It’s well known I like to be different (insert your own joke here), and for me that means I will not be having a top 10 list, no. Since it is about 2012, then it’s all about the 12. We saw big things in 2012 like the Mayan’s purportedly predicting the world’s demise on 12/21/12, and the last time a date like 12/12/12 will appear in our lifetimes. Numerology was all the rage this year, especially in December. So, with that here is my list of my top 12 concerts of 2012, in no particular order.
As I stated in no uncertain terms in my last article (Top concert pics of 2012) these “best of” lists are purely subjective and based solely on opinion. This one is no different (and an update from my last article I still have not found a “Top Ten Toe-nail clippers” list anywhere).
My list is based only on shows from which I attended. I could not attend a few high profile shows (ex Pointfest, Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters) due to factors beyond my control, so I cannot state how great something was which I did not attend, obviously. That being said, I still managed to catch 145 performances by 143 different bands/artists at 51 different events, some so close together I thought I would never catch up on my lost sleep. But I wouldn't give it up for anything. I love what I do and know I am fortunate to be doing it, for that I am thankful.
What was your favorite show from 2012? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy the list and the accompanying slide show with photos from the list, and have a safe New Year and a rockin’ 2013. \m/
Madonna @ Scottrade Center 11/1/12
The Queen of Pop finally made her Gateway City debut after 29 long years with a show that was beyond reproach. With a massive stage and production crew, Madge satisfied the vast majority of the crowd with a show-stopping performance. To all the complainers who whined that her performance started hours late: it did NOT. Sure, she came on at 10:35, but most headliners of a major concert don’t come onstage until 10:00 anyway 35 minutes is NOT hours. Besides, what is a few more minutes after waiting 29 years? It was worth it.
RUSH @ Scottrade Center 9/22/12
Since Neil Peart was installed at the permanent drummer for Rush in 1974 Rush has been the leaders of technical prowess of their respective instruments, making many other musicians feel like amateurs by comparison. With odd time signatures coupled with catchy choruses and thought-provoking lyrics they were different. They always are a treat to see and are still very much at the top of their game. With a kick-butt new CD their performance focused on the new music, and after a couple tours of focusing on their history a show with the emphasis on the present was refreshing. And this month it was announced that they will finally be acknowledged for their accomplishments by enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
KISS/Mötley Crüe @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater 8/27/12
This was a true party show, beyond a doubt. With rock icons KISS and Mötley Crüe teaming together for a tour that was so big it was simply called “The Tour” it was a show that couldn’t be missed. Whatever you think of them there is one thing for certain; they know how to rock and they do, night after night, city after city and they do not disappoint. It is always a blast to shoot a KISS show and they are consummate professionals who know how to blow the roof off a joint, as they did in August.
Heart @ Fair St. Louis 7/4/12
The newest members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (being inducted with RUSH in 2013) Heart played a masterful performance under the majestic Gateway Arch for a Fourth of July party in front of 200,000 fairgoers crammed on the Arch grounds. The concert was one of the best musical performances the Fair had ever had since its inception as the VP Fair in 1981, even rivaling Elton John’s from 1982 (Yes, I have seen a vast majority of the main stage performances over the years).
Kelly Clarkson @ The Fabulous Fox 3/16/12
It’s seemed like an eternity since Kelly Clarkson became the first American Idol and since that time she has grown so much as a true superstar. No longer a fresh faced kid with amazing pipes; Kelly has grown into a beautiful woman with amazing pipes and a wonderful stage presence that rocked The Fabulous Fox with an equally beautiful performance. It was without a doubt one of the top shows of the year.
Sting@ The Fabulous Fox 6/5/12
As a rock icon on two fronts (as the front man for The Police and as a solo artist) Sting has proven to be a versatile performer for a live show. In 2010 he performed a laid back performance in front of an orchestra. In June Sting ramped it up a bit, though not to excess, and combined a lively show with great storytelling. It was a fantastic night to enjoy a show by one of the greats.
Miranda Lambert @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater 6/16/12
Country superstar Miranda Lambert’s tour-ending show at The Shed was memorable not only for her upbeat take-no-crap attitude of a performance, but also for the fact that the show was halted midway through due to a violent thunderstorm that knocked out half of her stage lighting. When the show resumed after an hour and a half delay Lambert seemed driven by the lack of lighting and ramped up her set even more, giving her show that intimate special feel that many others lacked.
Tim McGraw @ Southern IL Country Fest 10/7/12
A Tim McGraw concert is usually a safe bet to have a great time anyway. What made this performance go over the top was the dedication of the fans who braved temperatures that dipped nearer to freezing than not the show could have been a bummer. But McGraw made everyone feel warmer with a high spirited performance and got up close and personal in a way not seen in these parts by the country superstar. Nothing says memorable like numb feet, drunk fans and a near-freezing experience mixed with a great country performance in an open field in the country.
Tenacious D @ The Pageant 7/23/12
Rock duo Tenacious D, consisting of comedian actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass put on a show that did not disappoint. The highly anticipated show was one I wanted to knock off my bucket list and I am certainly glad I did. Apart from being an extremely popular comedic actor, Black sure knows how to get the most out of a rock show that consists of 2 acoustic guitars in the lineup. With a fiery demeanor mixed with comedic skits and one liners Black and Gass provided one of the highlights of the year with nods to past rock gods.
Greek Fire @ Busch Stadium 9/18/12
The best kept secret in the country, St. Louis’ Greek Fire, was supposed to have a couple more albums out this year with what was hoped to be their major label debut. That all was put on hold, however, when their drummer, Johnny Venus, was diagnosed with Leukemia in February after they returned from a tour of Japan with Story of the Year. Venus spent the majority of his next 6 months in and out of the hospital undergoing treatments. The St. Louis Cardinals teamed with the band and SOTY and Cavo to hold a Johnny Venus night before a game with the Astros and let all three bands perform at FORD Plaza in the stadium to help raise money for the drummers battle with the deadly disease. For the Greek Fire performance Venus made a surprise appearance behind the drums, his practice with the band earlier in the day was his first time behind the drums in 6 months. The night was dramatic and tearful and set the stage for Greek Fire’s full show at Pop’s in December. The large crowd on the plaza at Busch saw a moment that they should not forget for a long time.
Here Come The Mummies @ The Pageant 10/13/12
Funk, rock, the undead and sexy music – what more can you ask for? For the ensemble that is Here Come The Mummies they may look goofy and have an unusual shtick, but the music is otherworldly. They are all very accomplished musicians and it shows in their performance. Once you see a performance from HCTM it is hard not to be hooked. Their show in October played right to those lines as they put on another “spirited” performance for the ages.
Jake Owen/Florida Georgia Line @ The Pageant 12/8/12
Another highly anticipated concert for 2012 was the Jake Owen show at The Pageant. The show sold out in 5 minutes and the crowd was amp'd from the beginning. Nearly blowing the roof off at the outset was openers Florida Georgia Line, one of the hottest bands in the country, who had one of the best performances by an opening band (with the energy from the crowd helping add to the feel). Jake Owen then ended his first headlining tour with a raucous performance that was one of the most fun shows by a country star I had seen in a while. The intimate setting of The Pageant made it feel even more dramatic and helped bring a successful tour and year to a close.