Top ten concerts of 2006

Later as usual, my year end round up.

10. Foo Fighters at Constitution Hall on August 15th.
Dave Grohl and the boys bring their acoustic side and create one of the best Foo Fighters shows I’ve seen.

9. Jonathan Coulton at Jammin’ Java on May 26th.
I was addicted to “Code Monkey” when I first heard it, and seeing him for the first time showed he had that same flavor through all of his material – a Weird Al for the internet age.

8. Eric Clapton at Verizon Center on October 10th.
Made up for a subpar show the first time I saw him by playing almost all the songs I wanted to hear, ably aided by the amzing slide work of Derrick Trucks.

7. Lindsey Buckingham at State Theatre on October 9th.
He’s been my favorite thing about Fleetwood Mac, so seeing him in a small place was worth it. New songs were good, but the old songs were best.

6. Tool at Verizon Center on September 30th.
Been wanting to see these guys for years, ever since Undertow came out. Unlike some bands that last had a hit years ago, their fan base kept growing, so I saw them at a sold out show. Great visuals, intense music.

5. Ember Swift at Gravity Lounge on May 6th.
Went on advice of a friend, even though the songs I’d heard hadn’t grabbed me. Worth the trip to Charlottesville

4. Golden Smog at 9:30 on September 15th.
The supergroup featuring Gary Louris from the Jayhawks, who’ll I go see no matter what. I was perfectly fine with Jeff Tweedy from Wilco not touring with them, because that meant more songs with Gary singing lead. An amazing, pure voice

3. Queen + Paul Rodgers at Verizon Center on March 9th.
I can’t rate the two times we saw them in 2006 as highly as when we saw them in 2005, because the anticipation wasn’t as high, but they were still great shows. I favor this one over the one we saw the next night in Massachusetts because it had Brian May doing “’39” and the next night didn’t.

2. Extreme at Bank Of America Pavilion on June 30th.
There’s a fair amount of big reunions taking place in 2007, but this is one I was waiting for in 2006. Gary and Nuno are a potent force together, regardless of what success they’ve have since they broke up in 1995. I don’t know how much they rehearsed before the show (the first of three), but it was amazing. I’ll give this one the edge over the one we went to a couple days later because a) it was a hometown show and b) they brought out members of Boston for the encore.

1. David Gilmour (with Richard Wright) at Massey Hall on April 9th.
I had a feeling right after the show it would be hard to top for the year, and I was right. Seeing Pink Floyd twice in 1994 was not enough for a fan like myself. Roger Waters was good, but to me David Gilmour is the soul of the band, followed by the significant contriubutions of Richard Wright, and seeing them together in a small theater was worth going to Toronto for (not like we didn’t enjoy ourselves the rest of the trip).

Honorable mentions:
Gary Cherone at Sky Bar on March 11th
Little Willies at Birchmere on May 2nd
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at Nissan Pavilion on June 10th
Umphrey’s McGee at Wolf Trap on August 13th
Alice In Chains at 9:30 on October 25th
Catie Curtis at NPR on November 3rd
Queensryche at 9:30 on November 4th
Crooked Still at Birchmere on November 10th
Brian Wilson with Al Jardine at Warner Theater on November 18th
Tenacious D at Patriot Center on December 3rd