The Concerts We're Thankful For
With the arrival of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Alt Revue team and family thought we'd share the concerts we've been to that we are most thankful for (i.e. our top five concerts we've been to). We hope you enjoy checking out some of these rad shows!
1. Michael La Torre - (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Alt Revue): I want to start off by saying that this was an extremely difficult exercise. I left off two of my favorite concerts I have ever been to, Elton John in Dayton, OH and The Rolling Stones in Houston, TX in favor of more alt leaning artists. With that said, here is what I came up with!
Nada Surf (Let Go 15th Anniversary Tour) Austin, TX: Hosted at the intimate 3TEN ACL Live, we were literally in the front row for one of my favorite bands. I got to scream a long to every song they played, which their lead singer and musical hero of mine Matthew Caws definitely noticed. Later, I had the opportunity to meet him and chat for a minute for a quick photo.
Austin City Limits 2019, Weekend Two, Day Two (Artists Seen: The Cure, Billie Eilish, Brittany Howard, Judah & The Lion, Sigrid, and Orville Peck) Austin, TX: My wife Susan and I dipped our toe into the ACL life with a one day ticket which I got for our anniversary. It would be our second time seeing The Cure (her favorite band) and our first time seeing the other artists listed (of which she was most excited about Billie Eilish, I was most excited about Orville Peck). It was a fun day and for ACL 2020 we already have tickets to go all three days because it was such a positive experience.
Father John Misty, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, and Erin Rae, Houston, TX: This concert was an interesting experience venue wise, White Oak Music Hall's outdoor is mostly a steep hill. I happened to have a fractured foot at the time the show happened and it happened to have rained all day before the show. The grounds were a soggy mess with people falling everywhere (which only got worse the longer the bar served alcohol). We unfortunately were not able to get to front because I needed to access ADA seating because of my foot. That said, Jason Isbell came out and delivered a great set that had his signature mixture of alt and country. Then Father John Misty (who might be my favorite artist out there right now) came out and absolutely tore the house down.
The Killers, Sugarland TX: Let me say this, if you ever get a chance to see The Killers live, absolutely do it. The entire band comes out like a rocket bursting with energy. None more so than Brandon Flowers. A seemingly uncontainable force, he is the ultimate showman. He gives every ounce of his being for ever show and you feel it radiate from the stage. I left this show and my body was sore and I was in an area where I had a seat! (But you know I stood and sang the whole time).
Shakey Graves Austin, TX: Having the opportunity to see Shakey Graves perform before his hometown crowd (a place he still calls home in fact) was incredible, hell his Algebra teacher from high school was in the front row. It provided a unique look at an artist that you don't get the opportunity to see often. He bore his soul for the crowd at this show and I'm proud to say that I was damn near the front row for one of his finest performances.
Concerts in the Hunt: Band of Horses Cleveland, OH and Kurt Vile & the Violators/Dinosaur Jr. Austin, TX
2. Elise Chandler - (Assistant Editor, Alt Revue)
Rob Zombie: While I enjoy Rob Zombie's music, what really impressed me was his stage presence. Not only does he and his band provide great music, but there are pyrotechnics, fireworks, stage props -- it's a whole performance.
Powerman 5000: I saw this band at a concert in Ft. Wayne, IN. The stage was not-impressive, but this band owned the entire concert. I forgot where I was they were so good about their stage presence.
The Raconteurs: The chemistry of this band is fantastic. It feels like you are watching a jam session between friends, and that is awesome.
The Royal Blood: Two guys making an incredible sound. That was what this concert was. Everyone just felt the sound.
Jack White: He is a great front man who also has great musicianship skills. I appreciate how involved he is with the audience every concert.
3. Anna Chaney - (Contributor, Alt Revue)
Tame Impala - Firefly 2016: This was my first ever “solo” concert. My friend was tired and didn’t want to go, and I would have kicked myself for not going. So I wandered into the crowd alone and saw Kevin Parker work his magic. It was something out of a dream. If you haven’t seen this band live, you haven’t lived. It was especially wonderful because this was before they “blew up” and I was lucky enough to see them in their earlier days. The visuals were trippy as hell (as expected) and at the end they released tons and tons of colorful confetti. I can still picture the scene. One of my favorite concerts of all time.
