I know some people don’t like listening to recorded live music, so don’t worry, none of the links in here will take you to actual live music.
As I alluded to above, some people just detest being in a crowd of sweaty, drunken idiots singing words that don’t exist in the band’s lyrics or in any human language. For this reason finding bands that put on a live performance that makes you both forget all the idiots and focus solely on the stage is critical.
Over the last six years I have generated a list of bands that I have to see live, and slowly but surely I have seen many of them as well as many new bands. The first that comes to mind is Joel Plaskett. In October 2006 I took the Halifax-Dartmouth ferry to Alderney Landing for a free Joel Plaskett Emergency show for Alexander Keith’s birthday. Many things made this show great in my mind. For one: the beer was $2.00 and for two: Joel is a master of putting on a great show.
The next is the Great Lake Swimmers whom I saw at the Arts Guild in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. I was struck by every instrument I had never expected. Over the stretch of this performance I saw the keyboardist play the mandolin, flute, and xylophone, I saw the drummer play the washboard and the banjo player play an upright squeeze box that I still have no clue what to call. The album they were touring, Ongiara, I still listen to quite a bit.
Lastly, is a band I had never heard of, in fact it was at a Joel Plaskett show that I first saw them play. To this day if anyone were to ask me my favorite live performance/act I would tell them the Golden Dogs would be only second to the Pixies (a band I’ll share another time). Their performance that time was only topped by the second time I saw them at the 2010 Halifax Pop Expolsion. All I can say is that they are one of the few bands that can put on a live show that is better than their album or albums which are great in themselves.