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Thank you for a wonderful year. SIGT Staff Presents: Best Shows of 2016, Best Songs of 2016, Best Albums of 2016, Best Moments of 2016, and Best Concert Photos of 2016. (Click here to skip to the photos.) Cheers!
Adam Fricke, Staff Writer & Photog
Adam spent his entire 2016 on the road, living out of a converted van, with his brother, and successfully visited all 50 states!
While Adam traveled the country, SIGT helped him get into some amazing shows and he captured some gorgeous photos.
Read about his 2016 adventure on http://brod-trip.com/
1. Switchfoot + Relient K | The Myth – Minneapolis, MN | 9/23/2016
2. Yellowcard | Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD | 11/15/2016
3. Sting | Blaisdell Arena – Honolulu, HI | 11/4/2016
4. Gary Clark Jr. | Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX | 3/8/2016
5. Four Year Strong | The Gateway – Calgary, Canada | 8/15/2016
1. Integrity Blues – Jimmy Eat World
2. Cardinal – Pinegrove
3. Home of the Strange – Young the Giant
4. I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it – The 1975
5. Warm On A Cold Night – HONNE
1. Jon Foreman’s aftershow in a parking lot
2. Screaming the Ocean Avenue lyrics at my last ever Yellowcard show on their Final World Tour
3. Talking on the phone (interview) with Drew Shirley of Switchfoot
4. Sting’s mashup of Roxanne and Ain’t No Sunshine
5. Gary Clark Jr.’s 6 song encore
Megan Malsom, Marketing & Press Manager
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
Matt Corby at Buckhead Theatre (ATL)
Julien Baker & Pinegrove at The Social
Ray Lamontagne w/ members of My Morning Jacket at St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Telluric by Matt Corby
Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest
Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino
Malibu by Anderson .Paak
Sea of Noise by St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Cardinal by Pinegrove
(So, I put my top 6… shoot me!) 🙂
Totally losing my shit with my very best friends at Okeechobee Music & Arts Fest.
Trevor Bosmans, Staff Writer
Despite losing some of its greatest legends, 2016 was still a great year for music. Although I consider myself more of a “rock guy,” I discovered a lot of great Hip-Hop albums released this year. We saw the surprise release of Run the Jewels 3 on Christmas Day (which was the best Christmas gift ever) and the swan song from A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here.. Thank You 4 Your Service (R.I.P Phife Dawg). 2016 also brought us the return of the Descendants and Jimmy Eat World’s best album in years, Integrity Blues. Not to mention I got to see Anderson .Paak open for Florence + the Machine and became an instant fan of his unique brand of Hip-Hop.
2016 also brought me some great shows I never thought I’d see, like Guns N’ Roses with Axl, Slash, and Duff. I even made a last minute trip to New Orleans to cross 311 Day off my bucket list. To top it off I got to see one of my all-time favorites, Brian Wilson perform his masterpiece Pet Sounds and I went back to my roots and saw the greatest country performer, Garth Brooks at Amway Center. These shows are just the tip of the iceberg, I honestly just wish I could list all the shows I went to this year because they were all great in their own special way.
Guns N’ Roses — Camping World Stadium, Orlando July 29, 2016
311 Day — Smoothie King Center, New Orleans March 11 and 12, 2016
Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds — Mahaffey Theatre, St. Petersburg September 13, 2016
The Claypool Lennon Delirium — The Beacham, Orlando June 4, 2016
Garth Brooks — Amway Center, Orlando October 8, 2016
Diarrhea Planet — Turn to Gold
Run the Jewels — Run the Jewels 3
Descendants — Hypercaffium Spazzinate
A Tribe Called Quest — We Got It From Here.. Thank You 4 Your Service
Jimmy Eat World — Integrity Blues
Anderson .Paak — Malibu
James Connolly, Staff Writer:
Big shout-out to our very own Mitch for always hooking me up with tickets to see the amazing shows that have graced us this year; whether it was to write a review, or him helping me impress some lucky lady with my “connections.” Anyway, here were my top 5 favorites. 60% of which I happened to write a review for. Pure coincidence, and not at all a transparent means of promoting my work.
