2017 Shows Attended

2017 Shows Overall List (top list below)

  1. 1/3/17 Liotta, Dead Party, Riot Shield, Doxy, Chloe Greenberg (Cruft House)
  2. 1/6/17 Lung, Spacer, Buttzz (1423 S Monon Dr Bloomington)
  3. 1/13/17 Thelma and The Sleaze, Butthole, Greyson Anderson (Little Harpeth Brewery Nashville)
  4. 1/19/17 bugg, Nice Try, Full Sun (Root Cellar Bloomington)
  5. 1/20/17 ASD, Tigersex, Phunkbot, Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (5th Quarter Lounge)
  6. 1/28/17 Shark Sandwich, Boner City, Hot Prowlers, Dope Sweater (Spinelli’s Downtown)
  7. 2/11/17 Jereactors, Some Kind of Nightmare, Boner City, Tiger Sex (Mag Bar Louisville)
  8. 2/18/17 Bruiser Queen, Royal Holland + The Rotation (The Comet Cincinatti)
  9. 2/22/17 Real Dom, Vail, Yalla Stockings, Sir Deja Doog (The Void Bloomington)
  10. 3/3/17 BangOKBang, Cloudmouth, Pamphlet & Styrofoam Winos (Springwater Supper Club Nashville)
  11. 3/11/17 Service, ByBye (The Coterie Kokomo)
  12. 3/17/17 The Dollyrots, The Two Tens, The Lickers, The Messengers (Melody Inn Indy)
  13. 3/20/17 Mariahill, Riot Shield, WAKE, The Fuzzlers (Cruft House)
  14. 3/25/17 Spoiled Milk, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Catflaps, Mean Jeans, Easy habits, Slutbomb, (Northside Yacht Club Cincy)
  15. 3/30/17 Jerry Fels Thin Lines, Sera, Petechiae (The FOXHOLE)
  16. 4/1/17 Cherry Glazerr, Lala Lala, Ian Sweet (Blockhouse Bloomington)
  17. 4/8/17 Pop Up Safety Baby, Venom, Brandon Sciotto, The Nerve, Mariahill (Couch Studios)
  18. 4/8/17 Bonesetters, Service, Uh (Pioneer Indy)
  19. 4/11/17 Semi-Feral, Side Effects, Chloe Greenberg (The Foxhole)
  20. 4/14/17 Some Kind Of Nightmare, Misunderstood, Chloe Greenberg, For The Fire, Avanti, Dannie Al Mar (Couch Studios)
  21. 4/21/17 Zero Boys, Ricky Rat Pack, Holy Sheets, Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz (Melody Inn)
  22. 4/22/17 C is for Cadaver, Old Fox Road, Stufy, Dope Sweater, Ripped From The Roots (The FOXHOLE)
  23. 4/29/17 Dope Sweater, Lucy Furr, The Orchard Keepers, Dana Skully and The Tiger Sharks, City Trash (Showroom Studios Indy)
  24. 5/19/17 Service, Bi, Pravada, There Are Ghosts (Melody Inn)
  25. 5/23/17 Butthole, ByBye, The Dracu-Lahs (Back Door Bloomington)
  26. 5/26/17 Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Boner City, Hyper Tensions (PG Evansville)
  27. 6/2/17 Snail Mail, Girlpool w/ Ian Sweet (Empty Bottle Chicago)
  28. 6/5/17 Thelma and The Sleaze, Memetics (Hi-Fi Indy)
  29. 6/9/17 Eliot Bigger, Bonesetters, VV Torso, Smother Party, Theon Lee Jones (Fountain Square Brewery Indy)
  30. 6/10/17 Mutoid Man, Helms Alee, Astral Mass, Uh (Black Circle Brewing Indy)
  31. 6/15/17 Feist (Vic Theater Chicago)
  32. 6/22/17 VV Torso, An Atomic Whirl, Jackson VanHorn, sheetmetalgirl (Healthnet Billing Indy)
  33. 6/24/17 Frankie Camaro, Last Four Digits, The Gizmos (State Street Pub)
  34. 6/30/17 Service, Scarboro, Uh, Conjuror, Black Recluse (Kuma’s Corner Indianapolis)
  35. 7/7/17 Lung, Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Casey No (State Street Pub)
  36. 7/8/17 Better Off Blind, Pop Up Safety Baby, Dead Party, Black Dawn Rising (New Wave Pro Wrestling Terre Haute)
  37. 7/13/17 Boner City, Dick Titty Blood Punch, Joy Kills, Mosquito, Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (Kaiju Louisville)
  38. 7/15/17 Pop Up Safety Baby (Fairbanks Park)
  39. 7/15/17 Wolf Alice, Bo and the Locomotive  (Off Broadway STL)
  40. 7/20/17 Warped Tour: Jule Vera, Pickwick Commons, Barb Wire Dolls, William Control, Microwave, Sonic Boom Six, Stacked Like Pancakes, War On Women, The White Noise, The Adolescents, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Municipal Waste, Valient Thorr (Indianapolis)
  41. 7/21/17 Worriers, CAMP COPE, Typesetter, Retirement Party (Cobra Lounge Chicago)
  42. 7/22/17 The Great Terror, Dirtbike, The Bloody Muffs (Melody Inn Indy)
  43. 7/28/17 Last Four Digits, Coathangers, The Residuels (Melody Inn Indy)
  44. 7/28/17 manners, please, Shadeland (Hi-Fi Indy)
  45. 8/3/17 Lollapalooza: White Reaper, Hippo Campus, The O’Mys, Temples, The Drums, CRX, Wiz Khalifa, Lorde, Slothrust, PUP, Cloud Nothings, The Lemon Twigs, Phantogram, Foster The People, Blink-182, Lady Pills, The Shelters, Blossoms, Ron Gallo, Warpaint, The Japanese House, Colony House, Royal Blood, Live, Jai Wolf, Sylvan Esso, The XX, Mac DeMarco, Grace Mitchell, Joseph, Noname, Tove Lo, London Grammar, GroupLove (Grant Park Chicago)
  46. 8/12/17 Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Bloody Show, Craig Bell & Band (Punk Rock Night Indy)
  47. 8/19/17 Chives, Dope Sweater, Uppers (Pioneer Indy) 10:30 pm
  48. 8/22/17 C is for Cadaver, Whitney Flynn (FOXHOLE)
  49. 8/25/17 Catflaps, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Spoiled Milk, The Actual Italians, Slugsalt, SKRT, Milkman, Northern Widows, Push Off (Northside Yacht Club Cincy)
  50. 9/9/17 Service, The Tinkerbelles, The Long Arm (Black Circle Brewing Co)
  51. 9/15/17 Pop Up Safety Baby (Ripley’s Terre Haute)
  52. 9/16/17 RVIVR, GBH, Black Pistol Fire, Peaches, Bad Brains, Prophets of Rage, TV On The Radio, The Menzingers, Downtown Boys, Kitten Forever, Culture Abuse, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, The Menzingers, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Pennywise (Douglas Park Chicago)
  53. 9/17/17 Thelma and The Sleaze, Touched By Ghoul (The Metro Chicago)
  54. 9/22/17 Vacation, John Hays, Dasher, Toby Foster (Bloomington Blockhouse)
  55. 9/24/17 Dracu-lahs (Royal Skate Lansing, IL)
  56. 9/26/17 Dope Sweater (The FOXHOLE)
  57. 9/30/17 Lucy Furr(The FOXHOLE)
  58. 9/30/17 The Orchard Keepers, Thee Aquaholics (The Void Bloomington)
  59. 10/5/17 manners, please (Connor’s Pub Indy)
  60. 10/13/17 Think Tank, Swan Laak, Raxil (Kuma’s Corner Indy)
  61. 10/13/17 The Ghoulies (The Black Lodge Bloomington)
  62. 10/13/17 Eliot Bigger (Melody Inn Indy)
  63. 10/19/17 VV Torso, Total Disgust, Uppers (State Street Pub Indy)
  64. 10/21/17 Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Dick Titty Blood Punch, Werestein Meets Frankenwolf, Ron (Kaiju)
  65. 10/26/17 Lala Lala (The Bishop Bloomington)
  66. 10/28/17 Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile and the Sea Lice (Empty Bottle Chicago)
  67. 11/8/17 Twen, Starfox Mulder (Black Lodge Bloomington)
  68. 11/10/17 Taco Tuesday, Mariahill, Alena Coast (The Verve Terre Haute)
  69. 11/11/17 Dana Skully, Dog’s Breath, Cari Ray, Moor Dub (Square Cat Vinyl Indy)
  70. 11/17/17 Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Stuyedeyed, BIRDS, Hypertensions, SERA (The Basement Muncie)
  71. 11/18/17 Orchard Keepers, Katatonics, Godawfuls (Melody Inn Indy)
  72. 11/19/17 The Dracu-lahs, Nonnie Parry, Last King Of Poland, Evil Waves (Space Revival Griffin)
  73. 11/22/17 Christian Taylor, manners, please (Melody Inn Indy)
  74. 11/24/17 Holy Sheets, The Dockers, Hyper Tensions, White Wax (Melody Inn Indy)
  75. 12/1/17 Doxy, SERA, Pop Up Safety Baby (Ripley’s Terre Haute)
  76. 12/2/17 Lala Lala (Subterranean Chicago)
  77. 12/7/17 Us, Today, Eliot Bigger, The Bronzed Chorus, Pillars (SSP Indy)
  78. 12/12/17 Noogy, Misunderstood, Lucy Furr (The Foxhole)
  79. 12/15/17 Pop Up Safety Baby, The HANIS Project, Halogen Wolfe (The Verve Terre Haute)
  80. 12/16/17 TigerSex, Hot Rod Nebula, Great Terror (Punk Rock Night Indy)


