The Triangle played host to plenty of great music events in 2008, drawing names like the Silver Jews, Wilco, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Spoon. But there was also a rich local music scene. Unranked but in chronological order, here are some of 2008's best moments in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area.
The Dodos & Megafaun at BCHQ - March 28, 2008
This San Francisco duo on Frenchkiss had a huge year in 2008, topping several year-end lists. But the fact that they stopped at BCHQ instead of 506 or the Cradle was a power move for the small venue. To boot, the Dodos followed Silje Nes and Megafaun was the last to play. The Durham trio might not have been headlining, but playing last makes it seem like they were. Regardless, it was still a great show.
Arcade Fire and Superchunk Rock for Obama - May 2, 2008
It's no secret that Mac McCaughan is an Obama fan. So when 90s Chapel Hill rockers Superchunk joined up with the Arcade Fire to put on a free show right before the North Carolina primary, it was a huge deal. In part, because Arcade Fire only played a handful of shows in 2008. But also because Superchunk shows are a special treat whenever they come--and Superchunk's awesome kids stole the show.
TRKFest - May 31, 2008
Chapel Hill-based Trekky Records used Pittsboro's Piedmont Biofuels plant to host to a day-long concert and fundraise for the label. It was a true grassroots effort with a merch booth selling spray-painted jorts, a no-pants dance-off, lots of watermelon, potato sack races and all sorts of other folksy shenanigans. The lineup included Barghest, Bowerbirds, Midtown Dickens and a slew of Trekky bands, but it was one of the best ways to spend 10 bucks all summer.
Les Savy Fav at the Nasher/HNMTF, Yardwork and Des Ark at BCHQ - July 12, 2008
The Nasher Museum of Art's foray into the outdoor concert series was a glowing success thanks to post-punk art rockers Les Savy Fav and its Durham-based drummer Harrison Haynes who was key to organizing the performance. But the local spirit really shined through when BCHQ hosted an after party of sorts with Hammer No More the Fingers, Charlotte-based Yardwork and Des Ark to rock the summer night well past midnight.
She & Him at the Cat's Cradle - July 28, 2008
So this technically wasn't a local show, but it stands as a testament to the power of the area's music scene (and locally-owned Merge Records) that a band this big that did minimal amount of touring would come to the Cradle. Zooey Deschanel dazzled a sold-out Cat's Cradle in perhaps the cutest performance of the year, and earned a lot of points from the local crowd by voicing her appreciation of Carrboro's friendly audience and its cuisine (she cited Lantern). Not to mention it was a damn good show.
Check back tomorrow for the second part of this list that will take us into the end of the year. For our other top 10 lists, check here.
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