10 Favorite Shows of 2011: Melissa Fossum

M83 wasn't #1, but I like this picture a lot.
M83 wasn't #1, but I like this picture a lot.
Melissa Fossum

I went to a lot of shows this year. Thanks to last.fm, I can conform that I went to at least 56 concerts, not counting the numerous times I swung by Yucca Tap Room or Crescent Ballroom just for fun. That's one show every six and a half days!

I covered most of these shows for Up on the Sun, using words, photos, videos, or some combination of the three. I spent a few too many nights working through the sunrise, but you know what? I'd do it all again, even if it was at the expense of my first DSLR camera.

I'd like to say Buckcherry broke it, but in reality, I took way more pictures than my poor Canon Rebel could handle. At least now I have a fancy schmancy 7D with video capabilities.

My final concert tally would have been a bit higher if I wasn't in a nasty car accident in early October. I'm bummed I missed out on artists like St. Vincent and CSS, but hey, there's always next year.

Honorable mentions go out to X, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Ben Folds, Cake/Calexico, and Rush. Check out my top 10 concerts of 2011 after the jump.

10. No Age at The Trunk Space, January 30, 2011

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What I said at the time: Spunt's vocals were difficult to hear at times due to Randall's six amps and array of effects pedals, but that didn't stop the crowd from dancing and singing along to their favorite songs, including a cover of Black Flag's "Six Pack."

This was my first review of a touring band for the New Times, and honestly, I was somewhat terrified when I wrote it. Almost a year later, I'm still rocking out to "Fever Dreaming."

9. Chromeo at Marquee Theatre, 10/18/11

What I said at the time: I'm sure both Battles and The Naked and Famous put on good shows, but I'm glad I choose Chromeo. The venue was warm and heavy on B.O. stank, but it didn't matter; it was all for good reason -- the Marquee was packed full of people dancing and having an incredible time.

This show was about two weeks after my accident. A sprained shoulder made it difficult to dance, but that didn't stop me from trying.

8. M83 at Crescent Ballroom, 11/7/11

What Anthony Sandoval said at the time: With a twinkling starry backdrop and rotating blue spot lights Gonzalez's high-pitched vocals echoed through the venue amid various digital bleeps and bops, airy synths and driving drum rolls. Oh, and it was loud. Like really loud.

I was planning on ducking out as soon as I got all the pictures I needed, but I was so impressed that I stayed the whole time.

7. Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls at Rhythm Room, 10/10/11

What I said at the time: He devoted "Glory Hallelujah" to Billie Holiday, and I've never seen an audience so enthusiastic to shout "So clap your hands together, there is no god, no heaven and no hell." This was the start of four back to back fast-paced crowd pleasers: "Long Live the Queen," "The Road," and Queen's "Somebody to Love." The band did the cover justice. Turner had the correct range and even hit a high note at the end of the song.

I've been a fan of Turner since Love, Ire, & Song, and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to see him live.

6. NKOTBSB at US Airways Center, 6/30/11

What I said at the time: This show was a lot better than anticipated. I was all smiles, feeling the same way I did seeing Arcade Fire and Matt & Kim. I'm sure I'm just as surprised to make that statement as you are to read it. Tonight, I watched a concert with the same enthusiasm as a tween. I don't expect to feel it for any other '90s band unless the Spice Girls come back to town.

Yeah, spoiler alert, even back then I knew Arcade Fire and Matt & Kim would make my year-end list. Like every other generation Y girl, I had a boy band obsession. Any girl that says otherwise is lying.

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