This year, Your New Favorite Song won't be doing it's annual Top 50 Artists list. Instead I decided to do FOUR separate Best Of lists (maybe five if I'm actually motivated to think on New Year's Day). As always my lists are based solely on my tastes. Chart success/sales mean nothing to me. It's the music I enjoyed in 2013 whether it be popular or not.
Today we will look at my favorite live performances of 2013. I caught about 30-some shows this year at venues ranging from a football stadium to an under 300 capacity venue and everything in between. For this list I decided to focus on the performance and not the tour package (it's hardly fair to compare an all-day music festival to a singer/songwriter playing in a small club). Here it is, along with some brief thoughts and the occasional photo stolen from my wife's camera.
10. Luke Bryan - Luke's show was just a big ol' country party. The beers and hits were certainly flowing that night.
9. Sarah Jarosz - I always make it a point to see Sarah when she comes to town. She's one of the most wickedly talented young bluegrass artists today.
8. Zac Brown Band - It took me a few years to get into the Zac Brown Band, but it finally sunk in for me this year. Performance-wise the band was on fire that summer night. My second favorite tailgate of the year...this has nothing to do with the ranking, I'm just sayin'.
7. The Postal Service - I NEVER thought I'd get a chance to see The Postal Service. Such a thrill.
6. Julie Roberts - A fantastic and intimate show with one of the most soulful voices in country music. It was truly a treat to hear many of the songs that would appear on her fantastic album Good Wine and Bad Decisions.
5. Keith Urban - A total sing-a-long show. The dude plays a mean guitar.
4. Little Big Town - I still get chills thinking about the moment in Your Side Of The Bed when Kimberly, Karen, Jimi and Phillip all come in on the first chorus, harmonizes a blazing.
3. Miranda Lambert - Musically speaking, this was my favorite show of the year. Nothing better than seeing one of your favorite performers play on your birthday for a second straight year.
2. Taylor Swift - Don't laugh. Taylor is a force. It was more than just a concert, it was an experience. I had a smile on my face for days after this show. The only thing keeping her out of my Number 1 spot was the sheer insanity of the "winner's" performance.
1. P!nk - HOLY CRAP! I probably shouted that about 15 times during P!nk's performance. Like Taylor's concert, it's pure spectacle. Unlike Taylor's concert, P!nk soared above the crowd in a range of different harnesses or bungee cords. Acrobatics aplenty that left many (including myself) gasping. And she did it all while singing her fist pumping hits.