Our top shows of 2014

We hit a new low in 2014: the fewest shows we've seen in a year since before 2011. That wasn't the only thing that made last year unique. Only four of our top shows last year took place in Windsor or Detroit; yet overall, we saw more shows north of the border in 2014. And we noticed something: more and more people are attending Canadian indie shows in Metro Detroit. We hope that means more and more bands will put Detroit on their itinerary in 2015.

Even though our chain of show wrist bands didn't grow as much, there was no shortage of shows to put on this list. So here they are, our top shows of 2014, in chronological order. Where are the photos? Well, that's why this post is so late. When our new Toshiba Canvio external hard drive failed after only two months,  data recovery re-sorted thousands of photos. S2W is still trying to find them all, but it's been an arduous process.
  1.  The Wet Secrets (Call the Office, London). First, they gave us a great show with music that has everything we like best. Then they made us put on a marching band hat and took our picture. We love these guys and gals so much.
  2. Bend Sinister (PJ's Lager House, Detroit). Lager House owner PJ meant to stay just for one song.  He was so blown away by Dan Moxon and company he ended up watching the whole set. That alone made it a top show for us.
  3. Zeus (The Pike Room at The Crofoot, Pontiac). FINALLY. So good, it just made us regret all the times we missed them even more.
  4. Chad VanGaalen with Cousins (The Pike Room at The Crofoot, Pontiac). We were thrilled to at last experience Chad VanGaalen, one of Canadian indie's most creative, multitalented artists.
  5. Doomsquad, (NXNE, Toronto). We saw them in their hometown of Montreal too, but this is the show that made our hearts Kalaboogie.
  6. How Sad (NXNE, Toronto). Exactly the way we like our pop: Effervescent, a little frenetic, organic and not too sweet.
  7. Shred Kelly (NXNE, Toronto). Just when we think a Shred Kelly show can't get any better, they prove us wrong.
  8. Wintersleep (NXNE, Toronto). They've played St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, but we decided to wait until we could see them on a TTC streetcar. It was the best ending ever to one of the best NXNEs we've attended.
  9. Octoberman (Phog Lounge, Windsor). It was a year for seeing CBC Radio 3 legends, including Andre Ethier and Culture Reject. Add the original and contemplative Marc Morrissette to that list.
  10. Library Voices, Gord Downie and the Sadies (Festival of Good Things, Sarnia). When it came to music, the event should have been called the Festival of Sublime Things. The perfect end to summer.
  11. Canailles (M for Montreal). Their brash music might be a mash-up-- Cajun, bluegrass, country and more-- but no band we saw at M made us feel more like we were in Montreal than Canailles.
  12. Hilotrons (M for Montreal). Somehow we'd forgotten how irresistibly catchy Dubue's music can be. Thanks for the reminder, Hilotrons, and our last top show for 2014.