Vote of­ten

Rock­ing out at home is one thing but you can’t beat the live ex­pe­ri­ence – as this year best gigs demon­strated. So who blew your mind this year, asks Tony Clay­ton-lea

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC 2012 -

IT’S SUB­JEC­TIVE, of course, so if your favourite gig didn’t make the cut this year, don’t worry. At this point, we all know live mu­sic is the best way to cut to the chase. Yes, you can down­load or stream to your heart’s con­tent, and that’s fine in the com­fort of your head­phones and your home, but un­less you’ve been sec­tioned, you’re left with lim­ited choices: tap­ping your toes, strum­ming your fin­gers, diplo­matic body-pop­ping and hum­ming along to the melodies.

But what if you leave this pas­sive, ster­ile, lonely en­vi­ron­ment be­hind for more so­cially in­ter­ac­tive pur­suits? Such as peo­ple (some­times lots of peo­ple) and mu­sic that you can feel in and around your body and not just in your ears? Mu­sic that, by virtue of its na­ture and via the chan­nel­ing of mu­si­cians, can take you from here to there with­out phys­i­cally pick­ing you up and drop­ping you down?

The sub­jec­tiv­ity of the ex­pe­ri­ence makes it dif­fi­cult to pin down. For ev­ery per­son who shouts out for Jack White’s gig at the O , there’s some­one else who would put their life on the line for Patti Smith at Elec­tric Pic­nic.

Ditto for Jay-Z/Kanye West at the O over Band of Horses at the Olympia; Chic at the Gal­way Arts Fes­ti­val over Spir­i­tu­alised at Vicar Street; Bruce Spring­steen at the RDS over Bad Plus at the Na­tional Con­cert Hall. So, it’s hard to let one act through and push an­other act aside. The Ticket’s top three gigs of the year demon­strates this: just how do you choose be­tween the Jay-Z/Kanye West dou­ble whammy at the O , Patti Smith’s pow­er­house per­for­mance at EP, and Jack White’s les­son in raw ex­cite­ment (again at the O )?

The sheer di­ver­sity of the mu­sic (as well as of the venues – even a venue as big as the O works if you have the right act dig­ging for gold) is what makes the live ex­pe­ri­ence such a mar­velous, move­able force to be reck­oned with. May that mar­velous, move­able force be with you.

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