1. Five – Sydney Entertainment Centre, May 1, 2000
I know. I know. But I was twelve. What can you do?
2. Big Day Out – January 26, 2006
Including The White Stripes, The Stooges, Franz Ferdinand, Kings of Leon, The Living End, Magic Dirt, The Presets (who I hated at the time), Wolfmother
3. Dinosaur Jr – The Metro, March 9, 2006
4. U2 – Telstra Stadium, April 1, 2006
5. The Rolling Stones – Telstra Stadium, April 11, 2006
6. The Great Escape – April 16, 2006
I remember seeing Lior, and this was the first time I ever saw Ash Grunwald. Other than that, I can’t remember anyone else.
7. Splendour In The Grass – Byron Bay, July 22 and 23, 2006
Including Brian Wilson, Atmosphere, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Augie March, Mos Def, Matisyahu (!), Mogwai, TV On The Radio, Death Cab For Cutie, You Am I, Wolfmother, The Exploders, Butterfingers, Zutons, The Vines.
8. Eric Clapton – Sydney Entertainment Centre, January 29, 2007
An extraordinary set, with Derek Trucks playing guitar. Almost cried during “Little Wing”. Also an excellent “Deep South Porch” section that included Derek and Eric trading lap slide steel solos on a bayou-fied Outside Woman Blues.
Supported by Mia Dyson, who was much better than the audience’s reception.
9. Eagles of Death Metal – Enmore, March 19, 2007
One of the best stand-alone gigs I’ve been to. The perfect mix of sweat, moshing and screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs. I had been listening to The Damned for about 3 months solid before this gig, and then they busted into New Rose. It’s entirely possible that I injured people with the ferocity of my moshing.
Supported by The Answer, who are keeping the spirit of Zeppelin’s Delta chaos alive and kicking well into the new millennium. All this despite the fact that they are from Northern Ireland.
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Acer Arena, April 17, 2007
I went with my little brother and we had seats bang in the centre with a perfect view of the stage and the moshpit below. And I know what you’re thinking – that sitting down for the Chilis would have been hell. But It wasn’t. We were sitting right on the edge of the aisle, in the front row of our section, so we could leap up and mosh about without bothering anybody too much.
And mosh we did, as the boys played a BloodSugarSexMagik-heavy set, including Suck My Kiss AND Blood Sugar Sex Magik itself, which I hadn’t expected to hear at all.
11. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Acer Arena, April 19, 2007
Yeah, so I went twice.
This time I was with my other brother, in the moshpit.
It was unreal.
12. The Frames – Metro Theatre, August 14, 2007
The other contender for best gig I’ve been to. The place was packed with Irishmen, and The Frames put on an incredible show.
For the encore, Glen Hansard walked out on stage, by himself, with an acoustic guitar, and started playing behind the mic. Then, thinking better of it, unplugged the guitar and stood on the edge of the stage, puring his heart out to the (completely silent) crowd.
13. Bob Dylan – Sydney Entertainment Centre, August 15, 2007
I was performing in play this night, and couldn’t leave until intermission. Which meant that I missed half the concert. Which sucked. A lot.
But it was still really terrific just to be there, and to see him, and to hear what he was doing.
He was playing in the most soulless, miserable cavern in the city, but I think everyone would have gone away that night feeling extraordinarily lucky to have been there.