Tag Archives: Fucked Up

Another Long Winter

Inauguration of Long Winter’s second year hints at a less Fucked Up forecast
Words and photos by Tom Beedham

Doomsquad performing in the Samuel J. Moore restaurant on the main floor of The Great Hall on Nov. 8. November 8 marked the first time Long Winter used the restaurant as a venue for its programming. Photo: Tom Beedham

Doomsquad performing in the Samuel J. Moore restaurant on the main floor of The Great Hall on Nov. 8. November 8 marked the first time Long Winter used the restaurant as a venue for its programming. Photo: Tom Beedham

When Long Winter returned to The Great Hall on Nov. 8, it came too with the suggestion that audiences would receive a different version of the monthly melting pot-facilitating evenings than they might have come to expect from it last year.

To wit, the one reliable feature Long Winter regulars have become familiar with is the dependable lack of predictability tied to each night of the season spanning (and extending) arts and culture community event, but the first night of this season came with a significant rebranding.

The cover of Long Winter's program for Nov. 8. Noticeably absent is mention of Fucked Up, the band slated as the presenters of last year's Long Winter events. Photo: Tom Beedham

The cover of Long Winter’s program for Nov. 8. Noticeably absent is mention of Fucked Up, the band slated as the presenters of last year’s Long Winter events. Photo: Tom Beedham

Ushered into fruition just one year ago by Mike Haliechuk and Josh Zucker of ever-enterprising Toronto punk outfit Fucked Up, the monthly night of music, art, food, film, poetry, photography, dance, speakers, and (eventually) video games began as something that would allow Haliechuk and Zucker to program a local event. Throwing each of the nights to impressively broadened masses as all-ages, pay-what-you-can affairs, Long Winter established itself as a beacon for fairly accessible multi-media entertainment programming (unfortunately the Great Hall is only accessible by stairs; there is no elevator service), and as the events snowballed in scope as well as popularity, its varied offerings came to tessellate more and more of the rooms and hallways that make up the building accordingly.

The events relied on the somewhat small community of connections their band had both established and immersed itself in, and Fucked Up headlined most of the five shows, appropriately cited on Long Winter programs, posters, and online event pages as the force that “presented” each of the series’ instalments.

But as it returned this year with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, although Haliechuk and Zucker continue to run the show, Fucked Up’s name was nowhere to be found.

Speculation could go on forever as to why the band’s pedigree has been removed from the ephemera surrounding the series, but in terms of the void they left to be filled by another headliner – this time a slot arguably shared by psychedelic Guelph rock veterans King Cobb Steelie in the main hall and siblinged Toronto/Montréal darkwave trio Doomsquad in the newly Long Winter-dominated Samuel J. Moore restaurant on The Great Hall’s ground level – it’s worth noting that the series’ website includes a statement from Haliechuk boasting a commitment to diverse programming and calling for outside submissions.

“Everyone is welcome, and everyone who attended last year should feel as much a part of this event as we do. We aim to be a reflection of all the great things that people do in Toronto,” Haliechuk says – emphasis on the “all,” no doubt. It would be no great surprise if Fucked Up’s reduced identity were implemented in favour of that virtue.

The first of a series of split seven-inch records Scion Sessions is giving Long Winter audiences for free upon entry to the monthly event this season. Photo: Tom Beedham

The first of a series of split seven-inch records Scion Sessions is giving Long Winter audiences for free upon entry to the monthly event this season. Photo: Tom Beedham

The first 350 patrons entering November 8’s Long Winter would have immediately noticed one other big change as they passed through the doors, each of them granted a free split seven-inch featuring Doomsquad and Lido Pimienta, whom also performed that night. Contributed by the Hand Drawn Dracula-courting Scion Sessions, the record was the first of a series of Long Winter artist-featuring splits slated to be offered to guests for each of this year’s instalments.

From there on, though, it was mostly business as usual for one of Toronto’s most immersive entertainment programming series: there was music, there was art, there was food, there was theatre, there was comedy, there were video games, and there was music. Did I say there was music?

If guests ventured further upstairs to the hall’s balcony level and coat check, they would have approached and become a part of Steve Reaume’s art/light installation projecting some truly debilitating algorithmic patterns into a corner, and once they’d recovered from the dizzying effects of that, there was William Andrew Finlay Stewart’s “Fall” – a looping video project – waiting for them on the ground.

