Is it too late to still be looking back on 2022 on January 12? I rung in the new year with my second case of Shingles, so I’m going to just go ahead with this listing of my favorite concerts of 2022!
5. Metric and Secret Machines at the House of Blues in Boston on October 25. I know my ears and soul were deprived most egregiously during Covid, but I’ve seen Metric several times since 2005 and I think they’ve never sounded better. Opener Secret Machines were a shoegaze/space rock treat! I hadn’t seen them in ages.
4. Pet Shop Boys, New Order, and Paul Oakenfold at the Leader Bank Pavilion on September 19. This show was originally scheduled for 2020, then 2021, then (third time’s the charm!) 2022. This was an outrageously good performance by the always amazing Pet Shop Boys. We did get a little wet while we sheltered in place under the tent during a strong thunderstorm after the legendary New Order. And when I say “we,” I mean my husband and … my brother! My brother rarely goes to shows anymore, but he’s the best big brother ever because he took me to see New Order in 1993. That was when Peter Hook was still on bass, and quite honestly, best part of New Order live. Don’t get me wrong: I looooove New Order, but they’ve never been the best live band and they end up paling in comparison to the theatrical PSB.
3. The National at Roadrunner on September 22. I have a huge crush on The National. Singer Matt Berninger’s melancholy and wit suits me perfectly. My first time seeing The National was at Mass MoCA with my bookseller dream girl Lisa (AKA Tigger Girl). I’m guessing that show will always hold a special place in my heart. But this was my first show at the new Roadrunner and I was impressed. The venue is pretty decent from a disabled person’s point of view. I did have issues getting into the bathroom after the show because the line went down the stairs and I needed to use the ramp. Miracle of Boston/The National fans/gender neutral bathrooms: people at the top of the stairs let me in line! Of course I still had to wait for someone without visible impairments use the handicapped stall while I braced myself with my rollator (Hey! Maybe they have invisible disabilities. I do!). The ADA section is down front, stage right. I couldn’t see the excellent brass section from our angle, but the view of the rest of the band was incomparable. Heads up: email Roadrunner to request ADA seating in advance.
2. Itzy at MGM Music Hall in Boston on November 10. This was so close to being my number one show of 2022! See that “YouTube Story” above that I made? It has over 120K views and 19.2K likes on Instagram. Itzy is so fun and popular! Right, Midzi? (That’s what Itzy fans are called). I loved this night of K-Pop confection because it was my nephew’s first concert! I’m such a cool aunt. We even went to El Jefe’s for tacos after.
1. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis at the Wang Theatre at the Boch Center on March 22. This was my return show. I hadn’t been to a concert since Local H and Soul Asylum in February of 2020. Nick Cave is one of my top five favorite artists and possibly my most beloved lyricist (I do still have a soft spot for that Morrissey fella, plus Jarvis Cocker, Stephin Merritt, Emma Anderson/Miki Berenyi of Lush, Robert Smith, … wait this is getting too long!) Anyhow, I wept and tried to not steam up my glasses with my N95 mask while Cave and Ellis broke my heart wide open. Here’s the thing: being disabled can suck, but music is transcendant.
I only went to eleven shows total last year. I missed Blood Red Shoes, The Darkness, and Suede/Manic Street Preachers because I was too sick to leave the house. I won’t be going to another show until after flu season because I’m immunocompromised. At every show I attended, I wore an N95 mask. I use various mobility aides because of the degenerative illness that I have (Ehlers Danlos syndrome. I’ve been vaccinated five times against Covid. I got my flu shot as I do every year. I’m due for my pneumonia vaccine in the fall. Because my immune system is so crappy, I have to really measure how important a concert is. When I recently got bronchial RSV with asthma flare, I was out of work for four weeks. I love to live vicariously through others’ concert photos (I’m looking at you jtourtellot, djangiec, eep_97, and Matt Lambert! Keep up the good work!)