Chrystal’s Picks – Top 10 Concerts of 2011

Chrystal Dec 31st, 2011 | By
Category: Chromeo, Dierks Bentley, NKOTBSB, The Cordovas, Ween, Yelawolf

Chrystal’s Picks – Top 10 Concerts of 2011

Top 10 Concerts of 2011

Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody! I’m sure you all have amazing plans for this evening and are anxious to get out and party. YTC Nashville will be ringing in the New Year with Bassnectar at the Bridgestone Arena, so we know how you feel. Kill some time and look over my favorite concerts of the year. Be sure to comment with the shows that made your list, and let us know what we should keep an eye out for in 2012!

Thank you to everyone who has supported YouTellConcerts this year – whether you contributed a review or gallery, gave a video concert review after a show, helped us out with tickets, re-posted our videos, or visited the site. We love you! Here’s to a healthy, happy, and rockin’ 2012!

#10 – Ween @ War Memorial Auditorium (Nashville, TN)

Seeing Ween in an auditorium setting, beat seeing them at Bonnaroo. The sound was infinitely better and there were less distractions taking away from the performance – like sun stroke and people on acid falling out of trees. Ween is wildly eclectic and has so much material; I can see why fans are serial show-goers. They play a long show, the atmosphere is chill, and although the songs are hysterical – they are really well written. A Ween concert is not a boring one.

#9 – Yelawolf @ Mercy Lounge (Nashville, TN)

I’ve seen Yelawolf three times this year, and he never let me down. Clearly grateful and working hard for his success, for each show Yelawolf was set on full-blast. He’s not a lazy rapper, and in turn, the crowd goes insane. I thought the floor was going to crack open at the Mercy Lounge show. I chose this show over the others, because Yelawolf’s mother was there beaming with pride. It was a tough choice though. Watching Yelawolf win over the huge Wu-Tang crowd at SXSW this year was quite memorable.

#8 – Chromeo @ La Zona Rosa (SXSW – Austin, TX)

Speaking of SXSW, this Chromeo show was the highlight of the festival for me. Pressed up against the barrier in the front row, I jumped and wriggled around in an attempt to dance among the thick crowd, as Chromeo delivered on all the good things I had to say about them prior to them taking the stage. The audience was the real kicker – made up of Chromeo show veterans and megafan first-timers. People were on shoulders, dancing like no one was watching, smiling wide and bright and singing along. Chromeo’s tribute to Nate Dogg, who had just passed away, was my favorite moment in the show. It was a fun way to remember him, as P-Thugg talkboxed Nate Dogg’s solo from Snoop’s “Ain’t No Fun.”

#7 – Lady Gaga @ Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN)

I’m “Little Monster” and damn proud of it. My best friend was in town for this concert and we dressed up like it was Mardi Gras or something. Lady Gaga’s show was colorful, artistic, completely over-the-top, and flawless. Male dancers were nice touch, and I love that she’s not afraid to get messy on stage. She sings without backing tracks and when she pounds on the piano…it’s a whole other side of Gaga. I’d love for her to put out an album of just piano Pop tunes – like a Billy Joel/Elton John-inspired type of project.

I really thought this was going to be my favorite concert of the year, but 2011 was filled with some big surprises and some once-in-a-lifetimes. I hope and suspect that Lady Gaga will keep the momentum up and keep bringing these huge productions. I really want her to be the next Madonna. She deserves it.

#6 – CMA Fest @ LP Field (Nashville, TN)

I worked my butt off during CMA Fest for my day job, so the stadium concerts at night were a great payoff for all the hours I spent running around covering events and editing. Although it was a lot of work, it was a ton of fun, and I learned so much about a genre that three years ago…I, honestly, didn’t care for. Now, I love it! This year’s shows included performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Sugarland, Reba, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert…the list just keeps going.

If you are a Country music fan, coming to Nashville for CMA Fest is the vacation for you. There are meet n’ greets, fan club parties, lots of free concerts around town, and three nights packed with the biggest names in Country. People from all over the world come to this thing.

#5 – Guns N’ Roses @ Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN)

This one was a complete surprise! The announcement of the show came out of nowhere and there was a lot of excitement surrounding it. However, when it came time for the concert…tickets didn’t sell all that well. I guess it was the fact that it was a Sunday night, or that no one considers Axl Rose to be “Guns N’ Roses.” Understandable, but folks, you could’ve seen this Guns N’ Roses show for $20.00 without a problem. Axl Rose is totally worth a Jackson.

