December 04, 2013 via Pepsi
Best Shows to Catch Before 2014
It's the last month of 2013, which means everywhere you look there are best of year lists, countdowns and judgement calls. The Internet takes a look back on the year, analyzing its best and worst moments. This year has definitely been monumental when it comes to live music, and there’s still time to catch a mind-blowing performance. Some of the biggest artists in the world are making history with world tours more grandiose and theatrical than ever. From Yeezus to Reflektor and everything in between, here’s our list of shows you gotta catch before the end of the year.
1. James Blake
If you want the soul-bearing sound of an R&B singer-songwriter, but also want the trance-inducing textural thump of dance music, James Blake is an awe-inspiring performer. Tackling intricate vocal melodies, jazzy keyboard playing, and live vocal looping, Blake is well-known for his arresting live shows. His two capable bandmates, including London producer, Airhead only add to the show.
2. Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend released their best album yet with Modern Vampires of the City earlier this year. They maintained their unique style, adding complex songwriting and production elements that hit it home as one of the best albums of 2013. Their Modern Vampires Tour riffs off their tongue-in-cheek classical/ivy league aesthetic by playing louder and harder than ever before. The show is high-energy, packed with a combination of new material and crowd-pleasing performances of classics like "Walcott," and "Oxford Comma." Lead singer Koenig's laid-back, familiar exchanges with the audience remind you why Vampire Weekend's rise never stopped. Catch em if you can!
Newcomer to the alt-R&B scene, Kelela made a prolific splash at this year’s CMJ festival in New York City. Her recently released mixtape, Cut 4 Me is a standout of the year, and her live show is equally good. She’s been playing sets with the Fade To Mind crew, chances are you'll find her name popping up on flyers for Mustache Mondays in LA and frequenting Lit City parties in NYC.
The question: "Would you like a tour?" The answer: yes. Drizzy Drake's awesomely-titled “Would You Like A Tour?” tour supports his latest album Nothing Was The Same, and it's pretty much a distinctive moment in cultural history. He sticks to mostly new tracks, peppering in a few old favorites. He's got some majorly talented supporting acts on deck including Future, Miguel, Jhene Aiko and PARTYNEXTDOOR. It's really like seeing five worthy shows in one. Full dates here.
5. Kanye West
Kanye West recently began his Yeezus tour, performing his powerful and divisive album Yeezus along with plenty of favorites from his back catalogue. Rave reports from the front lines of his shows have only gotten us more excited. Kendrick Lamar, in his unlimited energy and unstoppable verses is opening up the show, making this lineup perhaps the biggest hip-hop tour around right now. It doesn’t hurt that this tour’s merch is, if not awesome, definitely conversation-sparking. Full tour listing here.