I completely forgot to post my favorite five gigs on 2012. The year was all about Pulp. They were the missing gig on my bucket list in my BritPop lifestyle. It was everything I knew it would. Shooting the shows in NYC and San Francisco is just unbelievable. I fucking shot these, bitches!
5. Palma Violets @ Electric Circus, Edinburgh
"Their set was thirty minutes of blistering 60s garage rock meets jangly British rock in a tightly wound ball of youthful exuberance, sweat and shouts. It was one of those gigs where it was over so fast because everyone was having a good time and the songs came quickly. They are a raucous live band, playing fast, loud and loose. Their bassist is the ringleader of their live show -- shouting at the crowd, grabbing hands, playing in the crowd or on top of them and general mayhem. By the end of the night, he was hugging everybody around him."
4. Guided By Voices / The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / The War on Drugs / Cloud Nothings @ Central Park SummerStage
"The show reminded me a lot of the Pavement shows from last year. Like Pavement, I had seen GBV back in the day, which was Irving Plaza in 1997. I remember being stuck in the back with a bunch of people moshing and smoking cigarettes at the same time. For a few years, both bands were out of commission, but reunited to appeal to a new set of younger fans. Although, GBV returned with some of the classic line-up are releasing new material.
It was kind of shocking seeing Robert Pollard shuffle out on stage with his crew. They got real old, especially Pollard. At least his voice is strong, and that's what counts. The crowd upfront were all young people screaming along, while the people in the back were the old guys who remember them during the good old days. Fun for all ages."
3. Mumford & Sons / Dawes @ Pier A Park, Hoboken
"For the show itself, I was a bit worried. There tends to be a let down when you see a band in small clubs and then before you know it, they are 15,000 band wagoners screaming out lyrics to Little Lion Man. Once I got to the park and the rain stopped, I told myself that I had to leave my snobbery credials at Maxwell's for the night, enjoy the night for what it is -- a celebration of summer, good music, good people and vintage typefaces on banners and t-shirts.
You know what? It was an awesome show. Yeah, I missed the old days when they played in front of 500 people, but playing on such a large stage has its advantages as well -- huge sound, a grand landscape and a feeling that this is an event. Those good-time stopping parts of The Cave are still potent. When the fireworks came on at the end, I said, "Gee if only they played DURING the fireworks, then that would have been nice."
2. Pulp @ Radio City Music Hall
"This show was everything I hoped for. After I got through my nerves of photographing the show, I was able to let myself scream and enjoy the moment. You almost have to pause and gather your surroundings. Pulp is playing Radio City Music Hall. That's tremendous. Let's do it again tomorrow, shall we?
Believe me, my mind was significantly blown tonight and my brain is a scrambled mess of excitement and Pulp lyrics. It's all I've been thinking about all day. The anxiety was killing me. If you know me and this space, British music is my thing and finally seeing Pulp live was just another notch on the belt and scratch on the bedpost. I think I can die a happy man."
1. Pulp @ The Warfield, San Francisco
"I over-drank, over-ate and over-spent, which is not much different from my typical weekend. I did not over-rock -- that's not possible. Obviously, the crowning event of my expedition was the triumphant return of Pulp to the city by the bay. The good news is that it was one of the best concert experiences I've ever had. The bad news is that life might be downhill from here. I'm also sad to report that the two New York shows are now substandard compared to the San Francisco show."