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Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Top 10 Concerts That Will Rattle Your Insides

6

I feel like a drug addict.  Always chasing the first high.  When you go to as many concerts as I do, it’s really easy for the excitement of the shows to dim after awhile.  Encores are a vapid exercise in futility.  Traffic and parking is a total pain.  The Ticketmaster prices and inflated fees are almost overshadowing the draw of the band and leaving more people at home.  After seeing an artist, I keep going to see the same artists in hopes to be blown away again.  Truth be told, reality doesn’t usually allow multiple showings to capture the magic of the first one.

So I thought I’d save you the trouble of seeing crappy bands live (Jack Johnson and Death Cab for Cutie made me want to briefly consider homicide) and go straight to a state of nirvana.  If you’re going to go through the trouble of going to a show, here’s the RadioPotato 100% guarantee that these will rock your faces off.  Tour dates/websites are linked onto each musical artists’ names.

1.  RUSH (Early prog metal/ Progressive rock) – It’s no secret that power trio Rush is my favorite band and was my very first concert.  Plus, I’m campaigning to interview them, too.  After over 30 years of being together, it’s the only concert where people don’t bombard the bathrooms when Geddy, Alex, and Neil plays songs off their new albums.

2.  THE CIVIL WARS (Americana duo) -The way John Paul White and Joy Williams look at each other as they closely sing their tales of strained love and heartbreak, you’d SWEAR they were together. The magnetic experience seeing The Civil Wars live has translated globally to organically grow into a juggernaut of adoration,  respect, and a rabidly loyal following.  I had the honor of interviewing them right after they formed. Learn more here.

3.  GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS (American rock) -  Grace Potter live is like rock and roll porn.  Guys want to bang her and girls want to be her.  Her raw sexual energy can knock you right out if you weren’t so fixated on her short peek-a-boo dress, flailing hair, and how ridiculously talented she is.  High-energy performances from Grace backed by her 70′s rock inspired band leave you transfixed and confident you will never see anything like that again in your life.  Unless you see her again. I reviewed a show from GPN here.

4.  RAY LaMONTAGNE (Folk singer/songwriter) – Even though Ray has been known to be a moody bitch onstage and totally socially awkward mess offstage, one thing is very clear….he can sing from the bellows of his very soul and before you know it, you’re crying.  Oh wait.  That’s me.  Reviews here (Red Rocks – 2010), here (walks off stage 2010) , and scandalous news here.

5. TONY LUCCA - (Singer/songwriter) Formerly of The Mickey Mouse Club (yep, back in the Britney/Justin days), Lucca is one of the world’s best kept secrets of live shows.  Lucca’s lyric-driven soulful music will knock anyone out including yo’ mama.   I’ve never seen anybody perform with that much passion with just a guitar and his voice.  Want to learn more? I got to interview him here.

6.  TONY BENNETT (Classic crooner) – In an era of fast-paced, overworked, and ADHD-riddled world, Tony is a tribute to the old-fashioned values of a simpler time. Not only that, but he’s managed to stay relevant after 60+ years of performing.  I’ve seen him twice and couldn’t stop smiling with pure enjoyment.  He only sings the classics. He frequently showcases his musicians and after (and during) every single song, he’s smiling and saluting the audience in gratitude.  There will never be another time in our lives where we will be able to see someone from Frank Sinatra’s era perform live.

7.  MUMFORD & SONS (Folk roots rock) – Subscribing to “the more, the merrier” theory, Mumford and Sons are famous for having all of their opening acts onstage with them for a grand finale of communion.  Banjos, accordions, upright bass, kickdrums – they’ve made old school modern again by packing a high-energy show with gripping performance of their literature-inspired music.  In fact, they’ve grown their wildly popular fan base 100% by word-of-mouth from their energizing live shows.  Reviews here (2010) and here (2011 – Front Row).

8.  RICKY MARTIN (Latin-flavored pop) – Yes, I’m totally serious!  It takes a lot of talent to wow an entire arena full of people who got free tickets and went for the hell of it (that would be me) but he did!  You can tell how genuinely thankful he was and he gave everything he had with PASSION! It was a high-energy show that was just fun, fun, fun!

9.  TEN OUT OF TENN (Concept tour) -  Trent Dabbs brainchild of a collective of ten unique and successfully published artists out of Tennessee (mostly Nashville) banding together to tour across the nation in one bus.  The “in-the-round” set-up allows each artist to collaboratively add to each other’s songs and introduce 10 new artists to each audience member.  The first time I saw them, I only knew one artist, Griffin House.  Every single song that was sung was better than the last and I was hooked.  Some of the line-up has included Joy Williams, Andrew Belle, Gabe Dixon, Trent Dabbs, ks Rhoads, Katie Herzig, Erin McCarley, Tyler James, and many more.

