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12.30.14 Best Concerts I Experienced In 201412.28.14 25 Songs From This Year
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Best Concerts I Experienced In 2014

So, there end of the year is here, and it's been a good one. I attended three different festival, a dozen of shows (approximately 150 bands) and made some new and wonderful discoveries along the way. 1-25 are ranked, but 27-31 are the most disappointing concerts I attended (expectations vs. reality).
1Laura Stevenson
Sit Resist


Now, this was a surprise. It is only about a month ago I saw this show, and it still lingers within. I had just taken a trip to both London and New York, and I returned on the 27th of November (with only three hours sleep in two days). This was the day I was going to see Laura for the first time (she'd never visited Denmark before), and anticipations were rather high, but honestly I didn't know what to expect. Needless to say, she blew the whole thing out of the water. Confined in my seat with my beer in the front row in a very small, cozy café, Laura enchanted everyone (and made several knew fans, I'm sure). I even got to talk to her after the show, and made a few remarks during the set, which she acknowledged and ping-ponged right back. It was the perfect way to end an amazing trip, and I cannot wait for her to get back. Because of all these thing, Laura Stevenson and the Cans are my pick for number 1 concert of the year.
2Jack White
Blunderbuss


Orange Stage, Roskilde Festival. Jack White was a last minute-addition to the festival's program, seeing as Drake had just cancelled. A lot of people were sad and frustrated, but some of us were very happy about this; I'd seen White once before, and he sure delivers. But this... this was something else. The way he managed the band, improvised, pulled his guitar apart, reinvented several numbers. I take no shame in proclaiming Jack White as one of the finest musicians of today, despite not being a HUGE fan of his. Come back any day, good sir!
3Kvelertak
Kvelertak


Lille Vega, Copenhagen. Kvelertak always delivers. I have previously called them "the best live act around," and they pretty much cemented that claim by tearing Lille Vega ("Small Vega") apart. The setlist was largely rearranged in comparison to earlier concerts (only having two albums out, much diversity within a 80-minute hardcore-set is quite the task), the energy was ferocious, the settings were amazing (best place for gigs in Denmark, probably) and both band and crowd were rowdy as hell. Oh yeah, and of course nearly every band member ended up stage-diving.
4Slowdive
Souvlaki


Avalon, Roskilde Festival. Another last minute-addition for the festival went amazingly well! Slowdive created the most intimate (and grandiose) concert. They played at 2 am, I was tired as hell from a day of drinking and watching music, and I still had a liter of wine left. So I sat down by the benches (they've got these new, upper-level benches where you can watch things from a short distance really well!), traded some wine for some weed with the couple next to me, and sank into the depts of some of the most beautiful music out there. It was quite the experience. Only thing to put a finger on, was the sound of the stage within the first few minutes, but it luckily got fixed quick enough.
5Brand New
Daisy


Monster Stage, Groezrock Festival. Jesse Lacey is pretty pissed off. And that anger, he channels into being fucking ferocious on stage. He was tearing his guitar apart during Vices and You Won't Know, screaming loud as hell and more hardcore-ish than on albums. Definitely a live band, like the band or not!
6Mew
And the Glass Handed Kites


Pumpehuset, Copenhagen. This was probably my fifth (and best) time seeing Mew. I'd seen them on several larger stages, but this time, it was in very intimate surroundings. Only 400 people were allowed inside Pumpehuset, and the band even started the show with a very old and intimate song, "Coffee Break." And to everyone who might ask: Yes, they played about 4 or 5 new songs, I think. And yes, they were amazing. Cannot wait for the new album!
7The Gaslight Anthem
Sink or Swim


Alexandra Palace, London. I had gone all the way to London to catch Fallon & Co., since they would not come to me in Denmark. The show was amazing! They played four songs off Sink or Swim, and the new ones were brilliant live. They can do no wrong, and I am very satisfied with the fact that I went all the way to the UK.
8Frank Turner
Tape Deck Heart


Amager Bio, Copenhagen. I had twice missed out on Frank Turner, but finally the time was up! And he was bringing The Sleeping Souls! And he delivered like some 21st century Bruce Springsteen! I had last christmas given my mom, stepdad and sisters a ticket for this concert (I'd introduced them all over the years), and my cousin and his girlfriend was there as well. And everyone was having a blast. Great success!
9The Smith Street Band
No One Gets Lost Anymore


Monster Stage, Groezrock Festival. Oh, Wil Wagner. My boy-crush since late-'12/'13. It's a delight to watch a band you really, really like grow bigger and better all the time. I'd honestly thought, that the best show I'd witness by them this year (out of three) would be intimate, but no, it was actually this one at about 1 or 2 pm on the main stage of a Belgium punk festival, which impressed me the most. We were a handful of people up front who yelled and sung along the best we could, and in the end, Wil came down to us and hugged us all. Lots of love and good times!
10Arctic Monkeys
AM


Orange Stage, Roskilde Festival. These guys have grown up. When I saw them some years ago, they were good. But not THAT good. Now, they are a full-blown rock band with skill and attitude. The Monkeys definitely managed to fill the Orange Stage and connect everyone.
11Deftones
Around the Fur


