If we had a magic ukulele that housed a genie who would grant one wish to its owner, we would ask for a regularly updated source of reliable rankings of live Indie performers. Yes, a ranking of Indie artists from most entertaining in a concert environment to most disappointing. The ranking would include all Indie performers who are currently on a tour.
Devising a mathematical formula that could generate such a ranking is too dependent upon the input data to be reliable. Even if the ranking is limited to bands touring the United States (or Europe or Australia), the list of bands to be ranked changes regularly and input is needed from a collection of people (“crowdsourcing”). No two people have the same taste in concert experience. Additionally, it isn’t rare to see the same band twice in a short period of time and have very different experiences, as we did in 2013 with the band Thao and The Get Down Stay Down.
Still, if we were asked for input, it would include assigning high marks to a pair of performers who will be touring together in 2014. Among the stops, Ellie Goulding and Rudimental will visit the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on Saturday April 19, 2014. Neither is in “our wheelhouse” in terms of the genre. But for concerts, genre plays a less important role then the energy and charisma that the band brings to the venue.
It was luck that brought us to the Rudimental performance. They were at the Outside Lands Festival in the middle of the afternoon. Options were limited, so we migrated to the stage with Rudimental. It was supposed to be a five-piece band, with one member being a DJ. But more than five talented people showed up. Two keyboard players, the charismatic DJ personality, a drummer, a trumpet player, a guitar player and three “lead” singers. The 45-minute performance was not enough. So, later in the day we went to their scaled-down performance in a fifty-person tent. This post includes three pictures of the stages at Outside Lands, in addition to a Youtube video that was uploaded by someone we would like to thank.
“Waiting All Night”
Website: http://www.rudimental.co.uk/Ellie Goulding was another surprise in 2013. We recognize that Rudimental is not going to bring the posse that it had at Outside Lands. But when a concert includes two bands that can be classified as “great live performers,” it’s time to get tickets for the concert.