Looking back over my ticket stubs and blog entries, the best concerts of 2003:
Best weekend of music: In just over 24 hours, Buzzcocks at the
Metro, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at the Chicago Theatre, Cinerama at
the Abbey Pub.
Best overdue comeback: Forget the idea of a comeback as a return
to prominence after dwindling popularity. The Fall made a welcome return
for just showing up after numerous canceled tours. It took them a few songs
to hit their stride, but when they find it, they are always the greatest
band in the world at that moment.
Best double bill: Highlights of the second wave of garage rock
still going strong with the Cynics and the Fleshtones at the Double Door
Best double appearances: It's impossible to name only one best
performance for Fountains of Wayne, who played the Metro in July and returned
to the Vic in November. The same holds for the Mooney Suzuki's shows in April
and July at the Metro and Double Door, respectively, although the earlier
evening gets the slight edge for the worthy-in-their-own-right Realistics
as the openers while the October support acts were far less memorable.
Just missed on best triple appearance: Interpol hit Chicago
three times for four shows in 2003. While their January and September concerts
were mesmerizing, there were too many distractions, including the Q101 guy
wearing nothing but a Q101 bumper sticker loincloth at the free outdoor Belmont-Sheffield
Doubt-destroying performances: Ian McCulloch's solo work and
a previous lackluster show by Luna when one member had the flu left we waivering
over whether to bother seeing Echo & the Bunnymen or Luna again. But
their respective shows in October at the Metro and February at Abbey Pub
sent shivers up my spine.