2016 Favorite Performances
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 tickets in February for a December 30th date in Chicago, which also happened to be Patti Smith’s 70th birthday. This was my second time going to the Riviera. I had initially managed a second row seat, but ended up moving back a little way, still quite far up. I was totally blown away and inspired like I thought I would be. They started the show performing Horses with a Gloria reprise at the end before playing other favorites and covers, including Power To The People which featured Michael Stipe and Patti Smith’s daughter making a guest appearance. This was definitely a bucket-list concert for me and ever grateful to have seen Patti Smith perform live.
This year, Metric had released their Pagans In Vegas album, their first since 2012’s Synthetica. I last saw Metric at Lollapalooza in 2012, so I was super excited to see them again as they are one of my all-time favorite bands. This was a totally breathtaking 2 hour performance featuring music from their last three albums although they opened up with IOU! A few of the songs were intro’d with teasers of songs from their first album. I was second row for this show, center stage.
Thelma And The Sleaze
I grew up listening to a lot of hard rock music in the 1970s. One of my favorite bands growing up was Heart. The lineup of Heart in the 70s is still my very favorite with such amazing guitar work. One of my fondest memories of Heart is their live cover of Kike Dee’s “I’ve Got The Music In Me”. I’ve seen Thelma And The Sleaze quite a few times the past couple of years. Thelma and the Sleaze is the conceptual brainwork of guitarist Lauren Gilbert, known to a lot as “LG”. This outstanding band, fronted by LG has this Alison Mosshart sultry stage-presence and Angus Young authority, combined with a comedic wit like that of Bette Midler. “I’ve Got The Music In Me” comes to mind when I see LG perform live. What was really spectacular about seeing them this year was their 29 day, 31 show tour of Nashville, entitled the “Kandyland Tour” in which they played a show every day for the month of February. I was fortunate to catch one of those shows at the Mayday Brewery in Murfreesboro. The other great thing this year was them going on a month-long tour with Eagles of Death Metal, in which they played to some bigger audiences and was actually a dream of Chase’s (the drummer) to play The Vogue one day. It was also indicative of a hard-working band making a breakthrough to larger audiences.
A documentary has been created detailing the Kandyland Tour and will be available soon.
I never got to see Belly perform live when they first came out. The only band I went to see perform in the 90s were Rush and Primus, so I was super excited when it was announced that Belly would perform a reunion tour. Belly’s two albums are two that really stuck with me from the 90s alternative bands and still listen to them to this day. The band was absolutely spot on and had a very exciting crowd. They split the show into two sets. The funny thing was that Morrissey was playing night one of Riot Fest that night, and they thanked the crowd for weighing their options.
Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes
This is the band that I saw the most times this year! They were a new favorite of mine in 2015 and still are a whole lot of fun to watch. One of the more fascinating things about this band is wondering what outfits or costumes they’re going to wear. I actually tried to dress up as Davey in one of the shows this year, which my alter-ego sidekick Ramona Rabbid came with me (that’s another story). Their setlist also tends to be as unpredictable as their stage costumes. Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes puts on a very intense and highly entertaining 30 minutes of a totally unpredictable setlist and really gets the crowd going.
I actually happened to be introduced to this band via Abby from Mr Clit and ended up getting to see them perform live for the first time at the Wilterfest in Cincinatti. I have since seen them two other times and will see them again in Louisville toward the end of January 2017 alongside one of my local favorites, Dope Sweater. Boner City is a fast-paced, non-stop punk ride that takes the crowd with them.
Well Hung Heart
I saw this amazing band in Indianapolis with a really stacked local lineup and to me is the best overall show of the entire year. Well Hung Heart is a hard rock band with an amazing guitar player and blue-haired bundle of energy singer who has one of the most powerful voices I’ve ever heard. Robin Davey’s guitar playing is among the best I’ve ever seen and seems to have a diverse genre background. Greta’s singing is very powerful, yet tender at times and is able to fire up the audience.
