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Music, Year in Review 2013

Year in Review: The Best Concerts of 2013

Dianna Lee

Band: Cut Copy
Venue: The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
Date: November 15, 2013

Cut Copy. (Photo: Steve Danyleyko/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Cut Copy. (Photo: Steve Danyleyko/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Cut Copy’s live performances are a treat for indie dance fans and their latest gig at the Danforth Music Hall truly delivered.  Having been over two years since their last visit to Toronto, Cut Copy is currently on a world tour to promote their latest LP Free Your Mind.  While obviously promoting their latest release, the band interlaced their set with the signature tracks from their previous LPs over a spectacular light show.  The Australians’ energy and enthusiasm, which was clearly reciprocated by the crowd, culminated in a magical rendition of their massive hit “Lights and Music”.  If you have the opportunity to see these guys in concert, don’t let it pass you by.

More photos & read the review here.


Band: Miami Horror
Venue: Wrongbar, Toronto
Date: October 5, 2013

Miami Horror hasn’t released a full length album since their 2010 debut Illumination, but lucky for us, Benjamin Plant, along with the rest of the band decided do a tour in support of their newly released singles “Real Slow”, and more recently, “Colours in the Sky”. While others wandered in the cold night for Nuit Blanche, Wrong Bar housed a sweaty and energetic crowd dancing to an exponentially energetic band.  Vocalist and guitarist Josh Moriarity didn’t skip a beat and nailed every song that night, even the ones that featured vocals from the likes of Kimbra and Alan Palomo of Neon Indian fame.


Artist: Bjork
Venue: Bonnaroo – The Farm, Manchester, TN.
Date: June 15, 2013

It’s always difficult to gauge which acts are going to blow your mind at massive music festivals, and for Bonnaroo’s incredibly decked out line-up (which included Paul McCartney, The National, David Byrne and St. Vincent, and Wu-tang Clan), Bjork ended up putting on my favourite show of the four day festival.  Beach House was playing at the same time, and I meant to run over to catch the latter half of their set, but Bjork was so captivating that I could not bring myself to miss any of her set.

Her voice was pristine and enjoyed a strong studio quality the entire set, and her stage show was eccentric as ever.  The set was nicely paced – at the beginning, I was happy to sit and close my eyes and just enjoy the sounds of “Crystalline”, and by the end of the set, I was on my feet dancing aggressively to “Nattura”.  Bjork was unlike anything else that I saw at Bonnaroo that weekend; she’s a true performance artist.


Artist: R. Kelly
Venue: Bonnaroo – The Farm, Manchester, TN
Date: June 15, 2013

For months leading up to the festival, I was half-jokingly really excited about seeing R. Kelly live, but as soon as he opened his set with “Ignition (Remix)”, he wholeheartedly won me and everyone else over.  He performed snippets from over 30 tracks, keeping the crowd dancing and singing the entire time.  Both men and women squealed with delight as their favourite R.Kelly song came on (Mine was “Sex in the Kitchen”).  Not only did he sing songs, he sang his thoughts as well, in true R. Kelly fashion (“I’ve been going for an hour, and a half, an hour, and a half, with no breaks, no break, no breaks, no breaks…”) and the audience just ate it up.  Closing with an incredibly moving performance of “I Believe I Can Fly” (complete with balloon doves), R. Kelly showed us why he’s still around after 25 years that night.


Mad Decent Block Party – Detroit
Venue: Elektricity Festival Grounds
Date: September 6, 2013

Being a huge fan of Dillon Francis and Danny Brown, it was hard for me to not go out of my way to do the Detroit rendition of MDBP over the one in Toronto.  While the all ages crowd was mildly off-putting (I felt like I went to a massive tailgating party in a high school parking lot), all the artists and DJs that performed that day were on point.  Danny Brown began his set with a weirdly adorable “Hiiiii, my name is Daniel”, and him and his entourage got the home crowd going.  Bauuer did the whole trap bit. And being fashionably late, Dillon Francis charmingly killed his perfectly paced and curated set (my friends and I were Shazam-ing almost every track he played).  And finally, Major Lazer wasn’t going to disappoint with their suit-and-ties, entertaining stage antics (i.e. inviting ladies on stage to twerk), and Diplo’s usual walking-over-the-crowd-in-a-hamster-ball bit.  It wasn’t so much of a musically enlightening experience, but definitely one of the best evenings I’ve had in a while.



  1. Pingback: The Best Music of the Year Lists from Music Blogs and Press | That Eric Alper - December 18, 2013

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