The 35 Best North Texas Concerts in 2012.
We covered a lot of concerts in our 11 months of existence here at Central Track. Somewhere in the vicinity of 150; honestly, I lost count when going through our archives, but it was definitely well over 125 and, well, that nice, round 150 number sounds about right.
Anyway, here's the impressive thing about that number: That works out to a show almost every other night. Granted, some of the shows we covered happened on the same night as other shows we covered, and certain times of the year (March in particular) saw more concerts than others. But, point is, that's a ton of shows that we felt strongly enough about to go out and cover. And we didn't even cover all of them. Not even close.
I think that says a lot about the state of the music scene here in North Texas — in regards to both the touring and local scenes — and, specifically, how healthy it is. Every day here on Central Track, we make it our goal to show you what's going on around town — and not just musically. But, this year, music dominated the event landscape, and not unjustifiably.
Looking back on the year that was 2012, that's pretty clear. So, to that end, we present you with the 35 concerts we enjoyed covering the most in 2012, ranked and all.
Yeah, this was a concert good year, Dallas. Here's hoping you made it out to at least some of these shows.
35. Tegan and Sara at AT&T Performing Arts Center.
“It just felt like â€˜one of those nights.â€™ Y'know, the kind where you're getting into your car in the parking garage and some random guy says, â€˜Hey, great show, right?” Yeah, man, it totally was.” — Heather Abbott
34. Say Anything at Trees.
“By the end of the performance, a gassed Bemis simply said, â€˜So that happened.â€™ And, yeah, that's pretty much the best way to sum up the impressive performance.” — Mikel Galicia
33. Sleigh Bells at Granada Theater.
“It wasn't all boom and flash, although with a band such as Sleigh Bells that much kind of seems the point.” — Pete Freedman
32. Sarah Jaffe, John Singer Sergeant and Zhora at Granada Theater.
“Even with all the extra faces in place, the night's spotlight remained fixated on Jaffe, who handled the attention confidently — a rash of local and national acclaim for her new release no doubt adding to her self-esteem.” — Pete Freedman
31. Title Fight and Power Trip at Dada.
“It was an exhilarating display, scored by two headlining performers whose music smartly straddles the line between the aggressive and the melodic.” — Pete Freedman
30. Matt & Kim at House of Blues.
“It's no surprise that the band's fan base is growing exponentially. Much as the band smiled during the night, the crowd only did so more.” — Mikel Galicia
29. Turbo Fruits at Dada.
“Their set was tight, their sound was surprisingly full and their nonstop on-stage antics (if there's a book somewhere on epic on-stage rock 'n' roll poses, these dudes have read it front to back) were absolutely entertaining.” — Pete Freedman
28. This Will Destroy You, True Widow and The Angelus at the Granada Theater.
“Had the world ended on Friday night as some feared, this would've been a good way to go out. But even though it didn't, this show still resonated. Loudly and victoriously, at that.” — Pete Freedman
27. Neon Indian at the Granada Theater.
“Throughout the affair, they repeatedly thanked the crowd for their support. Yes, it felt like the homecoming the crowd wanted — and that the band most likely wanted, as well.” — Pete Freedman
26. Against Me! at Prophet Bar.
“Punk rock may be a watered-down concept in today's day and age. But at this Against Me! performance at least, the crowd was all too happy to revel in Against Me!'s take on it.” — Pete Freedman
25. Gary Clark Jr. at The Belmont.
“Later in the evening, he'd make his way to downtown Dallas and play with a full band as he'd surprise the attendees of the Trophy Wives show at City Tavern by joining those players on stage. But at the Belmont, things were far more low-key. And perhaps more enthralling as a result.” — Will Von Bolton
24. Slimerave at Lion's Den.
“There was a large crowd lingering out front, as DJs Ynfynyt Scroll, Ben Aqua, Shooknite and LOL BOYS played to a hyped up, ready to dance set in the basement. Even after having been soaked earlier in the evening, no one, it seemed, wanted the night to end.” — Pete Freedman
23. Twin Shadow at Trees.
“Yes, the audience was his plaything on this night, and happily so. Quite the impressive crowd they were, too: It appeared as if every dance-inspired band and show promoter in town was in attendance, shimmying away to Lewis' dramatic offerings.” — Pete Freedman
22. Action Bronson at Dada.
“After a couple songs, without any explanation, Bronson walked into the crowd and spent the rest of his night among the audience for the majority of his set. He hammed it up for these crowds, too, performing among his fans while posing for and rhyming into any and all camera phones thrust in his face.” — Mikel Galicia
21. Young the Giant and Grouplove at Prophet Bar.
“It was a big show in a few ways — both with the bands on the bill and with the crowd in attendance — and so much so that, despite the Prophet Bar's 1,100-person capacity, the room felt too small for such a widely appealing display.” — Pete Freedman
20. Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz at the Granada Theater. 19. Big Freedia at Dada. 18. A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown at House of Blues. 17. White Denim at the Granada Theater. 16. Polyphonic Spree at Sons of Herman Hall. 15. King Tuff and Natural Child at City Tavern. 14. Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman at Good Records. 13. Kishi Bashi at Prophet Bar. 12. Perfume Genius and Parenthetical Girls at Dan's Silverleaf. 11. Lightning Bolt at Sons of Hermann Hall. 10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Granada. 9. How to Dress Well at The Loft. 8. Frank Ocean at South Side Music Hall. 7. Power Trip at Good Records. 6. Odd Future at Palladium. 5. Christeene at Double Wide. 4. At The Drive-In at Trees. 3. The Weeknd at House of Blues. 2. Screaming Females at Dada. 1. The Day Dallas Stood Still at Dada.
