Concerts I attended in 2012

Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater

I do this post every year (2011, 2010) as a wrap-up to remind me of all of the awesome stuff I saw over the year. Here’s the full list, followed after by a breakdown:

01.21.2012 Akron / Family – 285 Kent

02.17.2012 Sleigh Bells – Terminal 5
02.24.2012 Heartless Bastards – Webster Hall
02.25.2012 Sharon Van Etten – Bowery Ballroom
02.29.2012 Craig Finn – Mercury Lounge

03.08.2012 Craig Finn – Music Hall of Williamsburg
03.17.2012 Megafaun – Highline Ballroom
03.30.2012 Andrew Bird – Greene Space
03.30.2012 Of Montreal – Webster Hall

04.04.2012 Bruce Springsteen – Izod Center
04.06.2012 The War on Drugs – Music Hall of Williamsburg
04.10.2012 The Horrors – Music Hall of Williamsburg
04.12.2012 White Rabbits – Webster Hall
04.24.2012 Allo Darlin’ – Mercury Lounge
04.28.2012 Death Cab for Cutie / Youth Lagoon – Beacon Theater

05.04.2012 Andrew Bird – Beacon Theater
05.09.2012 The Avett Brothers – Terminal 5
05.11.2012 M. Ward – Webster Hall
05.11.2012 Rob Delaney – Bowery Ballroom
05.31.2012 Radiohead – Prudential Center

06.01.2012 Porcelain Raft – Mercury Lounge
06.22.2012 fun. – Music Hall of Williamsburg
06.29.2012 Akron / Family – Brooklyn Bowl

07.10.2012 Dirty Projectors – Prospect Park Bandshell
07.25.2012 Wilco – Terminal 5

08.02.2012 Donna The Buffalo – Rockin’ the River Cruise
08.06.2012 Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Webster Hall
08.08.2012 Bloc Party – Terminal 5
08.20.2012 Matthew E. White – Mercury Lounge
08.27.2012 Louis C.K. – The Bell House

09.21.2012 The Book of Mormon – Eugene O’Neill Theatre
09.22.2012 Bon Iver – Radio City Music Hall
09.23.2012 Metric – Radio City Music Hall
09.29.2012 Global Citizen Global Festival (Black Keys, Band of Horses, Foo Fighters, Neil Young)

11.14.12 Yellow Ostrich / Strand of Oaks – Bowery Ballroom
11.17.12 Occupy Sandy Benefit (Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend, et al) – St. Ann & The Holy Trinity
11.17.12 Matthew Dear – Webster Hall

12.11.12 Band of Horses (Acoustic) – Grand Ballroom
12.11.12 Band of Horses (Electric) – Hammerstein Ballroom
12.21.12 Dave Matthews Band / The Lumineers – Barclay’s Center
12.31.12 Blonde Redhead / Beach Fossils – Irving Plaza

Best Shows I Saw in 2012

#1 Bruce Springsteen – Izod Center 04.04.2012


It is hard to explain the sheer electricity Bruce brings to a stadium in New Jersey. In Jersey, The Boss and Jovi are Gods. The Boss, deservedly so. Almost every time I think back to any key moment from this show, I get goosebumps like it’s happening right now. Aside from the spotless production and pro band, it’s hard to compete with moments like:

  • Bruce and Little Steven sharing the mic on “She’s The One”
  • Being only a few miles from Ground Zero and listening to a gospel-tinged “My City of Ruins”
  • Watching a 62-year old frontman who’s in better shape than Justin Bieber lead 18,000 people in sing the joyful yet heartbreaking “Waiting on a Sunny Day”
  • In the first tour after Clarence Clemons’ death, playing “10th Avenue Freeze Out” and after the line “the big man joined the band…” – coming to a dead stop, while all of the video screens in the arena flash images of Bruce and Clarence through the years as the band remains silent
  • “Thunder Road” and “Born to Run”

#2 Band of Horses (Acoustic) – Grand Ballroom 12.11.12
Band of Horses (Electric) – Hammerstein Ballroom

Band of Horses

No big deal, just saw one of my favorite bands play live every song they’ve recorded at 2 shows in the same night. First show started at 7:30pm. 2nd show ended at 1am. I was floating on air for days after this show.