If you skipped dinner to get there early or just wanted some late night munchies, the main hall hosted all-vegan food offerings from Windowshade Delicatessen, who’s reuben sandwich variant will certainly earn their west College street location a personal visit from myself and everyone else I successfully peddle it on.

At any given point throughout the night you could also fill your time by drawing on (and having your picture taken with) one of 1078 disposed coffee cups with “Disposable,” a consumption-considering interactive installation from Anrea Wrobel and Brian Cauley.

Wake Island's Philippe M at Long Winter in The Great Hall's main hall on Nov. 8. PhotoL Tom Beedham

Wake Island’s Philippe M at Long Winter in The Great Hall’s main hall on Nov. 8. PhotoL Tom Beedham

Things really got rolling with Wake Island, though. Opening up the multi-stationed concert portion of the night in the main hall, the Montreal rock foursome hammered things home with some expert delivery, cementing its set as something other performers should have worried about following with guitarist Nadim M’s final tooth-picked solo.

Nevertheless, performer Ben Kamino took the stage once they’d finished, instructing the main hall to slow-dance eyes shut in a herd, urging participants to touch each other – not just with their hands but with all parts of their bodies – and by extension, “everyone in the universe.” You can imagine how that went. It was awkward. Kamino repeated this experiment twice more following bands in the main hall.

 Esther Grey at Long Winter in The Great Hall's Conversation Room on Nov. 8. Photo: Tom Beedham

Esther Grey at Long Winter in The Great Hall’s Conversation Room on Nov. 8. Photo: Tom Beedham

Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 1 Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 2 Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 3 Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 4 Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 5 Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 6 Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 7 Esther Grey. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 8
Next was Guelph garage rock act Esther Grey, warming up the Conversation Room. Bringing sometimes-member and saxophonist Dan Paille in tow, guitarist Steph Yates and bassist Nathan Campagnero’s plodding progressions were juxtaposed with some extra texture that I didn’t get to hear when I last reviewed them for their Kazoo! Fest show back in April. Paille’s sax is presented pretty sparingly in comparison to the core group’s output, so it works with the group’s minimalist explorations of instrumental spacing.

From Ben Kamino and Matt Kelly's

From Ben Kamino and Matt Kelly’s “Conflict. Resolution. Conflict,” an absurdist Beckettian skit performed in front of the crowd dissipating after Esther Grey’s set in the Conversation Room at The Great Hall for Long Winter. Photo: Tom Beedham

Fixed with elongated cardboard masks, Ben Kamino and Matt Kelly ambushed the crowd remaining in the room at the end of Esther Grey’s set with a guerilla theatre performance called “Conflict. Resolution. Conflict.” Their characters mostly just argued over an onion, but eventually they made up with a sweet(?) embrace that saw them sharing bites out of the very real, very potent vegetable and then scuttled out of the room.

Recovering from Kamino and Kelly’s adventure in Beckettian theatre and wandering back into the main hall, Rheostatics founder Dave Bidini’s new group Bidiniband guided audience through a literary-minded tour of rock history, only playing four stream-of-conscience-y “long ones” to negotiate the restraints of their set time.

If you rushed from Bidini’s set to the conversation hall, you would have caught a very confrontational Abyss, whose frontman spent the majority of the group’s grindcore assaults sharing the mic with one listener’s face, whether he liked it or not.

Lido Pimienta performing in The Great Hall's main hall on Nov. 8 for Long Winter. Photo: Tom Beedham

Lido Pimienta performing in The Great Hall’s main hall on Nov. 8 for Long Winter. Photo: Tom Beedham

Next up in the main hall was Lido Pimienta, who should really get props for exacting some very hands-on parenting all while singing and dancing onstage.

“Single mothers in this city are gangster, y’all,” Pimienta said. She proved she wasn’t wrong with her highly danceable genre-benders.

Vish Khanna (right) interviews 2013 Polaris Music Prize nominee Zaki Ibrahim as Exclaim! Editor-in-Chief James Keast (left) sits in for additional perspective during 'Late Night with Vish Khanna,' a new talk show-style addition to Long Winter's  monthly programming. Photo: Tom Beedham

Vish Khanna (right) interviews 2013 Polaris Music Prize nominee Zaki Ibrahim as Exclaim! Editor-in-Chief James Keast (left) sits in for additional perspective during ‘Late Night with Vish Khanna,’ a new talk show addition to Long Winter’s monthly programming. Photo: Tom Beedham