Dillinger Escape Plan with O’Brother, Car Bomb, and Cult Leader at State Theatre, St. Pete, FL
CHON with Polyphia and Strawberry Girls at The Social in Orlando FL
RX Bandits with ASIWYFA at Beacham in Orlando FL
TAUK with The Groove Orient at The Social in Orlando FL
This Town Needs Guns with LITE at The Masquerade in Atlanta, GA
The AOTY list: A burdensome task that forces music nerds to pit album against album as if we were choosing a favorite child. Since I can’t pick an objective top 5 from the apples and oranges I was forced to compare, here is my list of top albums in the genres I love (in order of what seemed like a nice logical flow).
Deathspell Omega — Synarchy of Molten Bones (Best Metal)
Bossk — Audio Noir (Best Post-Metal)
Meniscus — Refractions (Best Post-rock)
LITE — Cubic (Best Math-Rock)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard — Nonagon Infinity (Best Psych Rock — Tie)
Wolf People — Ruins (Best Psych Rock — Tie)
Going analytical on this one. Here are my top five songs according to the lifeless algorithm I owe 99% of my music listening to: Spotify. Funny the things you learn at the end of the year, eh?
Garrett East, Director of Calendar of Events
I don’t know how to describe how amazing this year has been for me to see shows. Picking the top 5 was hard, since i saw close to 100 concerts this year. I’m basically going on how much fun I had at each of these shows, and the people I spent them with. This job affords me to do what I love while spending it with my best friends, and I will forever be thankful for that. Here’s to a super shitty 2016, and hopefully a better New Year!
Death Cab for Cutie at the Hard Rock Live, Orlando
Quiet Slang (Beach Slang) at Park Ave CD’s & Backbooth, Orlando
The 1975 at the Hard Rock Live, Orlando
blink-182 at the Mid-Florida Credit Amphitheatre, Tampa
Alice Cooper at The Dr. Phillips Center, Orlando
Honorable Mention: The Hotelier at Backbooth, Orlando
Each of these albums had an impact on me this year, with nostalgia coming from the old school beats on We Got It from Here, to the funk throwbacks on Gambino’s new album. The hurt and pain of losing a loved one on Stage Four, to the healing and yearning for light on Goodness. And of course, no one expected blink-182 to come back with one of the most fun albums of the year.
The Hotelier — Goodness
A Tribe Called Quest — We Got It from Here … Thank You 4 Your Service
Childish Gambino — Awaken, My Love
blink-182 — California
Touche Amore — Stage Four
Honorable Mention: Against Me! — Shape Shift With Me
David Bowie’s swan song was beyond ridiculously good, and I’ll fight you if you say otherwise. The amount of excellent pop music this year was pretty awesome, but The Weeknd killed it with his new album and its ’80s inspired sound. “Dope Dealer” is just a great hard-hitting gangbanger track, while “Art Damage” is just all sorts of emotions packed into a sucker punch of a song. “Like Blood from a Stone” is one of the few songs that has made me cry, with an extremely relatable story about mental sickness and the hate and stigma surrounding it.
