Area club owners and fans name 2004's best shows


We sought out some of the influential members of the music scene - bookers, club owners, record store owners, people who see live music multiple times a week - and asked them the following question:

What was your favorite live show in 2004 and why?

Here's what they had to say:

"There are a whole bunch, but I'd have to say Charlie Daniels. I grew up in that era; I was blasting it in my speakers in my college dorm room.

"There was also Vince Gill. His wife, Amy Grant, came up on stage and sang happy birthday to their 1-year-old at the show. That was really neat."

- Brian Recher, co-owner of the Recher Theatre in Towson

"Mine was Robert Townsend at the Baltimore Comedy Factory. It was really cool to see such a legendary comedy act in such a small venue. He talked to everyone in the crowd, and it was just a treat.

- Mickey Cucchiella, co-host of radio station 98Rock's Mickey and Amelia show.

"Clutch at the Recher Theatre. They're a local band that just plays here once a year. I've seen them all over the country. They always give a little bit more to the Maryland crowd."

- Amelia, co-host of radio station 98Rock's Mickey and Amelia show.

"Livingston Taylor," at the Rams Head Tavern. "Seeing him play back in the '70s was one of the reasons I got into this business. It was amazing to see him play here."

- Bill Muehlhauser, owner of Rams Head Live! in Baltimore and Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis.

"One isn't enough, so the two best shows I saw were Will Oldham upstairs at the Ottobar. He performed an acoustic set, with Matt Sweeney, of unreleased material for his new album. It was simply mesmerizing. And [the second was] Slick Rick at Ottobar, the best showmanship and crowd participation I have ever seen!"

- Brian "Baby Leg" DeRan, president and CEO of Monitor Records Baltimore

"John Fogerty at the 9:30 Club. The guy is just better than ever. He was just fantastic. Often with legends, once you seen them once, they disappoint. This guy is the real deal, and he just keeps getting better."

- Seth Hurwitz, co-owner of the 9:30 Club

"The Funky Meters at the Funk Box. They're funk pioneers - they started in the '60s - so we're real fortunate and honored to have had them here. They've played for a long time, and when they played here they did a song that the Meters had never played live before. They turned it up a level, it sounded great and they really had the crowd going."

- Dave Rather, co-owner of the Funk Box

"The Velvet Revolver show at the 9:30 Club was spectacular. It was a real big band to see in a small place. It sounded good on paper - to see the guys from Guns N' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots - and when these guys took the stage they made such great music. It was like an arena rock show in this tiny venue."

- Dave Geller, I.M.P. Baltimore; books and produces shows at Merriweather Post Pavilion

"Actually, the best show I saw this summer was the FIXX at the Hard Rock. It was part of an '80s circuit, and they rocked. There were about 300-350 people and lots of hot chicks. Rockin' party."

- Mike Outlaw, general manager of the Hard Rock Cafe in Baltimore

"The best show I saw in 2004 was Q Bert performing his turntablist tricks at Sonar. The night had a great vibe. ... As the venue's owner, I liked it because it was packed, and Q Bert himself dubbed Sonar "best club in the world," which I have signed on the underside of one of our tables.- Lonnie Fisher, owner of Sonar Lounge

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