Meanwhile in the basement, the last really big new thing for Long Winter was in full sway with former Long Winter MC Vish Khanna hosting his own late night talk show Long Night with Vish Khanna in the BLK BOX theatre. Complete with the house band stylings of The Bicycles and Light Fires’ Regina Thegentlelady wandering onstage to the show featured talk show style interviews with guests including musicians Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh) and 2013 Polaris Music Prize-nominated Zaki Abraham, as well as author and The Grid Senior Editor Edward Keenan, and Exclaim! Editor-in-Chief James Keast. While I missed Barlow entirely and only just made it downstairs in time for the tail end of Keenan’s portion of the show discussing his new Toronto political history Some Great Idea and recent developments involving Mayor Rob Ford, I did get to sit through Zaki Ibrahim, who also offered insight on the mayor, but more interestingly, her take on Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s treatment of its Polaris prize win. (“I felt like I had egg on my face,” Ibrahim said, after commenting that GYBE’s treatment of the prize and the gala was “cool.” Ibrahim also related GYBE to the Grateful Dead, provoking some (not very successfully) suppressed laughter from Keast.)

Doomsquad performing in the Samuel J. Moore restaurant as part of Long Winter on Nov. 8. Photo: Tom Beedham

Doomsquad performing in the Samuel J. Moore restaurant as part of Long Winter on Nov. 8. Photo: Tom Beedham

Doomsquad. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 1 Doomsquad. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 2 Doomsquad. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 3 Doomsquad. Long Winter. Tom Beedham. 4

Last for me were Doomsquad – giving the Samuel J. Moore restaurant its first Long Winter performance – playing their new age-evocative electronic music in some cavernous darkness (save for a salt lamp affixed to guitarist Trevor Blumas’ sampling table). The Blumas siblings challenged the physical resilience of the restaurant’s wall-to-wall window with crippling bass, offering only the soft textures of a pan flutes as a possible remedy.

From everything I was able to take in before calling it a night, The Great Hall seems properly primed for another season of Long Winter, even with the SJM restaurant added into the chaos (despite the potential for sonic disaster in the new venue, only some quickly resolved mixing issues that initially placed Trevor Blumas’ sampler way too low in the mix presented themselves over the course of the set). And from what I could make of the faces I saw on Friday, I think audiences are ready, too.

Concert Photos: Fucked Up, METZ, Chelsea Light Moving & more at Supercrawl in Hamilton, ON Sept. 14, 2013

Alex Edkins of METZ takes a power stance at Supercrawl in Hamilton, ON on Sept. 14, 2013. The festival also saw performances from Fucked Up, Thurston Moore's new band Chelsea Light Moving, Speedy Ortiz, and more. Photo: Tom Beedham

Alex Edkins of METZ takes a power stance at Supercrawl in Hamilton, ON on Sept. 14, 2013. The festival also saw performances from Fucked Up, Thurston Moore’s new band Chelsea Light Moving, Speedy Ortiz, and more. Photo: Tom Beedham

This September the Hamilton community celebrated its fifth year of the annual James St. North Supercrawl, estimated to bring out an attendance of over 100,000 people this year. I brought along a camera and got shots of performances from bands performing the second full day of this year’s festival, including sets from Fucked Up, METZ, Thurston Moore’s post-Sonic Youth band Chelsea Light Moving, Speedy Ortiz, The Pack AD, X Ambassadors, and Doldrums.

Click here for all of the shots.

Hillside reviews: Fucked Up at Guelph Lake Island Stage – July 28, 2013

Fucked Up play unreleased material, announce return of Long Winter at Hillside

Fucked Up played unreleased material and announced the return of its Long Winter series at Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ont. Photo: Tom Beedham

Fucked Up played unreleased material and announced the return of its Long Winter series at Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ont. Photo: Tom Beedham

Fucked Up might have passed up a perfect opportunity to perform a rare (if not a three-years-in-the-making premiere) performance of “Solomon’s Song” with Colin Stetson at Hillside, but we’ll have to forgive them.

Having played a solo set on the Island Stage just hours before Fucked Up’s, the experimental saxophonist could have easily subbed in for Year of the Ox collaborator and Bitters member Aerin Fogel on the band’s 2010 Zodiac series b-side, but such is the stuff of the Guelph, Ont. festival’s highly regarded collaborative workshops – and not it’s regular concert presentations – anyway.

Instead, among some fistfuls of classics, Fucked Up used it’s half hour and change to test some (marginally shorter) new material it spent April and May holed up recording at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio recording studios in Chicago. There was the “It’s the privilege of mass delusion” chorused track that has been performed without a name since the band debuted it at the February edition of its Long Winter series at The Great Hall in Toronto, and also “Daddy” (finally named after premiered untitled at Exclaim!’s North by Northeast showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern June18 – watch video of the song’s NXNE premiere below), which frontman Damian Abraham dedicated to the band’s children.