Overall show

Sir Deja Doog/Dom/Vail

Boner City, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Dick Titty Blood Punch, Mosquito

Cherry Glazerr, Ian Sweet, Lala Lala

2017 Top Albums

Mutoid Man – War Moans

Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick

Thelma and the Sleaze – Somebody’s Doin Somethin

Lung – Bottom Of The Barrel

The Orchard Keepers – Stick Face

Sylvan Esso – What Now

Sheer Mag – Need To Feel Your Love

Dasher – Sodium

Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage

VV Torso – LPVV


2018 Most anticipated that I haven’t seen yet.

Casper Skulls


Wife Patrol


Sheer Mag


Favorite Front-Persons

Andy Bright (The Great Terror)

Anthony V (Dope Sweater)

Amanda P (Think Tank)

Natty Shaw (VV Torso)

Isis Queen (Barb Wire Dolls)

Kelly C (TigerSex)


Kylee H (Dasher)


Favorite Drums


Pop Up Safety Baby


Bang OK Bang


Mariahill/Taco Tuesday


Touched By Ghoul

Favorite Bass

IAN Sweet

Pop Up Safety Baby


Orchard Keepers

Favorite Guitars

Full Sun



Eliot Bigger



VV Torso

Hot Rod Nebula

Touched By Ghoul

Favorite Vocals


Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso)

Morgan Nusbaum (Bruiser Queen)

Whitney Flynn

Katie Wakefield (Lung)

Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice)


Christian Taylor

Casey No

Dannie Al Mar

Stufy Summers

Chloe Greenberg


Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

Casey No

Tycoons Of Teen

Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black


Best Hair

The Dracu-Lahs


Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

Most Seen Bands

Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (9)

Pop Up Safety Baby (6)

Boner City (5)


Dope Sweater (5)

Tigersex (4)

Thelma And The Sleaze (3)

Lala Lala (3)

Mariahill (3)

Eliot Bigger (3)

Orchard Keepers (3)

Hyper Tensions (3)

Chloe Greenberg (3)

Manners, Please (3)

Lucy Furr (3)

The Dracu-Lahs (3)

Hardest Working Bands

Some Kind of Nightmare


Barb Wire Dolls

Thelma and the Sleaze

Favorite New Bands

The Great Terror

The Dracu-Lahs


The Hyper Tensions

Touched By Ghoul

Retirement Party

Top Venues

Melody Inn Indianapolis

Kaiju Louisville

The FOXHOLE Terre Haute

State Street Pub Indianapolis

The Empty Bottle Chicago

Top Show Reviews

Mutoid Man

I just so happened to discover this amazing band scanning through YouTube videos of Propaghandi and War On Women about three years ago.  I stumbled across a video of Mutoid Man doing an in-store performance and was really blown away.  I haven’t been into Heavy Metal music for a long time, but when I heard these guys, it was like they were rooted in all of my early ‘80s favorites, like Scorpions, Dokken, Ratt, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest.  This band is like riding a bull, only, you’ve partially fallen off, but your hand is still caught, and it’s either you allow yourself to be flailed and rip your arm clean out of socket, or you hang on and hope for the best because these guys don’t let up.  They played a show at Black Circle Brewing Company in Indianapolis to a very charged crowd.  Their latest album War Moans was also my top album of the year for 2017.  Really looking forward to seeing these guys again and anticipate them playing much larger audiences.  They have all the elements of prog metal, heavy metal and hard rock and have the non-stop energy of an underground punk band.

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people dancing, people standing, night and indoor

Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile and the Sea Lice

I’ve been a big fan of Courtney Barnett ever since I saw her at Lollapalooza a few years ago.  I always thought her appearance reminded me of Malcolm Young of AC/DC.  She teamed up with Kurt Vile and a few other big name veteran musicians, recorded an album and went on a small tour in small intimate venues across the country.  I was able to catch them at the Empty Bottle in Chicago.  This was a sold out show and was packed with die hard fans.  This was one show that I was really starstruck at and actually took me a few days to get over.  They had no opener, so they played a solid 90 minute set of songs mostly from their album and a few of their covers, ending the show with Belly’s “Untogether”.

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments, night, guitar and indoor

Thelma and the Sleaze

Lauren Gilbert, LG, always assembles the best core band to take with her out on the road.  2017 saw the introduction of a nearly entire new lineup that really pulled off the energy of Thelma and the Sleaze’s latest release, a full-length album, Somebody’s Doing Something.  I was fortunate to catch them three times this year, one was in Chicago that I treated as a Riot Fest aftershow.  Here they played an amazing 75 minute set!  Thelma and the Sleaze has toured so much and written so much over the past five years that they have the catalog to really pull it off.  

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments, guitar, night and indoor

Wolf Alice

The first time I saw these guys was at Lollapalooza 2016.  I thought they had a pretty decent 45 minute set.  This past summer, leading up to the release of their sophomore LP, they headed out on the road to play at small initimate venues.  I got to see them at Off Broadway in St Louis from the second row of a standing room only crowd.  They played some amazing fan favorites but also rocked out to their newer material that really asserts that they’re a band that’s going to stick around for a while.  Really hoping they jump onto some festivals this summer.

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I’ve seen these guys twice, both times at Lollapalooza.  Lollapalooza has moved to a four day format, and these guys closed out 2017’s Lollapalooza for me.  I was really exhausted by the end of the fourth day, but these guys really fired up the crowd and had them all singing and jumping.  Their passion and upbeat performance just really leaves you stunned by the time they wrap up their show.

Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

These guys are pretty much a perennial favorite anymore for me.  They always play at the best venues for the best crowds with the best bands.  Every time I see them, the lineup they’re with is incredible.  It’s great to have them playing favorites, but they’ve mustered up quite a bit of new material that they always seem pretty excited to play.  Davey Gravey is always sharp-dressed emcee while directing traffic to their always seemingly spontaneous set-lists, which are as unpredictable as their outfits they wear.  “There is no setlist” with these guys, just jump in with them and see where you end up!  Like always too, Abby is taunting, provoking and stomping her way through the show, frequently joining Davey at the mic for the chorus.  Ayesha is merciless with her drums and when she tosses her tamborine, prepare to hang on tight.  Mr Clit certainly creates magic in the moment and will leave a new impression on you every time.

