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Hold onto nothing as fast as you can...

ok. here are my top-rated shows of 2004. in chronological order. yes, there are more than ten. deal with it.

2/13 - South @ The Bowery Ballroom
I know that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense considering the sound system was crap that night, but to be honest, I barely noticed. I was so in love with the new album that hearing the new songs live was magical in and of itself - I couldn't get Natural Disasters out of my head for weeks.

3/15 - Prince @ The venue formerly known as "Club Black"
Yes, it was the most expensive show I saw all year. Yes, I waited on line in 20 degree weather for nearly two hours to get past the woefully inadequate box office and inside. Yes, it was damn near impossible to see. But hi, hello, it was PRINCE. in a CLUB. I barely avoided walking straight into George Clinton and I got to hear "Kiss" live.

3/20 - Dirty on Purpose, Surefire & Dennis Cahlo @ The Hook
I just remember having the best time. It felt like we had this beautiful, remote venue all to ourselves and we danced and laughed, and sang along all night. As an added bonus, we got to see Dennis & the Surefire boys team up for a killer version of "Seems to Me", and I got to hear Dennis croon the absolutely haunting "Crush" all by himself one last time.

3/31 - Stellastarr*, Ambulance, The Killers @ Irving Plaza
IF I were ranking the shows, this might have been my #1... First off, it was three of my absolutely favorite bands playing together. Second - it was the first time I'd seen the killers since I'd gotten a hold of (and couldn't stop listening to) their ep. Third - it was the first time I'd seen ss* in well over 6 months - and their "homecoming" performance, which made the crowd just electric. And finally? Best mosh pit EVER.

(Coachella was automatically disqualified on the basis that it was obviously the best musical experience of my year - if not my life)

6/2 - PJ Harvey @ The Knitting Factory
My very first PJ show and I got to stand less than 20 feet away. Plus Steve snuck in. Plus Jill's awesome broker friends kept the free beers coming. Plus I wanted to marry her dreamy guitarist. Did I mention that I got to stand less than 20 feet from PJ?

6/19 - The Bravery, Dirty on Purpose, Benzos, Sons Of Sound @ The Mercury Lounge
First SoS show with Scott's brother Doug on the skins. It was magical. The sound was phenomenal, the U2 vibe magnified, and the new part sounded every inch an instinctive completion of each song... a progression of the very best kind. Benzos were so beautiful they made my heart want to break. Dirty reminded me of just how dazzling they can be. And the Bravery convinced me that there might actually be something more to their sound than the three songs of the EP that I adored.

6/24 - The Killers @ Rothko
It was The Killers, it was Prom, it was Open Bar. Four feet from Brandon, jumping up and down and shrieking with Sarah like we actually were back in high school... Absolutely dizzy from the combination of Bacardi and Adrenaline, I could have screamed "I've got Soul but I'm not a Soldier" all night long.

7/1- Jim Dandys @ The Bowery Ballroom
I went strictly to hang with my girl Ali. Didn't even know the band's name ahead of time. Best pure cheese pop goodness of the year. I was dancing around with yuppies, I had the choruses down cold by the second time through, and I hadn't felt quite so light and deliriously happy about new music in ages. Got a hold of the cd and played it non-stop for at least two weeks.

7/15 - The Delays @ The Mercury Lounge
Quite possibly my second favorite show of the year - if I was ranking - which, of course, I'm not. They were divine. As in - having a guy on lead vocals that sounds like a girl, or an angel, or a soprano from the Vienna Boys Choir... It was the middle of the summer, a perfectly warm and balmy night, and the rousing strains of Faded Seaside Glamour just absolutely melted me. Brilliant, brilliant live performance, can not WAIT to see them again.

8/12 - The GoStation / Morning Theft @ The Luna Lounge
Two of my favorite bands made up of some of my favorite people = Ridiculous Fun. Both bands put on exceptional shows, and while the Luna isn't exactly known for it's sound, something about these sets managed to transcend whatever technical difficulties might have occured. Highlights of the evening? Rob's delicious cobain-esque vocals in "On End", and The GoStation granting me my first and only dedication in the shape of "When I'm Gone".

11/13 - The Upwelling @ The Mercury Lounge
I saw their whole set, I stood right up front, I knew all the words, but most importantly? I experienced something that I've only felt one other time. I looked up at this band that I had grown to love, and I had an epiphany. This is going to happen, they are going to happen. And in that moment it was a done deal in my head... almost as if I could see their entire future flash before my eyes - from a record deal to MSG in half a heartbeat. As far as I'm concerned I have been witness to the fledgling steps of something extraordinary.

11/22 - U2 @ Empire Fulton Ferry State Park
U2, close enough to see the expressions on Bono's face without the aid of a jumbo-tron. At dusk, with the Brooklyn Bridge & all the lights of the Manhattan skyline shimmering behind them. And they played "I Will Follow" with Walk away walk away, walk away walk away... echoing through the crowd. If there is such a thing as pop-culture-nirvana, I think I may have reached it right then.

12/1 - Phoenix, Inouk, Benzos @ The Bowery Ballroom
Fell in love with a band... right. sorry, bad pun... but so true. I had never heard a lick of Phoenix before seeing them play live that night. And I just FELL. Never mind how great it felt to see Benzos up there (a stage they actually all fit comfortably on!), or my realization of just how much Inouk had grown on me... Phoenix were everything I never knew I could want in a french pop band AND more.

Hmmn, now when you put it THAT way... 2005 has an awful lot to live up to!