You all know how much I love music, and live music most especially.

But, I admit, I might have gone a little concert crazy in 2014. I attended a large number of shows and concerts over the year, varying from small one-man sets in a bar to one multi-day brewing festival. The genres were also mixed, going from the Americana-sound of Old Crow Medicine Show to the hard-rocking Black Label Society.

The venues were biker bars, college bars, converted theaters, concert halls, and lightning-bug-lit fields. I bounced to Sick Puppies, had an orgasm to Like A Storm (there’s a story I’ll tell you one day), moshed to Trapt, became enamored of Sinclair, laughed with Bushwalla, and was thrilled and humbled by William Tyler.

I found out that big names don’t always bring their best game, and sometimes the small guys present opportunities you might not expect.

I’ve made friends, hung out on buses and RVs, carried in food and groceries, given out Shittens and TicTacs galore, gotten chills from greenroom warm-ups, been the recipient of back-rubs, head noogies, growls, tickles, laughter, dances, and was on the receiving end of some of the BEST hugs.

Bands who give best live show – toss-up between three:

  • 10 YearsJesse Hasek can work a crowd and hold them in the palm of his hand.
  • Like A Storm – the Brooks brothers are hands-down the hardest working band I’ve met.
  • OtherwiseAdrian and Ryan Patrick are talented beyond explanation. I get chills just thinking about hearing Soldiers live!

Talent of note … well hell, y’all already know I’m a drummer gal, right? So the fact this list is weighted towards drummers shouldn’t be a shocker …

  • Paul Crosby, drummer for Saliva. The man can play, but is one of the sweetest guys, and free with his knowledge and expertise. I was able to see him mentoring some bands this year, which was awesome.
  • Alex Sassaris, drummer for Eve To Adam. Alex has a power and intensity that carries the crowd along with him, we all want to follow wherever he leads!
  • Zack Goggins, drummer for Righteous Vendetta. I’ve said it several times, watching that boy pound the skins is a religious experience. He. Is. Amazing.
  • Matt Brooks, guitarist of Like A Storm. He’s the real deal, folks. Sings, plays, cooks, laughs, and most of all…loves his fans. If you get a chance to hear him acoustically and pass that shit up, then shame on you!
  • Clayton Wages, bassist for Letters From The Fire. Clay personifies rockstar with talent, showmanship, confidence, and attitude. But then when you talk to him one-on-one…he turns into the sweetest and softest guy you ever would want to know. Super sweet, the man is awesome!
  • Steven Pulley, drummer for Saving Abel. Steven blew me away with his openness, kindness, and bone-deep interest in the world and people around him. Oh, did I mention he’s hella talented, too?
  • William Tyler, solo guitarist. Mr. Tyler enthralled on stage, transitioning easily from silly repartee with the crowd to concert hall quality playing. William, when I talked to him away from the stage, was shy and sweet, genuinely pleased that his music was appealing. Disarmingly sweet, devastatingly talented!

Grand total of performances and sets watched, as best as I can count, is a staggering 93.

2015 is already shaping up to be a good music year, I’ve gotten to hear Adam Strack already, and have tickets to see HellYeah, Devour the Day, and Like A Storm in a couple of weeks, and then 10 Years, Otherwise, and Luminoth in March!

Memorable non-music moments from 2014:

  • Stevie D of Buckcherry telling me, “Long time listener, first time caller?” Talk about an avalanche begun with the smallest of pebble tosses.
  • Talking to Matt diRito and Joshua Chachi Marunde from PopEvil about autism, and the universal language of music.
  • Having Bobby Amaru of Saliva light up like a candle and give me a hug because I told him he melted my fucking face off with his singing.
  • Seeing Elliot Weber from Letters From The Fire onstage for the first time and thinking he could be a book cover model for Jase.
  • Sitting on the docks at The Vogue in Indianapolis, soaked to the bone and watching the rain pour down, seeing the boys from The Veer Union slogging their equipment into the venue. I think Amal Wijayanayake broke his sandal!
  • Watching as Whitey Morgan continued to play an outdoor show as a riotous lightning storm rolled in, even while his steel guitarist dissembled his instrument because of the close strikes!
  • Having Saving Abel post a picture of me with Scott Bartlett and having the first few comments on the pic be from MY fans, not theirs!

Most watched band – no surprise, my favorite Kiwi’s from Like A Storm with 5 shows, but there were several who were good enough to repeat!

Here’s the list of multiples:

Like A Storm – 5
Letters From The Fire – 3
Righteous Vendetta – 3
Saliva – 3
Sick Puppies – 3
Hubie Ashcraft – 3
Eve To Adam – 2
Saving Abel – 2
Trapt – 2
Otherwise – 2
The Veer Union – 2
Adam Strack – 2
Buckcherry – 2

And here’s the full list of talent and bands. Amazeballs, alla ’em!