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Lala Lala

Caught these guys a couple times this year. They had opened up for Cherry Glazerr and Ian Sweet in Bloomington, I was totally blown away.  Don’t know why, but guitarist Lillie has the charm and tenderness and musical mystery of Robert Smith.  Bought their album on tape and played it over and over until I finally managed to download it off of BandCamp.  Not quite punk, and not overly hard-rock, but just nice groovy songs that surprise the crowd.  

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The Orchard Keepers

Saw these young kids a couple times this year and am just blown away by the growth and maturity over the past two plus years, not to mention how very well polished they are now, especially in the past year.  Their full length debut album realease show was as ambitious as their 13 track album.  This band is everything you ever wanted in modern progressive rock, with structures rivaling that of Primus, Tool, Rush with a Jethro Tull sounding guitar, not to mention Ayanna’s Jack White/Theo Kogan storytelling vocals.  Be prepared to be stunned or frightened by what this band will do to you the first time you see them perform live.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and indoor

The Lemon Twigs

I caught the Lemon Twigs at Lollapalooza this year, walking up to the crowd mid-way through their first song.  As I approached, I heard this rock band, that had all the elements of ELO, Queen and The Beatles all rolled into one.  I was surprised too at how young and talented these guys were.  This was a very warm and welcome performance that was quite different than a lot of the bands at Lollapalooza this year.


Ian Sweet

Ian Sweet are a very amazing sounding band with dreamy guitars and phenomenal catchy rhythms.  Their hypnotic groove is quite seductive and will leave you wanting more.  

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Boner City

These guys are exactly who you’d want to play your party because they manage to get the crowd to pour sweat right along with them.  Their catchy songs and audience friendly choruses get the whole crowd involved.  I saw them several times over the past year and my favorite of theirs was their farewell show as they go on an indefinite hiatus.   Their farewell show is probably one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments, people sitting, night and indoor 

Pop Up Safety Baby

Probably my most favorite local band in the Terre Haute area.  These guys are a bass/drum duo but deliver a solid punch.  How many times can you say holy shit through a single set?  Find out by catching these guys.  Over the past couple of years, they’re written more songs and have the catalog to punch a really solid show.  When you think of Death From Above 1979 and Royal Blood, these guys are definitely in their league.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and playing a musical instrument

The Dollyrots

This poppy punk band was a lot of fun to watch.  I had heard their music on and off pretty much over the past 10 years but never had a chance to catch them live.  They happened to be touring in 2017 on two stretches and stopped by the Melody Inn in Indianapolis for Punk Rock Night.  They were solid, start-to-finish playing fan favorites and a couple new ones, and of course, Melanie’s “Brand New Key”.

Mean Jeans

I caught these guys in Cincinatti at a punk show.  I was totally caught off-guard by this Ramones-tight band who puts on a really good show, engages the audience well and are definitely veterans of the road.  


I was fortunate to go to Riot Fest again this year and was looking forward to this, but I had no idea what I was in for.  Peaches is an in-your-face, passionate performer with an arrangement of heavy beats, costumes, erotica, and choreography with incredible dancers, who at times were topless.  She played a somewhat short but very effective set on a very hot afternoon.  The stamina and powerful singing all while running and dancing were impressive.

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I saw these guys a couple of times this year and they even made their way up to Bloomington!  These guys are a lot of fun, hilarious and very crowd friendly.  Butthole is a very entertaining band and really rivals that of the B-52s.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people on stage, people playing musical instruments and night


Saw this amazing duo of Cello and drums at a couple of shows over the past couple of years. Katie and Daisy make this really magical music that is sometimes heavy and also very tender.  Katie’s cello run through distortion for a lot of their songs sounds really amazing and Katie’s one of the most talented singers I’ve ever had the chance to see.  Their full length album this year was absolutely amazing.  They have a lot of new material as well that could find its way to a recording.  I highly recommend seeing this band.

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VV Torso

I happened to catch VV Torso at the Eliot Bigger LP release show.   I was immediately blown away by this band whose sound reminds me a lot of Spoon’s and The Cure’s early days.  The guitarist and bass play on opposite sides of the stage, but facing each other in a musical standoff with tight drumming.  Just when the tension gets too much, Natty tucks right in with his passionate pleading vocals.  There’s anger, angst, hope, pride in his presentation.

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The Dracu-Lahs

I saw these guys at for the first time at The Back Door in Bloomington.  Tim uses an old phone handset as his mic and adds a very nostalgic vintage sound to his vocals, all-the-while bobbing his fantastically tailored hair do.  Keri Beri adds to vocals and percussion while the rest of the band power jams tightly.  

Dope Sweater and Lucy Furr

I’m going to combine these two because I nearly always see them together.  Dope Sweater is a highly energetic non-typical punk band keeping the needle in the red.  It wouldn’t be a Dope Sweater show without Austin losing his glasses and/or shirt or Anthony knocking over the mic stand, and it’s a good thing Byrdman wears a tight ball cap because his hair would be flying everywhere.  Dope Sweater charges the crowd up.  Lucy Furr is relatively new and is constantly pushing the envelope with ever-changing tempo and haunting and spooky guitar sounds.  Nathan is constantly teetering the mic stand with that David Gilmore tongue-in-cheek concentration and Dana totally punks out, because if you’re familiar with her, she is a very tender and soulful singer/songwriter.  Meanwhile Drew is making a storm of his own behind drums.

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Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people playing musical instruments, guitar and night




Cherry Glazerr

Hyper Tensions

Touched By Ghoul


Sylvan Esso

The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black

Eliot Bigger


White Wax

The Great Terror


Black Recluse

The Holy Sheets


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Lollapalooza 2017 Wish List


Guns n’ Roses
The XX
Green Day
Childish Gambino
Kendrick Lamar
Twenty One Pilots
Pearl Jam

Sub Headliners

Primus (or Claypool Lennon Delerium)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
St Vincent
Panic! At The Disco
Broken Social Scene
Crystal Castles

Non Headliners

Guano Apes
Thee Oh Sees
The Kills
The Sounds
The Ting Tings
JEFF The Brotherhood
Meg Myers
Cat Power
Margo Price
Deap Vally
Carseat Headrest
K. Flay
Band Of Skulls
Charli XCX
Courtney Barnett
Dirty Ghosts
Shiny Toy Guns
Sky Ferreria
Betty Who
Hippo Campus
Diarrhea Planet

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2016 Top Live Shows

This gallery contains 2 photos.

2016 Favorite Performances Patti Smith This was a show I had anticipated for the past couple of years as Patti Smith has been touring, performing her Horses album in its entirety to celebrate its 40 year release. I bought these … Continue reading

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2016 Lollapalooza Wishlist


  1. Fleetwood Mac
  2. Lady Gaga
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  4. Muse
  5. Iron Maiden
  6. Primus
  7. Kendrick Lamar
  8. Missy Elliot



  1. Patti Smith
  2. St Vincent
  3. The Kills
  4. Bat For Lashes
  5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  6. Sia
  7. Robyn
  8. Metric
  9. Courtney Barnett
  10. Against Me!
  11. Die Antwoord
  12. Grace Potter
  13. Cat Power
  14. Joy Formidable
  15. Meg Myers
  16. Wolf Alice


  • The Ting Tings
  • Blood Red Shoes
  • Sweethead
  • Savages
  • Dead Sara
  • Genevieve
  • Band Of Skulls
  • Ex Hex
  • Grimes
  • Daughter
  • Sky Ferreria
  • Holychild
  • Stars
  • Ida Maria
  • Louise Distras
  • Speedy Ortiz
  • Guano Apes
  • Jane’s Addiction



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2015 Top Live Band Performances

