There was so much good stuff this past year by way of parties, live acts, DJs and more. This may even be the best year in recent memory, so it will be hard to pluck a select few from the batch. This list includes all of the above and here are some of the nights that defined 2014 for me.
I can’t pick a #1, but if I had to it might be this. Seeing Godflesh live was almost surreal and they are a band that has almost morphed into some incredible myth throughout the years. After being let down the previous Fall by a cancelled show due to a passport issue, when I saw it was resurrected, I almost lost it. Throw in Cut Hands and you’ve got pure magic. Godflesh delivered x1000 and I thought my ears may have suffered permanent damage, which I was kind of ok with. Amazing show that I think I’ll always remember.
It’s crazy to say that I hadn’t seen Nick Cave before this show. He’s always been a huge influence on me, but I skipped some of the Grinderman tours and balked at the high ticket prices for some of the other gigs in L.A. throughout the years. When this show came up, I found decent tickets and decided to go for it. I honestly haven’t been a huge fan of some of the more recent output but it’s still Nick Cave. I couldn’t be happier that I went because the show was amazing. They played all the old favorites and some of the live versions were incredible. At this age he’s still got a youthful energy and swagger that can’t be denied.
Was there any place I visited more than The Complex this past year? Probably not and “Manufactured” is great summation of all the incredible music the venue has hosted. THREE nights of L.A.’s homegrown “dark electronic” music talent. From kicking things off with Vogel to crushing on Tearist to seeing Silent Servant destroy LIVE, I didn’t think I was going to survive after that weekend. Hoping they keep this going!
This entry almost isn’t fair because not only was it my first trip to Berlin (and Berghain) but this was one of the best nights of the year in my opinion. It’s hard to describe the atmosphere inside so that’s why it’s better if you just go. I partied there over the course of two days and saw everyone from Rrose to Lucy on Sunday night. It almost seems surreal. Can’t wait to go back.
We are so lucky to have Maldoror in L.A.. After going to so many, it’s easy to take it for granted. I could have a Maldoror only list and it wouldn’t be easy. This particular one stood out because all of the pieces were amazing. Sleep Clinic to Profilgate, but the one performance that blew my mind was Encapsulate. I’m still talking about that show and I remember going outside after he was done and just processing it for a few minutes.
Along with The Complex is there anyone who has done more for Los Angeles than Mount Analog? Mahssa has put together shows that even Berliners are jealous of. Nuit Noire has become a touchstone night and every event gets more and more impressive. I picked the 10th installment because it was an incredible melding of genres, newcomers and legends all alike. Where else does Marshstepper and Henning Baer make this much sense? Amazing night at a great new host venue. Thank you Mount Analog.
These are just a FEW of an incredible year of live music and events. I’ve been to Berlin, New York, San Francisco and others all pretty recently and I have to say Los Angeles is doing it better than anyone. Thanks to all of the acts, promoters, venues and fans. Looking forward to a great 2015.