best concerts of 2008 (IMHO)


CSS at echoplex, dec. 11, 2008

here’s a list of my top 12* favorite concerts from 2008.  let me know in the comments section who, if anyone, should be added to the list.

starting from number 12!

#12 hot chip – coachella, indio, CA/april 26 – fun british electro-pop that got the coachella crowd UP.  


#11 prince – coachella,  indio, CA/april 26 – unbelieveable. the set included guest performers morris day, sheila e. and chak-chak-chak-chaka kahn.


#10 CSS – echoplex, LA/dec. 11 – “CSS” stands for “cansei de ser sexy,” or “i got tired of being sexy.” ha. this becomes clear whenever the head singer appears onstage in one of her unitards with crazy prints.


#9 brazilian girls – wiltern, LA/sept. 24 – it’s hard to categorize this group, and don’t try by looking at the name. they’re not brazilian, and there’s only one girl.  they sing in several different languages and range in style from circus music to house to tango. head singer sabina sciubba was pregnant at our show so it probably limited her usual theatrics a bit, but it was still a great performance.


#8 portishead – coachella, indio, CA/april 26 – haunting performance. i only caught a couple songs, unfortunately, but their album “third” is one i listen to all the time.


#7 ting tings – el rey theater, LA/aug. 6 – these guys made it big here with an ipod commercial (“shut up and let me go!”) that always gives me flashbacks to a tradeshow i went to in vegas for work.  they ran the ad incessantly on the huge digital billboards outside our convention center.  anyway, the ting tings show was great, but the white wannabe rapper that opened up for them…not so much.


#6  M.I.A. – coachella, indio, CA/april 26 – i probably would have ranked this higher if i hadn’t already seen her show in ’07 at the echoplex. that was hands down the best show of ’07 for me.  her performance at coachella was great, too.


#5 los amigos invisibles — hollywood bowl, LA/june 22 – LA must be the second home for venezuela-based los amigos invisibles because we see these guys a couple times a year, but i’m not complaining.  they never disappoint, and should have headlined this performance at the bowl instead of thievery corporation.


#4 natalie portman’s shaved head – echoplex, LA/dec. 11 – i’m probably being too generous here, but what these guys lack in songwriting ability (“they do curtis mayfield covers, makes the kids want to dip under the covers”), they completely make up for with in-your-face youthfulness and danceable synth pop and disco beats.


#3 bajofondo — roxy, LA/oct. 11 – this south american band fuses tango with electronica, and is headed up by gustavo santaolalla, academy award winning composer whose scores include babel, brokeback mountain and motorcycle diaries.  there are eight band members so it feels like you’re watching a mini-orchestra, only the music is actually really fun.


#2 robyn – troubadour, LA/feb. 9 – robyn was a pretty big pop star in the 90s (“show me love,” “what it takes”) and has recently made a big comeback with her eponymous album that pulls together some of the freshest lyrics and beats in pop.


#1 bonde do role – coachella, indio, CA/april 26 – high energy brazilian funk “carioca.”  stole the show at coachella, and i still have their cd “with lazers” in heavy rotation on my ipod.  never mind I don’t speak portuguese.

so there they are — my top 12 concerts from ’08.  below is a short list of shows i’m sorry i missed. again, please let me know in the comments if there are any missing that you think i should have included.

·         santogold – missed two opportunities:  she opened for the ting tings’ second LA show, and she was at coachella

·         radiohead – inrainbows is my no.1 or 2 favorite album from ‘07

·         donna summer – apparently this show at the hollywood bowl was really fun

·         madonna — sorry, but her confessions tour a few years ago was amazing, and i was bummed i missed justin and britney come out on stage in for the show in LA.  i know that seems to belie my top 12 but give me a break. 

*”top 5” or “top 10” is arbitrary anyway.


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7 Responses to “best concerts of 2008 (IMHO)”

  1. sarah shvil Says:

    great list, i’m jealous! i would LOVE to see #s 12, 8, 7, 6, 2. but don’t know of the other groups – so looks like i have some catching up to do in 2009 🙂 my favorite shows from 2008 were: sigur ros, stars, fujiya & miyagi, and broken social scene. keith, you should come up to sf for noise pop!

    • krwlos1 Says:

      maybe i’ll use my itunes gift card to get the sigur ros album. some friends of mine swear by them, but the whole made up language seems weird to me. i like to have some idea of what they’re saying, although given my no. 1 show for ’08 was a brazilian band and i don’t speak portuguese, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. i don’t know the other bands you mention, so it looks like i have some research to do as well. 🙂 that noise pop thing looks cool; cold war kids is playing and i’ve wanted to see them.

  2. Shane Says:

    I wish I hadn’t got quite so drunk at Robyn as what I remember was good – but don’t remember too much!! I would have to add Kylie – but unfortunately you boys all were not in New Zealand to join me and the Spice Girls, both just pure fun … and Dolly Parton and Tina Turner – they were both AMAZING!! Old school performers who really know how to put on a show an work a crowd.

    • krwlos1 Says:

      nice. i’m sure these were really fun. since these performers are so ubiquitous and because i’m so poor, i usually choose the cheap indie shows. 🙂

  3. Kelly Warner Says:

    I would have loved to check out Portishead @ Cochella. My band mgr was there and said it was a great show.

  4. jeaniGere Says:

    Phat article, great looking weblog, added it to my favs.

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