The Show is the Thing

Editor’s note: In 2009 Jupiter Index was just 10 years old. We are rerunning the special replies of many artists who told us what memorable and top ten shows they attended, and in most cases what made the music special for them.

Carly Garza
1. Regina Spektor, Purchase College, NY, 2007 - Regina is one of my heroes and the cutest person alive. This show was just her and a piano. 

2. The Stills, Bowery Ballroom, NYC, 2006 - These boys put on a hell of a show, and they're great songwriters. They just play hard-driving rock 'n’ roll. Their music makes me want to travel.

3. Muse, Sunset Station, San Antonio, TX, 2006 - Matt Bellamy is an amazing guitar player, singer, and piano player, and he can do it all practically at the same time. Their music is epic.

4. Patrick Wolf, Studio B, Brooklyn, NY, 2006 - Patrick Wolf played a short set but the crowd didn't care because we were in a tiny venue and it was so intimate. He played a rousing version of "The Magic Position" and got the audience in on some sing-along action.

5. RATATAT, Webster Hall, NYC, 2007 - This instrumental band will blow your mind and get you dancing!

6. The Virgins, Studio B, Brooklyn, NY, 2006 - I know these guys are super-trendy now, but when I saw The Virgins I was one of two people in the audience. They've changed a lot since then, but I've always remembered that show and how much fun I had that night.

7. Ours, The White Rabbit, San Antonio, TX, Halloween 2007 - I had lost my ticket to this show and by the time I got to the door they had stopped letting people in. Well guess who snuck me in through the back - none other than lead singer Jimmy Gnecco! I was a bit shy seeing as it was Halloween and I was dressed like Charlie Chaplin.

8. Rufus Wainwright, Stubbs, Austin, TX, 2007 - I was so close I could see the RW embroidered on his lederhosen. A sexy Broadway-style choreographed version of "Get Happy" made for a climactic encore. Rufus is an amazing musician and I aspire to have a stage presence as powerful as his.

9. The Flaming Lips, Sunset Station, San Antonio, TX, 2007 - Everyone's heard of the crazy happy shows the Lips throw. Confetti, huge-yellow balloons, and an all-around feeling that everything is going to be okay.

10. Bjork, M.I.A. at Austin City Limits Music Festival, 2007- This was my Holy Grail of concerts. Two performers who, for some reason, I thought I would never get to see. I got to dance up on stage with M.I.A. and a bunch of other people. And Bjork is just a wild angel who comes to earth for the sole purpose of sharing music from other realms... or something.

CuCu Diamantes

1. Miles Davis and Pat Metheny in Rome

2. Fela Kuti in Rome

3. Los Van Van in Havana

4. Juan Luis Guerra in NYC

5. Carlinhos Brown in Bahia

6. Caetano Veloso in Rio

7. Opening for Ray Charles in Detroit

8. Little Jimmy Scott at Birdland

9. Mangueira samba school rehearsal in Rio

10. Prince in Life Life -- small club show.

Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay)

Not in any order:
1. Depeche Mode Violator Tour
(First time seeing them live. They have always been great about the visual esthetic and the music from that record was fantastic. And Nitzer Ebb opened!)

2. U2 Achtung Baby Tour
(Small 4000 seat civic center in Lakeland, FL. The only indoor show of that tour. The band rehearsed there for two weeks prior to that show. And The Pixies opened!)

3. Daniel Lanois @ Exit-In Nashville.
(He was touring in support of his, "Shine," record. Great album/ great performance.)

4. Sting @ Austin, TX.
(Mercury Falling Tour... Jars opened that night and got a standing ovation from the crowd of 22,000! Made his performance that much better.)

5. Jellyfish @ American Theater. St. Louis, MO
(They opened for Tears for Fears. I had only heard one song... They stole the show!)

6. Rush@ Worchester Centrum, MA
(Hold Your Fire Tour. Just a brilliant night of well used lasers and math rock)

7. The Cure @ Orlando Arena, FL.
(The Wish Tour. They know how to make an arena feel intimate and introspective. Great lighting and stage design.)

8. Toad the Wet Sprocket with The Grays @ 321 Performance Hall, Nashville,TN.
(Toad was supporting their Dulcinea record, and the Grays were just out of this world amazing.)