Dainon Moody, Staff Writer
I’d say this was the year I really folded myself into the local music scene, maybe even accidentally. I think I spent more time at Lil Indies in 2016 than any single other venue. Eugene Snowden and Kaleigh Baker and Beartoe and Groove Orient are constants that I continue to see and enjoy on a regular basis. They’re not just musicians and (now) friends, but more like happily acquired habits. It’s an interesting turn of events I hope continues to blossom as we fall headlong into the next year.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (sold out show in Asheville, NC)
Charles Bradley & The Extraordinaires (The Social, Orlando)
Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters (St. Augustine Amphitheatere)
Dolly Parton (Amalie Arena, Tampa)
Dave Rawlings Machine (Ponte Vedra Beach)
Hiss Golden Messenger — Heart Like a Levee (fav of the year)
Leonard Cohen — You Want It Darker
Laura Gibson — Empire Builder
Wilco — Schmilco
Laney Jones — Laney Jones
Paulina Praphanchith, Staff Writer:
All of my music favorites that have been released this year can all be defined by growth, diversity, and creativity. Considering how 2016 has been the best year for me so far, this year’s music seem to match up perfectly with my personal life. From moving to NYC to my first internship and my college graduation, it was topped off with seeing my favorite group, Disclosure, perform for the first time, attending the first year of Okeechobee Music Festival, and the release of Flume’s first album in four years. The list above collects a variety of albums, songs, and shows that I’ve attended from all different types of genres, which spotlights how versatility has been a huge part of music in 2016 — the music is constantly changing, growing and enhancing.
Disclosure at Forest Hills Stadium NYC
Kendrick Lamar at Okeechobee Music Festival
Toro Y Moi at Output NYC
The Strokes at Governors Ball NYC
Mumford & Sons at Okeechobee Music Festival
Crystal Castles — Amnesty
Flume — Skin
AlunaGeorge — I Remember
Kanye West — The Life of Pablo
Bon Iver — 22, A Million
Sarah Schumaker, “Sweaty Septum”
Staff Writer & Editor
Seryn — Eddie’s Attic, Decateur, GA — transcendence, bliss, the best live show ever.
Anderson .Paak — Hulaween 2016, Suwannee, FL –Welcome to the sexiest show on earth.
Pinegrove — Will’s Pub, Orlando, FL — Pure, rearview over the shoulder peeking, memory seeking, intricate music.
Julien Baker – The Social, Orlando, FL — I don’t have to say anymore and I won’t…she’s one person w/ a single blue telecaster and amp onstage making the room go quiet FUCK. okay.
Future Thieves — Spacebar, Orlando, FL — Raw, real as they come dudes making relatable tunes.
Anderson .Paak — Malibu — Funk, Soul, R&B, soul struggle anytime jams I’ve had on repeat the most this year
Pinegrove — Cardinal — Like Narcissus to the pool, I kept coming back to this album out of selfish need; when I was pained, confused, joyful, in “love”, in love, it plastered almost every crack; my melancholy companion.
The 1975 — I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It — Smart, tongue-in-cheek pop to make the retro greats proud(not that they cared about that and if you took it too seriously, you missed the whole point altogether. sorry for ya.)
Chance The Rapper — Coloring Book — No other artist could’ve made a GOSPEL RAP album w/o a label and been half as successful. It was earnest, vulnerable, and hit hard in all the right places. I love this dude.
Francis and The Lights — Farewell, Starlite! — This guy really stepped out of the shadows for me this year and brought 80s feels into the forefront to dance and think to.
Seryn — “Mausoleum” — I don’t care who you are, I’ll be front seat, first car, strapped in tight, damned to hell if this song doesn’t make you feel affectedly invincible.
The 1975 — “Somebody Else” — It took me quite some time to figure out why I couldn’t listen to this song on the album, then, it hit me … oh yea this is the most beautifully painful song of the year. Cut me open. I’m a masochist.
Pathos, Pathos — “Pet Names” — The song begins as a jam you can disjointedly groove to, feeling light and like the end of the ‘honeymoon phase’, moves slowly to Matthew Walsh’s haunting conviction, “I was aware, that you could never see me at all…” Gorgeous Orlando music going places in 2017.
Anderson .Paak — “Room In Here” — “All the sexy people in here can slow-wind to this shit,” said .Paak at Hulaween and he’s right. Phew! *pulls collar/ fans face* This song is an immediate mood booster. Good times.