The band with the f-word name further proved itself to be a family affair when it closed with “The Other Shoe” and Abraham’s older son, Holden, was invited onstage to contribute group vocals to the song’s chorus (even if nerves got the best of him in the end).

While the new songs have been given stage time before, it’s no surprise Fucked Up would try to familiarize their fans with them while still providing sets that churn out previous full length classics like “Black Albino Bones” (which Abraham dedicated to anyone in the crowd afflicted with the “horrible addiction” of vinyl collecting), “Son the Father,” and “Turn The Season,” as well as 2012 single “I Hate Summer” to keep the crowd participation up. Still, with the studio time behind them, it’s easy to surmise that it’s only a matter of time before Fucked Up’s new LP drops and it’s given precedence over offerings from David Comes To Life and The Chemistry of Common Life; 2006’s Hidden World was virtually unrepresented at Hillside.

Still, the band was all nostalgia in between songs: Abraham asked fans if anyone was present for the band’s performance at Guelph’s long-since defunct punk commune, The Punkalow, and the singer also related a story about a Holy Fuck fan mistakenly attending one of Fucked Up’s shows and subsequently purchasing an album.

At the end of the set, Abraham made sure fans received random articles of clothing that arrived onstage by way of the pit, and Hillside host Vish Khanna announced the band’s Long Winter series would return to Toronto in November.

Related:
Watch: Fucked Up play “Daddy” at NXNE
Hillside reviews: Colin Stetson at Guelph Lake Island Stage – July 28, 2013
Hillside reviews: Supersonic (Lee Ranaldo and The Dust, Colin Stetson, Richard Reed Parry, Sarah Neufeld +guests) at Guelph Lake Island Stage – July 28, 2013

Fucked Up perform new song at NXNE (video)

Fucked Up performed new material at their NXNE performance at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern on June 15.

Fucked Up performed new material at their NXNE performance at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern on June 15. (Photo: Tom Beedham)

Having just spent some time recording their follow-up to 2011’s David Comes To Life at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, when Fucked Up returned to Toronto for a performance at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on June 15, 2013, they came bearing some new material and tested a new track on their hometown.

Although a little shaky due to the crowd love-in that is every good Fucked Up show and a little off audio-wise, here’s some video footage of the new track (title unknown).

Q&A: Army Girls

Army Girls at eBar April 3, 2013. (Photo by Tom Beedham)

Making perfect sense as the act to open the first (non-secret) concert of Kazoo! Fest 2013, Army Girls is a two-piece garage pop duo that thrives on the do it yourself ethos that defines the annual Guelph concert series and the organization that birthed it. I sat down with guitarist Carmen Elle (DIANA, Donlands and Mortimer, Austra) and drummer Andy Smith (Doldrums) to talk about managing conflicting schedules, their near kitchen-related band name, getting Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook to produce their 2011 EP Close to the Bone, as well as what the future has in store for them.

Tom Beedham: Hi Carmen. Hi Andy. Welcome to Guelph. I understand this is your first show here.

Andy Smith: We’ve both been here many times, but our first show, yeah. Indeed.

TB: Your first show in Guelph as Army Girls, at least.

AS: Yeah.

Carmen Elle: Yeah.

TB: For the people at home reading this, can you just explain what Army Girls is all about?

CE: Yeah! We are a two-piece rock-and-roll band consisting of guitar, drums, and vocals, and we write songs about fear and loneliness, um, pretty much exclusively.

AS: Yeah. All the simple things in life.

CE: All the simple things in life – yeah.

TB: I hear Army Girls was almost named after a kitchen appliance instead.

AS: Really?

CE: Really?

AS: Who said that?

TB: It was in an interview you guys did. You were talking about looking around the kitchen and just putting the word “The” before things.

AS: Fork? Spoon?

CE: Spoon? Fork?

AS: Knife? And then we were ladle.

CE: Ladle. Yeah, it’s true. The act of finding a band name was a lengthy process full of disappointing realizations about the limits of our imaginations.

AS: Yeah. Every time I stop to think about it, it’s always like… you know… whatever I come up with there would probably be something that is 10 times better, and then something that is 10 times better than that.

