Aftermath Extra: The Best Concerts of the Year, Part 2
Gram Rabbit, Super Happy Fun Land, January 31: "Gram Rabbit is the face of 21st century glam; denser than Scissor Sisters and more fun than Ladytron. If everyone who heard Roxy Music got these sorts of ideas, the world would be a vastly better place." (Chris Henderson)
Over the Rhine, McGonigel's Mucky Duck, February 6: "Tempting the gods, [Karin] Bergquist segued into one of historic Cincinnati label King Records's most notable hits, 'Fever.' This could have easily become a cliché in less capable hands, but Bergquist and her ensemble breathed new life into this oft-covered blues chestnut." (William Michael Smith)
Wilco, Verizon Wireless Theater, March 7: "[Jeff] Tweedy's soft-pedaled verses framed spacious, faster-paced interiors that left lead guitarist Nels Cline and keyboardists Mikael Jourgensen and Pat Sansone room to noodle and squall to their hearts' content. As usual, bassist John Stirratt and drummer Glenn Kotche did yeoman's work no matter the tune."
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Toyota Center, April 14: "By the time the Irish-tinged show-closer 'American Land' came out with the accordions and violins - with the entire lineup rollicking like drunken sailors at the lip of the stage - even the normally-stoic bassist Garry Tallent couldn't suppress a Texas-sized grin." (Bob Ruggiero)
Negativland, Herring Hall, Rice University, April 17: "Negativland layered in plenty of pop-culture sound bites (dialogue from The Wizard of Oz) and musical cues ranging from the Talking Heads' 'Heaven' and the Gershwins' 'It Ain't Necessarily So' to a Judy Collins-like folksinger warbling the first verses of Genesis and a barbershop quartet harmonizing 'Christianity is stupid.'" - Chris Gray