Best Live Shows 2006 ?

This year has started out for me with some great live music. First it was John Prine. Touring his latest (Grammy winning) album "Fair and Square" and with no hesitation to play classics from 30 years ago, this was one hell of a show. To quote Mr Prines' acceptance speech: "I didn't expect to be up here. I showed up because I got nominated. All the other nominees are sitting at home in my record collection." Great talent dosent always mean a big head.

Next was a strange visit from guitar/experimental music pioneer Robert Fripp. I expected STRANGE and thats what I got. "Words and Soundscapes". Very weird fellow I would venture to opine, but this was not unexpected. Still glad to have spent time with a man responsible for some of the greatest music to ever warp my young mind. I think he will be touring soon with the latest incarnation of King Crimson which will include Adrian Belew. I wont miss that one.

Last night was more of a surprise for me. I went to see a less known act called "Hayseed Dixie". Search their website to learn the story of Barley Scotch and the boys, how they discovered some ACDC albums and how it changed their lives up in Deer Lick Holler. Their first album is called "A Hillbilly Tribute to ACDC". All banjos, mandolins and fiddles cranking out rock favorites like you have never heard before. I suspected from the cds that they would be good, but these guys were hotter than two dollar pistols. This band was laying down some of the hottest licks, there were times I fully expected the mandolin to simply burst into flames! Anyone who has seen this band will tell you they are a blast!

Now I am looking forward to seeing one of rock/blues greatest legendary guitarists, Johnny Winter. This show will be in an old converted movie theatre where the worst seat is better than most good seats you might score at other venues. "Johnny Winter And Live" from 1970 (I think) contains blues and rock guitar that set a standard of reference for my young mind. For me he is up there with the best so this promises to be another great show at The Neighborhood Theatre.

Things are really looking up as far as live music in my area, hope everyone gets out and supports live acts when you can. Its gunna be a great year.

PS...Subdudes fans, "Behind the Levee" is out and its a good one...great live band and they are touring this year...
The Eric Tessmer Band!
Caught these guys in Austin,Tex. last weekend.I had to keep picking my jaw up off the floor! Eric is only 24 y.o. but has the SOUL and the chops of Johnny Winter,Hendrix,& SRV. I am not talking about straight copying licks...I am talking about the rare gift that comes from within... but was given at birth. He must be seen, but next best thing is: buy his live disc: "Last Night at Joes".
They will be on tour, but if you live in or around Austin, he plays extensively( 6 nights a week) there.
Soundlogic: Thanks for the suggestiong just ordered it!
Soundlogic: Sounds like this guy has the rare gift that you get by playing your ass off seven days a week.
Jimi was known to be a "play-a-holic" as well.
Will check out his web site and hope he comes to 'Vegas soon.
I saw the Subdudes Saturday night in NY. A great show. These guys are the real thing. Played two sets, covering most of the 2 most recent albums, and some older stuff. The highlight of the show was the last number before the intermission. They stepped out to the front of the stage, and sang a song unmiked, with just an acoustic guitar. A really special moment. If you get the opportunity, don't miss these guys.
Derek Trucks Band - Great show by a great band, led by an incredible guitarist who doesn't feel that he has to overpower the rest of the members of the band. The opening act Papa Mali was very good also.
You have got to go see Ten Years After, yes without Alvin Lee. You don't miss him at all.
Black Crowes, Drive By Truckers, Robert Randolph are on tour together. Should be a good show
Prince at Tower Records in Los Angeles. I stood six feet away from him, and was treated to an awesome display of guitar pyrotechnics. Not to mention his voice. He played a variety of songs from the new record, an unreleased song (which featured some jaw dropping guitar) and also threw in "Purple Rain", "Let's Go Crazy" and "Play That Funky Music White Boy". As usual, the band was top notch and featured Sheila E. It was an evening I'll remember.
the Tommy Castro Band ... Calif group, two-fisted blues that'll knock you over ... great live group
TYA w/o A. Lee? Who is there from the other three orig. guys?
David Gilmour - On an Island. I don't know if he's coming back out later in the year but it's worth checking on. He did the whole new cd, took a break, played for another two hours of the past. Even played the song on side two of Meddle that takes up the whole side! He's still incredable. Worth every cent spent.
Marshall Crenshaw at McCabe's in LA. A generation ago, he would have been a superstar. And, by the way, the boy can play guitar! (acoustic only at this solo show)
Billy Bragg at the Ark in Ann Arbor
Actually, I'm hoping it's either Radiohead at Bonneroo or Roger Waters doing Dark Side of the Moon in Detroit.
Gov't Mule 12/31/05 - 01/01/06 The Beacon Theater

The whole theme of the three shows was "Mule a Go-Go" the the stage set and pristene intermission video of an old R&B music show from Texas from the mid sixties. Add two Go-Go dancers on platforms, the band dressed in suits like the Blues Bros, Jimmy Vivino (Late Nite w/Conan), some old R&B standards and you have a show to start the 06 off 100% on the right foot.