  1. Saving Abel (1)
  2. Catherine’s
  3. When Minds Collide
  4. Young Guns
  5. Sick Puppies (1)
  6. Girl on Fire
  7. Angola Road
  8. Silence the Echoes
  9. Buckcherry (1)
  10. Like A Storm (1)
  11. Gangstagrass
  12. Bushwalla
  13. Old Crow Medicine Show
  14. Saliva (1)
  15. Eve To Adam (1)
  16. Nico’s Gun
  17. Blaming Alice
  18. Saliva (2)
  19. Eve To Adam (2)
  20. Pragmatic
  21. Adelitas Way
  22. Sick Puppies (2)
  23. Three Days Grace
  24. Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
  25. Pure Grain
  26. Trapt (1)
  27. 10 Years
  28. Crobot
  29. The Veer Union (1)
  30. Black Label Society
  31. Kyng
  32. Wovenwar
  33. Stars in Stereo
  34. Sick Puppies (3)
  35. Like A Storm (2)
  36. Small Batch
  37. Great Peacock
  38. Coralee and the Townies
  39. Kelsey Waldon
  40. Ben Nichols
  41. Dawn Landes
  42. Wooden Wand
  43. Austin Lucas
  44. Freakwater
  45. John Moreland
  46. Tyler Childers
  47. William Tyler
  48. Doc Feldman
  49. Those Crosstown Rivals
  50. Egon Danielson
  51. Ancient Warfare
  52. Josh Nolan
  53. Warren Byrom
  54. Trapt (2)
  55. The Veer Union (2)
  56. Letters From The Fire (1)
  57. Righteous Vendetta (1)
  58. Arcane Saints
  59. Nonpoint
  60. Eyes Set To Kill
  61. Blood From A Stone
  62. Letters From The Fire (2)
  63. Righteous Vendetta (2)
  64. Like A Storm (3)
  65. Otherwise (1)
  66. Jason Mraz
  67. Saliva (3)
  68. Longreef
  69. Better Than Ezra
  70. Sinclair
  71. Hubie Ashcraft (1)
  72. Adam Strack (1)
  73. Shelly Dixon
  74. Pop Evil
  75. Red Sun Rising
  76. Islander
  77. Letters From The Fire (3)
  78. Thousand Foot Crutch
  79. We As Human
  80. Righteous Vendetta (3)
  81. Like A Storm (4)
  82. Breach of Silence
  83. Hubie Ashcraft (2)
  84. Drowning Pool
  85. Like A Storm (5)
  86. Red Tide Rising
  87. Adam Strack (2)
  88. Saving Abel (2)
  89. Another Lost Year
  90. Hubie Ashcraft (3)
  91. Rockchild
  92. Buckcherry (2)
  93. Otherwise (2)

Random pictures, in no certain order!

Eve To Adam

Eve To Adam

Saving Abel

Saving Abel

Scotty, Shittens, and me

Scott, Shittens, and me

Scotty Bartlett of Saving Abel

Scott Bartlett of Saving Abel

Saving Abel

Saving Abel

RockChild

RockChild

Red Tide Rising

Red Tide Rising

Matt Brooks of Like A Storm

Matt Brooks of Like A Storm

Like A Storm

Like A Storm

Drowning Pool

Drowning Pool

Stevie Benton of Drowning Pool

Stevie Benton of Drowning Pool

C.J. Pierce of Drowning Pool

C.J. Pierce of Drowning Pool

Breach Of Sience

Breach Of Silence

We As Human

We As Human

Thousand Foot Crutch

Thousand Foot Crutch

Righteous Vendetta

Righteous Vendetta

Like A Storm

Like A Storm

Sinclair

Sinclair

Saliva

Saliva

Longreef

Longreef

Otherwise

Otherwise

Chris Brooks, Like A Storm

Chris Brooks, Like A Storm

Righteous Vendetta

Righteous Vendetta

Eyes Set To Kill

Eyes Set To Kill

Well Crafted, pano

Well Crafted, pano

Ben Nichols

Ben Nichols

Stars In Stereo

Stars In Stereo

Sick Puppies

Sick Puppies

Like A Storm

Like A Storm

Kent Brooks, Like A Storm

Kent Brooks, Like A Storm

Alex Sassaris, Eve To Adam

Alex Sassaris ,Eve To Adam

The Veer Union

The Veer Union

The Veer Union, Crispin and Ryan

The Veer Union, Crispin and Ryan

Amal Wijayanayake, The Veer Union

Amal Wijayanayake, The Veer Union

Letters From The Fire, Elliot Weber and Ben Anderson

Letters From The Fire, Elliot Weber and Ben Anderson

Kyng

Kyng

Black Label Society

Black Label Society

Whitey Morgan and the 78's

Whitey Morgan and the 78’s

Three Days Grace

Three Days Grace

Saliva

Saliva

Xavier Muriel, Buckcherry

Xavier Muriel, Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

10 Years

10 Years

Saliva - Superstar

Saliva – Superstar

Paul Crosby & Pragmatic

Paul Crosby & Pragmatic

IMG_2631

Ryan Ramsdell, The Veer Union

Ryan Ramsdell, The Veer Union