Frank Ocean — “Ivy” — The amount of times I’ve listened to this song until the bathroom mirror fogs and my fingers prune to the point of pain should be embarrassing but I realized everyone has someone they think of whose memories play like old home movies on repeat in their brain. You might as well surrender now. “Feeling deep down it’s good …”
Matthew Weller, Executive Editor
Kanye West — The Life Of Pablo
Young Thug — Jeffery
Lil Yachty — Lil Boat
Car Seat Headrest — Teens Of Denial
Frank Ocean — blond
Randy Cook, Staff Writer & Photog
Music speaks to us all in our own way and while I cannot say that I was born a metalhead from day 1, being a teenager in the late 1980’s with all of the timeless metal releases sure had an effect on my musical tastes for decades. 2016 was a great year for metal. \m/
1. Metallica/Avenged Sevenfold/Volbeat – Minneapolis, MN
2. Scorpions/Living Colour – Atlanta, GA
3. Iron Maiden/The Raven Age – Fort Lauderdale, FL & Chicago, Il
4. Megadeth/Anthrax/Lamb of God/Ghost/Sevendust/Saint Asonia – Fort Myers, FL
5. Weird Al – St. Petersburg, FL
6. Tool/Primus – Orlando, FL
7. Slayer/Anthrax/Death Angel – Orlando, FL
8. Amon Amarth/Entombed A.D./Exmortus – Tampa, FL
9. Avatar – Pinellas Park, FL
10. Heart/Joan Jett & the Blackhearts/Cheap Trick – Tampa, FL
1. Metallica – Hardwired…to Self-Destruct
2. Megadeth – Dystopia
3. Volbeat – Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie
4. Anthrax – For All Kings
5. Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional
2016 was painful on a lot of levels. It was a season of change, but hopefully not a sea change. For every Leon Russell or Sharon Jones we lost there is a Sturgill Simpson, a Jeff Tweedy, a BJ Barham who have yet to hit their creative stride. The future looks bright. Simpson is in his thirties, Barham’s barely there himself. 2016 was tough by any metric. But, it also produced a ton of brilliant art.
Seu Jorge Presents: “The Life Aquatic” A Tribute to David Bowie
To see eu Jorge play Bowie covers a la Pele in The Life Aquatic would be impactful in any year. To have the honor just a few months after Bowie died was emotional. Dressed in full Team Zissou gear, Jorge told stories about Bowie and Wes Anderson between acoustic covers of David Bowie songs sung in his native Portuguese.
Fans of Wes Anderson have waited over a decade for such a delight. Seu Jorge did not disappoint.
BJ Barham at Will’s Pub
Barham released one of my favorite records of 2016, then promptly played a few dates in support of it. He brought a stripped down band to Will’s Pub’s intimate space, lending the record the sparse sound Barham was looking for when he recorded the album in just a few days time. His sets with American Aquarium have been tight in recent years, but this one was special. Barham played the new solo record all the way through, and then treated us to a few American Aquarium tunes on the back end. It was another wonderful effort from the consummate professional.
Verlon Thompson (and Jim Lauderdale) at Suwannee Roots Revival
Verlon Thompson’s name was just mildly familiar to me when I walked into the Music Hall at Suwannee Roots Revival. The Music Hall was packed, standing room scarcely. A gentleman leaving as I am entering gingerly, reverently, cracks the door and I slink into what feels more like a worship service than two songwriters playing an acoustic set.
Jim Lauderdale, who has written songs for the likes of George Strait and Ralph Stanley, would later tell me that he just hoped to keep up with Thompson’s brilliance. It was a surprising set by a guy who I now admire immensely.
John Moreland at The Social
John Moreland has a seat at the table of best songwriters of this generation, even if his name is not quite so well known as that of Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson. His set at The Social showed why this man deserves so much respect.
Jason Isbell at St. Augustine Amphitheatre
As we have come to expect from Isbell, this set was flawless. Put succinctly, I was standing there by myself, sober, bawling my eyes out during “Cover Me Up” and “Traveling Alone.”
