The Best Live Concerts Baeble Staffers Attended This Year
    • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2017

    • Posted by: Baeble Staff

    2017 may not have been the best year for politics, but it was good for one thing -- live shows. Festival season alone provided a multitude of fine artist performances alone, like Solange, Frank Ocean, and Kendrick Lamar, and then there were just your regular headlining shows. Join Baeble staffers as they reminisce over their favorite concert experiences of the year. We've seen some exciting, emerging artists, and some huge, bucket list bands.

    Arcade Fire at Grand Prospect Hall - July 27

    This was a really special show because it was closed off to the public -- you could only score tickets by winning them in a contest. It was also special because it was the day before their album, Everything Now, was released. They played some new songs that no one had heard yet, and it was all being aired live on Apple Music. I had an extra ticket so I brought my brother, AKA Arcade Fire's #1 Fan. We ended up taking the first row (and the venue was already intimate), and my mom was back at home looking for us in the crowd on her computer screen. It was a true family affair. And it was awesome to see a band I've only ever seen in huge festival fields in such a tiny space. -- Kirsten Spruch

    thank you @arcadefire

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    Bishop Briggs at Coachella Festival - April 22

    I spent three ridiculously sweaty days at Coachella with Kirsten Spruch. After a very long day of interviews, we decided to run to Bishop Briggs' set, even though we had already seen her perform on two separate occasions. Bishop Briggs was that one act that surpassed all of my expectations. Even though she was one of the "smaller" acts on the bill this year, she was still my all-time favorite, next to Kendrick Lamar. The best memory I have from Coachella is of Kirsten and I jumping up and down like synchronized Mexican jumping beans for the whole duration of "River." Bishop, if you're reading this, thank you for that insane show. -- India Allouche

    bishop briggs coachella

    (Also, here's a photo of Kirsten and Bishop hanging out at the fest before her set.)

    Kendrick Lamar at Coachella Festival - April 23

    At this point, I've already seen Kendrick Lamar live in concert twice, however, this was the first time I was seeing him after the release of DAMN. So uh, yeah, it was different. In the best possible way. There are so many bangers on the new record -- as I stood at the biergarten on the far left, right next to speakers that made me feel like I was front row, everyone surrounding me was just looking to have a good time and dance. And when everyone began to leave thinking the show was over, Lamar came back with "LOVE." (ft. ZACARI), it was undoubtedly the best way to end one of the best weekends of my year. -- Kirsten Spruch

    Lust for Youth at Subterranean in Chicago - October 17

    A show that was spellbinding from beginning to end, especially with the added support of the first act, Wingtips. There was heavy smoke machines and crazy light installations, all in the cozy space of the Subterranean. The performance itself was simple, in it only being Hannes Norrvide on stage, dancing and singing solo for the majority. The crowd was pleasant, despite some aggressive dancers that seemed to knock into absolutely everyone. Overall it was incredible to see such an electronic based band perform a set that sounded better than the studio recordings. -- Rachael Morrow

    Mura Masa at Tribeca Games Festival - April 28

    Mura Masa performed a one-of-a-kind set at the opening night of the Tribeca Games Festival back in April. Granted, this was probably the third time I had seen the multi instrumentalist, so I guess you can say I'm a pretty big fan. I went to his show attempting to relive my Coachella days, and I ended up doing just that. Even though this was a seated event, many of us used the folded chairs to dance on... The concert occurred before the release of his self-titled debut album, but he still managed to play some dance-worthy favorites like, "Nuggets", "Firelfly", "Love$ick", and "What If I Go" featuring the incredible vocalist, Fliss. While the night ended with me being asked to "please step down from my chair", it's still a night I will never forget. -- India Allouche

    Paul Kelly at The Highline Ballroom - September 23

    Australian icon Paul Kelly had a show here in New York this September and he was absolutely amazing. He performed a lot of material from his new record, Life Is Fine, whilst giving the crowd some of his greatest hits, like "Dumb Things" and "To Her Door." It was literally a room full of fellow Australians, singing and laughing along to Paul's quirky jokes. There were waves of nostalgia and homesickness that night, but it was worth every second, just to see this national icon do his thing. -- Rachael Morrow