9. Crowded House @ The Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
(They played EVERY song I wanted to hear!)

10. Sarah McLachlan @ TPAC
(Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Tour. Sarah was perfect.. The songs came across so artful and soulful and she had a great band and lighting design.)

Guy Forsyth (Blues artist)

1. Tom Waits. I had waited almost 15 years to see him, so it had to be good. It was. In his own way Tom Waits = Chuck Berry.

2. John Hammond Jr. This show is why I am a musician today. Just raw country delta blues from one man, a national guitar and a harmonica, Hammond showed me what it meant to mean it.

3. The Violent Femmes, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Living Colour. This was in 85-86 and all three bands had something to prove, each punching out gigawatt performances just to keep up with the next.

4. B.B. King, Albert King. A friend of mine was playing keys in Albert King's pick up band, and he walked off stage when Albert berated his players for not knowing a song they had not rehearsed. The awkward silence of the audience was instantly dispelled by B.B., the King we all hope we deserve.

5. Lucinda Williams. She almost seemed embarrassed to be on the Antone's stage back in 1999, but when her mouth opened she sang perfect blue haikus, sweet and tart as the plums you were probably going to have for breakfast.

6. John Mooney, Madigans in New Orleans. Son House meets Professor Longhair, and a chain of world-class talent sat in.

7. Ray Charles, Irma Thomas & Earl King, Danny Gatton, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Fliers, Ben Harper, Bobby Blue Bland, B.B. King, Al Green and Robert Jr. Lockwood for God sakes. This was the Peer Rhythm 'n' Blues fest in 1994, and I got to open the show and see the rest from the side of the stage. I felt like I was on Mt. Olympus.

8. The Asylum Street Spankers. I was in this band, but no one on stage or off knew what was going to happen when the shows at The Electric Lounge kicked off. It was the perfect blend of talent, inspiration and chaos, and all performed on acoustic instruments with no amplification to a wrapped crowd of hundreds. I've never seen anything like it.

9. The Beat Farmers. It was inflatable sheep and Midwest soul. Country Dick Montana died wile performing on stage a few years after I last saw him. With shows like this I am amazed he lasted as long as he did. Leave nothing left but one hell of a story.

10. Richard Thompson, Cactus Cafe. If I could claim to be from anywhere, I would like to be from where he's from.

Christina Marrs (Asylum Street Spankers)

Let me premise by saying that I guess most of my favorite concerts were when I was young, jaded and cynical, before I was OLD, jaded and cynical (big difference); hence all of the punk-rock.

1. The Ramones; I saw this band several times between about '83 and '89, and always had a blast. I was just a kid the first time I saw them. I was right up at the front of the stage, and some of Joey's spittle hit me in the face. I was thrilled.

2. The Butthole Surfers; saw this band too many times to count, and they never let me down.

3. Gwar; I saw Gwar on their first tour (1988), when they played a little punk rock bar where I worked in Houston. A couple of years later they played Austin, and I left looking like Carrie after the prom.

4. Fairfield Four, Strawberry Festival 1998; It was misting lightly, the Spankers' had just played a killer set to the largest crowd we'd ever played for at the time, sold out of all of our merch, and I felt like I was walking on air. The guys were the awesomest! I felt like I was being lifted right out of my chair.

5. X - Wow, wow, wow! God I loved this band. They ripped it up!

6. Tom Waits (1999) - This was during SXSW [South by Southwest], and I had miraculously scored tickets (there were only 500 available to the "public"). I had to leave halfway through his show to go play my own showcase. I walked out backwards and it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

7. Patti Smith (2001) - Roskilde Festival in Denmark. OH MY GOD!!! She rocked! We saw Beck, Bob Dylan, The Cure and Neil Young at this festival (the Spankers played too), and she blew them all out of the water.

8. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (2008) - One word; showmanship.

9. The African Showboys - I've seen this band at a couple of festivals that we've played in the last few years and you just can't take your eyes off of them; especially the guy with the basketball-size shaker.