“The whole thing felt like a throwback — despite the fact that much of the material offered up on this night came from under this trio's Hail Mary Mallon and Rock's most recent solo Skelethon release. Throughout his career, that's an aesthetic Rock has specifically sought out. And, at last night's offering, he and his cohorts proved themselves masters at it.” — Pete Freedman
“Big Freedia definitely knows how to celebrate a night, and her performance was overwhelmingly impressive and ass-tastic.” — Mikel Galicia
“Rocky's performance had to impress so as not to completely disappoint. Brown and Schoolboy Q's opening sets, after all, had been incredibly well-received by this near-euphoric crowd.” — Pete Freedman
“Before the show, there was a calm in the room. And then the curtain rose.” — Pete Freedman
“The Spree really are a band that needs to be seen live to be appreciated. They just work best that way, and now I get why.” — Jeremy Hughes
“It's kind of something when the bands in town out-do a fire on the roof of a building.” — Jeremy Hughes
“Palmer and Gaiman remained in the store well after their joint performance concluded, signing autographs for the many fans that remained. As was true of the entire appearance, it was a charming, unexpected and inspiring gesture.” — Pete Freedman
“It was something to see, really. Ishibashi just has a fantastic stage presence, and, to be fair, that's exactly what you'd expect if you've heard his incredibly endearing music.” — Jeremy Hughes
“It was a night of awe-inspiring displays, one that very much touched on both the sublime and the ridiculous.” — Pete Freedman
“Yes, it was loud. But it was also cathartic.” — Pete Freedman
“It was a truly unique showcase of music at the Granada last night. One of the best shows of the year? Quite possibly.” — Kalan Briggs
“He's an impressive performer, able to let the emotion of his falsetto-sung R&B music wash over the crowd. It's hard not to feel connected with him as he performs.” — Jeremy Hughes
“On record, Ocean comes off as talented enough, but as a singer as reliant on aesthetic and subject matter as talent. Live, however, he's a powerhouse. His vocals lilted and swerved masterfully as he nonchalantly swaggered about the South Side stage in front of his four-piece backing band.” — Pete Freedman
“It was perhaps the craziest show ever to take place on the store's AstroTurf stage — something that clearly worried Good Records clerk Mark Church, who repeatedly had to use a megaphone to ask the crowd to calm down.” — Pete Freedman
“Standing at the back of the congregation, one could easily witness the intensity. A girl with a bloody nose scrambled to the restroom. Another kid was slumped against a railing, catching his breath while his date wiped sweat off his brow. Guys were shirtless. Girls were missing shoes. The entire building was bumping.” — Heather Abbott
“It was an insane mishmash of performance art, R&B, hip-hop and a little bit of confession. Watching it was like watching someone who's completely fallen apart, but has found their happy place at the bottom.” — Jeremy Hughes
“All the room needed was a simple â€˜We're At The Drive-In from El Paso, Texasâ€™ from guitarist Jim Ward for the place to erupt.” — Pete Freedman (Photo by Dylan Hollingsworth)
“When Tesfaye swaggered his way onto the House of Blues stage at 10:15 on this night with his four-man backing band — and, it should be noted, without the aid of any opening act — the floor of the House of Blues was blasted with light. No, not from the LEDs place on the stage behind Tesfaye and his crack band, but rather from the screens of the sea of cell phones being instantly and simultaneously thrust into the sky.” — Pete Freedman
“For her to have thrashed about as vigorously as she did during last night's almost hour-long offering bordered on excessive. It was kind of insane.” — Pete Freedman (Photo by Mike Brooks)
“This was the show so many Dallas rap fans had been waiting to see come together for years.” — Pete Freedman
20. Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz at the Granada Theater.
19. Big Freedia at Dada.
18. A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown at House of Blues.
17. White Denim at the Granada Theater.
16. Polyphonic Spree at Sons of Herman Hall.
15. King Tuff and Natural Child at City Tavern.
14. Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman at Good Records.
13. Kishi Bashi at Prophet Bar.
12. Perfume Genius and Parenthetical Girls at Dan's Silverleaf.
11. Lightning Bolt at Sons of Hermann Hall.
10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Granada.
9. How to Dress Well at The Loft.
8. Frank Ocean at South Side Music Hall.
7. Power Trip at Good Records.
6. Odd Future at Palladium.
5. Christeene at Double Wide.
4. At The Drive-In at Trees.
3. The Weeknd at House of Blues.
2. Screaming Females at Dada.
1. The Day Dallas Stood Still at Dada.