### Special Acoustic Performance ###

On My Way Back Home
Marry Song
Long Vows
Shut-In Tourist
St. Augustine
Evening Kitchen
No One’s Gonna Love You
Detlef Schrempf
How to Live
Lamb on the Lam (In the City)
Slow Cruel Hands of Time
Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover) (By request)
Wicked Gil
The Funeral
The General Specific

### Electric Music ###

Set #1

For Annabelle
The First Song
Electric Music
Part One
A Little Biblical
Weed Party
The Great Salt Lake
Blue Beard
Dumpster World
Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
Knock Knock
Window Blues
Ode to LRC
The Funeral

Set #2

Our Swords
Everything’s Gonna Be Undone
No One’s Gonna Love You
NW Apt.
Is There a Ghost
Heartbreak on the 101
Infinite Arms
I Go to the Barn Because I Like The

#3 Megafaun – Highline Ballroom 03.17.2012

From my Facebook “Last night was a blurry mess / I have half-eaten Mamoun’s in the fridge / I bought Megafaun 2 rounds of shots.” Great night though. The bass player came out and hugged me after. This show was on St. Patrick’s Day and was sadly under-attended. Didn’t matter, Chris and I loved it.

#4 Craig Finn – Mercury Lounge 02.29.2012

Craig Finn

Craig Finn is the lead singer of arguably my favorite (NYC) band, The Hold Steady. Seth had an extra, so I got into this sold-out show where we stood front row the whole time. Loved hearing the tunes from his underrated solo record live.

#5 Bon Iver – Radio City Music Hall 09.22.2012

Bon Iver at Radio City

They made their way through almost every song from both records. “Beth / Rest” and “re: stacks” moved my universe. AMAZE.

#6 fun. – Music Hall of Williamsburg 06.22.2012


Randomly replied to an email from their website and got 2 VIP tix to this invite-only tiny show for some vague T-Mobile / Walmart Soundcheck event. It was awesome. They had my favorite album on 2012.

Best Albums of 2012


I agonize over this list every year, for 100% personal reasons. I feel like I have failed as a human if I miss anything hot that happened musically in a year. Because I live in the city that never sleeps, when I like a record, I can typically see the artist play it live soon after it comes out. Here’s the year in review.

Top 10

Some Nights, fun.

fun., Some Nights

channel Orange

Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE

Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

Strange Weekend

Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend


Beach House, Bloom

Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan


Sharon Van Etten, Tramp


Matthew Dear, Beams


Escort, Escort

Fear Fun

Father John Misty, Fear Fun

Special Award: The Weeknd, Trilogy
Technically, this encompasses 3 records that dropped last year. Chris had a visceral reaction of disgust when I even hinted at throwing this at #1

Also Really Good

The Walkmen, Heaven
Craig Finn, Clear Heart Full Eyes
Strand of Oaks, Dark Shores
Purity Ring, Shrines
Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams


Japandroids, Celebration Rock
Beak>, >>
Django Django, Django Django
Cat Power, Sun
Daughn Gibson, All Hell
White Rabbits, Milk Famous
Silversun Pickups, Neck of the Woods
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city

Best Albums of (75% of) 2012 (So Far)

Updated version of:

Top 10

fun., Some Nights
Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend
Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan
Beach House, Bloom
Metric, Synthetica
The Walkmen, Heaven
Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball
Matthew Dear, Beams
Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
Father John Misty, Fear Fun
Escort, Escort

The Rest (Bottom 10)

Grizzly Bear, Shields
Strand of Oaks, Dark Shores
Metric, Synthetica
Daughn Gibson, All Hell
White Rabbits, Milk Famous
Silversun Pickups, Neck of the Woods
of Montreal, Paralytic Stalks
Japandroids, Celebration Rock
Craig Finn, Clear Heart Full Eyes
Heartless Bastards, Arrow
Bear in Heaven, I Love You, It’s Cool
Escort, Escort
Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
Beach House, Bloom

Best Albums of 2012 (So Far)

The Best

fun., Some Nights

Unequivocally, my favorite album this year so far. I have listened to it more times than I can count, and I still get goosebumps like it’s Justin Bieber and I’m a 13 year old girl from the Houston suburbs.