10. Bob Brozman with Ledward Kaapana (1999) - this was a truly heavenly pairing. Ledward's voice gives me chills.

Greg Saunier (Deerhoof)

1. When I was little my mother put me to sleep by singing "Baby Face." I attended this concert for free many times. Lullabies are interesting because the person has not yet heard the song with all the harmony and rhythm. They just hear the melody floating in space. If mom sang it to me now it wouldn't be the same. My mind would supply the missing accompaniment in spite of itself.

2. Wayne Shorter's current quartet has Danilo Perez on piano, John Patatucci on bass, and my hero Brian Blade on drums. Satomi and I saw them in a large hall in San Francisco last year. They really throw caution to the wind when they play, as if all four of them are soloing all the time, and taking musical risks so ridiculous that you have to laugh sometimes. But like magic, the end result has all the delicate beauty of a fully composed piece.

3. Pop music is supposedly an impatient, miniature form, but I guess The Roots didn't get the memo. Huge, arching, tectonic plates of sound, entire histories of music unfolding in their own sweet time. At the 2008 Roots Family Picnic in Philadelphia, they actually played three separate times, the third time being about two continuous hours by itself, complete with guest appearances and never flagging for a moment.
It was funny to watch from the side of the stage. A couple of times we saw ?uestlove playing drums with one hand and texting on his cell phone with the other, alerting the next guest rapper to come to the stage immediately.

4. There were tons of wonderful and obscure bands at 2009's SKIF Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Many had never been heard outside their respective homelands. (Highlights for me were Babaa, from Poland, and Stella, from Estonia.) But the real star of this show was the audience. No matter how experimental, or unlike the previous act, any band was, everyone listened closely and reacted to every tremor and ripple in the musical flow with smiles and interpretive dancing. I finally gave up and left around 4 a.m., those nutty St. Petersburgians still going strong.

5. Hard to pick a favorite piece from an oeuvre as masterpiece-filled as Igor Stravinsky's, but Renard, a strange comedy about a fox and a rooster may take the cake. And from the front row in a small Vienna concert hall, with the incredible Ensemble Modern performing, every little note felt earth-shatteringly beautiful.

6. One time drummer Tetsuya Yoshida, after the defection of yet another bassist from his long-running duo Ruins, decided to tour America just by himself. He bought himself a multiple-layover plane ticket, so he would never stay in any city longer than 24 hours, in order to keep the ticket alive. In each city he would borrow not only the drums, but also bass players. In San Francisco the bassist who learned all that impossibly tricky Ruins material was our dear Ed Rodriguez, before he joined Deerhoof. Ed and Yoshida had never met, and there was no rehearsal, they simply walked on the stage, and played an entire set of Ruins songs flawlessly. The treat began when they stopped playing the songs and just improvised. I don't think I've ever heard anything more exciting. After the show Yoshida didn't say anything to Ed, nor did he pay him.

7. Satomi and I emerged from the Powell St. BART station in San Francisco to the sounds of a Bolivian group - guitar, violin, and mandolin - playing a particular type of Andean music called San Juanito. I had only heard this style on record and I was completely stunned. I probably looked pretty strange standing like a statue with tears streaming down while rush hour zipped all around.

8. I was at the end of a semester in Vienna, studying the rarified, abstract, atonal music of Anton Webern, when I saw a poster for a Don Cherry concert. As much as I love Webern, the repetitive, ecstatic, almost trance-inducing collaboration between Cherry and two Moroccan musicians including Hassan Hakmoun, couldn't have been more different from Webern and felt like a godsend.

9. Serengeti & Polyphonic is a hip-hop duo that played before us last time we were in Chicago. Serengeti is the MC and Polyphonic the DJ. If I had had their music described to me beforehand, it would have sounded like a list of things that usually bore me - no instruments, just electronics, the sound washed out with tons of reverb and delay. But life can be funny like that. They were utterly memorable and intense beyond belief.

10. I've never had the opportunity to watch a Deerhoof since I'm usually busy on stage, but I am often treated to the first hearing of many of our songs. They show up in my head for free. The only thing I have to pay sometimes in order to get them to show up is a bit of sleep deprivation. Intercontinental travel or a small fever usually does the trick. It is at these concerts that the songs sound their best, no offense to my bandmates. They aren't really finished, and they're so quiet I can barely even hear them, but that's part of the fun. It's not so different from my mom singing me to sleep.