Deftones are just brilliant. Both on and off record, they are an amazingly talented bands, and some of my favorite, well, "metal," around. This day was no different, and Chino, Abe, etc. went crazy. So did we!
12Nails
Unsilent Death


Pavillon, Roskilde Festival. Oooohhh yeeeahh. I had SOME expectations for this concert, and Nails pretty much ripped the festival's smallest stage wide open, leaving it to bleed until next year's edition. Please do come back!
13Queens of the Stone Age
Rated R


Main Stage, NorthSide Festival. QotSA was the last band to play this year, and boy did they close NS with manners! Despite the festivals sound and PR in general being pretty lousy, Homme and Co. managed to turn something grim into something beautiful (well, and ugly).
14New Found Glory
New Found Glory


Monster Stage, Groezrock Festival. Brace yourselves. I had NOT expected this to be very good, but oh my god were they good live! "Hit or Miss," "Dressed to Kill," etc. are obvious hits, but every song was just so well-executed.
15Mogwai
Rave Tapes


Arena, Roskilde Festival. I have never really had any interest in Mogwai before, but I prefer them to Rob Zombie, so here I was at Arena, half drunk a friend, expecting something good, but nothing in the likes of what I experienced. Well done, boys, I will check out your discography soon enough! Very beautiful soundscapes.
16The Smith Street Band
South East Facing Wall


UnderWerket, Copenhagen (supporting Restorations). Yes, they're here once again. This time at a smaller venue (approx. 60 people, maximum), yet still with that energy that is undeniable at a SSB-concert. Unfortúnately, the sound wasn't quite as good as usual, which made it lack a little. But still!!(!!)
17Savages
Silence Yourself


Store Vega, Copenhagen. These girls can surely play. An hour of intense... well, what, post-punk, I guess? Jenny Beth and Co. manages to keep everything together while still sounding tight and improvising here and there.
18Neil Young
Zuma


Neil Young had previously cancelled two shows I wanted to see him at, so I was pretty psyched for this, especially with Crazy Horse joining (RIP Rick Rosas whom died a few months after). Songs ranging from 3 to 15 minutes, they tore that shit apart! AND, they played both Barstool Blues and Cortez the Killer.
19The Wonder Years
The Upsides


Etnies Stage, Groezrock Festival. Oh yeah, sing-along with Soupy, obvious high fives, and I stage-dived. This was intense as hell! Only problem was a few difficulties with the sound, and the fact that they only had 45-50 minute.
20The Lawrence Arms
Apathy and Exhaustion


Monster Stage, Groezrock Festival. Finally got to see Larry Arms, and they were a lot better than I had expected! Had heard a few offs about their live-act, but this was fun as hell! Plus, my cousin threw me over his shoulder (I am 6'8", this is a difficult task) and made me crowd-surf. Good times!
21Touche Amore
Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me


Loppen, Copenhagen. Second show I saw by them this year, and definitely the best one. Set at Denmark's probably best Hardcore-stage, the band played to just about perfection, while maintaining intimacy and personality.
22Restorations
LP3


UnderWerket, Copenhagen. Very fun show! They were supported by The Smith Street Band and Astpai, and both Zok and Wil went on stage during the final songs. Post-rock/punk-rock done well!
23The Smith Street Band
Sunshine and Technology


Beta2300, Copenhagen. (Oh lord, here he goes again...) Yeah, a third time on the same list, they are THAT good. They supported The Menzingers (see number 24) and out-played them by just a bit.
24The Menzingers
Chamberlain Waits


Beta2300, Copenhagen. I actually saw the Zingers twice this year, but both performances weren't quite as good as the two I'd seen previously. But still, very very good, ofc. They're just playing too many of the boring songs from their new album (My Friend Kyle, The Talk, etc.)
25Mew
No More Stories


Johan is back! As a surprise, he arrived on stage without anyone hearing about beforehand. And they were magnificent!
26A brief interlude
...


Yeah, so this one is just to mark, that the 25 "best concerts" are over, and the following 5 are concerts I was rather let down by. They weren't necessarily bad, but just did not at all live up to what I had expected.
27Stevie Wonder
Innervisions


Orange Stage, Roskilde Festival. Obviously, I had very high expectations for this concert. It started with a little groove by the band which was OK at best, and then His Blindness (I'm sorry) walked unto the stage and started preaching for 15(!!) minutes about GOD. When he finally sung, yeah, that was alright. But this was a bad concert, and I left after about half an hour. Luckily, the band I saw instead, was Nails.
28Modern Life is War
Witness


Etnies Stage, Groezrock Festival. OK, might partly have been my fault. I was at a Screeching Weasel-concert before, so I got there late. Once I arrived, the tent was crowded, and I got a bad spot. The energy was kinda failing out there, the sound was muddy, and it just was not as intense as I'd hoped.
29Taking Back Sunday
Tell All Your Friends


Impericon Stage, Groezrock Festival. This was just plain boring and uninspiring. We get it, you know how to swing a mic around. Good for you. Please play something good.
30Pixies
Doolittle


I had high expectations, but they were kinda let down. Not that it was a BAD concert, just boring and dragging. Had not expected this, had hoped for something better.
31OutKast
ATLiens


Orange Stage, Roskilde Festival. Neither was this very bad, just boring. Yeah, they rapped and jumped a little, but there was no real band or show, and there were few highlights.
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