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Beathearts top selections 2013: Top 3 Live performances

Great year for live performances! Among others we've been fortunate to experience Prince, Laura Mvula, Nas, Karriem Riggins, The Knife, Remi Panossian Trio, Jam City, Benji-B, Adam Beyer, Joel Mull, Ida Engberg, Junip, Kaah and many more.

In my mind the best three shows of the years was put together by an eclectic trio of performers to say the least: The Knife, Rémi Panossian Trio and Prince!

1. The Knife live @ Subtopia, Stockholm, May 16th 2013
Now, the Driejer siblings are a story of their own. For good and bad they're not compromising which often means that you either love or hate what they're doing. I'll admit I'm kind of a late follower of the Knife's work but since their 2006 album "Silent shout" I've been hooked.

This year was the first time I caught their live show and I must say I was blown away. All too many artists don't care about the venue, are sloppy with sound and light, let their record company chose the warm-up-act at random and often let the crowd wait for hours. This summer, the Dreijer's did the opposite:

They chose a venue normally used by a modern era cirkus with a great vibe. They had organised four or five food trucks serving quality (!) street food, coffee and drinks. Quality food at a concert is in my experience almost unheard of.

They had two warm-up acts to put the crowd in the right mood: first a steel drum band performing Beyoncé covers (!) followed by a Dance-oke group which was like a aerobics instructor leading the crowd to dance to music video clips projected on the walls. It ended with a crazy Bollywood video that lead right into the show with the crowd more than ready for the show. The show didn't really end but just transformed into a 90's rave vibe with DJ's seamlessly taking over with minimal techno set that lasted a couple of more hours. I must say I've never experienced such care into making all parts into ONE event. 

What about the show then? Well, if you're a fan you've probably already read the split reviews. If not, it's crazy. I different from anything else. Is it performance? Is it art? Is it live? Is it play-back? Does it really matter? I thought it was the best show of the year. No doubt.

I haven't found any great live shots from the show except for the Knife own photage. Needs to be experienced live but it gives you a taste.

2. Remi Panossian Trio @ Duc des Lombards, Paris, February 2013
While in Paris last winter one of the live events that caught our eye was by the Remi Panossian Trio at the Duc Des Lombards jazzclub. We had heard about them before but had never really took the time to check them out. The gig turned out to be the release party for their second album entitled BBANG and it blew us away. Experimental but still funky. Jazzy but with an edge.

We couldn't help relating to the Robert Glasper Experiment and wanted to know more. So we hooked up with Remi to bring you part 7 of our Beat Generation Series. They're continuously touring the world but we're very much looking forward to both new recorded material and a live show up north.

Read more: Beat Generation Series #7: Remi Panossian Trio (France)

3. Prince @ Music & Arts, Stockholm, August 4th 2013
Regulars might remember that we chose Prince as one of the artists of the year last year. Beathearts Top Selections 2012. I had never experienced Prince live before and had very mixed feelings before the show. His influence (from his older work) has never been stronger at the same time is his new material just as irrelevant. Either way the show was not what I expected but still great. He avoided almost any hit song (at least the first two and a half hours). Not many artists can do that and still rock the crowd. Actually I can't think of any artist or group that can do that. If I remember correctly he gave the crowd three (!) rounds of encores and performed for well over three hours. Not many artists of his magnitude would give their audience their all. Hats off for Prince Roger Nelson.

Download: Wax Poetics epic Prince mixtape

So what's coming up next year? Well, first off we're very much looking forward to the Kraftwerk 3D show @ the amazing Cirkus venue in Stockholm at the end of January!

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