October has been a very good month to us, musically-speaking. A quick glance back over the past five Octobers reveals that we have seen a lot of great shows in a lot of different venues. Before we count down the Top Five October Concert Experiences in Vore History, we must (alas) revisit once again the worst concert experience in Vore History, which also took place in October: Bunny Brains opening for Devendra Banhart at Exit/In (October 14, 2005). The only good thing to come out of that was a permanent place in the Vore lexicon.
5. The New Pornographers at Mercy Lounge. October 18, 2005. Nashville. Ben saw this one sans Erin but with two work colleagues who rarely made social appearances. Such is the siren appeal of Neko Case, who was the best thing going for the Pornographers that (and every) night. Twin Cinema had just released and she belted out “The Bones of an Idol,” “These are the Fables” and — easily the show’s highlight — “The Bleeding Heart Show,” which lamentably has become the theme song to University of Phoenix commercials. A.C. Newman looked even pastier in person than Ben thought possible.
4. Beulah at 12th & Porter. October 11, 2003. Nashville. There are few songs that will instantly put Ben in a better mood than Beulah’s “Hey Brother,” which he and Seth Swihart listened to on repeat for the entire length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike many moons ago. There were rumors of Beulah’s demise shortly after Yoko released in 2003, but we were not aware that night at 12th & Porter how soon the end would come, or the cult status Beulah would attain after its break-up. If we can land a man on the moon, why can’t we get Beulah back together?
3. The Eels at Mercy Lounge. October 25, 2003. Nashville. Some artists — Ben Folds and Wayne Coyne come to mind — are natural performers who seem to be trapped inside musician’s bodies. Mark Oliver Everett, a k a “E,” is another such hostage. After listening to Electro-Shock Blues, a concept album about death which E wrote after his sister committed suicide and his mother was diagnosed with cancer, one suspects that he is probably the saddest sack you’ll ever meet. So we were surprised when E turned up at the Mercy Lounge and turned out to be a comedic powerhouse. From the tweed-and-pipe MC Honky to the bearded wonder Koool G Murder, E’s bizarre entourage fit the mood perfectly. (You probably know The Eels from the Shrek movies: “My Beloved Monster,” “Royal Pain,” etc.)
2. Wilco at Tall Stacks. October 7, 2006. Cincinnati. Highs: Dan Vore was in town to enjoy the festivities down by the river. Jeff Tweedy was in fine form. Nels Cline shredded for a good part of the evening. We heard “Impossible Germany” and “Hate it Here” for the first time. Lows: Two pot-smoking idiots in front of us kept talking to one another or on their cell phones as the show started. Highs: Erin made it clear she would crack their skulls if they didn’t remove themselves immediately from the vicinity. Highs: They did.
1. LCD Soundsystem/Arcade Fire. October 3, 2007. Louisville. This was another great show down by the river, although the stage was basically underneath an overpass. Arcade Fire’s fan base tends toward the messianic. A typical sentiment, posted by one fan online, is this: “If you are a human being, you owe it to your eternal soul to love the Arcade Fire and see them play live.” We won’t speak for your eternal soul, but ours was blown away. Never have so many people made banging on things look so essential. And the closer “Rebellion (Lies)” was killer. LCD Soundsystem was no slouch either. Are they the greatest band to run to … EVER? We vote: Yes! (Runner-up: Not Yo-Yo Ma.)
This leads us to the Third Voreblog Readers Forum: What is the your worst concert experience? We should clarify here that Devendra Banhart was great, Bunny Brains was not. A very close second for our Worst Concert Experience would be Bonepony, whom we saw with Eric Bescak. He has never forgiven us. (We’re not joking. Eric, we know you still harbor white hot rage toward us. We are so, so sorry.)
As always, feel free to ramble off-topic, ridicule our music tastes, post links to music videos from The Never-Ending Story, etc. Comment now!