Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Zack’s Concert Leaderboard 2.0

Posted by teibs On May - 9 - 2010

neilz@ZackTeibloom I want you to disagree with this list, but I want you to respect it. Sure, it can be argued and could use a few tweeks, but there’s a reason for this list. This is every band I can ever remember seeing with a grade. If I’ve seen a band more than once, I pick the show that I think best encapsulates what you’d get from them on any given night.

What I want you to do, is get mad about my rankings and argue with me. Is Phish really a 10? Is Neil? Does B.B. King at 8.1 bother you? How about Tool at 4.5? Do Miike Snow and Kanye West really deserve the same grade? Who is missing from the list? Andy and I will discuss the best comments in a podcrash this Sunday, so don’t hesitate. I also want to know why Andy never ranks bands and which he disagrees with most instead of having him go back and re-rate all those shows. It’s been a lot of shows. Go on. Give me a hard time for this list. I’m begging you.

10: Phish, Neil Young

9.9: Radiohead, Superjam 2007, Daft Punk

9.8: Jay-Z, Rage Against the Machine, James Brown, Ray Charles

9.7 Red Hot Chili Peppers, The White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Phoenix

9.6: The Raconteurs, Jeff Beck, The Pixies, REM, Atoms For Peace, Lupe Fiasco, Beck

9.5: The Flaming Lips, Buddy Guy, The Beastie Boys, Cake, Muse, Them Crooked Vultures, Los Campesinos, David Byrne, Ween

9.4: Ghostland Observatory, Girl Talk, Metallica, Of Montreal, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Stanley Clarke, The Dead Weather, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire

9.3: Weezer, Jamie Lidell, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Local Natives, Florence and the Machine, Metric, Yelle, Gnarls Barkley,

9.2: Vampire Weekend, M.I.A, TR3, Bunny Wailer, Kanye West, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Dirty Projectors, Yesayer, Steve Martin, Miike Snow, Fleet Foxes, Akron/Family, Jeff Tweedy, Explosions in the Sky, Iggy and the Stooges, Built to Spill

9.1: Zappa Plays Zappa, Passion Pit, N.E.R.D. Tom Petty, Wilco, Umphrey’s McGee, Mayer Hawthorne, Tiesto, Andrew Bird, Street Sweeper Social Scene, Wilco. MMJ, Sleigh Bells

9.0 The Black Keys, Alan Toussaint, The Meters, Elvis Costello,  The New Pornogaphers, Chromeo, Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, The National, Band of Horses, Mark Ronson, Benevento Russo Duo, The Knux

8.9: Damian Marley and Nas, Ben Folds, Theresa Anderson, Ben Kweller, Freelance Whales, Dinosaur Jr., Robert Plant and Alison Krausse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Stephen Marley, Common

8.8: Spoon, MMSW, Public Enemy, TV on the Radio, John Mayer, !!!, The Roots, Irma Thomas, The Fratellis, Marina and the Diamonds, Ben Harper, Kings of Leon, Blackalicious, Broken Bells

8.7: Ezra Furman, Galactic, Flight of the Conchords, Black Joe Lewis, Earth, Wind and Fire, Holy Fuck

8.6: Kinetix, Snoop Dogg, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, She & Him, Widespread Panic, Hole, Kid Sister, Ben Kweller

8.5: moe., The Black Crowes, Jamiroquai, Guster, Joe Cocker, The Wailers

8.4: Bob Dylan, Grace Potter, Animal Collective, Yo Lo Tengo, Santigold, The Hue

8.3: The Neville Brothers, The Harlem Shakes, Bonerama, Hot Chip, Hockey, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

8.2: Gorillaz, Cheap Trick, Blues Traveler, The Decemberists, John Butler Trio

8.1: Bang Camaro, Cold War Kids, Neko Case, Polyphonic Spree

8.0: Amy Winehouse, Hot Buttered Rum

7.9: M Ward, JJ Grey and Mofro, Dashboard Confessional

7.8: BB King

7.7: Robert Randolph, MGMT

7.6: Less than Jake

7.5: G Love and Special Sauce

7.3: Michael Franti and Spearhead

7.0: George Clinton and P-Funk

6.5: Disco Biscuits

6.3: John Fogerty

5.5 Les Claypool

4.5: Tool

4.0: STS9

3.0: Ozzy

2.5: Perry Ferrell

2.0: Cowboy Mouth

1.0: Fuck Buttons, Slightly Stoopid

0: Sly and the Family Stone

p.s. I’d link you to every one of these reviews, but I don’t have two weeks free. Just search the band name in the upper right search bar if you’re interested.

