Best Live Shows of 2012

The music discoveries, live shows and music festivals of 2012 were absolutely incredible! I met so many friendly fellow music loving people at shows and festivals this year so it’s easy to say this was the best year yet for live music and making friends at the same time. I am at my most happiest, most at peace and feel most at home while being in the audience of a live show. It doesn’t matter if I’m laying low in the back with a beer and a friend, dancing in the middle or pushing my way up front eager to get some good photos.

In 2012, I saw more than 210 live bands (since I know for a fact that several were left off the list). Out of these, I chose the top 20 performances. I tried to cut it down to just 10 as in years past, but just couldn’t.

all photos by Wackdelly

20 :: Housse de Racket @ Coachella – Indio CA

This crazy-white-clothes-loving-jumping duo surprised me for I prefer their live performance to the album.


19 :: Jake Shimabukuro @ Skinny’s Ballroom (SXSW) – Austin TX

I finally got to see Jake live!! I was one of the few that got into this official showcase with cash since all those stuffy badge holders got in first. pff

18 :: Alesso @ Coachella – Indio CA

The Sahara tent was one of my favorites. The DJs were great, my top fave being Alesso.

17 :: Of Monsters and Men @ Hotel Vegas (SXSW) – Austin TX

I had to pull myself out of bed early for this early day show since Of Monsters and Men played right at noon. This set was worth it and was my first time to see them. Just lovely!


16 :: GIVERS @ Coachella – Indio CA

Probably the most fun band at Coachella! Up Up Up!


15 :: Bryan John Appleby @ Bumbershoot – Seattle WA

This dude has talent. No wonder the people from Head and the Heart love him so much.

14 :: Fly Moon Royalty @ Chop Suey – Seattle WA

Miss Adra Boo and DJ Action Jackson make up this rad Seattle duo. There is a tasty cover at the end of their sets that gets the crowd going. Yeah, you know what it is!


13 :: Tallest Man on Earth @ The Moore Theater – Seattle WA

Kristian Matsson packs a strong voice that could fill up two Moore Theaters. I like how he was messing with the photographer up front. Hilarious!

12 :: Parlovr @ Spill Bar (SXSW) – Austin TX

I listened to all of the showcasing artists before the actual festival. Parlovr was one of my top must-see picks and their live show did not disappoint!


11 :: First Aid Kit @ Coachella – Indio CA

Absolutely lovely. Period.

10 :: Tumbledown @ Manette Saloon – Bremerton WA

MxPx’s Mike Herrera has put together a fun alt-country band with members of the Rocky Point All Stars. I’ve seen them a few times in 2012 and they bring it every time.


9 :: The Drums @ Flamingo Cantina (SXSW) – Austin TX

I saw The Drums three times in 2012, the first performance being my favorite. I may or may not have a crush on Jonathan Pierce. That arm sway thing gets me every time.


8 :: Jeff Mangum @ Coachella – Indio CA

Jeff Mangum. At sunset. Heaven.


7 :: mewithoutYou @ Nuemos – Seattle WA

This show was one of the most insanely brilliant sets I’ve seen in a long time. Also the first time for seeing them despite listening for years and years.

6 :: Geographer @ Chop Suey – Seattle WA

Such an incredible set, they were the opener for this one. Geographer is swinging through Seattle the second week of January and will be headlining. Yay!

5 :: Matt & Kim @ The Neptune – Seattle WA

I’ve been wanting to see Matt & Kim live for years and finally have! This duo is by far one of the most fun bands to photograph. They don’t stop moving. Ever. I was in complete awww when Kim was dancing on top of the crowd and couldn’t stop snapping.



4 :: Icky Blossoms @ Nuemos – Seattle WA

I just love going to shows where one of the openers blows me away more than the headliner. This was the case with Icky Blossoms opening for Tilly and the Wall. Derek Pressnall, a member of both bands, has put together a fantastic electropop band that creates a sexy, creepy and poppy sound. I haven’t been able to put this album away for months.