The 1975 - Echostage 2014: This was my first “solo” show (aside from Tame Impala at a festival). I bought 4 tickets and no one wanted to go with me. I almost skipped because I was scared of going alone (I was 15). But I did anyway and it really changed my perspective on concerts. I camped out for 7 hours in the freezing cold and rain, and made friends with strangers who I’d never see again. Since The 1975 is my favorite band, this show was all the more intimate and special because I was alone. I was able to get up to the third row because I wasn’t dragging a friend along or checking to see if they were having as much fun as I was. This show made me realize I prefer to go to shows solo.
M83 - Firefly 2016: M83 is one of my all time favorite bands, and they don’t do shows or tour very often. They really got me through some tough times and hold a very special place in my heart. Again for this show I went alone because I wanted to experience this by myself. Basically I bawled the whole time. The show was phenomenal and the band put on a legendary performance full of passion, like it was their last show ever. The lighting setup was also futuristic and very fitting for their brand. 10/10 show.
Florence & The Machine - Firefly 2016: Another set from Firefly 2016 (the best festival lineup ever), Florence put on a life changing show. As we all know, she is one of the best performers alive. Her voice is perfect and doesn’t miss a beat even while she ran and danced all over the stage. I specifically remember she was barefoot and wore a long yellow dress. When they began playing Dog Days, I can remember hearing every single person in the crowd singing and dancing like they were children again. It was the most amazing sight and freeing feeling.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Bonnaroo 2017: I waited close to 6 hours in the crowd for RHCP to come on. They were headlining Bonnaroo 2017 and since they are one of my all-time favorite bands I thought it was worth the wait. I remember I could physically barely stand by the time they came on because my feet hurt so bad. But it was all worth it when they came on. The stage design was super cool with these kaleidoscope-like screens, and they put on a legendary performance. The crowd was going wild. Even though I had to leave before the set ended because my feet felt like they were gonna fall off, it is still in my top 5 concerts of all time.
4. Sarah Giles - (General Manager, Mon Hills Records)
Bon Iver - Cleveland State Theater 2019: “An Evening With Bon Iver” showcased Justin Vernon and band on an intimate, emotional, and artistic level. They packed the Cleveland theater to the brim without a single empty seat. The first opening note of “It Might Be Over Soon” left fans breathless and in awe as the night opened with a swell.
Brandi Carlile - Deep Roots Mountain Revival , Masontown 2017: This festival, only 3 years old, struggled at the mercy of terrible weather. So many cancelled performances and delayed shows led up to a Sunday-night, heavily anticipated performance of Brandi Carlile. Because of the trek up a steep hill and the mud pits from the weekend’s rain, a bleak crowd of no more than 200 people scattered the field crossing their fingers to see Brandi. She came out, invited everyone close as if we were seeing an old friend, and threw out her printed set list. “I can feel the love of this crowd”, she said as she spontaneously decided to do “all the songs I know you’ll appreciate that I usually don’t do”. Off she went to deliver an unforgettable, unique show!
Lorde - Jacob’s Pavilion, Cleveland 2014: Just recently off of her debut album, the New Zealand young pop-icon gave her early performance to a crowd of young fans that connected so deeply with her. I stood front row on my 19th birthday, dancing along with Lorde with zero cares and a full heart.
City and Colour - House of Blues, Cleveland 2013: I’ve seen Dallas Green and the indie-folk band four times, each time just as fantastic as the last. This show in particular was special as it was the tour of his album, “The Hurry and The Harm”, my favorite of his releases. City and Colour has a way of filling a room with his atmospheric, swelling voice, and a simple but well-done lighting and staging to add to the ambience of the experience.
Foster The People - Laurelive Festival 2018: Another instance of a festival that went out with a bang. Laurelive was the a hot, hot weekend. The Sunday-night close-out with the Alt-pop-rock band was a smash. As soon as they started their set, the sky opened up and dumped water. A field of cooled-off concert goers danced in the rain with high energy as the band refused to stop playing despite the demands of the festival managers. Rock on.