14 Responses

  1. @ChinaKatSunflwr Said,

    I’d be interested in knowing your criteria for these ratings before I even begin to argue.
    Were you rating this based on the tightness of the band? On the stage performance? On the set list? Did you rank the bands as “overall” performances– that is to say, a band you’ve seen on many occasions “median” performance over the course of time?
    Of course, it’s all personal preference, but I’d just like to know HOW on EARTH Girl Talk is anywhere NEAR David Byrne on this list. I saw Girl Talk last autumn and it was a 6, AT BEST. Just getting hottie girls on the stage doesn’t compensate for the fact that the whole show more closely resembled an overpriced high school dance than anything. I saw Byrne 4 times on his last tour and, yes, he performs pretty much the same set list, but I would take his tight calculated and orchestrated performance on repeat over any given set from Coventry.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 11:37 am

  2. teibs Said,

    I’ll cover the Girl Talk/Byrne/Atoms for Peace stuff you tweeted in the podcrash, but I’m ranking based on my enjoyment level of the show. It’s part tightness of band and stage performance and setlist coming together for overall experience. Not a median as much as what I think you can expect on any given night.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 11:59 am

  3. Rob O'Connor Said,

    Bob Dylan is WAY too high. I have seen him three times and every time is more disappointing than the last.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

  4. @ChinaKatSunflwr Said,

    For comparison’s sake, I keep going back to David Byrne. Last year, I saw him at 1) a moderately sized college 2) sold out Radio City Music Hall 3) Bonnaroo 4) An outdoor PAC. All four of these shows were equally phenomenal. His performances were tight and well-rehearsed; and the energy at each, although different, was overwhelmingly positive. I’d say not a bad seat in the house.
    Now, I have taken my brother to many of his first shows. Two of which were Phish and the Disco Biscuits. He isn’t per-se a “fan” of either, although he was pretty familiar with the bands before seeing them (he usually digests a pretty steady diet of Dead). If this were his list, Bisco would rate pretty far above Phish. The show he went to was 11/25/09 in Philly. Arguably, the night before SMOKED and was the show to be at, but what about my brother’s first Phish show? We got TTE’d. The crowd was extra tame. He left disappointed.
    My point being, based on your rating, people should expect a 10 show from Phish every night. Do you think the band, in all honesty, delivers a consistent 10?
    In spite of a pretty questionable crowd, the Atoms for Peace show I saw in Boston was one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. From what I hear, all their performances were great– regardless of venue or crowd.
    Of course, again, this is just a matter of opinion and I could ramble all day…

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

  5. teibs Said,

    I’ll reconsider giving Phish a 10. Andy brought that up as well. This could be changed. I’ve seen a few DB shows and it was torture 3 of the 4 times. They aren’t going any higher. I think Atoms for Peace could be ranked even higher and I’ll explain why in the podcrash. Thanks for the food for thought…it will be considered.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

  6. teibs Said,

    Rob- Dylan may need to slide down. We’ll discuss.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

  7. @joshkorin Said,

    This is such a difficult thing to judge/comment upon we all have our own definitions of what makes an incredible show. Is it the setlist? The crowd scene (pre and or post show), the venue, your seat, there’s a million and one factors. However, it is in my opinion highly unfair to rate any band’s show a 10. Sure we’ve all seen some incredible shows in our day myself very much included but to walk into the venue on any given night expecting a 10 performance is not only unrealistic it’s also unfair to the band. What if there are technical malfunctions? The soundboard blows up, a lighting rig comes crashing down in the middle of the opener does this detract from the overall 10 experience of a show? It’s all a matter of opinion.
    I’ve seen my share of many of these artists on this list Phish probably being the band I’ve seen the most and I feel good saying i’ve seen some Phish shows that many might consider “epic” (i hate the use of that term) but i’ve also seen some duds as well for any number of different reasons (lousy set list, trey all smacked out etc etc)
    What I expect from any band that I plunk down my hard earned cash to go see is that they give me their 100% everytime they go out there. I’m not saying every show has to be the most amazing 2 or 3 hours they’ve ever played but I want their 100% each time those house lights go down.
    It’s also a fact that two different people who attend the same show can walk out with dramatically different perspectives your own determination of how great a show is or isn’t is based on any number of factors that are as different for each of us as the day is long. As my esteemed amiga @chinakatsunflwr has so astutely pointed out this is all just a matter of opinion. I’ve got 6 or 7 Phish shows on the calendar this summer as well as several other acts and I don’t plan to walk into any of those shows expecting a 10 simply 100% effort from the guys/gals in the band to make me feel like when I leave yeah i got my 30, 40, 50 bucks worth tonight. Happy Summer Tour season to all!

