Top Five Jay Porks Experiences of 2012
The end of the year brings us empty wallets, fat stomachs and most importantly larger egos than we had the year before. It’s because of these egos that people like me put together these year end “best of” lists. Although as you know, here at Concert Confessions we do things a little differently then other sites. We don’t have a Top Albums list, Top Artist list, Male and Female Rookies of the year list we do top Concerts of the year. Personally, I’ll trust all of you readers enough to go ahead and listen to all those albums of the year you’re listing-You’ll let me know what’s good. You’re nice people right?
Anyway, more self branding: Every year I set a personal goal of going to more shows then the year prior. In 2011, we had ourselves 23 Jay Porks Experiences. In 2012, money was a bit tight, schedules fluctuated and goals were not reached as 18 shows were only attended. But don’t worry, they were some memorable ones that will most definitely fill the void in my heart that sits beneath my wretched soul (Alright it’s not that bad, but it’s good copy!). Below, you can view the list of the Top Five Jay Porks Experiences of 2012.
Heading to the lovely Detroit in 2013, this year brought this guy to his first ever “festival” experience. Sort of. And it turned out to be way more than I was actually prepared for. When you think festival you think a few things: camping, shower trucks and people lying overdosed in mud puddles while folks from LA Weekly takes photos. But Atlantic City brings casinos, thousands of hotel rooms (lots of them luxurious), and no camp ground. The idea is to get a room for the weekend, they had room packages with some tickets, I chose to go off course and book my own room accommodations and take a cab over and back each day. Was a solid plan going in. The list of acts seen was immense, including Metallica (curators of the Festival) headlining the two night stint. The first day I got to see Baroness, Roky Erickson, Fucked Up, Cage The Elephant, Modest Mouse and Arctic Monkeys before Metallica turned me into a fan playing Ride The Lightening in it’s entirety. Skin was turned powdery white to beat red after the full day (sunscreen something I rarely carry) and the dreadful Flagship Hotel had a less than desirable internet connection. Day Two brought me the likes of A Place To Bury Stangers, Ghost, Gary Clark Jr, the waste known as Best Coast, The Black Dahlia Murder, Eric Church and Titus Andronicus before Metallica hit the stage to remind me why I was never that big into them in the first place when they played the The Black Album…. backwards. Okay. Then on this night the return to the hotel room brought me with the dilemma of having NO internet at all at the again, dreadful Flagship Hotel whose front desk said the services were down. So I walked myself to Bally’s Casino w/ bags packed with all the towels, soaps and ashtrays I was able to fit in there and awaited the 4:30AM bus back into New York City. Had to catch Childish Gambino in Central Park the next night after all. Sounds like a pain, and looking back it kind of was but at the same time, those two days spent AT Bader Field (while the music was playing )were absolute magic.
This show was epic for so many reasons. In my 2nd time seeing the band this year (plus the Scott Lucas and the Married Men Mercury Lounge pit stop in June), and 1st time since the release of their latest record “Hallelujah! I’m a Bum”, which is an absolute masterpiece, I found myself leaving the Bell House that night feeling way more blown away then I could have ever predicted. Take into account the spot in the back of the room where we were able to survey the entire place instead of getting hit with cups full a beer down front. The energy Scott Lucas brought to the table that night was one of a man on a mission, and tons of great songs got played off the new record. I usually hate when a band tries to shove new songs down my throat at shows but this record is one that people need to hear. It’s too good to get lost in the shuffle. Ended the night covering TV On The Radio‘s “Wolf Like Me”, which was like the cherry on an awesome sundae.
#3 Kasabian (Terminal 5 – New York City) March 22nd
It was something out of Biblical times. On March 22nd 2012, Kasabian hit New York City with the entire world watching via YouTube and left every ounce of their fiber and being on that stage that night. Every song was like another chapter in a great novel I was having someone read to me. I wouldn’t say the man, myth and legend Reverend Justito and I like tons of the same bands, but this is one of the few he pointed to me and I was instantly a super fan. They burned Terminal 5 down to the ground that night, and everyone who was there is a changed person today. It’s a shame I didn’t have a good camera when I went to this gig, or I would’ve had some cool ass pictures. Well, none of my pics would’ve been better than Mick Rock‘s anyway, did I mention he was there? Google him. The video below from that evening at Terminal 5 is courtesy of The Bowery Presents because this show happened when this guy was still rocking a $50 camera. Dear Kasabian: PLEASE COME BACK TO AMERICA
#2 Foxy Shazam (Bowery Ballroom – New York City) May 16th
With Ween breaking up, they weren’t able to snag their normal spot as my #2 show of the year in 2012(as they had in 2010 and 2011). Having seen Foxy Shazam already kind of/sort of blow The Darkness off stage in February – when a show was announced at Bowery Ballroom where they would headline I had to get in on that action-let’s see what the whole shebang brings to the table. And Oh Lord was I heeled with the Holy Touch with an evening of their finest numbers, funky vibes, and Eric Nally eating the cigarette I threw on stage!
I was sitting next to some people I met outside who were nice enough to pass along a pipe to me as I was filming “I Like It” . Snagged the spot upstairs balcony. Cannot beat it. Check the video for yourself. But if you told me before I went to that show that it would end up being the #2 show on my year end list I would have never ever believed you. The band is just that good. Nailing a spot supporting Slash on his Fall tour was a great job by him. Glad Slash has good taste in music. That was Another show I attended. So three times I’ve been baptized into the Church of Rock & Roll this year… And I Like It.
#1 Mike Watt & Friends (Le Poisson Rouge – New York City) May 2nd
Mike Watt has tons of friends. When this purchase is made, the only thing known is that the Minuteman will team with J Mascis and Murph from Dinosaur Jr to play tonight and that Mike Watt will be interviewed on stage before the show. I got to tape the interview but the questions are raised. So what songs are they going to play? Dinosaur Jr songs? Minutemen songs? Who’s singing? Well there was no mic set up in front of J, which is indication this isn’t a Dinosaur Jr kind of night. Out walks Don Fleming (from the band Gumball) and they play The Stooges “Real Cool Time”. Then I remember who the active bass player in the Stooges is: Mike Watt! So here we are playing Stooges songs all night with a revolving door of guest singers. John Petkovic came out, then one of my freaking heroes Thurston Moore(of the recently divorced Sonic Youth), then Sharon Von Etten, then Kurt Vile. And Thurston reappeared at least two more times, and they had Steve Shelly (also Sonic Youth) in there on drums on some songs too along w/ Byron Coley (who did the interviewing earlier) and John Maloney. I couldn’t have missed any names, because Mike Watt tweeted over the set list the next day with all the names of the parties involved and what songs they played on. That show was something I’m never going to forget. That’s the closest I’ll ever come to seeing the actual Stooges.
The Jay Porks Favorite Read Of 2012 on Concert Confessions:
And last and certainly not least, I’ve added a new section to this top shows post. That portion is Top Concert Experience of 2012 NOT attended by me. We have lots of contributors, lots of varied acts getting written about. But one gig really hit close to home when out pal Reverend Justito went and saw my pals the Meat Puppets at the closing of the Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, California. I can guarantee that I enjoyed reading this one as much as most of the attendees enjoyed living it.