5. Karis Raeburn - (Contributor, Alt Revue)
Bad Religion - Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, 23rd August 2010: Bad Religion have consistently been one of my favourite bands for as long as I can remember but I’ve only managed to see them live once (and realising just now that this was almost a decade ago means I need to prioritise seeing them again). This was just an all around great show for a lot of reasons; a venue I love that was easy for me to get to (important), a varied and generous set list (I’m pretty sure they played 30 songs) which respected their back catalog since this show was in their 30th anniversary year as a band, a group that were playing really well and clearly enjoying themselves and a crowd that were just there to have a great time. Obviously seeing a band you’ve loved for a long time should be special but there’s always a risk that you over-hype the experience and it doesn’t live up to your expectations. Bad Religion were everything I wanted and more. I’m thankful because: They were still releasing great music after 30 years and they are still doing it now after nearly 40.
Less Than Jake - Brixton Academy, London, 11th November 2006: So at this time in my life I was going through a major ska phase. It’s a genre I listen to less now, probably because I am just too lazy to move as much as I should anymore, although I do still break out a bit of LTJ or The Specials from time to time. I remember this show vividly because I always stand in one of two specific spots when I go to Brixton and on this day I had to stand in a different one because I was on crutches. I went with my best friend from high school and the girl he was dating at the time and we kind of wedged ourselves in an awkward corner on the steps just to make sure I had somewhere to lean. It was a great show but I was getting knocked around a little by the crowd and about halfway through this random dude noticed and positioned himself so that he was blocking anyone from knocking into me. I’m thankful because: That guy just took it upon himself to be a prince among men and I appreciated it. I hope his life is going great for him and that he’s staying hydrated.
The Pogues - Brixton Academy, London, 21 December 2004: So The Pogues did a kind of mini Christmas residency at Brixton every year for about 6 years in the mid-2000s. I went every year because I love The Pogues. I’ve picked 2004 as the stand out because at this time Shane MacGowan’s voice was still half- decent. By 2008 it was in a significantly worse state and Spider Stacy was taking on much more of the vocal work. These shows were just a fun party, they always did “Fairytale of New York” as the encore with fake snow coming down from the ceiling. I was always one of the youngest people in the room since the crowd seemed to be mostly parents whose heyday was in the mid-80s and this was their one night out a year and they were all wasted and throwing drinks over each other. It also represented the start of Christmas for me, so these shows just have a sort of rose tinted glow about them. I’m thankful because: I got to see an older band that I love. Even though I wasn’t alive to see them at their peak, I managed to get them just before Shane’s voice became completely unrecognisable.
Dirty Pretty Things - Leeds University Refectory, Leeds, 28 November 2006: Decided to go to his show about four hours beforehand. Rocked up without tickets, impressed my friends with my negotiating ability to get us into the venue, saw a show that was just classic rock and roll debauchery in a small venue (I saw a lot of great shows at Leeds Uni when I lived in the north, it was a really good spot to see new bands). DPT were a short lived band but they were really good live. I’m thankful because: I just had a fun, spontaneous time with good friends, we went to our favourite club afterwards and I remember it fondly.
Ani DiFranco - Lifestyles Pavillion, Columbus, OH, September 21st 2013: Apologies if this is cheating since she is a folk singer rather than an alt musician, but this is a show I am particularly thankful for. I first discovered Ani as a support act for Bob Dylan when I was about 11 and I’ve followed her career ever since. I’ve seen her live 15 times and in some beautiful venues including The Royal Festival Hall and Union Chapel and I always have a great time. She mixes her songs with spoken word and interesting anecdotes and you go away feeling uplifted. In terms of the set list, this was not my favourite of her shows that I have seen, but with such an extensive back catalog and an artist who really rotates her setlists a lot you are never going to get all of your favourites in one show. This show was special to me though because I shared it with a friend who had only heard a few of Ani’s songs before the gig. I’m known in my friendship groups for my love of rock and punk and my penchant for folk music is something I tend to keep a bit more to myself as it’s something of a niche genre. We both had a great time and a fun bonding experience, oh and there was NO QUEUE for the women’s toilets. I’m thankful because: I got to share something special with a dear friend and give her a new fun new experience.
6. Sarah Rudy - (Hello June)
The Barr Brothers + The Weather Station (2018) - Levon Helm’s Barn Woodstock, NY. Whit and I are long time Levon Helm fans, so this trip to see The Barr Brothers (one of our favorite bands) and The Weather Station (a beautiful new discovery) was something more magical than I can really capture with words. The Barr Brothers have a way of capturing slivers of silence and coating them in just the right amount of light and the Weather Station came out and wrapped us in a warm blanket. This isn’t a night I’ll easily forget.
Wye Oak - City Winery, NYC (2017) - Whit and I rode the train from Philly to get to NYC - we spent the day running around the city exploring, finally finding our destination at City Winery. I was more than excited since I’d never seen Jenn and Andy in action together and I knew that the setting was created for warmly rich and intimate nights like the one we experienced. The thick carpeted room and the warm presence the lights created lit the way of our experience, and we felt like we were on a magical carpet ride into the most beautiful musical wormhole imaginable, complete with wine and really damn good pizza.
Patti Smith (2018) - culture center Charleston, WV - I was lucky enough to be backstage at the WV Hall of Fame event where Patti Smith performed with her family - she was there in honor of WV Hall of Fame inductee, Fred “Sonic”Smith, who was born and raised in West Virginia. I was in utter awe watching her seemingly effortlessly perform songs that I had never dreamed I’d get to experience live. The whole experience was topped off with a cherry when I was talking with some friends backstage and she meekly and leisurely walked up to us holding and slowly pecking at a whole loaf of bread made by a local bakery. We talked about the performance and not sweating the small stuff.
Flock of Dimes - The Soft House (2012) - Baltimore, MD - During my time living in Baltimore, I worked at a guitar shop where I am grateful to have met so many inspiring musicians. On the day I met Jenn Wasner, she explained that she had just gotten off a Wye Oak tour - she was coming in to the shop to get a couple new tools for her new project “Flock of Dimes.” Being such a big fan of Jenn’s, I was flattered to be invited, so I welcomed the night that I got to watch the beginnings of something beautiful in the most intimate setting possible. Jenn steered us all into a dance party oblivion and no one left there unhappy. The room was magical and this sounds dramatic, but my life changed that night.
Courtney Barnett + The National - Columbus, OH (2018) - I’d seen The National a few years back - they made me cry a few times and left me feeling empowered and creative. I wasn’t sure if I’d feel the same about this event considering we stood in the rain most of a dreary weekday evening and drove over 3 hours to get there. Courtney Barnett opened the show and the sky literally cleared. She rocked harder than anything I’ve probably ever seen, and owned the stage every single minute of it. The National - they had me crying again. I guess they just know where to hit me.
Future Talk: I really wanna see Dinosaur Jr., The War on Drugs, Quinn Christopherson, The Futurebirds
7. Jesse Stowe - (Contributor, Alt Revue) - As I sat down to write my list of favorite concerts, I was concerned. Although I have been to many live shows, most of them were in my younger years in small venues with bands that no longer exist, and I may or may not have been EXTREMELY spun at the time. The sounds, lights, atmosphere, and dancing were an encompassing experience I was only able to capture in moments here and there like blurry photographs. Years have passed, and my memory, especially the specifics of a live act, is spotty at best. However, with the help of some friends and bootleg copies of shows, the older I got, the better I became at piecing together those blurry moments.
My criteria for great shows include a couple of major elements: Can I dance to it (to where my body is sore the next day), and is the band having fun? The more I can answer yes to these two questions, the more off notes and rough transitions I can accept. I’ve been to shows where the music was perfect; the crowd and the band were an orgy of transcending spirits; and time was no longer a structured dimension. I walked away sweaty, exhausted, and fulfilled. However, upon listening to a bootleg version, I noticed rough patches and miscues that I missed while amidst the immediacy of the live moment. Although that recorded copy was not the perfection I remembered, it never took away from the initial experience. The NOW factor of live shows is the final major element.
I’m going to start with a band people expect me to have on this list:
Radiohead - 8/21/03 Blossom, Cuyahoga Falls, OH (click the date to see the setlist): I have been to a handful of Radiohead shows, but I chose my first for one reason: it occurred during the Hail to the Thief era. Full of energy, the political rage that defined the early years of the band, and at an outdoor venue in the summer, this show had me dancing even when the crowd around me refused to.
Primus - 6/12/04 but actually 6/13/04 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN (click the date for the setlist and click the venue for the lineup, which you have to check out): Late at night or the morning, after heavy rains pushed back the start of the Saturday night headlining act, The Dead, Primus played what was, for me, the act of Bonnaroo III. The extremely professional band played a tight, focused, and energetic set that had festival goers staying up all night as we danced on the rain-saturated and muddy hill of Which Stage.
Medeski, Martin & Wood - 4/19/04 Arcata Community Center, Arcata, CA (No setlist because it was entirely improv; both sets): If you have never seen these three men perform together live, you are totally missing out. Another band I have seen a handful of times, the Arcata show was by far my favorite. Performed in a small venue that held between 400 and 500 people, it was incredibly intimate with a stage that was close and stood only a couple of feet off the basketball court. Recognizable songs were started, teased, and left unfinished as the members presented fragments of their discography mashed with digressions and solos that were spacey and disconnected. Band members left and returned to the stage at will, and one of my favorite moments was the end of the show when they quietly set down their instruments and sauntered off the stage in turn.
Anderson .Paak - 2/15/19 The Fillmore Detroit, MI (click the date for setlist): By far, the most recent concert on this list, Anderson .Paak is on my you-must-see list. Full of energy, happy, and smiling, there is no way that you could not enjoy one of his shows. He reminds me of true performers like Bruno Mars or Lady Gaga who know how to play to audiences. Paired with the fact that he is also a talented musician, his concert scored high on every one of my major great-show elements.
Mojoflo - 2/05/11 Jackie O’s Athens, OH (no setlist hyperlink): My dark horse for favorite concerts, this show had elements that set it apart from the rest on this list. Although they had plenty of their own music, Mojoflo created a setlist of covers, icon songs and performers spanning from the 1940s into the millennium, that celebrated African American History Month. All for a small venue and an audience of no more than 250 people. Enlightening, significant, meaningful, AND fun, funky, and full of energy, this show had audience members dancing, cheering and singing along.
Stormy Monday (1947) T-Bone Walker
At Last (1941) Etta James
Shout (1959) The Isley Bros
Stir it Up (1967) Bob Marley
Purple Haze (1967) Jimi Hendrix
Chain Of Fools (1968) Aretha Franklin
Proud Mary (1971) Ike & Tina
Superstition (1972) Stevie Wonder
Use Me (1972) Bill Withers
Can’t Hide Love (1976) Earth, Wind and Fire
Flashlight (1977) Parliament
Give it To Me Baby (1981) Rick James
Thriller (1984) Michael Jackson
Kiss (1986) Prince
Regulate (1994) Warren G
On and On (1997) Erykah Badu
Crazy in Love (2003) Beyonce
Touch The Sky (1970/2006) Kanye West
Fuck You (2010) Cee-lo
(Thank you to Mojoflo for providing me with this setlist)
In conclusion, I could have added a lot of other shows from stadium filling bands to local musicians who had a loyal fan base. However, these were the ones that step forward, and I find validity in that.
7. Nicholas Ditter - (Contributor, Alt Revue)
STRFKR - STRFKR was my very first concert (besides the Jimmy Buffett concert my dad took me to which doesn’t count in my book) when I was still in high school. I had just gone through my phase of pop punk and Nu/heavy metal when a friend mentioned STRFKR. This concert was my first experience into what live music can really feel like. As a 15 year old in some small dive venue, hands marked with black “X’s” and just jumping up and down because that is the only dancing I know, from that moment I was hooked not only into concerts but a whole new genre of music.
Florence and the Machine - Florence Welch puts on one of the MOST authentic and genuine performances I have seen. I don’t care that I was in Akron, OH or that it was raining, or that everyone around me was getting high but me; the feeling of seeing Florence + the Machine perform live was worth it. On top of that, Of Monsters and Men being the opening act only added to the vibe of the entire show.
Lauv - If you are unfamiliar with I would highly suggest you look it up. While attending a charity event in Nashville, Lauv was one of four performers that night along side Dan + Shay and Kim Petras. Not only was the concert benefiting a great cause, but this was an acoustic performance and very intimate which is why I find myself so grateful for it. I got to hear a different side to the song while supporting a movement I believe in which is a win win in my book.