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

  8. BayAreaButchers Said,

    Have to agree with Rob about Bob. Why is Tool so low? Did you see them at the beginning of the tour or something? The last show is always amazing. They brought on Jello Biafra to do Holiday in Cambodia last time around and I can’t wait to see Tool in June.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

  9. birkley3030 Said,

    I think I’m more surprised about the artists that got low scores than the ones who got high scores. Was Amy Winehouse really THAT much better than Shearwater?!?! You should include a ranking that distinguishes how messed up YOU were at these shows. It’s easy to give Phish a 10 after “candy-flipping”, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

  10. Rob O'Connor Said,

    I would probably move DMB down as well. I have seen them twice and once was in Portugal at, what the band considers, their best concert since the famous Red Rocks show. The other was the night LeRoi Moore died. Kind of the two opposite ends of the spectrum but even the high end wasn’t all that good.

    Posted on May 12th, 2010 at 9:14 pm

  11. teibs Said,

    Bay Area- I’ve had terrible Tool experiences and they scare me. Might just be me. Birkley-Amy Winehouse was surprisingly good, but I removed Shearwater from the list altogether because I need to see them again and was too tired to get into the last show. That plays well into your candyflipping argument which holds some water. I’ll talk about that in the podcrash. Rob- DMB is better than I’d like to admit sometimes.

    Posted on May 13th, 2010 at 6:33 am

  12. match Said,

    I think BB King should be way lower. The idea of BB is maybe in the 7 range, but the show is nothing short of depressing- he can’t even stand up.

    Posted on May 13th, 2010 at 9:47 am

  13. Bryn Said,

    Hear that, Zack, BB can’t even stand up! He’s jitterbugging his way to the front of the list!

    Anyway, Zack, you know where I stand on a lot of these. To be fair, I’ve never seen Neil Young, but the idea of a 10.0 show is absurd to me…unless you’re actually called on stage to play with the band, and partied backstage afterward…that might be a 10.0.

    As far as the controversial Tool rating goes…Zack hates Tool, and that’s evident by the ridiculously low rating. However, I love Tool, and yes, their show is disappointing, at least recently. Not above a 6.5. A trippy lightshow can only go so far.

    Here’s one you haven’t heard yet: bump up Franti. His music? Not so good. But the live show? So much fun. Transcendent. If your music kind of sucks, but I still want to see you live, that’s worth at least an 8+.

    So many other things to say about this, but I’ll leave on this note: DMB=worst festival headliner possible. I’m actually really excited Dave is headlining Bonnaroo, because that gives me a good, solid 2 hour window where I can leave the stage grounds without having to worry about missing anything. Good call, Bonnaroo schedulers, thank you for working in nap time. But, regardless, putting DMB and Pearl Jam on par with each other is…well…it’s disgusting. Especially at the 9.3 level. Anything above a 9 is reserved for the pantheon.

    Posted on May 14th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

  14. April Riggs Said,

    Dude, I’ve seen Phish several times in the 90’s and YES, I truly think they are worth a 10. Now, I haven’t seen or heard any of their more recent shows, and I’m totally looking forward to the short-ass set they’ll be doing at ACL this year but I suspect it’ll be pretty awesome, even w/out all of the acid from the 90’s.

    Have you ever seen The Cure? Pretty high up on the list too-have only missed one show/tour out of many since 1990, and I’ve never ever walked away feeling cheated-I think the Blood Flowers show was the mellowist and least exciting, but I had just had back surgery and was on a bunch of pills (June 2000) and it worked for me. I’d put them at about a 9-9.5.

    The Creatures, (Liberty Lunch sometime between 1999-2000) was an AH-MAZING show too. I’d give them a safe 9.

    Posted on May 20th, 2010 at 9:40 am

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