The end of the year is always an opportunity to reflect and recap. One theme emerges from my collection of ticket stubs — the bands I like are skipping Providence venues altogether and just doing Boston. Could we fix that please? I hate that drive home. Another problem is that the Brits still find it too difficult to clear all band members through our draconian (and clearly ineffective) visa system. Still, here are some highlights. I saw Brendon Small and the Philadelphia ‘School of Rock’ kids perform Dethklok, a band that doesn’t really exist, and just blow everyone away. I saw Andrew WK perform with a string quartet, and the crowd still rushed the stage. And I pried open my narrow metal mind and made a space for the Low Anthem at the Avon which was a special night (please Avon, do more of that).
But it was hard to top Tragedy, the All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees at Harper’s Ferry, pictured here with my choice for break-out star of the next decade, Gigi Gleason of opening act Misstallica. (When an audience member shouted out “Sandman!” one of the girls snarled “We don’t do slow songs” — and they never played it.) Gigi totally shredded with Dethklok as well. This prodigy is so charismatic and at home on the stage that it is easy to forget that she isn’t even old enough to drink at the bar. Here she is at the end of that evening, jumping in with Tragedy, in a picture that looks like New Year’s Eve, but is any Tragedy show on any night. So in 2009 I got over my folk music and tribute band prejudices and had some of the most fun ever.
[I almost forgot to mention falling in love with the Upper Crust at Jerky’s a few months back. And they are actually playing tonight up in Boston (natch) at Church. Perfect band for New Year’s Eve.]