    Perfume Genius at Brooklyn Steel - May 16

    Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, is just one of those people who was meant to be a star. From the way he moves to his fashion... Just, wow. I caught the avant-pop artist at Brooklyn Steel back in May, and he mostly played songs from his most recent album, No Shape. The LP is an ethereal proclamation of love, and a complete contrast to the work Hadreas has delivered in the past. I observed Perfume Genius take a performance and somehow transcend it into an experimental work of art. He sashayed right into my heart that night, and hasn't left since. Oh, and to make matters even better, Björk was in the crowd. If Björk is a fan, you should be a fan... Just sayin'. -- India Allouche

    Philip Glass, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Alabama Shakes, Sufjan Stevens, and more at Carnegie Hall - March 16

    Last spring, Tibet House hosted its 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert, which is cool in itself, but in addition to that, the night also celebrated legendary composer Philip Glass and his 80th birthday. I was pretty much fangirling the entire night, with so many of my favorite artists making appearances and performing -- Patti Smith, Alabama Shakes, Sufjan Stevens -- and all at the breathtaking Carnegie Hall. No way this wouldn't make my list. -- Kirsten Spruch

    patti smith carnegie hall

    Rap Caviar, with A$AP Mob, The Diplomats and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie at Hammerstein Ballroom - November 21

    As far as I can tell, this will be the last major I show I attend in 2017, and it was good to go out with a bang. I can't emphasize enough what a privilege it was to see the Dipset crew reunite for this performance, and words can't even begin to describe what it was like to see the A$AP Mob live and in full force. The energy in Hammerstein Ballroom was electric and borderline terrifying, and I honestly felt that at any moment, the roof would fly and the building would explode from the unrestrained spirit and madness of it all. No one goes harder than New York, and that's a fact. -- Chris Deverell


    Solange at Panorama Music Festival - July 28

    This set was by far my favorite of the whole festival. It had choreographed dance sequences paired with stunning set decoration. The fact that every person on stage was a person of color, all in their uniformed red clothing, was empowering. We had been lining up for a couple of hours (as you do at music festivals), but it was worth the sunburn and heat stroke that followed. Solange read the crowd perfectly and acted accordingly, even blessing us with an encore of "Cranes In The Sky." Her presence left me and I'm sure every other fan, in absolute awe. -- Rachael Morrow

    Solange, SZA, and NAO at Afropunk Fest - August 26 and 27

    This past August, I had a bucket list of fun, essential NYC summer adventures I wanted to complete. Well, I didn't even end up knocking a third off my list (and my list was pretty damn short!), but the sightings and events I did end up going to were incredibly enriching. Afropunk Brooklyn 2017 was one of those unforgettable experiences, and I'm so grateful I got to cross that one off my summer list. The music itself was a reason to go--the two-day festival featured amazing artists.

    There were so many incredible artists there that it'll be impossible to highlight all of them. Not to mention the fact that many of them overlapped (Macy Gray and Thundercat, come on!). But standouts included Solange, SZA, and NAO. Solange headlined Day One and was definitely one of the most sought-after acts of the festival. She sang a bunch of tracks off of her 2016 album A Seat at the Table, including "Mad," "Cranes in the Sky," and my personal favorite, "Weary." She was absolutely glorious and super groovy, letting her afro free and dancing it out with her in-sync backup dancers. Right before her, on another stage was SZA and she was dynamite. The crowd was packed in like sardines, and I didn't get the best view of her from where I was standing, but I still was completely engaged because she absolutely killed it. After singing a bunch of songs off Ctrl, she asked "Did you guys know me before this album?" The audience excitedly screamed a unison "YES!" and she went into "HiiiJack" off of her 2014 EP Z. After her stellar performance, I vowed to see SZA again soon.