2015 Top Ranked Live Shows

  1. Paul McCartney – I finally got to see Paul McCartney live this year at Lollapalooza.  I really didn’t think that I would ever see him live, so when the Headliners were announced, I was really excited.  I had camped out earlier when I caught Alabama Shakes on the same stage.  I had a pretty decent location but had to make a water run and lost a little when I came back.  This show was everything I hoped it would be and Paul’s wit and charm and engaging the audience is something I’ll never forget.  Highlights for me were his acoustic performance of Here Today and Hey Jude.  The whole crowd was singing along.
  2. Florence + The Machine – Sunday evening at Lollapalooza was shaken up a little by the shortened sets due to storms.  Florence was a bundle of energy, rebelling and defiant to the impending storm dancing beyond the night skyline.  Florence plead with the crowd with passion in all of her songs and gave me goosebumps all throughout.  She had somewhat of a wardrobe malfunction as she was running through the field with the crowd on either side of her, running in her barefeet and bra.  Her band was totally amazing and had a wonderful backing vocals group.
  3. Metallica – Finally a band that went beyond the curfew at Lollapalooza!  This was my first time seeing Metallica and I was totally blown away!  They played music from their entire career and had a group of devoted fans on stage with them behind the band.  There were a lot of die hard Metallica fans at this show.  There was this continuous driving of high energy.
  4. We Are Hex – I wrote up this band last year as well for top performances.  They are a local band out of Indianapolis.  I just feel totally blown away every time I see them perform and just can’t comprehend how they can provoke that reaction out of me (and the crowd) at every show.  It never gets old.  They also do a good job of changing up the setlist from show to show.  I saw them live 8 times this year!  Looking forward to seeing them live again in 2016.
  5. Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes – I stumbled across these guys at the Punkfest at The 5th Quarter Lounge in Indianapolis.  I was amused at their attire and shag-carpet amps and nicely decorated drum kit.  Davey was dressed in a onesie pajama set!  In between every song, which they seem to never have a defined setlist, Davy kept addressing someone in the crowd who was close to the band (Dusty, perhaps) and mentioning snippets of sports trivia.  It was quite amusing, but this is only part.  They are highly energetic and it’s like riding a minecart in Donkey Kong Country.  Abby marches around in circles on stage all-the-while glaring at Davey as if daring him to take her on, with Ayesha behind the drums pounding the shit out of them and observing this cartoonish Stevie/Lindsay duel.  They are a really fun band to watch.  Musically, they’re an art-punk band and will definitely leave you with that “HS!” feeling.
  6. Against Me – I finally got to see Against Me! at Riotfest Chicago this past September.  I really loved their latest album and hadn’t even heard of them until then.  Their performance was the best sounding, most energetic (aside from Anthrax) and most wild.  The crowd totally pushed everyone around as a single unit.  I had been quite close to the front, but couldn’t quite keep my footing, so I kinda let myself get squeezed back a little.  Laura Jane Grace sounded amazing and charged and was wearing a “Gender Is Over” jersey.  The entire crowd sang along with every song throughout their 45 minute set.
  7. Moseley – I first caught these ladies at the Record Store Day After Show at the Heavy Anchor in St Louis.  They played a short, dramatic set.  I had shown up for Bruiser Queen and We Are Hex’s RSD performance at Vintage Vinyl, but was very glad to discover Moseley.  This is the best way to find and discover new bands, go to shows!  I also went to Nashville and Bowling Green, KY to catch them as they had totally blown me away.  They have this quite unique sound with Suzy’s non-chalaunt craftiness of guitar work and hypnotic vocals, adorned with a gown of her self-professed “metal mop”, and just as you’re being sucked in, Abby and Christy change things up, and you wonder, “what are they DOING over there” and totally yank you in another direction.  They are a rock band, but I wonder if they aren’t influenced by ’80s Heavy Metal.  They have a full-length debut album due out in 2016 that at the moment is my most highly anticipated release of 2016.
  8. War On Women – As I mentioned in my 2015 Top Ten Albums List, I discovered this amazing guitar assault of a band this year.  I could NOT wait to see them perform live.  I got my first chance on Anti-Flag’s show in St Louis and again when I was in the Baltimore area for work in September.  Their show at FUBAR was an amazing performance, although I think the sound guy screwed ’em a little as they were the first set.  It was even better seeing them perform live in their hometown at Ottobar in Baltimore.  Hang on tight when you see this band as they are non-stop from the time they start to the last note.
  9. Thelma and The Sleaze – This is the second year in a row this band out of Nashville made my top list with Lauren G on guitar, Chase on Drums and GiGi now on bass full-time.  These ladies toured the country, have recorded their next album and even had the chance to perform and record with Brittany Howard among others this year.  This band has really grown and gotten tremendously better and tighter as attributed to their near non-stop touring and have an improved overall sound from the first time I saw these ladies nearly two years ago now.  These ladies mean business when they take the stage and are quite the act.  With their ’70s sounding songs, you’d think they grew up in the ’70s.  I was fortunate that they made their way through Indiana for a few dates this year and look forward to seeing them again in 2016.
  10. Pop Up Safety Baby – This band local to the Terre Haute continues to amaze me every time they take the stage.  They have continued to blaze sets with their tight arrangements and musicianship.  They have added a few new songs to the set and have recorded a handful of songs for an upcoming release.
  11. Screaming Females – I became a great fan of Screaming Females during the latter part of 2014 and had been watching live performances online and was really amazed by the great guitar work and tightness of the band.  Their new album Rose Mountain came out in March and I was fortunate to catch them live in Bloomington late March.  It was my most anticipated show to date.  They played a great 12 song set and I was wanting more.
  12. Bruiser Queen – This great band out of St Louis continues to amaze me.  They put on an incredible show every time they take the stage.  They have built quite a following and have played nearly 80 dates in the past year, as evidenced by their on-stage chemistry.  This ’60s sounding duo creates exciting, jamming tunes that are especially great in a live setting.  They have become quite the force to reckon with in the St Louis area.  Morgan really demonstrated her vocal talents this year with their cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” and by her acapella performance of Silent Night to open up their 12 Bassists of Christmas show which featured local St Louis talent on bass, keyboards and guitar in each of their songs.
  13. Gang Of Four – I had gone to the Ottobar in Baltimore this September to see War On Women.  These guys were the main act.  I was totally blown away by their sound and stage presence.  I truly believe that if it weren’t for Duran Duran, these guys would have been much bigger in the early ’80s.  I hadn’t really even heard of this band prior to this year.  The fans in the audience were clearly die hards who have been following them for quite a while.  They played a fun-filled 75 minute set.
  14. Barb Wire Dolls –  Got to see these guys for the first time in over two years since they returned to the U.S.   I  saw them perform at Riot Fest in Chicago, and then in Dayton just a few weeks later.  This band still has amazingly inspired live performances.  They have added quite a lot of new material this latest tour and had also brought a touring bass player this go around.  They’re off to Europe for 2016 and may not be back to the U.S. until 2017.  This punk rock band from Greece continues to be a voice for the injustices facing their country and others who appear to be facing the same fate, including the U.S.
  15. The Gills – I just so happened to catch this band in Nashville as part of the Moseley/Fauna Halo card.  I had not heard anything about this band, and was actually sitting in the table section when they came on.  I was immediately impressed, especially by the drum and bass work, I had to go out on the floor to get a close look.  Hoping this band tours the Midwest some time soon as I’d like to see them again.
  16. SIMO – This was the first show of 2015 for me.  I had seen this band the previous Fall at The Verve in Terre Haute, so when I found out they would be back I was ecstatic.  This southern rock style band with Allman Brothers influence will really capture you.  JD Simo is one of the best guitarists I’ve ever seen perform, and has a huge energetic stage presence.
  17. The Panics – This veteran punk rock group was part of the Mutant Fest that I had gone to in Bloomington this past Spring.  These guys know how to put on a show!  This was one of the major highlights for me for a day that included 12+ bands.
  18. Shelby County Sinners – These guys from Indiana play a flavor of Americana that is pretty much their own.  The storytelling vocals of Shelby are among the strongest I’ve seen.  The percussive type bass playing by Mo is another thing that is unique for this band that has no drummer.  Eric Grimmet on guitar presents very polished, at times bluesy work that fits in really well.  Upon first glance, Eric looks like Dave Murray from Iron Maiden!
  19. Mugen Hoso – I finally got to see this amazing Punk Duo from Japan after a two year wait.  They had previously performed dates with Barb Wire Dolls and Evil Beaver and really wanted to see them, so when they came back to the U.S., I made sure to catch them.  I wasn’t able to make their Indianapolis show, so I had to catch them in Dayton a few days later.  These guys are a bundle of energy that feeds and thrives off of the crowd.  The crowd was bringing these guys shots after every song!  Mugen is like a Japanese Energizer Bunny version of Angus Young and bounces all over the stage.
  20. Genevieve – I accidentally discovered Genevieve on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.  I had not made the connection that she had been part of Company Of Thieves until I looked her up.  Upon researching, I discovered that she would be playing in Indianapolis in just two days.  I was already heading to a show later that evening, but she was scheduled to perform outdoors, outside the National Center at Indianapolis’ First Friday, so I headed out early.  I was totally amazed at her performance.  It was so scorchingly hot out that day, but she and her band made it through the whole set.  Good thing I was wearing sunglasses, because her performance of The Enemy nearly brought me to tears.  I was fortunate to meet her at her merch table and briefly talk.  Looking forward to seeing her perform live again; she is probably the best singer I’ve ever witnessed perform.

