Aftermath Extra: The Best Concerts of the Year, Part 4

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Tom Waits, Jones Hall, June 22: "Us Rain Dogs fans had to make do with a spastic "Cemetery Polka" that was a fair representation of Waits' cross-pollination of beatnik jazz and guttural blues; whether or not he's your cup of bourbon, the man does have a unique sound."

Peter Murphy, Meridian, July 10: "The rest of the set was dominated by snaky, sexual rock similar to the Cramps, Stooges or Gun Club that also flirted with metal in patches. This sound hit its zenith on Murphy's 1990 hit 'Cuts You Up,' which wouldn't have sounded out of place in a strip club."

Cruefest, Toyota Center, July 23: "After a fusillade of pyro worthy of the 1812 Overture, the Crue opened with a devastating "Kickstart My Heart," followed with the equally intense "Wild Side" and kept up this nonstop glam-metal barrage for about the next 90 minutes. Mack Brown would have been proud of the sea of horns prompted by 'Shout at the Devil.'"

Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 9: "By the Detroit player's third song, the Metallica-biting 'American Bad Ass,' he he and his Twisted Brown Trucker Band had turned both the seated areas and lawn into a sea of hands; then, after T. Rexish new song 'Low Life,' he took things to an entirely new level of delirium with current smash 'All Summer Long.'"

Nine Inch Nails, Toyota Center, August 16: "Fans responded with a shirtless shoving match in the center of the pit. For all the testosterone-fueled aggression, though, the faux fights seemed more friendly than angry, and a three-song instrumental from this year's Ghosts I-IV calmed the rage." (Linda Leseman) - Chris Gray


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