3 :: Sufjan Stevens @ The Neptune – Seattle WA

It is no surprise that Sufjan has made my best of list again. His sound live is absolute perfection and the visuals and costume changes highlight that. I was in complete awe listening to To Be Alone With You. My year has been made. Thanks Sufy!

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2 :: Balthazar @ TenOak (SXSW) – Austin TX

I did A LOT of my listening homework before SXSW and my top to-see pick was Balthazar. They were everything I’d hoped for and more. I’m hoping this amazing band from Belgium makes it back to the states and soon!


1 :: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs @ Barboza – Seattle WA

I attended this show and had no idea what I was about to experience. I was completely blown away! And I arrived to the show in a complete funk that night too but Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs pulled me out of it.

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2012 band list

…musicvideo?, Air Review, Alesso, Allen Stone Andrew Anderson, Andrew Bird, AraabMuzik, Arctic Monkeys, At The Drive-In, AVICII, Awolnation (x2), Balthazar, Barcelona, Beat Connection, Beats Antique, Beck, Beirut (x2), Ben Kweller, Blind Pilot, Bon Iver (x2), Breakbot, Bryan John Appleby, Buried Beds, Campfire Ok, Childish Gambino, City and Colour, Civil Twilight, Coeur De Pirate, Cold Specks, Com Truise, Cosmetics, Crafts Spells (x3), Damien Jurado, Dani Elliott, Datsik, David Reynolds, Destroyer, Dinosaur Wars, Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg, Eighteen Individual Eyes, Electric Guest, Explosions in the Sky (x3), Fanfarlo (x2), Feed Me, Feels Like Yesterday (x6), First Aid Kit, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fly Moon Royalty (x2), Flying Lotus, Freelance Whales, Geographer, Girl Talk, GIRLS, GIVERS, Glen Hansard, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Gold Leaves, Gotye, Gregg Graham, Grouplove, Half Moon Run, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (x2), Head and the Heart, Heartless Bastards, Helio Sequence, Hello Seahorse!, Hey Marseilles, HoneyHoney, Hooray for Earth, Hospitality (x2), Housse de Racket, Icky Blossoms, Idiot Glee, Irukandji Physics of Fusion, Jake Shimabukuro, James Murphy, Jan van Lier, Jason Lytle, Jeff Mangum, Justin Timbreline, Kasabian, Kevin Devine, King Khan & the Shrines, Korallreven, Lana Del Rey, Lefthead (x2), Lemolo, Lights, Little People, Loch Lomond, Low, LP, M Ward (x2), Madeon, Madness, Manchester Orchestra, Matt & Kim, Metric, mewithoutYou, Miike Snow, Mt St Helens Vietnam Band, No Rey, Oberhofer (x2), Of Monsters and Men (x2), Old Mexico, Other Lives, Parlovr, Pretty Lights, Pulp, Radiohead, Real Estate, Reggie Watts, Rocky Point All Stars, Said The Whale, Santigold (x2), SBTRKT, Sea of Bees, Sea Star, SebastiAn, Sebastian Ingrosso, Sera Cahoone, Shakey Graves, Sharon Van Etten, Shoot the Hostage, Squeeze, St Vincent, Strand of Oaks, Strfkr (x2), Sufjan Stevens, Tallest Man on Earth, Tenacious D, Tennis (x2), The Barr Brothers, The Big Pink, The Black Angels (x2), The Black Keys, The Civil Wars, The Dear Hunter, The Drums (x3), The Growlers, The Head and the Heart, The Horde and the Harem, The Islands, The Jezabels, The Love Language, The New Law, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Paramedic, The Persevering Promise, The Promise Ring, The Roots, The Seedy Seeds, The Shins (x3), The Spring Standards, The Torn ACLs, The Vaselines, The Wedding Present, The Young Evils, TheeSatisfaction, This Will Destroy You, Thus: Owls, Tilly and the Wall, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Trampled by Turtles, Tumbledown (x2), Ty Segall, Tycho, Ume, Why?, Wild Belle, Wild Flag, Wolfgang Gartner, WU LYF, Ximena Sarinara, Yann Tiersen, Yelawolf, Yellow Ostrich, Yuck, Yve Evans, Zammuto, Zedd