The show was outstanding. Axl looked and sound great. The set list was killer and included “Civil War,” which hadn’t been played since the ‘90s. It was very similar to what I imagined GN’R shows were like back in the day. We ended up getting home around three in the morning. The new Guns N’ Roses played three hours. What a night!

#4 – NKOTBSB @ Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN)

Top 10 Concerts of 2011

Can you believe this is #4 on the list? Neither can I…my heart really wants it to be #1, but bias is not the answer. NKOTBSB is the collaboration dream team of New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys.

Both of these groups have been a huge part of my life. When guys were being complete dicks, these boys always had my back. Just pop in a cassette or CD and it’s like a baby with her blanket. Everything will be okay.

The NKOTBSB concert contained all the hits and some of NKOTB’s newer material. The bands would switch off, which kept the show moving and the thrill going strong. There were choreographed medleys that meshed BSB songs with NKOTB songs and had all nine guys on stage – which resulted in grown woman scream explosions.

Yes, to many, this stuff is cheese-o-mania, but if you’re one of us…you get it. If you don’t get it…get lost. ;) Let us have our fun.

For those of you interested…Nick Carter is playing Cannery Ballroom on January 30th, and Jordan Knight is playing Mercy Lounge on February 10th!  Visit for details!

#3 – U2 @ Vanderbilt Stadium (Nashville, TN)

U2 has a reputation for their visually-simulating WAY larger-than-life stages, and having them come to town is very rare. In all my travels, I don’t recall ever having a convenient opportunity to see U2 live. So when “The Claw” stage was being set up days before the show, I got that feeling like when the carnival would come to town every summer. I couldn’t wait. Memories were going to be made.

This was a hard ticket to come by, but luckily, two sweet guys took me under their wing on my limited budget and opened my eyes to the world of U2. I never considered myself a U2 fan, but I always figured I’d know a lot of the songs if I went to a show since they’ve been on the radio my whole life.

Besides being a beautiful show in sound and sight, it was a spiritual experience with an aura of hope and peace. I see U2 in a whole new light now and their music means so much more. If you ever have a chance to see U2, don’t pass it off thinking you’re not a big enough fan. You will be one.

#2 – Katy Perry @ Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN)

Katy Perry’s “California Dreams” was such a treat…literally. The theme was a candy-filled fantasy world, with a storybook plot, a Katy Perry soundtrack, and the scent of cotton candy in the air. After seeing Katy Perry a handful of times, she has stepped it up BIG TIME. The set was so original, yet familiar, and Perry’s onstage persona was flirty, legitimately funny, and suitable for all ages.

Perry put a lot into this performance and spoke fondly Nashville, where she spent time polishing her writing skills as a teenager. She really wanted to impress us, and I’d say she did. The arena was packed with all kinds of people, and it was the perfect way to start off the weekend.

California Dreams made #2 on my list, because it was put together perfectly. She spent a lot of time talking to the audience, and even made some members part of the show. She sang in her true voice and with all those guilty pleasures in her catalogue, you really couldn’t go wrong. My husband even liked it…but, I’m sure his review comes from wardrobe standpoint.

PS. Really bummed about the Katy Perry/Russell Brand divorce news.

#1 – Sunday Supper @ Douglas Corner Cafe ft. Jaron Lowenstein, Joe Firstman & Special Guests

(Nashville, TN)

Video Credit: Youtube User – kcowgirlinboots

Although I didn’t review this show for YTC, it was surely the most memorable concert of the year, as something like this doesn’t happen every day.

My sister and I decided to check out a cover night that Jaron Lowenstein of Jaron and the Long Road to Love/Evan & Jaron was hosting, where he’d be backed up by some of Nashville’s most sought after “hired guns.” Little did we know that special guests would include Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and James Otto.

There couldn’t have been more than 30 people in the small bar to witnessed a slightly buzzed Kelley sing “The Weight,” and James Otto soulfully solo on “Easy.” We were also introduced to singer/songwriter, Joe Firstman, who I had heard of a lot in LA, but never had a chance to see live.

Some of the Sunday Supper crew went on to create an original band called The Cordovas, which we saw in November.

And Five Very Honarable Mentions –

Jerry Lee Lewis @ Third Man Records (Nashville, TN)

Dierks Bentley @ Riverfront (Nashville, TN)

Wanda Jackson @ Rachael Ray Showcase at Stubb’s (Austin, TX)

Meat Puppets @ Mercy Lounge (Nashville, TN)

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One Comment to “Chrystal’s Picks – Top 10 Concerts of 2011”

  1. TammyR says:

    Agreed! Jaron/The Cordovas shows were the biggest and best surprise of my 2011 concert year! Nice reviews, awesome website! Making note of shows I need to catch in 2012.

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