Prior to starting this, we listed out all of the Louisville shows (not including other cities, or, for the most part, festivals) so we could come up with some categories. We found it crazy that we’d been to more than 60 shows this year. With our teaching schedule, it’s pretty awesome that we’ve been so lucky to get out as much as we have. So, here we are adding our two cents in about the best shows we attended in Louisville this year.
Best Free Tickets
- Brittany: Kings of Leon at the Yum Center
- I won meet & greet passes from WFPK, and while that meant we missed Gary Clark Jr., it was an awesome experience and a great show.
- Aubrey: Kings of Leon at the Yum Center
- It’s hard to not put this one too. Meet & greet passes are hard to beat, and we had an absolute blast the rest of the night.
Best We Actually Paid For These Tickets
- B: Avett Brothers at the Palace
- Ditto to what Aubrey said.
- A: Avett Brothers at the Palace
- If I could go back, I 100% would have bought 3 days worth of tickets.
Best Waterfront/Winter Wednesday
- B: Ben Sollee with The Deloreans and Steelism
- I caught the end of Steelism and most of The Deloreans, but the game changer was Ben on this WW. Mayor Fischer read poetry, there was interpretive dance, and then Justin Paul Lewis, Kyle Meredith, and Houndmouth joined on stage to wrap up with Blue Moon of Kentucky. Doesn’t get much better.
- A: Lake Street Dive with 23 String Band and Sean Rowe
- We’ve loved 23SB for the last few years and they signed a record we bought from them that night. It’s poignant now that they’ve taken an indefinite hiatus. And Lake Street Dive? Rachel Price killed it.
Best “Takes Me Back” Show
- B: Styx & Foreigner at Freedom Hall
- I distinctly remember Styx playing in my dad’s car when we would go skiing in Vermont. I also weirdly love running to their Greatest Hits album.
- A: Brett Dennen or Ingrid Michaelson at Headliners
- I was so into both of them during my Grey’s Anatomy days… My iPod is full of their old stuff.
Best Forecastle Show
- B: Sadly, I couldn’t go to Forecastle this year. But I was at Greyfox Bluegrass Festival in NY that weekend and my favorite was Del McCoury’s story telling hour. It was cool to see him in blue jeans just reliving the good old days.
- A: Jack White
- He’s so freaking talented. Enough said.
Best Solo Show
- B: San Fermin at New Albany’s Boomtown Ball
- We saw them briefly at Shaky Knees in ATL a few weeks prior, and they have an incredible sound. I was able to stand front and center and just soak it all in.
- A: Arcade Fire at the Yum Center
- I was a little upset with how Louisville opened the tour (why was no one there?!), but it was a fantastic show nevertheless, and one to brag about.
- B: Moon Taxi at Headliners
- Everyone was super into it. Everyone was happy. I think it sold out, too.
- A: tUnE-yArDs at Headliners
- The homecoming of percussionist Dani Markham was pretty cool and everyone was really into it.
Best Small Crowd
- B: Spirit Animal at Haymarket
- We learned about it last minute and it was one of the most fun shows I’ve been to. They rocked as if they had a packed house and their energy was super contagious, even if there were about 6 of us in the audience.
- A: Steelism at Zanzabar
- I stood there completely enthralled by the steel guitar.
Best Unexpectedly Awesome Show
- B: Jalin Roze & 1200 at Headliners
- It was more than just these guys, but they were my favorite. I knew it was going to be good, but it turned out way bigger than I expected. They knocked it out of the park.
- A: Jason Isbell at Headliners
- It’s mainly because we bought these early 2014 tickets without knowing much about him (besides Laura Shine’s love for him), and then it was a blast at the sold out show, and we’ve been obsessed every since.
2014 has been a blast, y’all. We’re so excited for 2015 and can’t wait to see what kinds of great shows Louisville will bring here! Happy New Year to all!
-Brittany & Aubrey