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37. The atomic number of rubidium. The number of plays William Shakespeare has written. Probably the amount of times I’ve eaten Chipotle in the past few months. But also, the number of concerts I have attended so far in 2010.
This doesn’t include festivals, because that would just get ridiculous, but it’s a pretty big number. Live music is something of a hobby for me, in case you couldn’t tell. There is just something amazing about being in the same room with an artist you admire. But when you see as many shows as I do, you have to keep a list of the best ones, the performances that went so far beyond your expectations that you leave the venue speechless.
Last year, a group of my friends and I decided to make a list of our top ten albums of 2009. The list also included 5 “discovery” albums, albums not released in 2009 that we found ourselves listening to over and over again, and also our top 5 shows of the year. That list probably took me longer to write than the final paper I was working on at the time.
So for this year, I’ve already started keeping track, and last weekend, I saw the fourth addition to my top 5 shows list.
Gayngs is a 23-person band made of of members of Bon Iver, Megafaun, Solid Gold, Andrew Bird’s band, and P.O.S. of Rhymesayers. The touring band is a little smaller, made up of about 9-10 people, depending on the location of the show. As a pretty huge Bon Iver/Justin Vernon fan, I immediately bought tickets to their show at the Paradise the day they went on sale.
The show was phenomenal, to say the very least. I somehow ended up in the front row, three feet directly in front of Justin Vernon. Seriously, I wanted to cry. There are very few words that properly describe this experience, so check out this video and these tracks.