I Was There - 80 Live Acts from 2018

by Mark Moody
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It was a great year of covering live music shows for Soundblab. Committing to cover four festivals that spread out over ten days certainly helped the artist count on the list below. But there were also plenty of club and concert hall shows as well. No doubt the most individual acts I've seen in one year (and some of them twice!). Ironically the year was bookended by seeing Phoebe Bridgers in February in Austin and her trio with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker (boygenius) in November in Madison. Yes, we travel a bit in doing this as well! Size wise the biggest crowd was probably seeing Paul McCartney at Austin City Limits down to a backyard house concert of an old favorite of mine (Walter Salas-Humara of The Silos). And most shows my ever-patient wife was along to take amazing photos - sincere apologies to Hinds and Japanese Breakfast for being subjected to my meager camera skills! Also apologies to the only show I committed to but didn't make - Jessica's Brother - due to running late from our Stonehenge tour (that's a unique but true excuse - damn bus driver).

The bottom two slots were earned, but none of the rest of them were "bad" shows, but I had to start somewhere. Most of the acts in the 70 and above slots were bands I hadn't seen before at festivals that just didn't catch my attention, but on the flip side there were unknown acts to me that were great surprises like Darlingside, Tank and the Bangas, and This Is The Kit. Jack White was just outright weird and indulgent, while St. Vincent was barely audible (not her fault) but also intentionally detached. David Byrne's set was wildly creative, St. Paul and the Broken Bones were totally unhinged, Mavis Staples is a national treasure still upping her game. Already starting to rack up the shows in 2019! What were your favorite shows of last year? Who did I miss seeing? Click an album below to read a review

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