2015 Shows Overall List by Date

  1. 1/16 SIMO (The Verve)
  2. 1/17 The Nerve, Bear Foote Jackson, Pop Up Safety Baby (Ripley’s)
  3. 1/29 The Ragbirds (The Verve)
  4. 2/6 Papa J. Otis (Pizza Place)
  5. 2/7 Matchsellers, Moonshine Junction (The Verve)
  6. 2/27 Kelly Pardekooper, Buffalo Wabs, Stackhouse, We Are Hex, DMA (PRN)
  7. 3/6 Butcher’s Holler, Papa J. Otis (ISU Bookstore)
  8. 3/7 Nick Gibbs, Brandon Atwell, Moonshine Junction, Toe Knee Tea, The Madpole Cats, Matthew Mule McKinley, Owen Mays and The Last Calls, Lou Shields, S.S. Web, Matt Olson, Dime Novel Devils, Pop Up Safety Baby (Midwest Hillbilly Hardcore’s 7th Annual St Judes Benefiet @ The Verve)
  9. 3/8 Pegasissy, Marine Corpse, Thelma And The Sleaze (The Back Door)
  10. 3/26 Screaming Females, Shellshag, Cowboys (The Bishop)
  11. 3/27 Raymond Lee, Moonshine Junction, Bro Ken (The Verve)
  12. 3/28 Good Guy Bad Guy, Giraffes Eating Lions, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, The Ramettes, Dead On TV, The Lickers, Insubordination, Drunken Therapy, Stealing Volume, Black Cat Rebellion, Tiger Sex (Punkfest 2015 5th Quarter)
  13. 4/14 Sam Barbee, Papa J. Otis, Rosedale (Terradise)
  14. 4/18 Bella & Lilly, Bruiser Queen, We Are Hex, Turntable Orchestra (Record Store Day at Vintage Vinyl STL)
  15. 4/18 Matt Harnish’s Pink Guitar, Brother Lee & The Leather Jackals, Moseley, We Are Hex, Bruiser Queen (RSD After Show at Heavy Anchor, STL)Wh
  16. 4/25 Sideline Radio, Rader, Gardens, Sleep On It, Mariahill (Terradise)
  17. 4/30 Papa J. Otis (ISU Bookstore)
  18. 5/1 Brainchild, Papa J Otis, When All Kept Echoing, Better Off Blind, Dalton Edington, Wesley J. Russell & Dave Reneigh, Moonshine Junction, Jack Shannon, Vancouver Ballet, Timmy Wells (TH First Friday at Tater Joe’s)
  19. 5/2 We Are Hex, Obnox, The Timmys (Melody Inn PRN)
  20. 5/4 Sam Barbee, People Of Interest, Dope Sweater, Riot Shield, Some Kind Of Nightmare (Cruft House)
  21. 5/15 Anti-Flag, The Homeless Gospel Choir, War On Women (FUBAR St Louis)
  22. 5/18 Begging Victoria, Raymond Lee, Grandiose, Riot Shield, Pop Up Safety Baby, People Of Interest, New Wave (Cruft House)
  23. 5/22 Pop Up Safety Baby (The Verve)
  24. 5/23 Gooch Palms, Death Valley Girls, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Chives (Punk Rock Night at Melody Inn)
  25. 6/5 Genevieve (Old National Centre)
  26. 6/5 We Are Hex, The Hussy, Digital Leather (White Rabbit Cabaret)
  27. 6/9 Anthony Cottom, Straya, Falling, Ashland, Thieves, Riot Shield (Terradise White House)
  28. 6/13 The Bakers, Mariahill, Subject To Change, Population Control, People Of Interest, Better Off Blind (The Meeting Grounds)
  29. 6/13 The Beautiful Display, Whosah, Mariahill, Riot Shield (The Verve)
  30. 6/19 We Are Hex, Goldmines, The Hyper Tensions (State Street Pub)
  31. 6/26 Commonweather, The Hanis Project, Mariahill, Riot Shield, Real Talk, Sleep On It (Terradise White House)
  32. 7/3 Father Mountain, Mayweather, The Red Streak, The Beautiful Display, Riot Shield, WAKE (Terradise)
  33. 7/3 David Goodier, Maggie Cocco Band, Brandon Sciotto, Moonshine Junction (The Verve)
  34. 7/11 Tycoons Of Teen, Laffing Gas, Wet Heave, Thee Open Sex, The Girls!, The Panics, Chives, Timmy’s Organism, Cancuners, Cold Star, Sick Velvet, Cowboys, KP and Me, The Hemingers, The Brothers Gross, The Gizmos (Mutant Fest II at The Back Door & Blockhouse Bloomington)
  35. 7/17 Scot Sax & Suzie Brown, The Gills, Moseley, Tetherball, Earl Burrows, Fauna Halo (The Basement East)
  36. 7/19 It’s a Secret, Regular Oatmeal, Pop Up Safety Baby, Population Control, Subject To Change (Terradise White House)
  37. 7/24 Aiming For Average, WAKE
  38. 7/25 Betsy Franck, Hannah Aldridge (The Verve)
  39. 7/31-8/2 Mighty Oaks, Coasts, Black Pistol Fire, BadBadNotGood, Broods, Alabama Shakes, Paul McCartney, Janelle Kroll, Hippo Campus, COIN, Sturgill Simpson, Wet, Death From Above 1979, Elle King, Metallica, The Wombats, Black Tiger Sex machine, DMA’s, Strand Of Oaks, Skylar Spence, Bully, TV On The Radio, Florence + The Machine (Lollapalooza Chicago)
  40. 8/7 Population Control, Better Off Blind, Bomb Cats, People Of Interest, Ashland, Grandiose (TH First Friday)
  41. 8/7 The Flying Jacksons (The Verve)
  42. 8/8 David Goodier, Tracksuit Lyfestile, MariaHill, The HANIS Project (The Verve)
  43. 8/13 Mariahill, The Linden Project (Hoosier Dome)
  44. 8/13 Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Pravada, Ampersand Blues Band (State Street Pub)
  45. 8/15 Subject To Change, Pop Up Safety Baby, Population Control, Dope Sweater, People of Interest, Better Off Blind, Riot Shield, Alena Coast, Mariahill, New Wave (Terradise Oy Vey Bakery)
  46. 8/16 Shad Vanatti, Alena Coast, MariaHill, Riot Shield (The Verve)
  47. 8/18 Marissa Sendejas, Chatterbox & The Latter Day Satanists, JC & The Pennies, Ray Lee (Tater Joe’s)
  48. 8/22 Bruiser Queen (Mike N Mollys)
  49. 8/27 Thelma And The Sleaze, We Are Hex, Ray Creature (The Back Door Bloomington)
  50. 9/4 Subject To Change, Better Off Blind, Ashland, Daniel Sadcliff, Rest Assured, Riot Shield, Mayweather, WAKE, Brave Souls, Sirens, From Cities Above, Pop Up Safety Baby, Moonshine Junction, Cody Almond, Gardens, Edington, Hugh Lee, Plans, Dope Sweater, For Our Lifetime, Mariahill, People Of Interest, The Beautiful Display, Whale Bones, Kerchief, Scooter, The HANIS Project, Grandiose (Terrapalooza)
  51. 9/4 We Are Hex, Ritual Howls, Tyler Damon (White Rabbit Cabaret)
  52. 9/5 Moseley, Plastic Friends, The Donut Heist (Tidballs Bowling Green)
  53. 9/9 The Coathangers, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (Radio Radio Indianapolis)
  54. 9/11 No Doubt, The Coathangers, Dirty Fences, Chef’special, Speedy Ortiz, Motorhead, Anthrax, Barb Wire Dolls, White Mystery, Against Me! (Riot Fest Chicago)
  55. 9/12 Moonshine Junction, Hannah Aldridge (Blues At The Crossroads Fest)
  56. 9/19 db Cooper (4th Quarter Bar)
  57. 9/20 Skurt, Tigersex, Mugen Hoso (Blind Bob’s Dayton)
  58. 9/25 Barb Wire Dolls, Red Hot Rebellion, Two Punch Gun, A Shade of Red (Rockstar Pro Arena Dayton)
  59. 9/30 War On Women, The New Regime, Gang Of Four (Ottobar Baltimore)
  60. 10/8 The Holy Sheets, Louie Louie, Gooch Palms, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (State Street Pub)
  61. 10/9 Dirty Ghosts, Spray Paint, Strange Wilds (The Empty Bottle Chicago)
  62. 10/17 Torres, Garbage (The Riviera Chicago)
  63. 10/31 Moonshine Junction, Shelby County Sinners, The Nerve (The Verve)
  64. 11/3 Beach Slang, Lithuania, Worriers, Humanoids (Firebird St Louis)
  65. 11/8 Benny Sanders, Thelma and The Sleaze (State Street Pub)
  66. 11/13 Riot Shield, Mariahill, Crunkasaurus Rex, Plans, Juice, Vancouver Ballet (The Cruft House)
  67. 11/14 The HANIS Project, David Goodier, Mariahill (The Verve)
  68. 11/25 Moonshine Junction, Shelby County Sinners, Pop Up Safety Baby (The Verve)
  69. 12/5 12 Bassists of Christmas w/ Bruiser Queen, The Vigilettes, Mike and Jenny of Tortuga, Soddy Daisy (The Pageant St Louis)
  70. 12/26 Sam Arnold, Aiming For Average (Uprising Terre Haute)

