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2014 Retrograde: Concerts

I made a conscious effort to attend more cultural events in 2014. I used to complain a lot about the area I moved to and currently live in not having culture. Now that I’ve lived for a few years as a functioning adult here and not as an angsty teen, my perspective has changed. I’m definitely not in love with this place and do see myself moving out of here at some point, but I have done my part to give this place another chance as an adult and it surprised me. Less cow fields, more musicians, more art, and more screenings of foreign films. (For the record, the weather still sucks but that’s ok.) Granted, a lot of this was unheard of ten years ago so I think my city-teen complaints were slightly valid :P

Here is a list of the shows I attended in 2014:

Arctic Monkeys (January)
The most sore I’ve ever been after a show in my life. I wasn’t even that big of a fan, I just knew a lot of their early songs in passing because my sister would blast it all the time as a kid. Attending this show felt like walking into an American Apparel catalogue. I always wondered when it was acceptable to wear sky high boots, leopard print leggings, and a crop top that shows tasteful under-boob. I just stood with the moms because in teenage-years I was probably 40.

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Waiting for #HAIM #vscocam

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HAIM (April)
I planned to attend this show on a whim with a coworker and the week before the show I got fired from that job. The social anxiety side of me didn’t want to hangout with anything that reminded me of my adulthood-fail from the week before and I had overwhelming feelings of what I can only describe as major-suck. It turned out to be fun.

Little Dragon (June)
I know how good Little Dragon is but I felt like I didn’t know enough of their songs to truly enjoy this. A few things going against this show: The opening act was probably the worst band I’ve ever seen in my life and it really colored my impression for the rest of the evening, and I was standing right in front of some ginormous speakers so I know what it feels like to have all of your organs vibrate violently inside of you. I spent half the show covering my ears and the other half covering my eyes because of the migraine that set in.

Ray Lamontagne (July)
It was surprising to find out Ray was coming to Miami. Most artists that I like never stop down here so I jumped at the chance to preorder tickets to this show. I was also the first person at the venue because I was under the impression that those who arrived early would get a free signed poster (I was ahead by 4 hours to the next folks who came and there were no free signed posters. It was embarrassing.) As for the actual show: I definitely enjoyed myself but I had hoped he would sing more of his older stuff. His performance of Jolene had me in almost-tears though. That song kills me a little every time I hear it.


St. Vincent (September)
I had very high hopes for this show. I came to the venue early and got a not-so-sucky place to stand but I just could not get into the concert. A few minutes in and I was ready to leave. I think it was just a general discomfort with the crowd (I have learned that I don’t like being in a closed room with a lot of high-schoolers, no offense to high-schoolers) and the fact that I have never been a fan of performance art and St. Vincent’s performance most definitely had a lot of what I can only call symbolic choreography. The symbolism went right over my head.

James Blake (December)
This was the best way to end the year. James Blake had been on my bucket-list of artists to see for years and I was almost going to book a ticket at the Atlanta show in 2013 to catch his first Overgrown tour since he wasn’t going to come to Florida. When I found out he was going to play in Miami, well let’s just say I looked a lot like this.

I was also impressed at my ability to get great standing spots for this show (2nd row omg) considering I didn’t even make an effort to be the first person in line after my overeager embarrassment that will only be known as “The Lamontagne Incident”. This was also the most pain-inducing concert I’ve ever been to. We were standing for 6 hours total and I had back and neck pain and was severely dehydrated (not even a bathroom break, I was not giving up my spot!) but it didn’t ruin the show in the slightest for me. Even the opening acts were amazing. I was treated to see Kate Davis, Elliott Skinner, and Grace Weber, all YoungArts grads and all killed it. Pain aside it was the best show I went to last year.

In retrospect I realize I need to do a better job at documenting these events with photo/video. There’s always 2015.


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