Concerts I Saw: May 2016

Had a pretty spectacular month of concert going IMO. Looking forward to June already....
  1. GHOST
    05/02/16 • Iron City • Birmingham, AL: I couldn't decide beforehand if this would be the most brilliant thing I'd ever seen or the dumbest. I absolutely loved it. The costumes allow both performer and audience to step outside of themselves a bit. It was like Halloween in spring. Would absolutely go again. You Europeans do the theatrical metal thing way better than us North Americans.
  2. PUNCH BROTHERS
    05/03/16 • Iron City • Birmingham, AL: Incredible acoustic quintet. They have a traditional bluegrass instrumentation, but really push the genre forward with darker sounds, classical flourishes, Radiohead covers, etc. Really great stuff.
  3. KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH
    05/06/16 • Marathon Music Works • Nashville, TN: Discovered her music about six months ago and then got to see her in concert opening for Animal Collective. Super dreamy, futuristic music from outer space. A performer to keep an eye out for.
  4. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
    05/06/16 • Marathon Music Works • Nashville, TN: The concert leaned heavily on material from "Painting With" which was cool because those songs go way harder live than on record. Definitely catch this tour if you can. Also played "The Bees," one of my old favorites.
  5. COLLEEN GREEN
    05/08/16 • Spring Street Firehouse • Birmingham, AL: Didn't know a ton about her, but she came highly recommended and I dug it. Kind of wish she'd had a full band with her, but I know that makes touring way more expensive. She played guitar and sang to drum tracks. Still kicked ass though. And I had an insta-crush on her.
  6. DAVIS-HICKOX DUO
    05/13/16 • Library Theatre • Birmingham, AL: These two guys have been in a zillion bands and have toured all over the world, but this was their first show under this name. Noisy guitar stuff with Moog jams and electronic flourishes.
  7. IRON GIANT PERCUSSION
    05/13/16 • Library Theatre • Birmingham, AL: Four piece percussion ensemble that played everything from traditional drums to snapping celery to scraping paper on the floor. Pictured here playing Steve Reich's "Drumming."
  8. NORMAN WESTBERG
    05/13/16 • Library Theatre • Birmingham, AL: Best known as the guitarist for Swans, Westberg also has a solo career where he plays ambient instrumental music. Was really special getting to see him play as he usually only does a handful of solo shows per year. He also invited Iron Giant out to jam with him which was super weird/cool.
  9. HEAD WOUND CITY
    05/14/16 • Exit/In • Nashville, TN: Supergroup of sorts that's gotten some decent buzz lately (at least from Brooklyn Vegan), but I found them to be kind of just okay.
  10. SAVAGES
    05/14/16 • Exit/In • Nashville, TN: Holy %#**%£&&)?!! did that just happen? Astonishingly great show. If I see something better than this the rest of the year, I'll be thoroughly surprised. Ferocious. Man @TQ, you didn't tell me they were melt your face off good.
  11. MATT BRYANT
    05/23/15 • Spring Street Firehouse • Birmingham, AL: There are a handful of musical instruments I really don't care for and the ukulele is one of them, but hoooooooly shit this guy redeemed the instrument in a mere half hour. He had all sorts of crazy loops going and did percussive stuff. It was incredible. I mean, check this shit out: https://youtube.com/watch?v=cMSs0PMO6ls
  12. HOLLAND HOPSON
    05/23/16 • Spring Street Firehouse • Birmingham, AL: Banjo and electronics are odd bedfellows, but this guy made it work. Old traditional songs interwoven with humming drones and radio static. Really fascinating stuff.
  13. LISA HANNIGAN & AARON DESSNER
    05/27/16 • Boston Calling • Boston, MA: Saw their set before Sufjan played. I was into it, but was more focused on getting a bite to eat and staking out a good spot for Sufjan.
  14. SUFJAN STEVENS
    05/27/16 • Boston Calling • Boston, MA: Got to see a full length performance of "Impossible Soul" so all was right with the world that night!