2015 Top Singers

Genevieve Schatz (Genevieve)

Aubri Honest (Fauna Halo)

Betsy Franck

Marissa Sendejas

Sara Smith (The Vigilettes)

2015 Top Drummers

Adam Abrashoff (SIMO)

Seth Maschari (Captain Ivory)

Charlie Benante (Anthrax)

Abby Hairston (Moseley)

Roseanna Safos (Goldmines, Obnox)

Michael Coffey (Pop Up Safety Baby)

Evan Tanner (War On Women)

Lars Ulrich (Metallica)

2015 Top Bass Players

Justin Locke (The Gills)

Christy Callaway (Moseley)

Matt Hullet (Pop Up Safety Baby)

2015 Top Guitar Players

Marissa Potner (Screaming Females)

JD Simo (SIMO)

2015 Best Band Vocals


Buffalo Wabs and The Price Hill Hustle

Moonshine Junction

Chatterbox and The Latter Day Satanists

2015 Favorite Front-Persons

Daniel Evans (Dead On TV)

Kelly Tigersex Vegas (TigerSex)

Jilly Weiss (We Are Hex)

Jesse Kaftanski (Madpole Cats)

2015 Best Costumes or Stage Setup

Gooch Palms

Bruiser Queen

Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

2015 Group with the best Hair!

a Shade Of red



2015 Bands with Most Engaged or Loyal Audience

The Homeless Gospell Choir


Beach Slang

Against Me!

2015 Top Venues

White Rabbit Cabaret Indianapolis

Heavy Anchor St Louis

Radio Radio Indianapolis

State Street Pub Indianapolis

Verve Terre Haute

2015 Worst Venue

FUBAR St Louis – I only put this because the sound guy had the bands entirely too loud.  I go to a LOT of shows, and this guy set up levels from the back “with” ear plugs already in.  It was entirely too loud, and backing up toward the back did not sound good at all.  The bathrooms are also setup such that the line bumps right into the Merch area, where people walk to get to the bar area, a complete log jam.

Farthest Show From Home

War On Women, Gang Of Four @ Ottobar, Baltimore Maryland

Longest Drive

Moseley, The Gills, Fauna Halo @The Basement East, Nashville Tennessee

Select Pictures

Morgan of Bruiser Queen

Morgan of Bruiser Queen

Bruiser Queen's 12 Bassists of Christmas

Bruiser Queen’s 12 Bassists of Christmas

Shelby County Sinners at The Verve Terre Haute

Shelby County Sinners at The Verve Terre Haute

Moonshine Junction at The Verve Terre Haute

Moonshine Junction at The Verve Terre Haute



Garbage at Riviera Theater Chicago

Garbage at Riviera Theater Chicago

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

a Shade of Red

a Shade of Red

Mugen Hoso

Mugen Hoso

Kelly of TigerSex

Kelly of TigerSex

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Jilly of We Are Hex at White Rabbit Cabaret

Jilly of We Are Hex at White Rabbit Cabaret

Anthony of Dope Sweater

Anthony of Dope Sweater

"GG" of Thelma and The Sleaze

“GG” of Thelma and The Sleaze

Matt from We Are Hex

Matt from We Are Hex

Marissa Nendejas

Marissa Nendejas



Lollapalooza 2015

Lollapalooza 2015

Timmy's Organism

Timmy’s Organism

Tycoons Of Teen

Tycoons Of Teen

Mutant Fest II Poster

Mutant Fest II Poster

Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

Gooch Palms

Gooch Palms

Death Valley Girls

Death Valley Girls

War On Women

War On Women

We Are Hex

We Are Hex

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2015 Top Albums

OK, for an album to be in my top ten, it must be an album that I listened to over and over again start-to-finish.  So these are the albums that I really got into this year.

War On Women – War On Women

When you hear certain hard rock albums for the first time, like Alice In Chains’ “Dirt”, or Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Appetite For Destruction”, Korn’s debut album, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” or even AC/DC’s “Back In Black” album, Def Leppard’s “Pyromania”, they yank you out of your seat, and you listen to them over and over again, thinking how can this album rock so hard?  I felt the same way when I accidentally stumbled across the band “War On Women” this past Spring.  I had been watching music videos on YouTube, when I came across this Propaghandi documentary type video, and thought they were pretty cool.  I got distracted, left the room for a while doing something else, when I heard this other band rocking, but there were no vocals.  It was a “related” video of the band War On Women playing at The FEST 2013.  There was this awesome guitar work, but the vocals were completely drowned out.  I looked them up and bought their newly released self-titled album and was completely blown away.  This album has very aggressive in your face guitar work with hypnotic, delicate, yet authoritative vocals and is pedal to the medal from start to finish.  The songs sequence and transitions are as if you’re watching a live show. Nearly all of their songs are themed about women’s issues and injustices in the face of our political climate and culture here in the U.S.

Dirty Ghosts – Let It Pretend

Dirty Ghosts are a band I discovered circa 2011 from the Last Gang Records Label as I listen to a lot of bands from them (Metric, Crystal Castles, Death From Above 1979).  They are fronted by Allyson Baker and Erin McDermott hailing from San Francisco.  This latest album from them was highly anticipated for me as it had been several years since their debut.  This album is quite different than their first one.  The new album has a very early ’80s techno sound and feel to it and reminds me a lot of The Cars mixed in with Devo, Nena and The Police.  The songs on the album have cleverly crafted placement of instruments, nice structure, as if they were influenced by Rush.  The entire album is a blast to listen to.

Screaming Females – Rose Mountain

I got into this band, led by phenomenal guitarist Marissa Potner toward the end of 2014.  I watched a lot of their online live performances and was really looking forward to their February release, Rose Mountain.  The first thing you notice listening to this band is the guitar work and vocals from Marissa (kinda like the first time I heard Geddy Lee singing on Rush’s Caress Of Steel album), but there is no denying the amazing guitar work.  While this whole album jams, there are moments that are more mellow-progressive.  In particular songs Wishing Well with beautiful imagery in the lyrics, Rose Mountain that heavily builds before casually settling in, and Hopeless,  which really is a departure for Marissa’s vocal style and is probably the most emotional song I’ve heard her perform.  She is also an incredible artist and has published some of her artwork.

Worriers – Imaginary Life

I actually discovered this amazing band through Screaming Female’s record label Don Giovanni Records.  I was immediately drawn by Lauren Denitzio’s vocals and Audrey Zee Whiteside’s awesome sounding bass.  The album starts out with a melodic reminiscence in Jinx and transitions into what more seems like the first track on the album, Plans.  The songs on this album are sung from the heart and deal with a variety of issues, insecurities, personal challenges, emotions and all.

Violent Mae – Kid

This is the second album from Violent Mae who hails from Connecticut.  This album offers more amazing guitar work from Becky Kessler and incredible arrangements by drummer and unconventional percussionist Floyd.  This album continues to validate incredible craftiness from well-polished guitar work from Becky, along with soulful and sultry vocals that suck you right in.  This is another start-to-finish album from this amazing group.

Genevieve – EP

I bought Genevieve’s EP at her show in Indianapolis.  This is a great debut from the former Company Of Thieves artist.  This album is a very upbeat and positive pop album with inspiring vocals.

Dekades – Dekades EP

I’ve been a fan of Dekades, out of L.A. for a few years now, and it’s been a few years since their 1.1 EP so I was super excited when they released their new self-titled EP.  This album is a much more raw album than the previous one.  The EP has a haunting and urgent tone to it.  Looking forward to hearing more from this great band in 2016.

Elle King – Love Stuff

I discovered Elle King when Lollapalooza announced their 2015 Lineup.  Checked out some of her work and really loved her full-length debut.  This young lady has a great band and a lot of charm and drive and vocally kinda reminds me of John Fogerty.  This album could pass as a country album and I really don’t listen to country music.

Rush – R40

Rush’s latest live release to mark their 40th Anniversary as recording artists.  Their R40 tour in 2015 reviewed their entire career starting from latest to earliest.  There are a couple of songs on here they hadn’t previously released live.

Barb Wire Dolls – Live In Berlin

Barb Wire Dolls released their Berlin performance on their BandCamp web page.  This concert consists of all of their material from their upcoming album to be released in 2016, and also includes Barb Wire Dolls staple songs from their first album that have remained a part of their live act.

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2014 Top Bands Live Performances

2014 was even a more busy year than 2013. Once again, I went to several live shows, primarily low-key, small-venue shows.  I really do prefer the smaller venue shows as they’re much more fun.  Lollapalooza was the only big-scale show I went to.

Top Rated Bands Performances

  1. Grouplove: This was my most anticipated performance once the 2014 Lollapalooza lineup was officially announced.  It was everything I had hoped it would be.  They played nearly everything from their latest album Spreading Rumours and of course, new classics Colours and Tongue Tied.  In addition to their songs, they played an amazing cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage and Beyonce’s Drunk In Love.  This was the most active crowd the entire weekend as well.  I was fortunate to meet-and-greet the band afterward and get autographs.  The only thing that was disappointing was that they only got to play 60 minutes, but that’s to be expected as a sub-headliner at a festival.
  2. Meg Myers: I’ve been listening to Meg Myers for nearly three years, and watching her fan base grow as she played more and more shows across the country, so I was super excited for her to be part of Lollapalooza this year.  She played a highly intense 45 minute set where she was everywhere from Alanis Morrisette angry to Pink ballad delicate.  The whole crowd sang along with the opening lines of her first song, “I should pray for Adelaide” and was totally engulfed the rest of the way.  She didn’t say a whole lot between songs, but her songs did the speaking for her.  Her band sounded absolutely amazing and tight, especially on guitar and cello.  I had the chance to also meet her afterward.
  3. Eminem: Mariah and I had missed Eminem the last time he had played Lollapalooza, so I managed to catch the first song from Lorde’s set (which she REALLY is pretty amazing to all the doubters) on the other side of the park before high-tailing it to the south side to meet up with Mariah and the kids for Eminem’s show.  This was an amazing 90+ minute set that spanned his entire career and even featured an appearance by Rhiana for three songs.  The background graphics were really amazing.
  4. We Are Hex:  I saw this band twice this year, at the same venue, The White Rabbit Cabaret Club.  I was totally blown away by this electro-gothic sounding band that really reminded me of some of the L.A. sounding bands Dekades, Battle Tapes and Omniflux.  The singer Jilian has amazing power and dramatic vocals and a huge stage presence.  The thundering drums and primus-like guitar work makes for some dark sounding vibes. The second time I saw them was for their Bleach Brigades album release show.
  5. Pop Up Safety Baby: Speaking of Primus, this two piece band of bass and drum puts on a mind blowing performance with a drummer who reminds me a lot of Brian “Brain” Mantini from Primus’ lineup of a few years past.  Matt Hulett and Mike Coffey create this amazing sound of distorted bass and excellent percussion and drumming.  Each song they perform will take you on a roller coaster ride of technical excellence, all the while creating funky and otherwise tight and changing rhythms.  This is definitely a band whose performance leaves you with that “holy shit” feeling after witnessing.  I’ve seen them five times over the course of the past year, and can’t wait to see them again.
  6. Thelma and The Sleaze:  I’ve seen this band three times this year, and I’d have to say that along with Whiskey Dick, they’re the hardest working, most-touring band I saw this year.  This sexy trio of Lauren, Chase and “Baby” (and for most of the USA tour, GiGi on bass), put on an amazing show and their consistent touring proves their complete stage chemistry.  Sporting her “Fancy” guitar, Lauren has the passion, high energy, power, and yet the tenderness of Janis Joplin with the unforgiving pedal-to-the-metal energy of Angus Young.  Chase and Emily (Baby) make an excellent rhythm section and never miss a beat and definitely sport the rock star image and presence on stage.  This bluesy, ZZ Top/Thin Lizzy/Molly Hatchet/Foghat-sounding band will impress you, with each song preceded by hilarious adventure tales from the road makes this a really fun performance to watch.  I got to see the last date of their 6 month tour where they treated the audience to a nice 70 minute set.  The loyal fan base is evident of their heavy touring.
  7. Bruiser Queen: Saw these guys twice this year.  The first time, they were opening for We Are Hex and Thelma And The Sleaze.  I was really amazed by the energy and seemingly ’60s psychedelic sound of their performance for a two piece of just guitar and drums.  The drummer is a well-seasoned musician and Morgan on guitar and lead vocals is not one to be messed with.  She shreds her guitar and vocally hits the notes that Karen O can’t.  This high energy punk rock band is aggressively active, touring the immediate midwest area playing several dates.
  8. Violent Mae: I had caught the two members of this fine band playing in Philadelphia in 2013 for You Scream I Scream.  Rebecca and Floyd are a guitar and drum duo.  I was overly excited to learn that they’d be playing a midwest date on two days’ notice. Floyd’s creative drumming and percussion works well with Rebecca’s smooth and polished guitar playing.  Vocally, Rebecca offers a sultry and Natalie Merchant-like subtleness to her enunciation.
  9. SIMO:  JD Simo and his band are an amazingly energetic band that takes you on a lightning fast Allman Brothers influenced sound.  This band had every element of all hard southern rock that I ever remember listening to growing up.  Hang on tight and try to keep up with this amazing band.  They ultimately ended the show with the Joe Cocker version cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends”.
  10. The Company Stores:  This incredibly diverse and talented band from West Virginia puts on an amazing show, with everything ranging from beat boxing, hip-hop to r&b to classic rock and even Patsy Cline/Alison Mosshart sounding vocals by Casey.  I saw this band at The Verve, a band consisting of guitar, trumpet, electric violin, bass and tympani.  They remind me of a mix of Delta Rae meets The Manhattan Transfer.  They played primarily original material, but also played their own versions of covers, including Billie Jean and even a jamming medley of Whole Lotta Love/Great Gig In The Sky/A Change Is Gonna Come/Ball Of Confusion/Whole Lotta Love.  They played an amazing set, had a short intermission, and followed it with a nice acoustic set.  Jacob on bass has a very energetic and funk style to his bass playing.
  11. S.S. Web: I was initially introduced to this band by one of the local scene music guys, Andy.  I listened to their debut album and was immediately impressed with the booming and solid vocals of Henry.  This psychobilly style band has an amazing live sound and incredible self-made percussion.
  12. Whiskey Dick:  This band is a yee-haw, heavy metal acoustic experience.  Fritz has amazing vocals, telling times of ass-kicking and hell-raising tales.  Blistering acoustic guitar really reminds me of America and The Moody Blues intro to Question.  They play a southern rocking sound, and riddled with occasional electric pieces by Reverend Johnson.
  13. Betty Who: This really fun ’80s pop sounding band from Australia played at the somewhat crappy sounding BMI stage at Lollapalooza in a steady downpour, but they filled the place, either from curiosity, or people seeking shelter from the rain.  Either way, the show was alive and electric.  The first thing you notice is how tall Jessica is compared to her bass player.  Jessica has an amazing effect on people and presents a feel-good performance for all.
  14. Captain Blood:  Saw this band a couple of times live in Indianapolis.  The second time I saw them was a great 90 minute set.  This guitar-driven four-piece band really gives you a Rolling Stones/Velvet Revolver package of guitar riffs all with a solid rhythm section.  Really impressive is the distinct vocal styles of both Ronnie and Bill.
  15. Evil Beaver:  I had the chance to catch this impressive bass/drum duo twice this year, once on Halloween and the other on New Year’s Eve.  This high energy band puts on a blistering set that dares you to try to keep up.  Evie and Slammin’ Sammy work well together keeping it tight and moving all over the place.
  16. The Muffs: I had previously heard of this band, but never really listened to them before now.  They were the main act on the New Year’s Eve show I went to, so checked ’em out in the weeks leading up.  This is a punk band from the early ’90s
  17. Warpaint: I really came to like this band with their new album release, but was skeptical about seeing them live as I thought they’d be too mellow for my “live” taste, but I am glad I caught them at Lollapalooza.  They are a really fun band to watch and put on a great show.
  18. Moonshine Junction: Once again, caught this band live several times this year.  This bluegrass, club country band always puts on an amazing show.  The most energetic show was probably their appearance at The Blues At The Crossroads show.  They’ve really changed things up a bit this year with the addition of a few new players and new songs in the set.  Another highlight for me was watching them perform AM Radio with the author of the song actually in the audience.  Another highlight this year was a couple of cameo appearances at some of the all-ages shows by Matt Dickerson’s (fiddle & vocals) 11 year old daughter to sing chorus on Wagon Wheel.
  19. Chromeo: Saw this disco duo at Lollapalooza.  These guys remind me a lot of Kool and The Gang sound from the ’70s/early ’80s.  A soul/disco jamming afternoon of their favorites and several off of their new album.
  20. Trombone Shorty: This was a first for me, a brass-hamming band.  Trombone Shorty has an amazing drummer, plays amazing horns and has an amazing saxaphone player to go  along.  He really engages the crowd and this was really quite a treat at Lollapalooza.

Honorable Mention: Kristeen Young, Bear Hands, Brandon Atwell, Dead On TV, White Mystery, Urban Pioneers, Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band, The Lickers, Papa J. Otis.

Overall Shows List

Jan 11 (Archie’s Sports Bar, Terre Haute)

Hangdog Hearts, Nick Gibbs, Moonshine Junction, Crow’s Holler, Brandon Atwell, ToeKnee Tea

Feb 16 (The Verve, Terre Haute)

Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band, Urban Pioneers, Moonshine Junction

March 15 (Twiggy’s, Seelyville)

Stevie Tombstone, Shad Vanatti

March 21 (The Verve)

Papa J. Otis, Flintlock, Butcher’s Holler

March 22 (Ole Simrell’s, Terre Haute)

Shad Vanatti, Nativemind, Pop Up Safety Baby, Crow Cannons

April 23 (Ole Simrell’s)

Shad Vanatti, Black Eyed Vermillion, Whiskey Dick

April 26 (Punk Rock Night @ The Melody Inn, Indianapolis)

Thelma and The Sleaze, Brains & Teeth, Dead On TV, Misunderstood

May 10 (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J Otis, Bear Foote Jackson

May 15 (The Verve)

Mikey Classic & His Lonesome Spur, ToeKnee Tea, Moonshine Junction

May 30 (The Verve)

S.S. Web, Flintlock, Moonshine Junction, Kelly Frost

June 7 (Punk Rock Night @ The Melody Inn)

The Enders, Urban Loser, The Lickers

June 21 (Birdy’s, Indianapolis)

Captain Blood, Shed, Cockeyed Clyde

July 26 (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J. Otis, Bear Foote Jackson, Pop Up Safety Baby

July 30 (Ole Simrell’s)

The Rocketz, Straight Shooters, Raymond Lee

August 1-3 (Lollapalooza, Grant Park, Chicago):

Roadkill Ghost Choir, San Fermin, Temples, Lucius, Courtney Barnett, Warpaint, Blood Orange, AFI, Lorde, Eminem, Benjamin Booker, Ratking, Meg Myers, Grouplove, Jenny Lewis, Krewella, Cut/Copy, Bear Hands, Kongos, Bomba Estero, Delta Rae, Trombone Shorty, Chromeo, Betty Who

August 13 (Ole Simrell’s)

Whiskey Dick, Flintlock

August 15 Valley United Music Festival (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J. Otis, The HANIS Project

August 23 (Ole Simrell’s)

Moonshine Junction

August 27 (White Rabbit Cabaret, Indianapolis)

We Are Hex, Thelma & The Sleaze, Bruiser Queen

August 29 (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J. Otis, Soleb Theory, Pop Up Safety Baby

September 12 (Blues At The Crossroads Festival @ The Verve)

Moonshine Junction

September 27 (Cisco’s, St. Louis)

Violent Mae

October 4 (The Verve)

Urban Pioneers, SIMO

October 18 (The Verve)

Flintlock, Immigrant Union, The Company Stores

October 21 (Ole Simrell’s)

Billy Cook, Calamity Cubes

October 31 (Phantom Phest Day 2 @ Quencher’s, Chicago)

Evil Beaver, New England Patriots, ONO

November 5 (Melody Inn)

Cost Of Attrition, Direct Divide, Pop Up Safety Baby

November 26 (The Verve)

Moonshine Junction, Pop Up Safety Baby, Tony Zero

November 28 (White Rabbit Cabaret) 

We Are Hex, Magician Johnson, Rev/Rev

December 5 (Tater Joe’s Coffee, Terre Haute)

Kelly Frost, Papa J. Otis

December 5 (The Verve)

Giant Saturday Night

December 18 (5th Quarter, Indianapolis)

Raw McCartney, Sirius Black, Thelma & The Sleaze

December 26 (Tater Joe’s Coffee)

Butcher’s Holler, Moonshine Junction

December 27 (The Demo, St. Louis)

Brother Lee & The Leather Jackals, Kristeen Young, Bruiser Queen

December 31 (Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago)

The Muffs, Evil Beaver, Meat Wave, White Mystery

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