Did you see any live music this last year? If you're like me, maybe you saw a lot. Some shows were great, some weren't. For me, some were work assignments, but many, fortunately, were not.I was lucky enough to see shows on both coasts and places in-between. Right here at home, I caught some rock, punk, classical, jazz, some rockabilly, some country and even a little bluegrass. This year's Meltdown was great, as always, but the bluegrass show of the year was a reunion by the Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band.
Durango hosted a ton of shows, including performances by: the Supersuckers with the Railbenders, The Reverend Horton Heat, RZA, Evidence From Dilated Peoples, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Gourds, Fred Eaglesmith, Underminer, Hot Club of Cowtown, Drag the River Duo With Cory Branan, Dave Alvin, Le Chat Lunatique, The Voodoo Organist, Brent Amaker, the Boulder Acoustic Society, Leo Kottke, Los Straitjackets and a lot more.
There also were many performances from local bands, as well as festivals such as Music in the Mountains, the Bluegrass Meltdown and the Animas Music Festival, not to mention countless DJ events.
Here are five great ones I caught this year, but some of the ones I mentioned above were just as good. Maybe you caught these shows, too.
5. Banyan, Feb. 22, The Summit. Drummer Stephen Perkins (most notably from Jane's Addiction) is the only "regular" member of this punk/avant garde/jazz fusion band. They blew the roof off the Summit with about two hours of improvisational mayhem that was a throwback to bands such as the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Hawkwind.
4. The Whipsaws, Sept. 22, The Summit. This band played here three times in 2008, and each show was better than the last, and more crowded. They proved that support from a town will provide energy the band feeds on while onstage and that same support will ensure they come back. See them again in March.
3. The San Juan Symphony, Nov. 23, Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Supporting the symphony is an investment in the music scene in our own town. It doesn't matter what you know about classical, all of their performances are just flat out great. This afternoon of music was moving, powerful and dramatic.
2. Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Aug. 22, The Summit. The vocal duo of Cessna and Munly Munly is just as impressive as the band itself. Both singers spent as much time in the audience as they did on stage as the band rolled through punk, metal, country and gospel. This was the most crowd-interactive show of the year.
1. David Hidalgo and Louis Perez, April 16, Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. The main songwriters from legendary rock band Los Lobos played a rare, sit-down, storytelling affair that made the Concert Hall seem like your living room. They rolled through a bunch of Los Lobos classics and rarities, and even held a Q&A, a music geek's delight.
Support live music and the venues/promoters that put their neck on the line bringing us great acts.
Liggettb@fortlewis.eduBryant Liggett is a freelance writer and program director of KDUR.