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Tying Up the Loose Ends: A Look Back at the Music of 2017

16:30 January 19, 2018
By: Steve Hatley

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The Funkin' Truth at Tipitina's

Wrapping up 2017 and putting a bow on it would be a simple idea at best. To say it was crazy and exciting would be a bold understatement. With well over 100 shows, as well as four festivals, my 2017 was packed. I was lucky enough to check off some acts from both of my bucket lists (those that won't be with us much longer and acts I've wanted to see for the sheer love of their work). Overall, 17 wasn't without its repeat offenders, but was a nice year to find some great new music.

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Cults at One Eyed Jacks

Ranking shows is hard, unless you divide them into types. There are, however, five shows that stuck with me: Sigur Ros at the Saenger, Roger Waters at the Smoothie King Center, froth at Gasa Gasa, The Damned at the House of Blues, and alt-J at the Orpheum. Slots six through 10 could easily swap with each other and included Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Smoothie King Center, Iron and Wine at the Joy, Tricky in the Parish, Caspian at the Republic, and Cults at One Eyed Jacks.

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Lost Bayou Ramblers at Tipitina's

One note about 2017 that I will not forget is witnessing history via Brian Wilson, Wanda Jackson, Bryan Ferry, Roger Waters, Stevie Nicks, Anne Wilson, Social D, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Gary Numan, and Roky Erickson (The 13th Floor Elevators). I was fortunate enough to catch Daniel Johnston at the Civic with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, one of the most beautiful and tragic shows I've ever seen. I got to finally experience U2, as well as catching my 80s heroes, A Flock of Seagulls, and watching Third Eye Blind play their self-titled debut in full at Champions Square.

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The Neville Brothers at Tipitina's

It was personally satisfying to be on stage and photograph my pals Galactic at Jazz Fest. On the complete opposite side of things, I was totally overwhelmed by the Afghan Whigs at Voodoo Fest. Their tribute to Dave at the end of their set was by far the most bittersweet thing I've seen, next to Daniel's performance.

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Sleeping with Sirens at House of Blues

All in all, 2017 was a great year for music. The city is turning 300 this year; let's hope this might have a spark or two to keep the fire burning in the clubs and stadiums and everywhere in between. As always, you can see my stuff HERE.

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