Metallica, Toyota Center, November 20: When Death Magnetic came out in September during Hurricane Ike, initially I dismissed it as I was knee-deep still in the new Black Keys and Beck albums and fence rubble. But somewhere along the line I picked this up again and destroyed my car stereo speakers.
The show was one of those magical metal things that only metal-heads can truly fathom. And seeing as I end up going to most of those, I'm hard to impress. But seeing the interplay between the bandmates, almost thirty years into their career was brutally magical. And my face was still red two days later from the pyro.
Hootenanny One, The Mink, January 5: Seeing members of the Mathletes, Young Mammals, and the Wild Moccasins bust through a cover set of Talking Heads tunes made me hopeful for the future of Houston music after being disillusioned for a good five years.
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Neil Diamond, Toyota Center, October 14: I went into this show with a smug attitude and left chomping at the bit for more. The guy still has pipes; even his eyebrows are kinda creepy.
Beck, Austin City Limits Festival, September 27: Sweet Jesus, he opened with "Loser." That's like Led Zeppelin opening with "Stairway to Heaven" or the Stones starting a show with "Satisfaction". He played his entire set with his young backing band with a fire and strength that he hasn't had since Mellow Gold.
Radiohead, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, May 17: Thom Yorke and company were bathed in 20-foot tall rods of light on a hot night in the Woodlands. Yorke danced like a Prince-ly robot in between them as the band reworked older material into modern dirges. A camera installed on the piano created eerie images of Yorke staring directly into it like a marooned astronaut in deep space as he plinked away. - Craig Hlavaty