Looking Back: The Year in Concerts #10-7

At Mission Freak, we know that the season of Yule is more about making retrospective lists on blogs than it is about family, giving, or good cheer. But rather than put you through another endless list of our favorite records of the year, we thought we’d kick off our Look Back at 2007 with our 10 favorite concerts in Iowa City of the past year (we’ll get to the records next week, but the list is short). Hopefully this will stoke the coals of memory for some of you, too; we’ve had a lot of fun reminiscing on some of this year’s finest musical moments. We’ll run these down over the next three days and then starting Monday we’ll unveil our favorite records.

Rock Plaza Central10. Rock Plaza Central w. Envy Corps, Brighton, MA :: Picador 3/31/07

There’s an old adage which posits that some great bands, no matter how hard they try, are incapable of capturing their live energy on tape. This was certainly a show to propel such notions. The best opening band of the late 2000s, Brighton, MA kick-started this unstoppable bill rocking their furious Dylan-on-crack mannerisms, inevitably setting the stage ablaze with a drummer who challenges the skills of the Walkmen and the National’s skin thumpers. But that was just the opener. The closer, Rock Plaza Central, was nothing to mess with. It was an acoustic onslaught, like a thousand six-string Spanish guitars sent hurling into the sky with warheads on their backsides. That said, the middle band, the Envy Corps, fresh off a UK tour, rolled into the Picador reminding folks that Coldplay once had good intentions and that Radiohead once wrote rock anthems. The Corps brought us to our proverbial knees with their ethereal stomps and soaring melodies. One probably couldn’t have asked for a better bill in Iowa City in 2007. (Andre)


9. Band of Horses :: Picador 8/4/07

With Everything All the Time as one of my favorite albums of this decade, and anticipation for Cease to Begin extremely high, Band of Horses rode into town on a hot August night in what became the show of the summer. New songs such as “Is There a Ghost” and standout track “Ode to the LRC” stoked our anticipation for their fall release, while Ben Bridwell put to rest any qualms that their sea of reverb doctored his voice. As for “The Funeral,” it’s about what you’d expect - completely transcendent on record, and unutterably more magnificent in concert. (Todd)


Mucca Pazza8. Mucca Pazza :: Yacht Club 3/31/07

You can’t make this shit up: it’s 1am at an absolutely packed Yacht Club, and there is a man running around with a giant bull-mask thing on his head and a band uniform on the rest of his body. He is merely one of the 20-something members of Mucca Pazza, the circus punk marching band. The rest are positioned around the club (god knows they can’t all fit on that stage) blasting their instruments. That is the definition of insane in a good way. (Craig)


7. The Good Life w. Fourth of July :: Picador 9/26/07

Ahhh, a Fourth of July show! On these not-so-rare occasions, we at the Freak get to drink copious amounts of PBR with our good friends from Lawrence. This time would prove to be no different, save the headlining act (The Good Life) and the post-show beer (Beer 30 Ice). Fourth took the stage a member short (not a penis joke); Adrianne, of former Anniversary fame, was out on tour with Art in Manila. Doubts of their ability to perform without her were silenced as the crew blasted through versions of “She’s in Love” and “Be Careful” – songs that we had previously thought to be unplayable in her absence. The Good Life’s set mostly contained songs off Help Wanted Nights, which has since become one of my favorites from 2007. At the time, though, I hadn’t heard the disc. I spent the time taking it all in - staring at my ex-girlfriend’s backside and watching Scott try to hook up with her married friend, all while enjoying their raucous set. Fittingly, the set ended with “Rest Your Head” and both girls went home. Stellar music, a drunken blur, and discussions of a civil union between Scott and myself. This, my friends, is Mission Creek. (Tanner)

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