Set 1:
Bad Man Walking
Lay Your Burden Down
About To Rage
Don't Stop On The Grass, Sam
I'll Be The One
Life Before Insanity
I'm A Ram
Loser >
Terrapin Station >
Train Kept A Rollin' w/ Danny on Guitar

Set 2(w/ Ron Holloway's Holographic Horns* and Jimmy Vivino on guitar):
Intro Theme (San Ho-Say) No Warren
Can't Turn You Loose Warren on Vocals Only, no guitar
Shake Warren on Vocals Only, no guitar
I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) Warren back on guitar
Down & Out In New York City
What Is Hip?
Thelonius Beck Interlude
I Shall Return
Thelonius Beck Interlude
The Letter
Thelonius Beck Interlude
I Believe To My Soul
New Year's Countdown
Night Time Is The Right Time
Bad LIttle Doggie
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag w/ Danny on Guitar

Set 3:
30 Days In The Hole > w/ Jimmy Vivino
I Don't Need NO Doctor w/ Jimmy Vivino
Beautifully Broken w/ Jimmy Vivino
Effigy > w/ Jimmy Vivino
Folsom Prison Blues > w/ Jimmy Vivino
That's What Love Will Make You Do w/ Jimmy Vivino and Ron Holloway's Holographic Horns
Blind Man In The Dark w/ Ron Holloway

Hurts Me Too w/ Hook Harrera and Alvin Youngblood Hart

Encore 2:
Soulshine w/ Ron Holloway's Holographic Horns and Jimmy Vivino on keys

*: Holloway Horns are:
Chris Battistone on trumpet
David Zalud on Trumpet
Chris Karlic on Baritone Sax
Ron Holloway on Tenor Sax
Neko Case, Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Orgeon, 6-30-06.....for me this one is gonna be hard to top for a long time
TYA w/o A. Lee? Are Ric Lee, Chic Churchill and Leo Lyons still part of the group?
Shellac at Emo's & Phosphorescent at End Of An Ear record store were my standouts. Both in Austin. The Shellac show was one of the 10 best shows I've ever been to. Steve Albini's crystal-clear and razor-sharp guitar was simply IN your face.
Unsound: We're gonna hafta find this out ourselves.
Someone is apparently "too cool dude" to help us on this one...
"and you'll never hear surf music again".
Dweller, I always thought the rest of the band was underestimated, but, TYA w/o Capt. Speedfingers is a bit hard to imagine, after all he was the voice of the band.
I'm just back from Bonnaroo, and I nominate Radiohead, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as a close second. They really surprised me, as I had never really given them much attention, but Petty's show was scorching, especially the brief set of songs that influenced them when they were yount, including the Yardbirds' "I'm a Man" and a fabulous version of "Oh Well" by the original Fleetwood Mac.

Radiohead was simply sublime.
Rustler, I hope you're joking about Billy Bragg. Usually 50% playing and 50% self-aggrandizing twaddle between songs at his concert. Last concert of his I saw was an audience full of jr. marketing executives hanging on every lame word like lemmings. Can't guess how he charmed Woody's family into giving up unpublished lyrics for the Mermaid Ave project.

I went to see Buckethead at the Paradise in
Boston. Wow! this guy just tore up the place.
All business, came out played the best guitar
I've ever seen for 2 1/2 hours. Amazing.
I really love Billy Bragg, but I must say the audience wasn't up to the levels of radical/progressive hipness I had hoped for. I talked with Billy at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Woody Guthrie conference when he premiered his Woody Guthrie songs without the lame backing of Wilco. By himself, those songs were electrifying: moving, powerful, all the good stuff. If i had only heard the craptacular Wilco versions, I'd be very disappointed.

Just because you're going forward doesn't mean that I'm going backwards!


I really enjoyed Matt Haimovitz performing at the Black Sheep Inn with the world group Constantinope and with U-Cello (4-cellos). Great night of fabulous music. Started with a talk from Haimovitz about the night's music being inspired by Bartok's trip to Turkey. A d-j mixed Bartok's field recordings in with their playing and it took my breath away. An amazing show in an intimate atmosphere.

My wife saw Michael Bolton last night (07-14-'06) and swears it was the best concert she has ever seen.
How can this be?
This is not a joke.

I saw Pat Martino a few weeks ago. Not only was he great but the pianist, bassist and drummer were acomplished musicians as well. The guitar was the only amplified instrument. Sat about 8 ft from the band. Only complaint; the set was too short but this was their second performance that night so maybe understandable.
Michael Bolton once threatened to kill Conan Obrian with a baseball, I think that was the only interesting thing he ever did. My wife also used to listen to him...some things cant be explained.
So far this year for me it would be "Mike Doughty", "Twilight Singers", and "Toad the Wet Sprocket" on their reunion tour. Glen Philips really sounds great with those guys.. I really cannot believe anyone would pay money to actually go see Michael Bolton..Kidding I hope?