CE: I feel like everybody thinks that they’re more creative than maybe they actually are. Which isn’t to say that people aren’t creative; it just means that we don’t apply ourselves very often.

AS: Or it’s that fear and we’re self-doubting.

CE: Yeeeah. Especially for bands. “We can come up with a name.”

TB: So how did you end up with “Army Girls”?

CE: I saw someone on the street who was… she was a girl wearing an army jacket, she had a cool haircut, and I just went, “Oh, Army Girls.”

AS: And I said yes. Because—

CE: He said, “I don’t hate it.”

AS: Yeah. “I don’t hate it,” and, “Let’s use that and get it out of the way and continue.”

CE: Yeah. Like try coming up with a band name right now.

TB: Uh, I was going to say Army Ants, but that’s probably because Army Girls is right in front of me.

CE: And I thought The Macaroni and Cheese in my head.

AS: That could work, you know?

TB: More stuff in the kitchen!

CE: Yeah!

AS: It’s all about the kitchen.

CE: It’s hard.

TB: Makes sense. So you’re here for Kazoo! Fest. How did that get set up?

AS: Email, basically.

CE: Well, we got asked to play Wavelength Music Festival in Toronto last February with PS I Love You, um that was a super-super awesome show.

AS: It was a great show, yeah.

TB: Ah. And Kazoo! was a co-presenter with Wavelength this year.

CE: Well, a few of the guys who I guess run Kazoo! were at that show, and they offered us a slot in the festival that year but we I believe were out of town for that. So they followed up this year and we were happy to do it.

TB: You’re both involved in other projects. Can you talk about them and what it’s like balancing being in different bands?

AS: Well currently I’m not too involved in anything else.

TB: Aren’t you still involved in Doldrums?

AS: No, no. I only played the first eight shows back in like 2010.

TB: Oh, my mistake! I wasn’t sure so I’d actually tried to find videos of recent Doldrums gigs, and the ones I did find didn’t really give a clear view of who was on the kit, but it looked like it could be you, so I just figured it was.

CE: But his stage setup – Airick [Woodhead, a.k.a. the mastermind behind Doldrums], who’s a friend of ours – it evolves I would say like every album, but he’s super prolific and his stage requirements change a lot and so he’s always getting cool other players.

AS: Absolutely.

CE: Like our friend Steve [Foster] who I’m also in a band with, is his drummer right now.

TB: Is that DIANA?

CE: Donlands and Mortimer.

TB: Another one?

CE: Another one, yeah. [Laughs]

AS: You can’t keep up with her.

CE: Yeah. I guess I’m in three bands, which is kind of time consuming and it’s kind of confusing. There’s like a Google Calendar that nobody checks. Donlands and Mortimer is a band that I’ve been in for six years and we like to joke that we’re a reverse super group. You know how sometimes famous musicians will get together and they’ll be like, let’s start a band? Like Foo Fighters or whatever. Wait. Queens of the Stone Age.

TB: Well, Foo Fighters, too sort of, but yeah moreso Queens of the Stone Age.

Well Donlands… we all started playing together before we could play our instruments too well, and now Johnny [Spence] the keyboard player is in Tegan and Sara’s band, Steve’s in Doldrums, I’ve got this other band DIANA that’s doing really well… So yeah, it’s challenging for sure—

AS: But it’s to be expected, really.

CE: Yeah, but it’s awesome.

TB: So I was going to say both of you were at this year’s SXSW, but I guess you [Andy] were not.

AS: I was not.

TB: But you [Carmen] were there with DIANA. How was that experience, showing your music off to people that might have never heard of you before?

CE: Oh, it was super super awesome. We were on tour for the entire month opening for Tegan and Sara. We toured down to South by with them, so the entire month was kind of this huge high for us. We were super, super, super grateful and by the time we got down to South by, um… I think we were really tight as well, which, you know, felt really, really good for a band like that. Yeah. I had an amazing time at South by. I like Texas.

TB: So [Carmen], as you were saying, DIANA really took off over the winter and you went on tour with Tegan and Sara. What was that like?

CE: Oh, um, it was kind of a bad first tour to go on, because it spoiled us, and now every other tour we go on will not be as good.

TB: Did you get an extensive rider?

CE: We got a rider. And that was amazing.

TB: Did you put anything crazy on it?

CE: Batteries. Nine-volt batteries. They’re so expensive.

AS: Super Nintendo?

CE: Um, no [laughs]. We put dark chocolate on there – like 85 per cent – the good stuff, one grapefruit…

TB: I’ve actually got a pretty cool story about DIANA. My girlfriend and I went to the Long Winter show you guys played back in November for our first date. So we actually had our first dance during your set.

