Reviews in 200 Words

Best Concerts, 2011

In Beat Jab Best of 2011 on January 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm

We told you we liked lists…right?

Dan (the man) Stover saw some concerts in 2011. A lot, actually. Here are his favorites.

1. Gillian Welch with David Rawlings, Austin City Limits Music Festival (Austin, TX):

Two generations late, Welch’s 1920s voice, flat-foot buck dancing, and leg-slappin percussion drove a packed crowd from stunned to frenzied.

2. Civil Wars, Belcourt Theater (Nashville, TN)

The hometown faux lovers spilled wanton looks across the stage as they plied the Nashville crowd with their impeccable harmonies.

3. Feist, Third Man Records (Nashville, TN)

It was her backup trio’s percussion capes that sealed this performance as ‘legendary’ in Jack White’s blue room.

4. The Arcade Fire, Austin City Limits Music Festival (Austin, TX)
Up against no one but themselves, Arcade Fire led a 50,000-person sing-along that, amazingly, met immense expectations.

5. Those Darlins, The Basement (Nashville, TN)

Punk is always a little dirty, but Those Darlins mixed down-home country with sexy fishnet goth punk. Got it?

6. Beirut, Cannery Ballroom (Nashville, TN)

Zach Condon, wielding his voice as an instrument, assembled tuba-accordion-horn accompaniment into songs that reverberated my chest.

7. The Decemberists, Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN)

Colin Meloy worked the mother church of country music like a ringmaster.

8. Abigail Washburn, Music City Roots at Loveless Barn (Nashville, TN)

Washburn’s clawhammering rocked her ancient banjo while her ethereal voice filled the immense Loveless Barn.

9. KORT, Grimey’s New & Preloved Record Store (Nashville, TN)

Lonely 1960’s country cuts found a home with two Nashville indie stalwarts, whose sound can only be described as ‘heartache.’

10 (tie). Devil Makes Three, Exit/In (Nashville, TN)

With a tattoo-laden lady on upright bass and chest-length beard on banjo, these pick-blazing folk rockers sure ain’t from Nashville.

10 (tie). The Weepies, Belcourt Theater (Nashville, TN)

Parenthood seems cooler on this side of 30. If a duo has kids together and makes intriguing pop-folk, cooler still.

-Dan Stover

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