I saw this band on a moment’s notice when I decided to see Shannon and the Clams on a show-day decision. This band has an early 80s rock/pop sound about them that would remind you of a cross between Blondie and The Pretenders. Shannon Perry has a really interesting voice and her on-stage performance makes you think she’s had a background in theater. TV Coahran masters that guitar style and even reminded me of Pete Townsend with his one-piece jumpsuit.
SERVICE is a new band in Indianapolis with a line up consisting of veteran members from various well-known bands. The first show I saw with them was a very intense start-to-finish 6 song set that just left you totally blown away. Additionally, the performance was recorded and turned out really well. Jilly is an amazing vocalist and performer with her screeching and sternness. She is usually all over the stage and in the audience. Matt plays some incredibly complex guitar and makes some pretty incredible sounds. Sharlene plays both guitar and keyboards along with background vocals and typically sits in on drums for the last song of their set. Johhny and Russel round out the band on bass and drums. Saw these guys on a couple of other dates and hope to catch them again in 2017.
Butthole was a pleasant surprise the first time I saw them at part of LG’s Bitchfest show. They are a hilariously talented group who puts on an energetic and entertaining show similar to what I get out of the B-52s. They are a lot like a art-punk band, much like some of my other favorite art-punk bands like Boner City, The Christmas Bride and Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes.
This is a highly talented band that plays very tight. These guys are all brothers, so it’s no wonder that they are so tight and talented as they’ve been playing together for years. This was punk rock night, but after listening to their album (and hearing their cover of the Beatles’ “Heavy”), I knew there was more to them than the hard rock show they put on. Just overall a very professional sounding band that puts on a good show.
Just got into this band this past year. Sort of 90s alternative with not as much edge. Caught them at Lollapalooza for a quick, but effective 45 minute set. These guys sound great and have amazing songs and have a great fan following.
Got to see this amazing band from Florida at Punk Rock Night Indianapolis get things going in a big way. Sophie plays drums and sings soulful southern blues. Rob has amazing raw guitar sound and really reminds me a lot of Rodger Fisher from the early Heart days. The cool thing about their shows is that they bring on a guest drummer out of the audience to play drums on their song Bad Rep
I was really glad to catch this all-women power trio again this year. They played a couple of regional dates and was able to catch them in Chicago during Lollapalooza. I also go to see them open up the show for Stone Cold Cherry at Marathon Music Works in Nashville.
Dope Sweater is a highly energetic punk band local to Terre Haute. Originally starting out as a two-piece band nearly two years ago, Anthony and Austin have grown the band to four members and have gone on a few regional shows. Hailing from the Sweater Lounge, Dope Sweater started a great and loyal following that has spilled over. Dope Sweater plays like on the verge of rattling apart and destroying the whole thing. Their music roots and influence seem a lot more deeply rooted than what I typically see in punk bands. Dope Sweater really charges the crowd and pulls the best out of them and leaves people in shock.
I happened to catch Dasher opening up for Aka Nayo and Screaming Females. This local band from Bloomington is primarily the concept of Kylee K, front-woman on drums and vocals. She had a prior incarnation of the band in Atlanta before relocating to Bloomington in the past year. Like Screaming Females, Dasher plays a very loud set, and doing so, Kylee has to play the drums very hard to be heard. The guitar work of this band is very hauntingly amazing. For an opening band, they can really serve to get the crowd really wound up. They recently had the opportunity to open for Coathangers in their home state of Georgia.
This band is an amazingly talented and well-versed band. Eliot Bigger’s guitar work is among the best I’ve ever seen and really remind me of a cross between Toto and Supertramp. Backed by a very solid bass and drums, their songs revolve around progressive rock breakdowns and change-ups that demand your full attention. Combine that with the flawless mastery of guitar work and you’ll walk away from this band stunned.