BJ Barham — Rockingham
Rockingham is a gift. American Aquarium remains one of the great, hardworking bands in the U.S. But for us to get a surprise solo effort from leadsinger and songwriter BJ Barham is a decadent treat. Rockingham features personal, profound, painful compositions delivered with Barham’s passionate presence.
Wilco — Schmilco
Wilco did it again- dropped an album on short notice yet to great fanfare. Complete with listening parties at local record stores, a pink vinyl, and a name like Schmilco, Wilco is enjoying the fruits of years of excellent toil by doing whatever the hell they want. Schmilco is a more lyrically literal record than previous masterpieces, and that is completely alright by us.
David Bowie — Blackstar
We lost a ton of rock luminaries in 2016. Way too many. Perhaps no loss felt so great as that of David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust passed in February although it seems like much more time has passed. Bowie blessedly left us with one last taste of his genius. Blackstar would be heart-wrenching if not for his death. It takes on a completely different feel in the wake of our loss.
Sturgill Simpson — A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Sturgill Simpson released A Sailor’s Guide to Earth in April 2016. Realizing he would be touring for much of his infant son’s life, Simpson created a roadmap for the navigating existence. The result is 2016’s best album. An album so good, it was nominated for a Grammy alongside the likes of Beyonce and Adele, despite being made up of genres normally ignored by The Recording Academy.
Simpson’s last brilliant record, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, was helmed by Jason Isbell/Chris Stapleton/Amanda Shires producer Dave Cobb. This time, Atlantic records gave Simpson the keys to the studio and turned him loose.
“Hello my son/welcome to Earth
You may not be my last/by you’ll always be my first
Wish I’d done this ten years ago/but how could I know”
Horns from The Dap Kings come in at the end of the first track. Is this a country album? Surely. But it is also an example of a great American songwriter, perhaps the best on the planet right now, sonically travelling wherever he damn well pleases. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is hardly content to rest on songwriting alone. Simpson employs Sharon Jones’s legendary band to add some soul food. He even reworks Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” a song whose brilliance shines with Simpson’s touch. Kurt Cobain’s poignant lyrics scream in essence rather than literally. Whereas Cobain meant it to be about fans-come-late to the party, Simpson hears an ode to teenage angst. It’s a reworking worthy of Hendrix’s Watchtower or Johnny Cash’s Hurt– tunes that became chattel of their later owners.
“Don’t turn mailboxes into baseballs/Don’t get busted sellin’ at seventeen”
In fact, much of the record feels like a deliberate list curated most delicately from the deepest reaches of undying love. The love only a father can understand or express.
“Get high play a little Golden Eye on that old 64”
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth may have come out in April of this year, but it feels like we have known each other for decades.
Ron writes the weekly column “Hip Hop Stop” featuring a recap of what happened in the Hip Hop world over the past week! He also writes album reviews, news, and show reviews. 2016 has been a great year for Hip Hop!
Solange — A Seat At The Table
A Tribe Called Quest — We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service
Chance The Rapper — Coloring Book
Kendrick Lamar — untitled. unmastered.
Danny Brown — Atrocity Exhibition
Isaiah Rashad — The Sun’s Tirade
Frank Ocean — Blond
Beyonce — Lemonade
Royce da 5’9″ — Layers
Vince Staples — Prima Donna
Vince Staples — “Norf Norf”
A Tribe Called Quest — “We the People”
Solange — “Cranes In The Sky”
Fat Joe and Remy Ma — “All The Way Up”
French Montana — “Lockjaw”
De La Soul — “Memory of (US)”
Schoolboy Q — “That Part”
Mitch Foster, Founder/Publisher
Here I am listening to all the things I missed this year. It’s truly wonderful to be alive. We’ve lost so much great life this year. We struggled. We were beaten. But, we never gave up. Here’s to 2017 and never fucking giving up.
