Jaci’s Top Performances of 2013

Let me start off by saying how difficult this was. I saw thirty-two bands this year, picking my top ten performances was hard. Ranking them? Even harder.

#10: Three-Eleven – July 7, 2013 | DTE Energy Music Theatre | Clarkston, MI
I’ve loved 311 since I was in high school and still hadn’t seen them live; I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them for $10. The day before the concert I was in the hospital being diagnosed with Mono (Mononucleosis), but I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. I made the decision to chill out on the lawn at DTE and enjoy as much as I could as weak as I was. It was a great experience and I was stoked to have finally seen these guys live, even if I don’t listen to them nearly as much as I use to. Luckily they played a lot of their older hits and it caused feelings of nostalgia. Having Cypress Hill open up for them was a bonus in itself. There’s nothing like singing “Rock Superstar” and “Insane in the Brain” before 311 hits the stage!

#9: Tegan and Sara – December 11, 2013 | The Fillmore | Detroit, MI
Such a simple yet intimate show―just Tegan, Sara, and their fans. I saw these girls in 2006 and loved seeing them again seven years later. They played a lot of the songs that made me fall in love with them back in 2004, but also played my favorites from their newest album “Heartthrob”. I recall “Back In Your Head” giving me goosebumps, such an awesome feeling. These girls are very polite and Sara would kindly say ‘thank you’ after each song. You can tell how grateful they are of their fans just by their interactions. I really appreciate that when it comes to the famous.

Never take your fans for granted; you wouldn’t be where you are now without us.

#8: Fun. – January 26, 2013 | The Fillmore | Detroit, MI
Freezing my tush off waiting in line outside with my cousins was worth it to see these guys live! They put on a high energy show and Nate Ruess is not only adorable, but he’s quite entertaining. He’s got one of those voices that you can pick out anywhere; I love that about vocalists. I was grateful to have been able to take the place of my cousins boyfriend and go to the show last minute. My cousin Amanda announced she was pregnant before fun. hit the stage―a memory I’ll never forget!

#7: Imagine Dragons – September 17, 2013 | Meadow Brook Music Festival | Rochester Hills, MI
Their album “Night Visions” overwhelmed me this year; I’ve listened to this album over 125 times (thank you iTunes)! As much as “Radioactive” has been overplayed, they out did themselves on stage. Imagine Dragons played all of my favorites and I was in good company with my friend John. I thought this concert was going to be the concert of the year for me, but the venue sucked. We had lawn seats, which I didn’t think was a big deal seeing as I’ve always loved DTE’s lawn seats. However, you could hardly hear anything – it was frustrating. If you didn’t know the lyrics, you weren’t hearing Dan Reynolds sing. On the upside, I got to enjoy The Neighbourhood opening for them. I’m hoping Imagine Dragons comes back in 2014 and picks a different venue or I’ll be upset.

#6: All Time Low – May 1, 2013 | The Fillmore | Detroit, MI
“Don’t Panic” was an album that helped me through a lot in the end of 2012/beginning of 2013. It was another album I wore out (coming in with 62 listens). Because I was able to relate to a lot of the lyrics in this album, I wanted to see them perform live. Alex and Jack are such an outgoing pair on stage and I laughed numerous times. Their drummer, Rian Dawson, was getting over the flu and had to jump stage a few times to take care of things (if you know what I mean), but you never knew he was gone with Alex and Jack’s charismatic personalities. I don’t think I’ve heard two men joke about penis more than I did that night!

#5: You Me At Six – October 14, 2013 | The Shelter | Detroit, MI
I had the pleasure of seeing these guys twice this year. They were openers for the Spring Fever Tour (All Time Low, Pierce the Veil, and Mayday Parade) and they also headlined their own show at The Shelter. You Me At Six is probably the first alternative band that I’ve listen to and loved since my music tastes have completely changed in the last six years. They opened the show with my all time favorite song, “Reckless” off of their album “Sinners Never Sleep”. Lead singer, Josh Franceschi, ran to the bar in The Shelter, behind all of their fans, and crowd surfed back up to the stage to end a fantastic show! I’m looking forward to new music in 2014 and continuing to support these guys.

I’m married to the music, for better or for worse. -YMAS

#4: Walk Off The Earth – December 11, 2013 | The Fillmore | Detroit, MI
It’s crazy that a band I wasn’t even familiar with gets #4! Part of the reason a concert makes a great show is their stage presence. Walk Off The Earth was a non-stop high energy show: they’d toss their instruments around, joke with the crowd between songs, get the venue to sing along, dance, etc. Not knowing the lyrics to their songs didn’t stop me from having a good time! These guys opened for Tegan and Sara and, as I stated in my review, I did not feel like they were opening for another band. It felt as if I was there for them; I did not stop moving! I quickly came home to get their album and found myself hitting the repeat button plenty of times. Within the week that I’ve had their new album “R.E.V.O.” it’s been played 26 times! They gained even more points after learning the meaning behind their name.

More than anything else, it’s a state of mind. When you’re deeply entranced by a collection of musical compositions and your day-to-day stresses become a lot less bothersome, you’ve walked off the earth. You forget that your boss is a dick-weed, that your neighbor is a racist…or even that your girlfriend has been spending a little too much time with your best friend! You let the pulsing rhythm, the soaring melodies and the lush harmonies take you you away to a place where nothing can affect you. Walk Off the Earth with us!

#3: Stepdad – November 15, 2013 | The Blind Pig | Ann Arbor, MI
I had discovered these guys earlier in the year, but I don’t think I appreciated them as much as I did just before I saw them live. It was one of those moments in my life, while I was driving in my car, that “Cutie Boots” shuffled through on my iPod and it just spoke to me. Sadly they didn’t play “Cutie Boots” live, but I didn’t leave The Blind Pig disappointed. Their album “Wildlife Pop” does not disappoint and it’s just one of those unique albums where you fall in love with each and every song. Knowing that, you know they were that much better to see live―it always works that way! I also discovered two new bands (the openers) at this concert that I’ve grown to love: Silent Lions and Flint Eastwood.

#2: Pacific Air – June 24, 2013 | St. Andrew’s | Detroit, MI
Before I go to a show I make sure to listen to the other bands’ music so that I am familiar with whomever I didn’t buy tickets to see. I adored “Roses” when I began listening to their debut album “Stop Talking” and found myself obsessing over their whole album. I belted out every lyric, proudly appreciating this band, and got many looks from the girl off to my left in front of me; I was having a great time! Ryan Lawhon is amazing on stage, you can tell how passionate he is about what he does – I can’t wait to see these guys in Detroit again!

#1: Atlas Genius – June 24, 2013 | St. Andrew’s | Detroit, MI
Atlas Genius opened for Silversun Pickups in October 2012 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre and they immediately won me over. Before Atlas Genius released “When It Was Now,” I was on their website over-playing “Backseat,” “Trojans,” and “Symptoms.” When they announced their headline show, I bought tickets and waited months to see them again. Jessica and I were at the merch table after the show and Keith stepped in front of us, joking about why we were there. I quickly asked if he’d sign our tickets while we explained to him how we found out about them the year before. He was happy to meet us and kindly asked, ‘shall we take a picture?’ One of the best nights of my life, especially when I was so geeked about their music. Sadly, the next time they came back around this Fall they missed Detroit and instead hit up Cincinnati, OH. I’m hoping to see them again in 2014!