Fotis_k, My wife also went to see Michael Bolton. She came
home wound for sound and wanted to go to bed. Don't know
who she was thinking of but it worked for me. Typical male
response you know. See, he does serve a purpose. Steve
To say Michael Bolton serves a purpose is basically like saying that there's some obscure cosmic justification for Burt Reynolds!

Who knows?
I'm just back from Bonnaroo, and I nominate Radiohead, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as a close second. They really surprised me, as I had never really given them much attention, but Petty's show was scorching, especially the brief set of songs that influenced them when they were yount, including the Yardbirds' "I'm a Man" and a fabulous version of "Oh Well" by the original Fleetwood Mac.

Radiohead was simply sublime.

Agree 100%. The festival was great, but the Radiohead 28 song setlist was absolutely incredible. It was like seeing The Beatles in '65 for me, except this time i could hear them, appreciate them, and oh, my oldest son was there to celebrate it with me. Great monents.

I also agree that the Petty show was more than I though it would be. When he went to "Oh Well" and nailed it, blues and all, I found a new appreciation. We sauntered inot the What Stage rather late for his show, stood way back by the mist tent, and still enjoyed it. Radiohead, well, we were MUCH closer.
Some memorable live shows in the last 6 mos. in smaller venues. No confusing these guys with nostalgia acts.

Ray Davies backed by a comparatively young band drawn from all over the map from Scandinavia to South Africa. Great versions of songs from Other People's Lives & classic Kinks.

Steve Winwood backed by a crack band of young musicians. He's passed through the beer commercial phase of his late 80s albums & now into adventurous, thoughtful Hammond B3 & strong of voice.

John Haitt & the Mississippi Allstars... Like the above, much invigorated through association with younger backup musicians.

Saw Kelley Hunt at the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest. That
chick tore the place up. Great Show! Steve
The Ten Years After shgow at BB Kings in NYC. After the first song nobody missed Alvin.
Surfgod, I have to ask; who played guitar and who sang? BTW, I'm more of a surfdog.
OK: Hands down winner in my book. Tom Waits in Detroit Opera House. Unbelievable show; astonishing presence; great band; set list to die for. Anybody else catch him on this tour?

Steely Dan and Michael McDonald at Red Rocks -- everyone was out of their seats rockin.
World Party - Roxy Los Angeles last night

There were issues - sound mix, bass mic problems, a band that ocassionally got lost, and wear & tear on Karl Wallinger's voice, BUT...

This band is great fun: high energy, loopy kumbaya utopian lyrics, and a near-perfect set list. PLUS...

Shy of Zydeco, how often do you get a band featuring multiple soloists on:
guitar (often played with a slide)
fiddle and
button accordion

Although Wallinger rips off large chunks of other songs (mostly Beatles and Stones - at least he steals from the best!), the resulting songs have their own personality. At times, World Party sounds like certain other bands - but no other band sounds quite like World Party.

Finally, the show realy felt like a celebration. The crowd was a mix - lots of 40 years+ (not just me!) and young kids, gays and straights, a smattering of non-whites. With the feel-good lyrics and joyous music, the ecclectic crowd really responded in a way that brought a smile to my face. Certainly, it didn't hurt that Wallinger was back on stage for the first time in several years - since a near fatal health problem.

If you like high energy pop music and this tour gets to your neighborhood, you shouldn't miss it.

Derek Trucks
Just had to check back here and see whats shows have been good to you...and mention the birthday gift my daughter gave me this year. She went on ebay to surprise me with Flaming Lips tickets for their show in Atlanta! What a great B-day present and what a great show!
Anyone who has seen them knows they put on an interesting and weird show (everyone loves to see aliens and Giant Santa). Great fun for anyone who remotely likes their music.
Now I'm looking forward to seeing the Duhks in a couple weeks. I saw them last year and now they have another great cd out. If the words fiddle and banjo dont scare you off, you might fall hard for this act out of Winnipeg. This band is one of my favorites from the last year or so
and offer a great mix of influences from bluegrass to soul to trditional to cayjun to...well just check them out.
Looks like I was correct AGAIN...GREAT YEAR FOR LIVE MUSIC!
Hayseed Dixie and Derek Trucks both class acts.
Hooray for the DUHKS !!!
I love these guys, what a great show!
CSNY "Freedom of Speech Tour"! Wow!
I also saw John Prine this year! Ausome!
Also "The Who" were in top form. Great show!
Have to agree ELB with your pick of CSNY. My wife and I saw them this summer at JONES BEACH NY on a beautiful summer night.Also- Best BARGIN concert we have seen ($35 a ticket) was Lindsey Buckingham (NY&Borgota hotel in NJ).Kicked some major BUTT!!-Kevin
Usound & Dweller, sorry for the delay in an answer. The new guitarist to TYA is a youngster named Joe Gooch. All the three others were the authentic crew. I just went to for the name and there are some good reviews of the CD.
Gregg Allman & Friends are really good on their fall tour.
Saw Jack White's band The Raconteurs do a really strong opening for Dylan last week.