CE: Really?!

AS: That’s fancy.

CE: To what song? Was it like a slow jammer?

TB: All I can remember is it wasn’t “Born Again.”

CE: Might’ve been the other one, “Perpetual Surrender.” Like with the saxophone solo?

TB: Yeah! That’s totally it.

AS: Saxophone did it.

CE: Well, you’re welcome.

TB: Thank you. She’s probably going to make fun of me. I’m embarrassing. Anyway, Speaking of Long Winter and tying this back in with Army Girls, the two of you wrote and recorded your EP, Close to the Bone in 2011 with Ben Cook of Fucked Up, who presented that series. What was that process like?

CE: I knew of Ben Cook through a friend of mine, Simone TB, who’s in a band called Tropics and another called The Highest Order, and she kept throwing these Young Governor seven-inches at me and being like, “Ben Cook sings like an angel,” so I listened to a bunch of his stuff on MySpace, and agreed with her and also additionally thought that the sonic quality of his recordings was pretty similar to what I though that Army Girls should sound like on recording. So I cold called him, and he said yes, and then four hours later we have this record.

AS: It was a very good chemistry I suppose where we just kind of banged it out super quickly and it sounded kind of how we wanted it to sound.

TB: Any plans to set up some shows with his other band, Yacht Club? That’d be a good fit.

CE: Yeah. [I’d] love to play a show with Yacht Club. Actually we keep trying to book shows with Yacht Club and either we’ll pitch one or they’ll pitch one, and almost always it doesn’t fit with our schedules. But yeah, hopefully sooner rather than later. And I mean Ben Cook’s name is faithfully in every single conversation we have about who to work with in the future. We’re pretty happy with that dude in our lives.

TB: Wrapping things up, what does the future have in store for Army Girls? Any studio time lined up? Tour plans?

AS: I suppose our EP is being reissued by Blocks [Recording Club] with updated artwork—

CE: And two new tunes on it.

AS: And two new tunes. And I guess that’s kind of to-be-determined – the release date – but it’ll be available probably within a month or two, and then I guess just working towards doing our first full length.

CE: We’re writing pretty hardcore right now. We’re taking our time with it so that it sounds nice and shiny.

(first published by The Ontarion on April 4, 2013)

2012 in Concert Stubs

Alexisonfire at Sound Academy Dec. 29, 2012 (their second-last show ever).

Alexisonfire at Sound Academy Dec. 29, 2012 (their second-last show ever).

It’s that time of the year when everyone tries to take stock of the chaos of the past 12 months, so for the sake of documentation, I’ve made a list of all the bands I managed to catch in 2012. I was only offered a short sample of some of these acts at festivals, but a lot were at shows of their own. There were also a lot of really stand-out performances in this mix and it’s coincidentally the great time of annual top 10/20/25/50/whatever lists, so maybe I’ll get around to picking out some of my favourites as well.
Here’s who I checked out in concert this year, through work or out of my own volition:
  • Action Bronson
  • Alexisonfire (twice)
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • AWOLNATION
  • Bad Religion
  • Ben Caplan
  • Black Label Society
  • Black Lips
  • The Buzzcocks
  • Cancer Bats (twice)
  • Ceremony (twice)
  • Dan Mangan
  • Death Grips
  • Deftones
  • Descendents
  • DIANA
  • Dillinger Escape Plan
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Feist
  • Florence + the Machine
  • Fucked Up (thrice)
  • Girl Talk
  • Goatwhore
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Gogol Bordello
  • Greg Ginn and the Royal We
  • GWAR
  • The Hives
  • Hollerado (twice)
  • In Flames
  • Jimmy Cliff & Tim Armstrong
  • Justice
  • Kids & Explosions
  • Killer Mike (twice)
  • Less Than Jake
  • Lowlands
  • Madness
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Mazzy Star
  • MellowHype
  • METZ
  • Moneen
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • NOFX
  • OFF!
  • Protest the Hero (twice)
  • Pulp
  • Radiohead
  • Raekwon and Ghostface Killah
  • Refused (twice)
  • Rival Schools
  • Slipknot
  • Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre (feat. the Tupac hologram, Eminem, 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa)
  • Shotgun Jimmie
  • Squeeze
  • Suicidal Tendencies
  • System of a Down
  • Teenage Head
  • Tool
  • Trash Talk
  • USS
  • The Wooden Sky