Meghan Music: Top 10 Shows of 2016

UPDATE (1/10): I completely brainfarted and left off Seu Jorge‘s Life Aquatic show at the Regency, which ranks in the top 5.


The Cure at Madison Square Garden

Since I knew I’d be going to an epic New Year’s Eve concert, I decided to hold this post until the year was 100% over. Sort of an abysmal year in terms of getting out to see live music (rectifying that in 2017), but some great shows nonetheless. I think this may be the first year in a long time I haven’t seen any of the artists on my top 10 album list – not for lack of trying, many were in town while I was traveling.

10. Annie Bacon & Her Oshen / Amnesia / San Francisco / January

I love having talented friends. Saw them play a bunch this year (including once with my visiting godbrother, Tim), but this show was a blast. During the day, it turned into a rollicking Sunday funday, back when 2016 was fun still.

9. Patti Smith / Nourse Theater / San Francisco / October

A short acoustic set that accompanied a speaking tour, I was delighted to see Patti in a year where many of my idols were lost. The best part about this show is that my friend Luke offered me a ticket as we walked out of our Walk SF board meeting. I’d ignored that the event was happening due to my obligations, so was beyond grateful for this opportunity.

8. Zepparella / Great American Music Hall / San Francisco / October

My Halloween weekend was tempered this year by being sandwiched between my grandmother’s memorial services and a huge professional project. I switched up plans last minute and accompanied my buddies to this show. So much fun! A great way to celebrate five years of friendship with this crew.

7. Cyndi Lauper / Hardly Strictly Bluegrass/ San Francisco / October

Ended up spending this show with a group of random twentysomething women because it was too crowded for my friends to get into the tarp. Grandma had her stroke the day before HSB, so I didn’t embrace the weekend the way I usually do. However, singing along to “True Colors” with random strangers was a bright spot on my year.

6. Purling Hiss with CCR Headcleaner / The Chapel / San Francisco / November

I needed rage rock on November 10. CCR Headcleaner blew my ears out with indistinguishable screaming and Purling Hiss’s soaring garage rock (along with a little too much beer) distracted me for a couple of hours from the horridness happening in the world. (Wish I’d spent some more time with High Bias this year, but Drag City continues to resist the streaming services).

5. Songs of Love & Hate: A San Francisco Tribute to Leonard Cohen / The Chapel / San Francisco / November

This Thanksgiving weekend tribute packed with SF’s musical heavy-hitters was a beautiful somber show to process not just the death of Cohen, but so much of the darkness in the world — and maybe helped find a little light.

4. Sleater-Kinney with The Thermals / The Masonic / San Francisco / December

I decided just over week ago that I wanted to go to this for New Year’s and made it happen. Rung in the New Year with current/former coworkers Molly & Theresa. Nothing like serious shredding and a balloon drop to transfer the year. Highlights were playing “Bury Our Friends” just before midnight as an “F U 2016” and closing with a “Rebel Rebel” cover accompanied by The Thermals and Britt Daniel.

3. Waxahatchee / The Chapel / San Francisco / March

Katie Crutchfield was so mesmerizing that my friend Mike and I did not realize we were standing next to each other until about halfway through the show (when she took a brief break to tune her guitar).

2. Lucius / The Fillmore / San Francisco / November

The artists behind my number one song are a spectacle live. Imagine a DIY version of a high-production pop show. So good.

1. The Cure / Madison Square Garden / New York / June

I was waffling on going to this and so glad my internet friend selling the ticket followed up when I got to NYC for the Typographics concert. The double-whammy of seeing one of my favorite bands of all time in one of the most incredible venues in the world (sounds like a couple of shows last year) was fantastic. The show was an emotional rollercoaster, I went alone and ended up in a center section with a large chunk of open seats (after some Jersey housewives cleared out), so I could cry and dance my ass off with room to spare. Considering I’d walked the length of Manhattan earlier that day, the dancing was quite impressive!

About Meghan A.

creative & professional creative professional | communications, content & community | nasty woman | adventurer & inspiration seeker | bicyclist & feminist | walk san francisco board | current: Adobe Typekit Product Marketing Manager, former: TYPO SF magic maker
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