My Favorite Sets of 2018 – Langen Goldstien


With over 200 shows and over 1,000 bands this past year, narrowing it down to my top five was beyond difficult. Hell, I would have had a hard time narrowing it down to my top fifty. I got to see a little bit of everything this year. Bands that I had never heard of before and bands that I have been listening to for years. With old favorites and new favorites, 2018 was a hell of a good year for live shows. Here’s my attempt at narrowing it down to my top five. Cheers!

Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers at The Varsity- The amount of passion this group had was off the charts. With relateable lyrics that were sung with an undeniable sense of conviction, Hobo Johnson instantly became a standard in my daily playlist after catching them in October. It was one of the few shows that left me absolutely speechless and was almost too much for me to process. The lyrics, the vibe– everything about this show was perfect.

Jesus Piece at Amsterdam- I may have never heard of Jesus Piece prior to catching them as an opening act at the Terror/ Knocked Loose show in March but they definitely left a lasting impression on me. They had a sense of intensity that you typically only get from veteran hardcore bands. Their energy was electric to say the least and the crowd reflected that. I may have left their set with a giant boot print on my side from one of the kids in the pit but I also left with a smile on my face and a new favorite band.

Kate Nash at The Fine Line- This was definitely a bucketlist show for me. I’ve been listening to Kate Nash for years and I finally got to see her live in April. I left the show with virtually no voice left and heart that had grown three sizes bigger. I had put this woman up on a pedestal and she definitely exceeded any and all of my expectations when it came to her live show.

Peelander Z at The Turf Club- I honestly have never laughed as hard as I did at this show. With a couple of friends in tow, this show was easily one of the most entertaining of the year. With human bowling, interactive songs and a juvenile yet upbeat vibe, there were multiple times throughout this show where I was worried I may pee my pants a little bit. My cheeks hurt for days after just from smiling so much.

Lucero at Red Rocks- My favorite band at the one and only Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado on my birthday. I mean, do I really need to say anything else? Add a surprise visit by my brother who had made the trip out just to surprise me on the special day and I spent the night bawling my eyes out with the happiest of tears I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t write a blog about this one because I was just so damn speechless and continue to be to this day.