Some Kind Of Nightmare
Some Kind Of Nightmare is a punk band based out of San Diego who tours nearly non-stop. Originally hailing from Ohio, Chy and Molly quit their full-time jobs and decided to tour full-time. They have traveled cross the country several times over since they took on the punk rock road life. Molly over the past year has been a tremendous source of inspiration as she successfully overcame a bout of breast cancer and has been advocating, particularly with the younger audiences to be mindful of their bodies and their health. Some Kind Of Nightmare plays a highly intense, start-to-finish show and are highly polished in perfecting their live show. You walk away from this band feeling charged and inspired.
War On Women
Overall Shows List
1/2/16 Johnny Vomit, The Dockers, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, ASD (5th Quarter Lounge)
1/7/16 Riot Shield, Pickwick Commons, Ares, Fight To Remain (Cruft House Terradise)
1/9/16 Black Cat Rebellion, Werewolf with a Shotgun, Dead Set Ready, Misunderstood (Melody Inn)
1/15/15 Veles, Dope Sweater, Bad Fiction, Laser Boogie Suicide (Sweater Lounge, WTH)
1/23/16 The Nerve (Stephens Inn)
1/30/16 The Flying Jacksons (The Verve)
2/12/16 Carter, Soft Bodies, Sallow, Isidro, Thelma And The Sleaze (Mayday Brewery Murfreesboro)
2/13/16 Well Hung Heart, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, KillMama, Think Tank (Melody Inn PRN)
2/26/16 The Ragbirds (The Verve)
2/27/16 Dope Sweater, Phallic Tendrils, Four Percent (Sweater Lounge WTH)
2/27/16 There Are Ghosts, Memetics, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (State Street Pub)
2/28/16 Mariahill, Rebuild & Rebound, Welcome Home, Rest Assured, Riot Shield (Terradise White House)
3/5/16 Metric w/ Joywave (Egyptian Room Indianapolis)
3/5/16 The Lickers, The Yavin 4 (Melody Inn PRN)
3/7/16 Chad Hates George, Stufy The Sidekick, Chatterbox and the Latter Day Satanists, 4 Percent, Dope Sweater (Terre Haute)
3/10/16 Killmama, Ramona Deflowered, We Should Leave This Tree (St Louis)
3/19/16 Charles Walker Band (The Verve)
3/25/16 Punkfest 2016 Day 1: Dear Darla, Enstrangers, The Functional Citizens, Bare Knuckle Hooligans, Hell’s Orphans, Think Tank, The Elixirs, The Slappies, Dangerbird, Stackhouse (5th Quarter)
3/26/16 Gazebos, NoBunny, Shannon and the Clams (Off Broadway St Louis)
4/1/16 Moseley, Black Stone Cherry, Devour The Day (Marathon Music Works Nashville)
4/8/16 Weakness, Birdie Hearse, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Hot Tramps (The Comet Cincinatti)
4/9/16 The Fuck Off And Dies, Worriers, The Lippies (Blueberry Hill St Louis)
4/15/16 Rush Archives, Van Wholen (The Walnut Room Denver)
4/23/16 Sidewalk Chalk (The Verve)
4/29/16 The Nerve (The Verve)
4/30/16 Hannah Aldridge (The Verve)
5/5/16 Thelma And The Sleaze, Black Tar Heroines, Eshe Bhairavi (Hangar 9 Carbondale)
5/6/16 Dope Sweater, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, The Transylvania Hell Sounds, Jig, The Orchard Keepers (Hoosier Dome)
5/14/16 Pop Up Safety Baby (Juggerland Studios Rosedale)
5/14/16 SERVICE, Open Sex Duo, Caldwell/Tester (State Street Pub Indy)
5/21/16 Joey Ramone Birthday Bash with Parasites, Think Tank, The Whoremones (PRN Indy)
5/25/16 Screaming Females, Aye Nako, Dasher (The Bishop Bloomington)
5/27/16 Eagles Of Death Metal, Thelma And The Sleaze (The Vogue Indianapolis)
6/4/16 Dope Sweater, Video Grave, We Got None, Darkle (Sweater Lounge)
6/4/16 Stackhouse, Tiger Sex, Public Animal Number Nine (Punk Rock Night Indy)
6/11/16 HTTP Prodigy (spoken word), Meeker, Unnatural Selection, We Got None, The Wichita Massacre (TH)
6/21/16 Worriers, Mikey Erg, Fraidykat, Junior July, Mannequin, TBA, Serious Shit (The Void Bloomington)
6/23/16 Subject To Change, Max Grogan, Meeker, We Got None, Better Off Blind, Aaron Norris, Pop Up Safety Baby (A Place In Time WTH)
6/25/16 Amuse, Metric Units, Misunderstood, Ego Slip (Hi-Fi Indy)
7/1/16 Ross Hickam, Anthony Cottom, When All Kept Echoing, We Got None, Unnatural Selection, Dope Sweater (Couch Studios TH)
7/2/16 manners, please, Pillars, Chemical Envy, Goblin King (Bent Rail Brewery Indy)
7/2/16 Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Flamingo Nosebleed, City Mouse, Special Victims Unit (PRN Indy)
7/9/16 Dope Sweater, Lucy Furr, South Side Flea Market, The 4% (Sweater Lounge)
7/12/16 Daikaiju, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Phunkbot, AnnFrankDux, Bad Fiction (Hoosier Dome)
7/22/16 – 7/24/16 Plan-It-X Fest: Dakota Floyd, Double Jinx, Ugly Lovers, The Ancient Gods, Crescent Ulmer, Dog Years, Julia Eff, Sir Deja Doog and the Caskettes, The Minor Kind, Corn Palace, Drawing Water, Amy O, Terror Pigeon, Nice Try, Dogbreth, Your Heart Breaks, Ghost Mice, Super Famicom, Mitch The Champ, Cutting Room Floor, Garrett Walters, Amy Bruce Spaceshow, Femignome, Cottontail, Wet Brain, Madeline Adams, CALYX, Nutter, Nostradogmus, Junior July, The Homewreckers, Full Sun, Little Waist, Dasher, Toys That Kill, Shellshag, The Max Levine Ensemble (Stable Studios Spencer)
Lollapalooza July 28-31 Autolux, Cloves, Melanie Martinez, Wavves, Daughter, Last Shadow Puppets, Haelos, Modern Baseball, The Struts, Alessia Cara, Wolf Alice, The Strumbellas, Chairlift, The Joy Formidable, The Front Bottoms, Big Grams, Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, FIDLAR, Halsey, Silversun Pickups, HAIM, Die Antwoord (Chicago)
7/29/16 Moseley, The Dirty Creeps, Mr Russia (Red Line Tap Chicago)
8/5/16 900 Bars, Potential?, Aaron Norris, Cloud Gavin, Native Tongue, Bottlerocket Platoon (Couch Studios)
8/7/16 Trash Can, Some Kind Of Nightmare, Misunderstood, The Slappies (Melody Inn Indy)
8/12/16 Stackhouse, The Orchard Keepers, Heartland Heretics (5th Quarter Lounge)
8/18/16 SERVICE, LUNG, SPANDRELS (Melody Inn Indy)
8/19/16 Cup Check, Unnatural Selection, Subject To Change, Safe Bet, Bedrooms, Riot Shield, From Cities Above (Couch Studios)
8/28/16 LG+Friends, Butthole, Reality Something, Helen of Coi (Meal Ticket Nashville)
9/2/16 manners, please, Modern Motion, Eliot Bigger, There Are Ghosts (Melody Inn Indy)
9/3/16 Some Kind Of Nightmare, Rest Assured, Subject To Change, Dope Sweater, Welcome Home, Steven Deeds (Terradise Cruft House)
9/8/16 SERVICE, The Icks, Yonatan Gat (The Hi-Fi Indy)
9/9/16 Clint Breeze & The Groove, Scanlines, Eliot Bigger (White Rabbit Cabaret)
9/17/16 Belly (Vic Theater Chicago)
9/18/16 RiotFest Day Three, Juliette Lewis and the Licks, War On Women, Deftones (Chicago)