If they hadn’t made Aim and Ignite, I think they would be viewed as some mechanized pop creation, but it’s clear Nate Ruess is just a total badass.

Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend

Completely out of nowhere, this record kicked my ass. The “strange weekend” in question is supposedly the one in which the hurricane was supposed to hit NYC in August of 2011, but obviously didn’t. That weekend was my birthday weekend, and I spent Friday night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So did Mauro Remiddi – he had recently moved from Rome via a brief stint in London. COINICIDENCE?

Metric, Synthetica

I was actually getting tired of Metric. I saw them at Terminal 5 in 2009 and 2010 and they played the exact same show – which was awesome, but kinda lame of them. Yeah, we get it, Fantasies was an awesome record.

This new record rules. I am excited to see them perform full blast live. Which is great – because I took a leap of faith buying tix to their show at Radio City Music Hall in September (4 months ahead of time, for $150 – but screw you, I got FRONT ROW).

The Walkmen, Heaven

I used to *dislike* The Walkmen, and then they released Lisbon a few years ago, which if you haven’t heard, is INSANELY good. They opened up for Grizzly Bear at the Beach at Governor’s Island, and I basically ignored them, because I am an idiot.

I went to their headlining show at Terminal 5 and was blown away. I can already hear how awesome these tunes are gonna be live – Remember Remmmmmmmemmber!

Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

I would never have given this album a chance if I hadn’t seen Bruce and the E Street Band absolutely destroy the Meadowlands a few months ago. Chris and I saw Bruce at Giants Stadium (the old one) before they tore it down and rebuilt the new one.

At that show (the one where he played 100% of Darkness on the Edge of Town), before the band came out, Bruce came out and played a new song by himself: “Wrecking Ball.” The whole album is good. Granted, it may take seeing him live to respect what an absolute musical giant he is, but I have listened to this record basically once a day for 3 months.

The Rest

Escort, Escort
Daughn Gibson, All Hell
White Rabbits, Milk Famous
Silversun Pickups, Neck of the Woods
Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
Beach House, Bloom
of Montreal, Paralytic Stalks
Japandroids, Celebration Rock
Heartless Bastards, Arrow
Bear in Heaven, I Love You, It’s Cool

Listen To This: “Some Nights” by fun.

Unequivocally, the best album of 2012 so far. I keep running into people who haven’t heard it yet, or have, but not the whole record. Trust me. This is as good as it gets.

Lead singer / creative force Nate Ruess (formerly of The Format) sounds like a man possessed on this cabaret of an operatic blast of an indie-pop treasure. “We Are Young” is ubiquitous by now, and luckily unseated Nickelback as the last song by a band to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is great, but almost takes a backseat to the fire-blast of a Freddie Mercury opener that is the title track. With lines like “WHAT DO I STAND FOR?” and “SOME NIGHTS I STAY UP, CASHING IN MY BAD LUCK” sung in Queen-like harmony and declaration, it’s impossible to not lose your shit during it.

fun. lucked out by getting Jeff Bhasker to produce the record, which I think sounds more focused and cleaned-up than Aim and Ignitecheck his credits.

With most records I like, I scan YouTube for live performances to see if the artist is the real deal. Almost every live capture of “Some Nights” (the song) is hard to hear because the crowd is going insane the whole time.

Here’s a great acoustic performance of “We Are Young” with Janelle Monáe:

Here’s a video of people going fucking apeshit at their show in Atlanta during “Some Nights”:

This record will be hard to unseat as my favorite for the year. eMusic even did a Six Degrees on it.