Concertgoing, and Other Microtonal Fingerings

Sara Bareilles @ The Anthem on Nov. 20, 2019

Let’s do some exploring and answer the timeless question: What bands/artists have I seen live in concert five or more times?

In recent months I attended concerts by The Joy Formidable, Sara Bareilles and Of Monsters and Men, and it got me thinking. I’ve seen all of them live a bunch of times, so what other bands/artists also fit that bill? I selected an arbitrary number as the benchmark.

This required gruelingly detailed research (using the ‘Find’ feature in my Excel list of concerts) and hard-hitting analysis laid bare (this post).

Now that the inconceivable results have been published, indeed what can we learn from this exercise? What knowledge gleaned can future generations apply in their daily lives? Find the answer key at the end.*

The number of bands/artists that I unearthed is robust (12), with another nine knocking on the door of destiny.

Bands/Artists Seen Five or More Times

The Joy Formidable (5 concerts)
Last Show: 11/29/2019 @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Interesting Tidbit: They’ve been around for 10 years now. Read the review of this latest show.

Sara Bareilles (5)
Last Show: 11/20/2019 @ The Anthem
Interesting Tidbit: I once chanced upon Sara performing in DC’s Union Station main hall. She was the featured artist for Amtrak’s National Train Day in 2008.

Metric (5)
Last Show: 2/19/2019 @ The Fillmore Silver Spring
Interesting Tidbit: I first saw them at 2010’s Lollapalooza in Chicago!

Tegan and Sara (5)
Last Show: 11/11/2017 @ The Anthem

The Sounds (5)
Last Show: 11/28/2016 @ 9:30 Club

Kaiser Chiefs (5)
Last Show: 5/12/2015 @ Rams Head Live
Interesting Tidbit: These guys were the first show I saw at the 9:30 Club.

The Ting Tings (5)
Last Show: 4/11/2015 @ 9:30 Club
Interesting Tidbit: The third time I saw them was in London in 2009.

Soundgarden (5)
Last Show: 5/4/2013 @ DC Chili Cookoff at RFK Stadium
Interesting Tidbit: Soundgarden is one of my favorite bands. I guess that must be true for most of these, if I keep coming back for more. Read this requiem on Chris Cornell.

More than five???

Of Monsters and Men (6)
Last Show: 9/4/2019 @ The Anthem
Interesting Tidbit: The first time I saw them live was at a free concert at The Fillmore Silver Spring.

The Walking Sticks/SHAED (6)
Last Show: 12/8/2017 @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Interesting Tidbit: This DC band changed their name and removed all their old music online as The Walking Sticks. Which was very disappointing, because I liked those songs. But it must have been the right call, because they got big with their last album.

Tokyo Police Club (7)
Last Show: 3/15/2019 @ DC9
Interesting Tidbit: The strangest show was a Red Bull Sound Clash where they competed against the rap artist Wale. They each took turns performing 3-4 songs at different stages (the crowd had to move between the stages), and then the crowd got to vote on the winner. If memory serves, Tokyo Police Club won the clash!

Scythian (10+)
Last Show: 3/17/2018 @ ShamrockFest at RFK Stadium
Interesting Tidbit: I’ve seen them at five different annual ShamrockFests!

Close But No Cigar

Coldplay (4)

Mumford & Sons (4)

Norah Jones (4)

Jimmy Buffett (4)

Super Diamond (4)

Vampire Weekend (4)

The National (4)


Silversun Pickups (4)


Key Lessons for Future Generations Answer Key
  • Get out more.
  • They really want to learn more about microtonal fingerings.** That is a journey one must take alone!
  • Given our country’s current trajectory, assume our future will be encapsulated by the art film, Idiocracy. Can lessons really help these future generations?
  • Never give up blah blah blah dreams yada yada greatness (Baby Yoda tea meme here) wocka wocka imagination.
  • Leave no concert unearthed.



** I did not come up with this phrase, I heard it from flautist-extraordinaire, Carrie Rose. But you have to love saying it five times fast.

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