    Lastly is a lesser-known but still phenomenal artist NAO. You actually might recognize her from Mura Masa's "Firefly." This British-based avant-soul singer is insanely funky, and her live performance only enhanced that. She has amazing vocal expression, singing ridiculous runs/trills left and right. She started off one of her more popular songs, "Bad Blood," at a slower tempo, singing a stretchy riff off the melody--it's the part where she goes "I worship you like holy days." -- Maddie Brown

    S U R V I V E at Moogfest - May 18

    Moogfest will probably always be the best festival experience I've ever had, and that's thanks in part to their ever-evolving and ever-cool awesome lineups. This year, I got to see the brains behind the soundtrack of Stranger Things perform live and it was incredible. S U R V I V E mixed spine-shivering sounds with booty-moving beats and created one of the most immersive and unique show experiences I've ever had. Added bonus, there were no Demogorgons to deal with. -- Chris Deverell

    The Killers at Brooklyn Steel - September 20

    I don't care what anyone says, The Killers will forever put on the best rock show ever. They did five years ago, they did a few months ago, and in ten years, they will still be the best. Why's that? Because they have the songs. How can anyone not sing along to "Mr. Brightside"? Or "Somebody Told Me"? Or "When You Were Young"? They are the best karaoke songs ever, and for good reason. When I caught them at BK Steel, the set was recorded for Sirius XM, so they just played an hour of straight hits. Spoiler alert: they have a lot of hits. It was the most energetic, joyous show to experience. -- Kirsten Spruch


    A post shared by kirsten (@thekirstenizer) on

    The War on Drugs at Central Park Summerstage - September 22

    I'm not entirely sure why The War On Drugs' music means so much to me. I have two ways in which I find myself listening to it: either letting it completely wash over me in one warm, therapeutic rush of ambience or flying in close, geeking out on every little detail. I've spent entire album-long listening sessions entirely focused on the bass…multiple times. And yes, I've concluded that Dave Hartley is the best bass player in indie rock. At this point they are absolutely my favorite band, so seeing them on a picture perfect, late summer evening in Central Park this past September was easily the highlight of concert going in the year 2017. In concert, Adam Granduciel's guitar acrobatics reach new heights…the jams get so much jammier. The synths that coat over everything, holding it all together like some sonic adhesive feel so much smoother. And yeah, Hartley's bass locks right in with drummer Charlie Hull providing the pulse that propels the whole show. -- David Pitz

    Twin Peaks at Baby's All Right - June 11

    Twin Peaks never fails to put on an amazing live show. These five young dudes from Chicago live to play their music for crowds. I have personally seen them many times, from The Regent in Los Angeles on their tour with the equally as energetic and lively Hinds, to Music Hall of Williamsburg, to This or That Tent at Bonnaroo. While I remember each show to varying extents depending on how many drinks I've had (it's easy to get out of hand with a mosh pit begging you to join in), one sticks out as a real gem among glittering gems: June 11, 2017 at Baby's All Right, right here in my very own neighborhood. The tiny venue offers an intimate setting with a limited capacity of only 280 bodies, which gets you just about as close to a house show as you can get in Williamsburg for a band of their rising magnitude. TP isn't a band that plays their songs to a T; seeing them live is a completely different experience from listening to their records. They switch up tempos, rhythms, and sometimes a lyric here or there. Thrashing around the tiny Baby's stage while confidently wailing away at their guitars, kits, keys, and mics, Clay, Caiden, Jack, Connor, and Colin filled the room with energy and made this performance one to remember. They really reach a whole new level of being alive when they step onto any stage. -- Grace Eire

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs at King's Theatre - November 7

    It's always exciting to see a band that isn't that active anymore. It's that much more thrilling when that band is Yeah Yeah Yeahs playing in their hometown of New York. The show felt more like an event, complete with pictures chronicling the band's history in the lobby and their documentary There Is No Modern Romance that served as the show opener. I know it's cliché to say a band hasn't lost their step, but the saying never rang truer than that night. The bands ferocity got the entirety of the audience on their feet immediately and didn't give them a chance to breathe the entire night. With a setlist that included pretty much all of Fever to Tell and 2 encores, it was impossible to walk out of Kings Theatre not feeling like you had just witnessed something amazing. -- Alexander Spruch

    yeah yeah yeahs kings theatre

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