Best Non-SXSW Gigs of 2009: NIN/JA & The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Just because it was so unfair to name SXSW the best show of last year and leave it at that, I've decided, in my infinite wisdom, to go ahead and let you know the other two best shows that last year had to offer that didn't take place in Austin. One of them happened in Columbia, Maryland, while the other took place both in Philly and right here in DC. Oh yeah, and the latter two just so happen to involve the band whose brilliant logo is pictured to the left.

We'll begin with the NIN/JA tour, billed as a kind of farewell tour for Nine Inch Nails, though not for Jane's Addiction. I went mainly because of my fondness for both the music of NIN and Trent Reznor himself, but hot damn if I didn't end up (finally) falling in love with Perry Farrell and the boys of Jane's by the end of the show. It was a magical night, from the storm rolling in during soundcheck to the utter perfection of the NIN set to the over-the-top exploits of Jane's Addiction. There's a lot to be said in favor of both of these bands, and many kudos to be given for just how good the front men are as showmen. The NIN/JA tour reinforced just how great these bands are live, and I feel pretty lucky to have been able to be there to witness it.

The other half of the non-SXSW live winners belongs to LET favorites The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Hopefully by now people have stopped going to BJM shows just to see what Anton gets up to, because if they're so fixated on that they might miss the sheer brilliance going on onstage. I got to see them twice last year, both at the Trocadero in Philly and the 9:30 Club here in DC. Both shows were amazing, and saw the divine triumvirate of Anton, Matt Hollywood, and Joel Gion all sharing the stage once more. Playing virtually anything and everything you could hope to hear at a BJM show, the band made me love them more with each note. I'm already looking forward to June 9th, when the band will be back in DC.

mp3: March of the Pigs (Nine Inch Nails from The Downward Spiral)

mp3: That Girl Suicide (The Brian Jonestown Massacre from Methodrone)


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