In 2012 I exchanged maxing out my credit card with Ticketmaster and instead maxed it out on diapers. In June I became a first time father which meant my sleepless nights were spent with an infant in my arms instead of next to the PA. Despite the life change I still managed to see some great gigs.
10) Baroness/Meshuggah 05/05/12
Nothing say Cinco De Mayo on the Sunset Strip like the double shot of Baroness and Meshuggah. The House of Blues was sold out for weeks as fans heard a mix of new gems and old classics from both bands. Two completely different ends of the metal world combining perfectly just like beans and rice.
9) Foxy Shazam 02/19/12
I once picked up a 7 inch of Foxy Shazam at a charity sale. That was my knowledge of the band. Then our friend BeeZnutZ swore up and down they were legit, so my mind was open. Then Porks saw them and was blown away. So by the time I got to see them open for The Darkness at House of Blues I knew I was in for a treat. What I didn’t expect was for them to blow the headliner (who I was very excited to see) off the fucking stage.
8) Local H 09/24/12
Hallelujah! I’m A Bum was my favorite album of 2012. So the fact that the Local H show at the Troubadour comes in at 8 tells you just how many amazing moments I saw this year. It was a rare occasion where I actually found myself rooting for new songs instead of the reliable rockers from the back catalog. Fingers crossed they make it back to Southern California in 2012.
7) Coheed and Cambria 10/04/12
Didn’t I just write about a show at the Troubadour where I was most excited to hear new songs? This time around it was Coheed and Cambria and having been shut out in the original on-sale, I lucked out and got in at the very last minute. As a hardcore Coheed geek, it was amazing to see the band perform songs live for the first time. The fact that I got to see it go down in the best club in Southern California is the icing on the cake.
6) Phish 08/15/12
I used to have this saying that as long as I saw Phish, they would be the top band I saw that year. While this could be true if I saw shows in San Francisco, St. Louis or Denver, the fact is that in 2012 the lone Phish show I saw is pretty low down on the list of shows I have seen the band play. Phish is pizza, even when it is bad it is good. But a poor venue and a setlist that included a good amount of Phish songs that I am less than ecstatic about drops my favorite band to the 6 spot.
5) Ryan Adams 02/17/12
Antiquiet was kind enough to send my wife and I to downtown Los Angeles for an evening with Ryan Adams. After an opening set from Mark Twain, Adams dazzled the Walt Disney Concert Hall with his solo acoustic set. The night was as much of a comedy show as it was an evening of music. Adams banter is hilarious and Mr. Cat is now regularly played in my home. I didn’t manage to get any video but our pal Brian did. Check out a heartfelt cover of the Dio classic Holy Diver down below.
4) Trey Anastasio 03/10/12
Remember up above where I mention that Phish is my favorite band? Well you can imagine how incredible it was to see Trey Anastasio rework Phish songs backed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. One of four shows booked across the states, Anastasio sounded flawless inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall. With the venue having a strict no camera policy I managed to get a few shots and this lone video.
3) Coachella 04/15-17/2012
Having lived in Los Angeles for a decade, I finally dragged my ass out to Indio for Coachella. The sun and I have a real love/hate relationship so you know I was one of the few people out on the Empire Polo Fields stoked for the first rainy day in festival history. I viewed my three days like a buffet, getting a sampling of everything I could possibly fit in. I know this much. It may not be 2013 but my ass will no doubt make it back to Coachella before ten years pass again.
2) Ghost 02/02/12
I said it in my review and now nearly a year later I stand by what I said. There are concerts, and then there is history. This was history. A packed Roxy witnessed the first Los Angeles ritual from Ghost. You just knew watching a band who was already far too big for the small Sunset Strip landmark. With a major label sophomore effort set to drop early next year I think it is safe to say that everyone who catches Ghost at one of the larger venues in town will claim they had made it into the Roxy on that February night.
1) Kasabian 04/17/12
Ask anyone who knows me and they will share with you my unhealthy obsession with getting Kasabian to America. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t understand why America doesn’t like this band. For years I had prayed for their return and 2012 was it. As it worked out, I got to see the band three times in a week. Having seen the band for the first time a few days earlier at Coachella, their appearance at the Fonda was my one shot to see the band headline. It didn’t just live up to my expectations they absolutely destroyed them. Now the question is, how the hell do we get them back to do it again?