[Concert Reviews] Favorite Concerts of 2016

I didn’t see as many concerts in 2016 as I did in previous years. Maybe career development, working on this site, and an oversaturation of lukewarm concerts in 2015 dissuaded me? I did see some memorable performances in 2016, intend to attend new venues, and especially want to get outside my concert comfort zone in 2017.

  1. Аркона [Arkona]
    Studio Seven
    Despite receiving a poor sound mix, and omitting any of the atmospheric visual touches or unique instrumental choices that made their previous performance stand out, this was still a visceral performance that was worth working the next day to see.
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  2. Willie Nelson
    Marymoor Park
    I’m wary about whether musicians will live up to their reputation. If you’re able to perform music for fifty years, though, it’s unlikely that you’re bad at your craft. Entrancing performance and it’d be an easy choice to attend again.
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  3. Video Game Pianist
    Benaroya Hall
    I based my day of attendance for videogame expo PAX on the musicians. I chose a long day of work, the expo, and this concert because I’d heard of the performers. This performance exceeded expectations whereas the others did not.
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  4. Calabrese
    El Corazón
    Starting with a sound check song, before ripping into a series of high energy songs that reminisce of motivational punk rock legends Guitar Wolf, it’s too bad I didn’t have this site yet to write about the show at length.
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  5. Shonen Knife
    Tractor Tavern
    Punk rock is typically very one dimensional, mainly fast and dirty songs, yet here were a mix of saccharine pop songs and very heavy burners, with enough seasoned balance in between so that neither seemed too weird to fit in.
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  6. NOFX
    Showbox SoDo
    Another band that could have been past their prime. Even if they were terrible at playing music – by expanding past one dimensional trappings, thanks to a wide variety of song structures, humorous self-deprecation, and energetic determination – they’d still be endearing.
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  7. Melvins
    Showbox at the Market
    Their Bumbershoot performance was so mind-numbingly good that it was my favorite performance in 2015. The first time I saw them, they seemingly left abruptly and without performing an encore, leaving us wanting more. This show was somewhere in between.
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  8. Melt-Banana
    Showbox at the Market
    Fluid mix of richly abrasive sounds and dynamic atonal guitar playing that makes for a compelling education into matters of noise music and outsider music. That this band continues to sell out venues shows that experimental music is still alive.
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  9. Tengger Cavalry
    Highline
    Throat singing might even be further than noise music from traditional pop music because it’s not inherently aggressive. Being part of an engrossed small crowd of people that “got it” was an alternate outsider’s world, like I was returning home.
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  10. Daikaiju
    Highline
    Most live performers rarely do more than headbang, jump around a little bit, and wave around their arms. Some might also jump into the audience. Few will bring their drums into the audience and then light the cymbals on fire!

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write “The Story.” My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I’m a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let’s strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)