In my opinion, live musical performances are the best thing since sliced bread. Although it’s cool to listen to music with excellent headphones or via a record player, there’s something about being deafened by enormous speakers while in the midst of a sweaty crowd of people that’s oddly appealing. I admit I haven’t attended as many live shows as I would like, but I’ve been to quite a few. Some bands sound atrocious live (I won’t name drop here) but others manage to produce an eargasmic experience. These are five bands I recommend wholeheartedly:
1. The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
As I was browsing through my Tumblr dashboard, I noticed someone posted a song with a peculiar name (“Eyjafjallajokull Dance”) by a band with an even more peculiar name. Although I’m not the type to listen to music that people post on Tumblr (there are just too many and I’m usually disappointed after I wait for the music to finish buffering), I decided to just take a listen anyway. My ears fell in love immediately. The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die isn’t exactly a famous band, so I never thought I would have an opportunity to see them live. Fortunately, they toured in Boston with another band named Finch a couple months ago, and I didn’t hesitate to buy a ticket to see them. They were the opening band, so their set was the shortest of the night (but also the best, in my opinion). There’s just something about this band’s music that draws people together and compels them to appreciate life (or maybe that’s just me?).
2. Matt & Kim
This band is definitely one of my top five favorite bands and is also the first band that I saw live (so they hold a special place in my heart). Matt & Kim exude a mind-blowing amount of enthusiasm and love for their fans. They even post on Facebook and Twitter about opportunities for fans to be part of their upcoming music videos. I think it’s nearly impossible to leave a Matt & Kim concert feeling depressed because their shows are incredibly dancey and fun. For that reason, I’ve gone to their shows at least once a year for the past three years! The video below is quite old (Kim doesn’t even look like that anymore!) and doesn’t have the best video quality (although the audio is pretty decent), but this was the video that made me realize that I absolutely had to see Matt & Kim before I die.
Even though my affection for this band grew slowly at first, I soon became obsessed with a few songs and listened to them on repeat. (I found out later on that my all-time favorite blogger Maria Popova even tweeted about adoring their new album.) Eventually, I looked up Generationals on Last.fm and found out that they were playing at a local venue! I didn’t need to deliberate for too long about whether or not I wanted to see them live. They played a variety of songs that either compelled people to dance or stand around and stare at their shoes (I did the latter… mainly because I thoroughly enjoy that type of music).
4. Mutual Benefit
This is my favorite band of the year. Mutual Benefit is a one-man band comprised of a talented man named Jordan Lee. Lee usually plays in living rooms, various shops, bars and small venues with the help of a friend or two. When I saw Mutual Benefit, I ended up attending a small, intimate gathering in the living room of someone’s apartment (it’s more or less creepy than it sounds). Since Mutual Benefit just finished a tour around the mid-west and east coast, I don’t think the band will put on any other shows for some time. Nevertheless, if you’re ever in or around Boston, I highly recommend you check out Mutual Benefit’s indie pop music.
5. Bombay Bicycle Club
This band’s music ranges from sleepy to dancey. If, however, you go to a Bombay Bicycle Club concert, you should expect to dance! Or if you’re not the dancing type, you can stand around and analyze each song’s profound lyrics (and mentally figure out how to incorporate one of their songs into a playlist of sweet jams). In fact, I initially heard a Bombay Bicycle Club song via my friend’s mix CD that she received from another friend!
Lovelies, what band would you recommend seeing live?