Best of 2013: Concerts

I had the pleasure of attending more live music shows this year than I could count. A lot. Really. These were my favorites. Click on the titles for a full review/feature.

Cody ChesnuTT
Owing to my schedule, I passed the interview duties for this one on to my daughter, an able writer/journalist in her own right. Luckily when the concert date came ’round, I was able to attend. Though the crowd was small, ChesnuTT made a musical and emotional connection with every single person in the room. I am not exaggerating. It was that good.

Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires
Bradley has his own story to tell, and though there’s a documentary on him (I haven’t seen it yet), he gets his point across through his music. The man gives it all every night, and his band provides support of the ablest kind. A must-see, even if you (think you) don’t dig his old-school musical style.

Shuggie Otis
One of those characters about whom many would ask, “Is he still alive?” the mercurial Otis is not only alive, but well. And onstage, it’s as if he never left. Other reports suggest he’s an erratic performer, with on- and off-nights. No question, though: he was ON the night I saw him.

Elephant Stone
Third-billed on a night that also included sets from The Black Angels and The Allah-Las, this modern jangle-psych served up a set that made the old sound new again. Expect more from this lot.

Mondo Zombie Boogaloo
This three-band extravaganza included sets from The Fleshtones, Southern Culture on the Skids, and Los Straitjackets. Even if I hadn’t had the twin pleasures of (a) giving Fleshtones singer/organist Peter Zaremba a pre-show ride to the nearby ABC store and (b) being invited onstage to play his Farfisa on one song, this would have still been a musical highlight of the year for me.

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