Chris’s Favourite 50 Concerts of 2013

by chrisg on January 22, 2014

We’re almost a month into the new year and I was recently reminded to post my top concert list from 2013…

…which was an insane concert year for me. According to my spreadsheet, I saw almost 400 different “sets”. I defined a “set” to include all performances by headliners, opening acts, and festival acts that I saw all or the majority of. If I saw a band multiple times, I counted each time.

All of this happened in 9 different countries (Canada, USA, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, France, UK, and Iceland) including 6 multi-day music festivals (Sasquatch, Sled Island, Calgary Folk Fest, Pukkelpop, Reeperbahn, and Iceland Airwaves). I doubt it will ever be this high for me ever again. This was made possible because I took 8+ months off of school or work. Looking back, I’m pretty glad I took the time and money to do this in my (almost) year off.

My list criteria is a balance between how much I enjoy the music in the first place, the overall atmosphere with the venue and the audience, and of course how well the band executes their live show.

50. Delorean – Mojo Club, Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg)
49. Wild Cub – Divan Orange (Montréal)
48. Hot Chip – Fort York Garrison Common, Grove Festival (Toronto)
47. Disclosure – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
46. Half Moon Run – Starlite Room (Edmonton)
45. Washed Out – Oval Space (London)
44. Menomena – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
43. Brendan Canning – The ARTery (Edmonton)
42. The Men – Pawn Shop (Edmonton)
41. Milk Carton Kids – Zoom (Frankfurt)
40. Mountain Goats – Gaîté Lyrique (Paris)
39. Reuben and the Dark – The ARTery (Edmonton)
38. Midlake – Harpa Silfurberg, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
37. DIANA – Stúdentakjallarinn, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
36. Strumbellas – Nicole’s House (Edmonton)
35. Mac Demarco – Harpa Silfurberg, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
34. Born Ruffians – Avenue Theatre (Edmonton)
33. Youth Lagoon – Wonder Ballroom (Portland)
32. Efterklang – Große Freiheit 36, Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg)
31. NONONO – Große Freiheit 36, Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg)
30. Waxahatchee – Scala (London)
29. Baths – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
28. Chvrches – Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
27. Superchunk – Flames Central, Sled Island Festival (Calgary)
26. Postal Service – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
25. Kurt Vile & the Violators – Calgary Folk Festival (Calgary)
24. Sóley – Harpa Silfurberg, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
23. Vampire Weekend – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
22. Sharon Van Etten – Calgary Folk Festival (Calgary)
21. Samaris – Gamla Bío/Harpa Silfurberg, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
20. Ólafur Arnalds & Icelandic Symphony Orchestra – Harpa Eldborg, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
19. Royal Canoe – Calgary Folk Festival (Calgary) / Stúdentakjallarinn, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
18. Mammút – Loft Hostel/B5, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
17. Local Natives – Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
16. A Place To Bury Strangers – Loppen, Christiania (København)
15. Phoenix – Fort York Garrison Common, Grove Festival (Toronto)
14. Bat For Lashes – Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
13. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Broken City, Sled Island Festival (Calgary)
12. Kraftwerk – Harpa Eldborg, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
11. Fucked Up – Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium) / Harpa Norðurljós, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
10. Grimes – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
9. Willis Earl Beal – Gruenspan, Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg)
8. Arctic Monkeys – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
7. The Knife – Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
6. The xx – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington) / Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
5. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
4. Múm – Fríkirkjan, Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavík)
3. James Blake – Tempodrom (Berlin)
2. My Bloody Valentine – Live Music Hall (Köln)
1. Sigur Rós – Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)

I saw a large number of touring bands that I will likely never get to see again (at least in Alberta). So I didn’t have room to include the countless shows I saw at Wunderbar and the Artery – I didn’t want to pick and choose between all of the great bands we have locally.

I’d also like to mention how strange and neat it was to see Edmonton bands in Europe. Shout Out Out Out Out, the Provincial Archive, and Travis Bretzer were at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg and ex-pats Mac DeMarco and Sean Nicolas Savage were at Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik. I supported our musicians in other countries with pride.

There’s a lot more I could talk about but I’ll refrain from making this post too bloated.

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