Favorite Concerts of 2012

This is by no means a list of the best concerts that occurred in the KC & Lawrence area because I didn't even hit a fraction of the shows I'd have liked to attend.  Out of the few dozen shows I did make it to, these are the ones that stood out the most.

Radiohead @ The Sprint Center, March 11th

My second time seeing Radiohead, but the first time at a proper headlining show instead of a festival. Even though the band was touring behind my least favorite album of theirs (King Of Limbs) it was still one of the best shows of the year. Even the lukewarm tracks from KoL's sounded great live. There is a reason why Radiohead is considered one of the few transcendental live music experiences around right now.

Murder By Death @ The Beaumont Club, April 6th

Part of the second of three nights of the Middle Of The Map fest in Westport brought JoC favorites Murder By Death through town for the first time in 2012. Another perennial favorite for live band of the year, Murder By Death seem to get better each time I see them. Just a reminder that if you haven't caught them before they'll be at The Granada in Lawrence to celebrate New Years Eve. Don't miss it.

Fucked Up @ The Riot Room, April 7th

The last show I saw of the final night of Middle Of The Map fest in Westport was none other than Fucked Up. No other band blends hardcore with melody quite like they do. Few other bands have such a memorable front man either. Their most recent album, David Comes To Life, is one of the best concept albums in recent memory, and their live show is a non-stop tour de force.

M83 @ The Granada, May 1st

One of my "bucket list" bands as far as bands I'd never seen live that I really wanted to was crossed off when M83 came through Lawrence in May. M83 have been one a favorite of mine on record since Before The Dawn Heals Us, but after seeing them they've proven they can easily translate the lush sound on their albums to a live show.

My Morning Jacket @ Starlight Theatre, August 6th

I've seen My Morning Jacket a half dozen times now and I never get tired of them. Even when I don't completely love their studio stuff, their live shows always blow me away.

Merle Haggard @ Knuckleads, August 30th

The man is a living legend so I probably don't have to explain this one too much. Even if you hate most country music, the classics like Merle are impossible to be denied. Playing for over 90 minutes at his age is no small feat, but luckily Merle travels with a seasoned live band. This will truly go down as one of the most memorable shows I've ever been lucky enough to attend.

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band @ The Sprint Center, November 17th

The best concert I went to in 2012 happens to also be in the top 5 or 10 shows I've seen in my entire life. I've been waiting many years to finally get a chance to see The Boss and he didn't disappoint. Dollar for dollar, minute for minute there isn't more bang for your concert dollar than Bruce Springsteen. The shows he puts on at 63 Years old would put people half his age to shame. Even if you're a average fan, this is one show you should make sure you catch.

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