#10. Grace Potter in Napa
Sweet Jesus Lord God, I love me some Grace Potter. I fell in love with her when we started playing “Paris (Ooh La La)” a long time ago, but this show at the Uptown on November 3 confirmed my love forever. She absolutely destroyed – then ran offstage, said hi to her fans, and hauled ass down to Oakland to do another whole show at the Fox! Damn girl.
#9. Katy Perry singing with a fan at the Night of Too Many Stars fundraiser
If you don’t bawl during this performance, you are stronger than I am. And for anyone who’s ever wondered what kind of heart Katy Perry has under all that frosting and glitter, here’s your answer.
#8. The band fun. at the Independent in San Francisco
I need this band to change their name. Stat. Because this show was so effing FUN that it was impossible to talk about at the time without sounding lame. They were on fire, every song. It was like the band and the audience were all in another world, just for that short time that they took us there. I don’t have any pictures from this one that aren’t fuzzy (which is apropos of the entire night, actually.) Added bonus on this one? I literally bumped into singer Landon Pigg AND the girl who plays Amber on “Parenthood” (Mae Whitman) as I was walking out the door. Favorite celeb-show-sighting of the year.
#7. Adam Lambert at Summerthing
I don’t think I could love Adam any more than I do. I have that creepy “we’d really be best friends if we really could just spend some time together, for real” love for him. His set at Summerthing only made things worse ’cause he was perfect in every way, from his backstage fierceness to his ‘destroy the Earth’ set onstage that included a tribute to Donna Summer that you had to see to believe. Seriously, Adam. Call me.
#6. Lana Del Rey at Amoeba San Francisco
I was a Lana-Doubter after SNL, but her instore performance at Amoeba in February made me a Lana-Believer. She’s just a freakin’ sexy faerie, she’s this little super-dirty-but-innocent-singing-wonder. I’ve almost never seen a crowd so rapt – she ‘d whisper something flirty into the mic and hundreds of people would all damn-near faint on each other at the same time. And her songs just melted me. Then I went and said “hi” to her upstairs and – well, girl-crush confirmed. As great as she was in every way onstage, she was as funny and kind afterwards. Dammit Lana. You win. (Oh, and the other best-celeb-show-sighting happened here too, ’cause I realized about halfway through the instore that I was standing next to the Woz. Could he be any cooler?!)
# 5. Tristan Prettyman at Now and Zen
I’ve said on the air about 1,000 times that Tristan’s record “Cedar and Gold” is my favorite record of the year. She wrote it after her fiancee unexpectedly ended their engagement (yes, it’s true, her fiancee was Jason Mraz) and they’re just some of the best songs about having your heart broken, then slowly getting better, that I’ve ever heard. The track “I Was Gonna Marry You” is my favorite song of the year – I also love “Glass Jar,” “My Oh My”, “When You Come Down,” and “Never Say Never”among others…and yes, “Rebound” is actually really truly about picking up a one-night-stand in the produce department of Trader Joe’s. That is officially reason #4,513 to love my girl Tristan.
#4. Ed Sheeran hearing his own song for the first time on American radio
I’m crazy-proud to say that Alice is the station that launched Ed Sheeran in America, and one part of the amazing run we’ve had with him so far is the fact that he actually heard his own song on American radio for the first time on Alice! We’d done a lounge with him at Infusion in San Francisco in September, the night before he opened for Snow Patrol in Oakland, and he mentioned to me he’d never heard his song on American radio. I told him he should call me the next day and request it, half-joking, but he said he would – and he did. He called from his car on the way to soundcheck at the Fox…and later that day, when I saw him before the show, he showed me the tattoo he’d just gotten to commemorate the events of the day (it’s a snowflake, for Snow Patrol, and angel’s wings for the lyrics of “The A Team.”) Definitely a day neither of us will forget.
# 3. Matt Nathanson at the Fillmore and at Now and Zen
OK I know I’m supposed to just pick one show – but with Matt, ya know… you always want more. Good Lord, dude, give us a break and please be just a tiny bit less perfect? When he’s not onstage somewhere with his damn-near-perfect-songs-stories-jokes-flirting-with-the-crowd-til-you-consider-rushing-the-stage perfection, he works with local charities. I mean… Matt. Come on, honey, I’m only human here. Plus, he lives in San Francisco. Matt you know where the station’s located, right? I’m on the air 10a – 3pm. Just sayin’.
# 2. Christina Perri at the Greek in Berkeley
One of the artists I’ve been happiest, most proud, and most grateful to work with in my entire life is Christina Perri. Alice was the first station in the world to play “Jar of Hearts” and we’ve been first with very single afterwards, too. Because they are so effing good, that’s why. My girl has a voice, lyrics, and beyond that – personality – like almost no one else you’re ever gonna meet. She’s a freaking rock star and, more importantly and lucky for us, she’s a genuinely good person who somehow has remained down-to-earth, insanely kind, warm, and real after living through a literally-overnight-success story that would have made lesser souls insufferable. I’ll never forget standing off to the side of the stage, at the Greek in Berkeley this October, watching this:
#1. Pink visiting the Alice studio
We’d heard the news weeks in advance – Pink was coming! To the studio!! To hang out with us!!??!! The preparation we went through was nuts – everything from giving away passes for listeners to meet her, to decorating the entire lounge (guess what color) to turning my office into a temporary green-room/private space for Pink to hang out with her daughter in. And then the day came, and – I swear to you – you could actually feel it when she walked in. She has this insane rock-star-presence that very few people have, it’s like she’s electric. And when she sang it was like no one in the room could even breathe – she just effortlessly belted out notes that you wouldn’t imagine anyone could do live. She just floored us. (and that doesn’t even include her kick-ass interview with Sarah and Vinnie, my favorite part of which was when she said she wished her phone came with a breathalyzer.) I’d always liked her a lot but I’d never truly appreciated her, I don’t think. I do now, that’s for damn sure. Best artist visit ever!