2015 brought some fantastic performances from newly discovered artists and a few old favorites. I’m always on the hunt for new sounds and several artists on this list have exactly that! My favorite part of this past year is finally seeing larger acts that I’ve been missing for decades… The Rentals, Social Distortion, Belle and Sebastian, The Decemberists, and GusGus. 2016 is going to be an even bigger year and I can’t wait for new discoveries.
2015 Breakdown: 271+ live artists // Loudest month: March (61) // Most quiet month(s): Feb (4) & Dec (4)
Aurora (NO) @ Reykjavík Art Museum for Iceland Airwaves: The incredible voice radiating from this tiny 19-year old absolutely blew me away.
Axel Flóvent (IS) @ Iceland Airwaves: It’s just a matter of time until Axel becomes huge. I know this to be true.
Balthazar (BE) @ Tractor Tavern: I’ve been following these Belgians since 2011 and finally saw them for the first time in 2012. They did a mini west coast US tour that included several performances at CMJ. There was barely anyone at this Monday night Tractor Tavern show and I have no idea why as overseas shows are sold out.
Briana Marela @ Neumos: Captivating! This chick radiates talent. (Photo source: 107.7 The End)
BRNS (BE) @ Iðnó for Iceland Airwaves: Equally vibrant beats and haunting ambience. (Photo source: BRNS fb)
DIIV @ Neumos: I could not miss this show and dragged my sleepy self out on a Monday night with pajamas under my raincoat. Nothing I love more than zoning out to a band that can perfect that shoegaze/dream pop in my ears. (Photo source: AMBY)
Hikes @ Spider House: Folk, nature-inspired math rock from a bunch of Austin youngins. Tryin to get them up to Seattle soon!
JEFF The Brotherhood @ Crocodile: Rad. That is all.
JoyCut (IT) @ Gaukurinn for Iceland Airwaves: I scouted out this band prior to SXSW and loved them so much I had partake again at Airwaves. Nice guys too.
Strand of Oaks @ Sasquatch: I’ve been following Timothy Showalter for years. After every one of his shows, I reach in my bag for a cigarette only to realize I don’t even smoke. Incredible live. (Photo source: Brittany Bollay // KEXP Blog)
The Bots @ Bumbershoot: These brothers stole the whole festival for me! (Photo source: The Bots)
The Rentals @ Crocodile: Matt Sharp forever! Guy still has so much energy.
Victim Mentality @ SXSW: Listening to Victim Mentality, you will wonder if it’s for real. Yup, Korean glam metal at it’s finest! Don’t miss them at SXSW 2016!
Weval (NL) @ Iceland Airwaves: Trip-hop greatness. (Photo source: Weval Fb)
Yellerkin @ SXSW: Eric and Wild Honey Pie always curate the best SXSW shows and Yellerkin was the cherry on top for me.
**Photos by Annie unless otherwise noted**
AAN, Ab-Soul, Acapulco Lips, Acid Tongue, Action Bronson, Airplane + Spaceship, Alcest, Alki, Allelujah Choir, Amina, Arthur James, Asonat, Atmosphere, Audur, Aurora, Axel Flóvent, Balthazar, Battles, Beirut (2), Belle and Sebastian, Big Data, Big Phony, Big Scary, Big Wild, Black Pistol Fire, Black Whales, BØRNS (2), Boyfrndz, Brand New, Brenda Xu, Brian O’Brien, Briana Marela, BRNS (2), Calliope Musicals, Cardiknox, Cell7, Chimurenga Renaissance, Chris Staples, Classixx, Cloud Nothings (2), Colony House, Courtney Barnett, Crater, Cuff Lynx, Dad Rocks!, Daktyl, Dan Bejar, Dances!, Danielson & The Nine Fruit Tree, Dear Boy, Death Cab for Cutie, Devotchka, DIIV (2), Dotan, Dude York, East India Youth, Edmund Wayne, Eliot Sumner, Elle King, Emily Donohue, Emma Ruth Rundle, Eugene Munro, Ex-Cops, Ex-Cult, Fantastic Negrito, Father John Misty, Fauna Shade, Five Iron Frenzy, Flosstradamus, Flume, For A Minor Reflection, Foxing, French for Rabbits, Gabriel Wolfchild, Gardens & Villa, Gateway Drugs, Girl Pool, Grave Babies (2), Grayson Erhard, Great Caesar, Great Mountain Fire, Group of the Altos, Gruska Babuska, Gunnar Jonsson Collider, GusGus, Health, Heather Maloney, Helado Negro, Helka, Heo, Hey Marseilles, Hikes, HimeHime, Hooves and Beak, Hunter Hunted, Icky Blossoms, Iska Dhaaf, Jacco Gardner, Jack Garratt, Jared and The Mill, JEFF The Brotherhood, Jenny Lewis, Jesse Macht, Jose Gonzalez, JoyCut (2), Jungle, Junius Meyvant, Kate Tempest, Kiasmos, Kim & Ryan of Smokey Brights, Kite String Tangle, Kris Orlowski, La Luz, La Priest, Lady Lamb, Lana Del Rey, Las Rosas, Lighthouse and the Whaler, LITE, Lonesome Shack, Lucy Rose, Mammut, Manatee Commune (2), Mansionair, Metalachi, Mia Dyson, Michael Lind, Midday Veil, Milky Chance, Milkywhale, Milo Greene, Minus The Bear, Modest Mouse, Moon Hooch, Morning Bear (2), Mother Mother, Murder Vibes (2), MXPX, Nahko And Medicine for the People, Newaxeyes, No Joy, Of Monsters and Men (2), On An On, Orla Gartland, Ought, Phox, Pictureplane, Pink Street Boys, Plain White T’s, Positive Disturbance, Public Service Broadcasting, Punch Brothers, Purfume Genius, Radiation City, Ratatat, Real Estate, Rey Pila, Reykjavikurdaetur, Roger Sellers, Royal Blood, Runaway Symphony, Ryn Weaver, Said The Whale, Sam Slater, San Cisco, San Fermin, San Juan, Sassyblack, Sekouia, Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles, Shannon & The Clams, Shovels and Rope, Sin Fang, Siomha Brock, Sisters, Skylar Spence, Sleep Over, Slow Bird, Small Pools, Smokey Brights, Snooze Infinity, SOAK, Social Distortion, Soft Sleep, Song Sparrow Research, Spencer Glenn, SSDD, Stafreann Hakon, Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil, Strand of Oaks, Sufjan Stevens, Summer Heart, Swervedriver, Sylvan Esso, Talk in Tongues, Tallest Man on Earth, Teitur Magnusson, Temples, The Acorn, The Belle Game, The Bots, The Broods, The Cave Singers, The Decemberists, The DØ, The Ghosts, The Knocks, The Mighty Oaks, The Native Sibling, The Rentals, The Thoughts (3), The Velvet Teen, The White Buffalo, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, The Zoltars, Thee Oh Sees, Thunderpussy, Timbre Barons, Tinnarose, Toe, Tomo Nakayama (2), Tonik Ensemble, Tracksuit Wedding, TTNG, Turbo Fruits, Twin Forks, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Until the Ribbon Breaks, Verite, Victim Mentality, Viet Cong, Vox Mod, Waxahatchee, We Are The Willows, Weaves, Wesen, Weval, Whitney Flinn (2), Wild Child, Will Butler, WMD, Wolf Alice, Woodpigeon, Woods, Yellerkin, Yolawolf, Young Buffalo, Yumi Zouma, Þórir Georg, Þórunn Antonía og Bjarni, other unknown artists (6)