Wrabel - After moving across the country from Southern Kentucky to Portland, Wrabel was one of the first concerts I attended. There is just a calming and reassuring feeling of a concert that really takes the edge off of having to start all over in a new city. From even when we were waiting outside in line, Wrabel would peep through the window at his fans and wave and initiate some small talk showing how intimate this concert would become. It felt very much so as if we all were friends immediately and not only had great performances and vocals, but there was a lot of audience-performer interaction and dialogue that was honestly very light hearted and enjoyable.
Bishop Briggs - I would be remiss to mention this concert without first shouting out the two opening acts. Never have I seen an opening act get an audience so hyped and keep them that hyped before this night. Jax Anderson and Miya Frolick got the audience’s energy going and kept it going all the way to the moment Bishop stepped out on stage. At one point the entire audience – if willing and able – got down on command from Jax. When Bishop finally joined the stage, it showed just how much time and effort went into this tour. The videos were perfectly timed and executed, the vocals sounded just as if it were recorded. Bishop arrived in what I would describe as “cool grandma’ (track suit bottoms, random button up with flames on the side, and rocking a pair of New Balances. Bishop was able to not only have an infectious energy but was also able to connect with everybody’s inner emo child. Bishop performed a small compilation of songs from Twenty one pilots, Mayday Parade, and Panic to show that good music will always be good music and can influence even some of the greatest musicians.
8. Ashley Rowland - (Alt Revue Contributor) - I’ve been to a LOT of shows, and my tastes vary wildly. But I narrowed the list down to five I am thankful for – either because it was the first time I’d see a band that would come to mean everything to me or the last time I’d see a band that meant the world.
Anberlin (Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio 2014) - Anberlin came up in the alternative rock / pop-punk era of the early 2000s. In that time, I bought all six of their albums and saw them in at least 10 of the 12 years they spent on stage. Of those, the show that I am MOST thankful for (not because it was the end, but because they played near me!) was their Final Tour stop in Columbus in 2014. They played 24 songs that brought me back to high school, college, and my days at Vans Warped Tour. And ended it all fittingly with (*Fin).
Andrew McMahon (House of Blues, Chicago, Illinois 2015) - On November 11, 2015, I hopped on a plane from Columbus to Chicago for a sold-out Dear Jack Foundation benefit concert – its sixth annual and my first. Andrew McMahon, who founded Dear Jack, was celebrating two things: the 10-year anniversary of his first Jack’s Mannequin album Everything in Transit and a full decade in remission from leukemia. I’ve followed him from his early days in pop-punk Something Corporate through Jack’s Mannequin and now Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness. It was only fitting to follow him to Chicago for this once-in-a-lifetime performance of an album that meant everything to me when it came out in 2005.
Bear’s Den (Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester Tennessee 2015) - I’ve written about British folk-rock band Bear’s Den before, covering their 2019 album So that you might hear me. But back in 2015, they were on the road promoting their debut album Islands and I had no idea who they were (other than the 30 seconds I gave their single “Agape” a listen in my Bonnaroo Spotify prep). Since, “Agape” went on to become the first-dance song at my wedding, and Bear’s Den went on to become one of my most beloved bands. I hope they play forever, and I’d travel anywhere to see them live – except for Bonnaroo again because I’m too old for that sh*t.
Frightened Rabbit (Big Room Bar + Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio 2016) - Frightened Rabbit were a Scottish indie rock band formed in 2003. They had five studio albums and a sixth in the works when Scott Hutchison died in 2018. The rest of Frightened Rabbit has said that the band “no longer exists” without him, which makes me forever grateful to have seen them when they stopped in Columbus on their Painting of a Panic Attack tour in 2016. I also got to meet Scott Hutchison at a private pre-show acoustic set at CD102.5’s Big Room Bar before it, and I’ll never forget his presence, his endearing spirit, and the voice that spoke to my soul.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio 2017) - My dad worked at a radio station when I was a kid, and that came with a lot of rad perks – tickets, backstage passes, and the introduction to a lot of great rock music. One artist he always had playing was Tom Petty, and my family (my mom, dad, brother, his girlfriend, and my husband) all got to see him and the Heartbreakers play a 19-song set of their best hits in Columbus in June 2017. Two months later, one week after the end of their 40th anniversary tour, Tom Petty passed away. It was shocking and heartbreaking and utterly surreal, and I’m so grateful to have seen him on what became his final tour.