2009 wasn't a vintage live music year for me, but it was a bunch of older, established acts who have honed their live show over hundreds of hours of performance who impressed me most. And The Metro continued to impress me as Sydney's best live music venue, with three of my favourite shows of the year taking place there.
5. The Hold Steady, Metro Theatre (04/02/09)
The Hold Steady seem to play every show like it's the most important one they've ever played, and despite poor sound (backing vocals and keys too low in the mix), and a less than full venue, they stormed through a great set of bar room rock and roll with bucketloads of energy and personality.
4. Elbow, V Festival Sydney(29/03/09)
I Wouldn't normally put a festival set in a list like this, but Elbow seemed to be having the time of their lives in Centennial Park on a perfect March afternoon, belting out songs like 'One Day Like This' and telling stupid jokes. The crowd were having the time of their lives too.
3. Gomez, The Metro Theatre (23/10/2009)
10 years and 6 albums into their career, Gomez know exactly how to work a crowd. Their back catalogue is big enough and strong enough to play almost entirely different sets over two consecutive nights at The Metro without diminishing the quality of the material. I was there on the second night and had a blast. But my foot is still sore from dancing too much.
2. Basement Jaxx, The Enmore Theatre, 03/03/09
Still the best live dance act in the world. (FasterLouder review)
1. My Morning Jacket, The Metro Theatre, 22/01/09
Last January I doubted I'd be going to a better gig than this one for the rest of the year. And I didn't.