9/23/16 222 WitFest: Hammered with Jesus, K.L.A.N., Saint Pickle, Lazy Ass Destroyer, Tiger Sex, EVOLVE, Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Vampire Weekend At Bernie’s, Boner City (Witler on the 8s Cincinatti)
9/30/16 Jesus Crust, Videograve, Dope Sweater, Lucy Furr, Small Arms Fire (Hoosier Dome Indy)
10/1/16 db Cooper (Verve)
10/2/16 Rewinder, Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (Thunderbird Indy)
10/7/16 Dead Party, Plans (Couch Studios)
10/16/16 Pravada, SERVICE, Matthais Young (Indy CD & Vinyl)
10/20/16 Boner City, The Christmas Bride, Tycoon$ Of Teen (Kaiju Louisville)
10/22/16 Better Off Blind, David Goodier, Rafael from House Cats, Pop Up Safety Baby (Garage Fest TH)
10/23/16 Mal Blum, Full Sun, Wylie, Bloodlines (The Void Bloomington)
10/28/16 Aaron Norris, From Cities Above, Beyond The Grid, Unnatural Selection, (Couch Studios TH)
10/28/16 Rocky Horror Picture Show 8:00 (Community Theater Terre Haute)
10/29/16 Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Dope Sweater, Video Grave, Process My Office, Dana Skully (Dream Fortress)
11/4/16 Chloe Greenberg, Monty & Patrick, Kendall Lynn Murphy (Couch Studios TH)
11/11/16 Dead Party, Pop Up Safety Baby (Veterans Day)
11/12/16 Heartland Heretics, Orchard Keepers, Powell (Punk Rock Night Indy)
11/19/16 Sky So Dark, Dasher (The Void Bloomington)
11/20/16 Barb Wire Dolls, The Lickers, Smokes (Melody Inn Indy)
11/23/16 Pop Up Safety Baby, Bear Foote Jackson, The Nerve (The Verve)
12/2/16 Thelma and The Sleaze, Evan P. Donohue, Teddy and the Rough Riders, Quichenight (Charlie Bob’s Nashville)
12/4/16 Some Kind Of Nightmare, Dead Party, Misunderstood, Unholy UFO (Couch Studios)
12/9/16 Arcadia, Ripped From The Roots (The FOXHOLE)
12/15/16 Bathroom Laws, Blood Planet, Tycoon$ of Teen, Beach Daze, Ghost Teeth (Spinelli’s Louisville)
12/30/16 Patti Smith (Riviera Theater Chicago)
261 Total bands
Most Impressive Guitar Work (more than one guitar player)
War On Women
Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes
Fuck Off And Dies
The Christmas Brides
Favorite Band Vocals
Greta Valenti (Well Hung Heart)
Sophie P (Killmama)
Ivy Miller (Special Victims Unit)
Amanda Pavel (Think Tank)
Princess Jesus (Sky So Dark)
Pop Up Safety Baby
Ripped From The Roots
Hardest Working Bands
Barb Wire Dolls
Some Kind Of Nightmare
Thelma And The Sleaze
Most Watched Bands
Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes
Thelma And The Sleaze
Some Kind Of Nightmare
Michael Coffey (Pop Up Safety Baby)
Evan Tanner (War On Women)
William Boswell (Phunkbot)
Abby Hairston (Moseley)
Kylee Kimbrough (Dasher)
Robin Davey (Well Hung Heart)
Most impressive Bass
Pop Up Safety Baby
Best Cover Song
HAIM – I Would Die 4 U (Prince)
Tycoon$ of Teen – River Deep, Mountain High (Tina Turner)
Powell – She’s So Heavy (The Beatles)
Evan P Donahue – Send My A Postcard (Shocking Blue)
Gazebos – There Are Worse Things I Could Do (Grease)
Favorite Overall Show
Well Hung Heart, Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Think Tank, Killmama
No Bunny, Gazebos, Shannon and the Clams
Daikaiju, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Phunkbot, AnnFrankDux, Bad Fiction
Boner City, Tycoon$ of Teen, The Christmas Bride