Last week I had the amazing gift of seeing one of my favorite artists at one of my favorite venues. Bon Iver...at the Ryman. Be still my heart.
I don't think I can really explain how or why (and whenever I try I end up sounding crazy), but Justin Vernon's music evokes an emotional reaction in me unlike any other artist I've heard. It's haunting yet bright, stunningly beautiful and even sad at times.
Maybe it's because so many distinct moments of my life are forever attached in my mind to his songs or it's simply due to his absurd amount of musical talents...either way, I found myself so wrapped up in the show that it sped by and before I knew it I was in the middle of the encore wishing it would never end (that hardly ever happens to me).
But I'm not going to ramble on about this forever because you either a) already know exactly what I mean or b) could easily listen to his music and quickly decide for yourselves whether you agree with me or think I'm out of my mind.
Leaving the Ryman that night I found myself repeatedly telling others that it was my "favorite show I'd ever been to." Which got me thinking...I've been lucky enough to see some pretty great stuff! So I decided to write a list of the top shows I've seen...some fantastic ones have undoubtedly gone forgotten and I'll kick myself in an hour when I remember them, but here it is anyway!
Top 10 (wait...11) Shows I've Seen
1. Bon Iver at The Ryman - July 2011
2. The Local Natives at Cannery Ballroom - October 2010
3. The Swell Season at The Ryman - May 2010
4. Fleet Foxes at The Ryman - May 2011
5. Ray LaMontagne at Chastain Park - August 2010
6. Sleeping At Last at Lincoln Hall - February 2010
7. Dear and the Headlights at Exit/In - October 2009
8. Andrew Bird at Austin City Limits - October 2009
9. She & Him at The Ryman - September 2010
10. The Local Natives at The Muse - January 2009
11. The Civil Wars at Grimey's In-Store - February 2011
Honorable Mentions: Ben Sollee at Grimey's In-Store, Coldplay at Bridgestone Arena, Avett Brothers at Austin City Limits, Kings of Leon at the Ryman, John Legend at ACL, and every Delta Saints show I've ever been to...
Hopeful List-Additions: Mumford & Sons, Sufjan Stevens, MORE Bon Iver!, Radiohead, Sigur Ros (or Jonsi), Adele, Maclean, Laura Marling, James Vincent McMorrow, Patrick Watson