Top 10 "Live At Shea Stadium" Bootlegs, Starring Screaming Females, Teeth Mountain, And The So So Glos

Whatever show this was, it didn't make the list, remarkably. Pic by Rebecca Smeyne.
Whatever show this was, it didn't make the list, remarkably. Pic by Rebecca Smeyne.

Shea Stadium has been one of Brooklyn's finer DIY-type venues since opening in April 2009 -- after a quick move from Debevoise Avenue over to its current home at 20 Meadow Street (neighbor issues, alas), the spot has hosted hundreds of oft-chaotic rock shows that now live on as high-quality bootlegs in the fantastic Live at Shea Stadium archive overseen by venue owner/founder/soundman Adam Reich. "Recording (and eventually releasing the shows) was the original concept behind starting the space in the first place," he explains. "At first I was thinking about opening a more traditional studio, but I wanted to do something different with it. Something a little more exciting and interactive." And daunting, too -- it's tough to know where to start. So we asked Reich to pick his 10 favorites; after struggling with it a bit ("it's like picking your favorite child!), here's what he came up with.

Andrew Cedermark 8.14.10 A great performance from one of the most memorable nights at Shea from this past summer, when we hosted the Underwater Peoples summer showcase. It was a total marathon, I think the show went from around 6 p.m. until 4 in the morning! It was quite possibly the longest show in our short history. So many great sets were played that night from bands like Big Troubles, Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, Airwaves, and Real Estate, but for some reason I seem to go back to this one the most.

Dustin Wong 9.17.10 There's some totally mesmerizing guitar-playing on this one . . . a few minutes into this set, I left the soundbooth and watched the rest of it five feet from the stage. After recording over 700 bands at Shea these past two years, it's easy to get jaded, zone out, and not focus on the music all of the time, but sometimes you're forced to. This was definitely one of those times. It's always exciting when someone performing solo can create so many different textures with one instrument. You can listen to this to a few times in a row and find something different in it each time.

Guardian Alien 1.21.11 This is my most recent favorite: one of the many musical projects of drummer extraordinaire Greg Fox, who also happens to be my second cousin. Just finished mixing it down last week and got really really into it. I'm pretty sure it's going to get properly released at some point. The set was more or less improvised, but it has such a natural flow. Things build slowly and then explode, with some really great spontaneous dialogue between instruments. I'm also partial to this one because I got to hop on the drum set for a few minutes while Greg switched to keys. It wasn't really a planned thing, but surprisingly it all worked out. It's always great to play music with one of your family members, especially when they're also one of your favorite drummers.

Small Black 10.15.10 One of my favorite shows from last year. It was the release party for their latest record, New Chain. I remember during soundcheck thinking that they were particularly on point and that it was going to be a great set. They played nearly 60 minutes' worth of great live versions of a lot of the new songs, and some older ones as well. The crowd was way into it -- there was a serious party vibe that night. Definitely one of my favorite recordings.

Future Islands 7.4.10 Taken from our Summerjam 4th of July BBQ throwdown. It was a celebration for Shea's one-year anniversary on Meadow Street curated by the aforementioned Greg Fox. Future Islands closed out the night with a bang. . . . I remember looking out at the audience halfway through their set, it appeared as though every single person was so visibly in the moment. No sidebar conversations or chain-smoking on the balcony -- they were all on the same page and having a blast. It's the moments like those that reassure that what you're doing is worthwhile. I think that energy translates well on these tracks.

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