I’ve been to a lot of concerts this summer. Well, maybe not a ton compared to some people, but more than usually. I’m going to rank the best acts I’ve seen so far. I’ll start with the one’s I didn’t really care for.
Chance the Rapper- First, I like Chance. I like that he’s a bit different. He gives away all his music. He uses interesting beats, and he seems like an overall positive guy. But I just couldn’t get into the show. It was the last act I saw at Rock the Garden, so I was a bit dehydrated. It was also seriously crowded for about 50 yards in front of the stage. I hate that about concerts. Everyone smelled and there were a number of people toking up all around me. Do what you want, but I was a bit nauseous near the end. Chance’s set also didn’t flow all that well. I don’t mind artists talking, but I think he talked a little too much and it ruined the set.
Craig Finn- I also LOVE Craig Finn. I love the Hold Steady. I’ve bought both of his solo albums. It’s fine music to listen to in the car, but it didn’t really match up well to the sunny summer day at the Basilica block party. I’m not sure how to describe it. It felt kind of flat and out of place. Hopefully I’ll get to see him again soon to get another concert in my memory bank.
Ok, here are the bands I’ve really enjoyed seeing so far this summer.
Ryan Adams- I’ve been wanting to see Adams for a long time. I got into his music in college and I never took the time to go see him somewhere. He came to the Basilica Block Party and put on a great show. He had a good mixture of alt-country rock stuff along with some mellower pieces. He was also delightfully weird. The stage had two arcade games on it, along with a bunch of other random stuff. He was a great closer to the show.
Wilco- As noted in a previous blog post, I just saw Wilco this past weekend. I wasn’t very excited to see them due to a variety of factors, but I pushed myself to go see them. I’m glad I did. There were moments where I just closed my eyes and sang along. It was a very good winding down summer kind of concert. I was up close again for this show and I didn’t have to deal with too many jerks. It was a little crowded, but not too bad. It was also cool to see California Stars played under the stars.
Cloud Cult- This group puts on a fantastic show. It felt like it was an event that couldn’t be replicated anywhere else. The lead singer Craig Minowa was welcoming and warm, and inspiring. I couldn’t stop listening to Cloud Cult for about a week afterwards. The Hazelfest vibe was fantastic. I’d love to go see these guys again.