Aftermath Extra: The Best Concerts of the Year, Part 9

[Note: This is the final installment of Aftermath's survey of memorable 2008 concerts - the ones he attended and reviewed (mostly, but not always, by him) anyway; kudos to Valient Thorr, Ice Cube, Dr. Dog, Son Volt, Journey/Heart, Wilderness, the HPMA showcase and many others. Don't miss parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, and here's hoping 2009 is as bountiful.]

Black Crowes, House of Blues, November 20: "Of course, the Black Crowes are a band for whom no two set lists are alike, but so many coats of Warpaint meant some other era must suffer. In this case, it was their underrated middle period, offering just one song from Amorica (frequent live favorite "Wiser Time") and - sadly - nothing from Three Snakes and One Charm." (Bob Ruggiero)

B.B. King, House of Blues, November 22: "King had the luxury of acting as comic relief in his own show because he relies on his superlative band - "'bout half of 'em are from Texas anyway," he said near the end - to handle the musical heavy lifting, and did they ever."

Spain Colored Orange, Continental Club, December 4: "Heavy and light, Spain Colored Orange couches its subversiveness in catchy piano chords, but when all five lock into the same lick - often led by Eric Jackson's brazen trumpet - pop flies out the window in favor of an entropic contest to see who can hold on the longest."

Duran Duran, Verizon Wireless Theater, December 5: "Nobody goes to a Duran Duran show to feel sad, at least not for very long, and it was hard to feel anything other than a huge adrenaline rush during the epic 'Planet Earth' and sleekly stylized 'Hungry Like the Wolf,' which Aftermath witnessed from the photo pit, wedged between the band and all-female front row like it was the Summit in 1983 all over again."

AC/DC, Toyota Center, December 14: "About half the crowd was clad in plastic flashing devil horns - which created a cool fire-and-ice effect when combined with the soft blue glow of the ubiquitous cellphones - but every last one of us was singing along, stomping our feet, punching the air, banging our heads, thrusting our hips and sacrificing our maxed-out holiday stress levels to the flames of 'Highway to Hell' and the cannon fire of 'For Those About to Rock.'" - Chris Gray 

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray