Ohmpark’s Top 10 Favourite Concerts of 2009


I try my best to be as objective as possible on all of my other lists, but this one is completely about my subjective experience. Of the roughly 70 days I caught a show this year, here are my ten faves:

10. Animal Collective @ State Theater

This show set a new personal record in distance driven to see a single show all by myself. Driving to St. Pete, Florida, waiting outside in the line for hours, and hating the opener made this a steep price for a concert. But when Animal Collective came out and put on the best show I’ve seen them do, it was all well worth it.

Videos, Photos, and Review Here

9. Saturday @ SXSW

Photos by Clint Miller

I spent the final day of South By Southwest this year hustling as hard as I could to take in the last moments of the festival. After I caught a great Crystal Antlers set, I sprinted across Austin to see The Dirty Projectors for the first time. Then, Clint and I both jogged across the river to see Explosions In The Sky‘s 10th anniversary show, capped off by a huge fireworks display. It was the exclamation point on an amazing spring break.

Videos, Photos, and Review Here

8. The Other Sound

Photos by Kevin Griggs

This was Atlanta’s best single day lineup of local acts of the year, plus it had Yo La Tengo. It seemed like all the superstars made it out to represent at this one despite the terrible weather, and I had an absolute blast getting blasted.

Photos and Review Here

7. St. Vincent @ Ambient Studios

The setting for this show was so weird. It was sponsored by a car company, located in a classy warehouse space in a horrible part of town, and there were as many police and security people as there were audience members. This was my third time catching St. Vinny live over the course of the year, and it was still totally mind-blowing.

6. Ponytail @ 529

Photos by Clint Miller

I didn’t really know what to expect from this show, as I only sort of liked their album. But they were one of the most thrilling live acts I’ve seen in a long time. Just crazy intensity. It was also one of my first times at 529, which has since become one of my favourite bars, so this was completely good times.

Photos Here

5. Evangelicals, This Piano Plays Itself, Sound On Film @ Drunken Unicorn

Photos by Kevin Griggs

Evangelicals might be the most underrated band in the world right now. In the five times I have caught them live, this was the best I’ve seen, plus both local acts on the bill were wholly impressive. As a bonus, the Evangelicals kids came and hung out at an after-show house party, so it was a legendary night of ’09.

Photos Here

4. Friday @ Harvest Of Hope

Harvest Of Hope featured some great sets, like Summerbirds In The Cellar, Deerhunter, and Health, but what made this festival special to me was the overall experience. I went by myself and ended up meeting a ton of fun of people. The biggest highlight of the weekend for me was the chaotic, insane party in the campgrounds the first night, of which I’ve never seen anything like.

Photos and Review Here

3. Wednesday @ SXSW

Photos by Clint Miller

We started Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day drinking beer and watching the parade in Savannah and then hit the road that afternoon without stopping until we hit South By. We ended up making it within minutes of catching Anathallo kick off the fest for us at noon Wednesday. That night we got to see wonderful sets from M Ward, Department of Eagles, St. Vincent, and Camera Obscura in a church while sitting next to Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear. Such an Indiegasm!

Photos, Videos, and Review Here

2. This Piano Plays Itself @ Detroit House Party

Just about every night of the three weeks I tagged along on This Piano Plays Itself‘s summer tour was memorable, but the best show was definitely a Saturday night house party in Detroit. The set was rough and every person in the room was wasted out of their minds, but the crowd and the band were feeding off each others’ energy, and the entire night was just a total rager. This little tour run will probably go down as one of the funnest experiences of my entire life.

TPPI Tour Coverage Here

1. Friday @ Bonnaroo

The best day of music all year came on Friday of Bonnaroo. In only a matter of hours, I saw the three best live indie acts of 2009: The Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent, and Grizzly Bear. I was up close and under the proper amount of intoxication for all three. To close out such a perfect day, that night Phish played the one song I had been wanting to hear live for 10 years.

Photos and Review Here

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3 Responses to “Ohmpark’s Top 10 Favourite Concerts of 2009”
  1. Clint Miller Says: December 17th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    great times dude. That drive to SXSW was awesome indeed. I like how you lumped days together.

  2. Chris Says: December 17th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    That St. Vincent show was surely weird but not great by any means. The sound was atrocious. She is absolutely one of my favorite artists right now. Especially live. Her show at the Earl over the summer was much better.

  3. Taylor Says: December 18th, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Kevin Griggs has got some of the best concert photos. That guy is super talented


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