2009 was a big year for me, musically. I attended and performed in a ton of concerts, and my iTunes library is all the better for it.
In April, I performed Brahms' German Requiem with Stockton Chorale and Stockton Symphony. The experience was amazing--even singing in German (which, along with French, I find very difficult) did not deter me, and after a few months of hard work, I was confident in my German-singing abilities.
In May, we tackled Rutter's Requiem, a lovely modern requiem with some awesome harmonies and incredible musical moments.
At some point in March or April, I noticed that a band I "liked" was coming to Oakland in May. This band was, of course, Keane. I knew exactly ONE song, "Somewhere Only We Know." But ooh, how I loved that song. I remember hearing it a lot in 2004/2005, and buying the CD...and stupidly, never listening to the rest of it!
In 2006, when I was preparing to move back to California from Washington, I copied "Somewhere Only We Know" to my new iTunes account, and sold the CD. It would become my 2nd most-played song until May 2009, when Summer and I went to the Oakland gig.
You know the story--I am now an OBSESSED KEANE FAN. Well, maybe not obsessed to the point of tattooing their names on my chest or chasing after them after the show. But I love, love, LOVE their music and even laid down some money to buy a scarf with their lyrics on it recently.
I don't care what the critics say. I think these guys are amazing. Great lyrics, great tunes, talented guys. And for once, you've got a lead singer who can actually sing.
In July, I had an opportunity to see Coldplay live in concert. They are a fun band, but they just couldn't beat Keane for me--even if they did cover Billie Jean in honor of the recently-passed Michael Jackson.
Also in July, I got over a big hurdle (singing in front of family and friends) and posted a video of myself singing on YouTube.
I can sing on a stage, but ask me to sing in front of family or friends and I just...can't...do...it.
In September, I went to A Day in the Zone, sponsored by a Sacramento radio station. Colbie Caillat, Howie Day, and Hoobastank were there, but I only had a desire to see the headliners: Train. Train and I go way back, to Drops of Jupiter, which is my theme song.
Train didn't disappoint live. Their lead singer doesn't have the singing chops of Keane's Tom Chaplin, but he makes up for that in energy and sexiness.
October found me eagerly looking forward to another trip to Oakland's Fox Theater to see Snow Patrol, with opening guest Plain White T's.
The T's were fun live, but other than their two big hits ("Hey There Delilah" and "1, 2, 3, 4") I wasn't all that excited by them.
Snow Patrol is one of those bands, like Keane, that I knew on a certain level that I would enjoy, but I didn't walk into the show knowing a hell of a lot about them. I walked out a new fan, and have since bought quite a few of their songs on iTunes. They are sooo much more than "Chasing Cars" and "Run."
They are, for example, "Just Say Yes," "Crack the Shutters," and "You Could Be Happy."
A week later, I went back to Oakland to see the FABULOUS Mika, after learning about him from my equally FABULOUS friend, Dani. Mika did not disappoint. He is an absolute doll, and a total jumping bean on stage--even with a major foot injury!
His "Happy ENding" is one of my favorites. Even with its sad lyrics, it is just a great tune.
And gotta love it when a guy isn't afraid of his falsetto!
Honorable mentions this year go to Lady Gaga, Doves, Metric, and Muse. These artists/bands also caught my attention and interest, and I look forward to seeing what they produce in 2010.
Now, Keane, will you PLEASE come back to California soon?!