I ‘only’ saw 172 shows last year, which is the lowest number since 2013 (it was late in 2013 that I started this website). Nevertheless, it still made choosing my top ten shows difficult.
As always, I do not include sets from festivals because the energy at a festival adds so much to an artist’s performance that it is unfair to compare festival sets to ‘regular’ shows. This year, however, I make mention of some sets at festivals that were especially fabulous.
While I have seen Jason Isbell perform a number of times over the past four years, I had not seen him with the 400 Unit since the band swept the 2014 Americana Music Association top awards with the album Southeastern nor since they won the best album and song awards at this year’s AMA.
I love the latest album, Something More Than Free, so I knew I was in for a treat at his recent show at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
I will say up front that this is one of my least favorite venues in the Boston area – the sound is inconsistent, the stage is high, and the view (and sound) is best from the center of the center section in rows 6 through about 16. In addition, for this show photographers were relegated to the far right of the venue, 15 rows back (I apologize for the less-than-usual quality of my photos – I now know I need a monopod). Read the rest of this entry