crafts acts, they of course accompanied Stars later in the set. Stars were amazing. Just beautiful music, that makes you feel good for attending live. The highlight may have been "He Lied About Death", a song I sometimes skip past the ending when listening to the album, but was completely blown away by the wall of sound they created live. We have tickets to see them again in February.
2. Metric with Most Serene Republic and... someone else that we didn't see- We missed the first act of this show since I had a class that night. Which was fine, since I also worked that morning and didn't want to burn myself out before Metric came out. Gotta say, kinda hated Most Serene Republic too. Reminded me of art school kids that decided to form a pretentious band without learning how to play instruments. But none of that mattered once Metric came out and blew us away. So much better than the last time we say them (opening for Billy Talent with Death From Above 1979). You could tell the band really loved the new material, and they played it with gusto. Emily Haines has such presence on stage. The highlight was the ten minute extended version of "Dead Disco" during the encore. So amazing.
1. Tegan and Sara with Lindy- Before this show, Tegan and Sara were among my favourite bands. After it, they were alone at the top. This show came before The Killers show, meaning that it was my first live Tegan and Sara experience. It's always a special show for the girls when they come back home, as the crowd is usually full of friends and family. I wrote in detail about the show after seeing it HERE, so I won't re-hash it all here, except to say that I be damned if I didn't leave that night a little bit in love with those lesbian twins. Oh, and if you want to make an enemy for life, then all you have to do is say a cross word about my Tegan and Sara. I'm talking to you mechamummy.
Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
Hot Hot Heat - Make Up the Breakdown
The Killers - Hot Fuss
Metric - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
Tegan and Sara - If It Were You
Tegan and Sara - So Jealous