10.  LADY GAGA (Pop) – Black, white, gay, straight, fan, non-fan.  There’s NOTHING like a Gaga live show experience.  The level of performance and detail at every show was so meticulously planned out that you felt like your head was exploding from every angle.  Sensory overload!  But more than that, you realize that Gaga is truly genuine in her desire to connect with the disconnected.  She left everything in her entire being on the stage and left everyone feeling a little closer to the lady herself.  And like her or not, she’s an exceptionally talented woman and has so much more under that hood of hers that is waiting to be revved up.  Go see her!  It’s an experience that you couldn’t get anywhere else. Not even the best drag show.  Show me your paws!

Got some shows that blew you away that aren’t on this list?  Post them in the comments section!  And if you liked this post, connect with RadioPotato on Facebook here.

About the author

Allison Hare wrote 138 articles on this blog.

A modern-day dame with a bionic ear for discovering emerging artists and a penchant for live shows. Admitted radio junkie

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6 Responses to “Top 10 Concerts That Will Rattle Your Insides”
  1. Matt says:

    I’ll give you five in no particular order…

    The Hives – Best live band ever in the history of music performance. If you think I’m overstating this, you’re wrong :)

    Phish – seen them a half dozen times or so, but the time I dropped a ten strip of acid I sobbed and sobbed.

    Floyd – best all around spectacle.

    Pennywise – they orchestrated a circle pit so big it surrounded the sound booth. I’ve never seen such organized insanity.

    Parliament Funkadelic – seen them three or four times, but the Kansas City show had a collection of black and white dancing and singing together that brought temporary hope to the human race.

  2. bbryon says:

    Oh my, cannot even compute! Great post Allison, hence the #Bryonness lifetime award!

    The Dead [without Jerry for me :( ] Rothbury 2009 in particular, encore of U.S. Blues as fireworks blasted the sky on July 4!

    Phish and here I’m kinda a NYE snob. I’ve seen them on 3 different New Year’s Eve runs.

    Jethro Tull this was in 99′ at a castle in Esslingen, Germany. Front row. nuff said

    Ray LaMontagne front row in Atlanta in 2006. First adult show (everyone sat down and didn’t sing along).

    Grace Potter & The Nocturnals every chance I get I see her.

    The Del McCoury Band so incredible to see true bluegrass and having them use only 1 mic.

    Tori Amos & Ben Folds on the “Lotta pianos tour”

    My first Dave Matthews Band show, back in 99′ on the lawn with over 20 friends

    Bela’ Fleck & The Flecktones crazy, and old school big band shananiggans that go on

    Blues Traveler every time it’s just awesome.

    Again, thanks Allison for a wonderful post!

    ~bbryon

  3. Bruce says:

    Before there was Gaga, there was Madonna. She’s not the best singer in the world, but her live shows are theatre, dance, music and sex all rolled into one glitzy, glorious package.

    And THE BOSS is famous for high energy shows. Four hours plus of Bruce and the E-Street Band was something to behold. However, without the Big Man, I don’t think it will ever be the same.

  4. Amanda says:

    Interesting post. No mention of how a venue can enhance the “rattling of insides”? For instance, Mumford at Buckhead Theatre was a rattle your insides, life changing concert, while the one at the Fox was good. But they were different. And don’t even get me started on Ray and Red Rocks. :)

    And the Civil Wars, while their music and words may be fantastic, I find their live shows to be more nauseating due to their overly dramatic chemistry towards one another. Feels like more of an act they are putting on…

    Always enjoy reading your thoughts. Keep it up.

  5. Chris Bro says:

    You have to see Black Taxi and Bright Light Social Hour.

    Totally agree with Grace Potter. The last time I saw Tony Bennett I was not impressed. Sorry. He does get points for still being around but I can’t put him in the “must see” category.

    I’ve yet to see Lady Gaga but really isn’t she just Madonna part 2?

    Oh and Airborne Toxic Event put on a great show too.

    I’ll stop there.

  6. Lindsey says:

    Love your choices, especially with The Civil Wars and Mumford and Sons; I would add My Morning Jacket and The Flaming Lips as they are incredible live and was left in a trance-like state before, during and after their performances ;)

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