Brand New + Modest Mouse at Mid FL Amp in Tampa
Motion City Soundtrack (Final Show) at Metro in Chicago, IL
Thursday at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey
Biffy Clyro at The O2 in London, UK
PoWoW Superjam w/ John Oates (Hall and Oates) + Mumford and Sons + Miguel + Win Butler (Arcade Fire) + Skrillex + Preservation Hall Jazz Band + George Porter Jr, all sharing one stage!
Leonard Cohen — You Want It Darker — Leonard Cohen speaks very directly in his final album. Close your eyes, have some whiskey, and let him tell you his life stories. You’ll learn something very special. Goodnight Mr. Cohen. Thank you for always giving us the shyest parts of you.
Jimmy Eat World — Integrity Blues — This is the sad JEW album we’ve all wanted since 2004’s Futures. This makes me happy to be sad.
Biffy Clyro — Ellipses — This album is exactly what I needed. SIGT will fucking dominate 2017. “Now you know better, why can’t you fucking do better?” I can. We can. We will. “You can achieve anything. Just remember, no I in team. There’s two in brilliant”
David Bowie — Blackstar — The drums in “Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)” are the best I’ve heard on any album, all year. I think Bowie left us secret messages through songs. There are clues I see; I feel. What a lucky time to be alive, to have lived while Bowie was alive.
Anderson .Paak — Malibu. — .Paak’s NPR Tiny Desk session is the BEST Tiny Desk I’ve ever seen. He’s on a path to greatness. So smooth. So much swag. So happy to be on stage every night.
Frightened Rabbit — Painting of a Panic Attack — *Warning* This album way cause physical pain.
Blink-182 — California — I’m very happy with Matt Skiba being a part of this.
1. Chipping my tooth and almost getting arrested on the Party Bus to Brand New.
2. The entire filming of the SIGT Documentary: “Never Give Up” and making “a bunch of film kids” into “a bunch of friends.”
3. Standing on stage at Okeechobee Music Fest during Moon Hooch, having one of the guys come over to me during the drum solo before the end of their set and ask me how to pronounce “Okeechobee” then walking right back out and telling the crowd, “Thanks Okeechobee!” Also, seeing the insanity in the audience from the stage during Kendrick Lamar. That was surreal and something I’ll never forget.
4. Hanging out in a hotel room with Father John Misty on acid (him, not me.)
5. Peaking on acid at the top of the Ferris wheel at Riot Fest Chicago while The Flaming Lips began in the distance. Then, walking into the middle of the pit of The Flaming Lips, listening to Wayne Coyne tell me “Life is this grand, unpredictable, wonderful thing,” before they begin my favorite song, “Do You Realize.” And, holy shit, David Bowie was there, in spirit. I felt him… When Wayne rolled out into the audience in a giant hamster ball and sung “I think my spaceship knows which way to go,” I was crying.
“Come Down” by Anderson .Paak — This fucking song makes gets me so high, I might never come down (Lemme get down!)
“Pass The Baby” by Jimmy Eat World — Just wait till you get to the 4:00 mark. You’ll pass the baby and move.
“In Bloom” by Sturgill Simpson (Nirvana Cover). This is simply beautiful and chilling.
“Million Dollar Loan” by Death Cab For Cutie — Ben Gibbard politely tell Donald Trump “Fuck You.” It’s great.
“‘Tis A Pity She Was a Whore” by David Bowie — C’mon, it starts with “Man, she punched me like a dude.”
BEST CONCERT PHOTOS OF 2016
Our beautiful photographers speak louder than word through their art. Concert Photography is not an easy job. You’re in the pit, getting pushed around, barely holding on to all of your savings in the form of a machine which you use to express your creativity. You’re fierce. You’re home. Thank you for being part of our family.
Contributing SIGT Staff Photographers to Best Concert Photos of 2016:
SIGT Best of 2016 by Shows I Go To family. Cheers!
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Please support our friends who support us! Tell them Shows I Go To sends love! 🙂