Ryan Watson’s 2017 Year in Review – Staff Picks

Every year we ask our talented contributors to send us their thoughts on the past twelve months. These surveys appear untouched, and the only instruction was to answer the question however they see fit. –Dakota Arsenault, Music Editor


How long have you been with Live in Limbo and what do you do for the site?

This was my second year with the site. I occasionally write concert reviews for the site.

What were your three favourite albums of 2017?

Sleep Well Beast- The National

Pure Comedy- Father John Misty

American Dream- LCD Soundsystem

What was the most underrated album of 2017?

Hot Thoughts- Spoon

What was your favourite Canadian album of 2017?

Arcade Fire- Everything Now

What were your three favourite songs of 2017?

The Ballad of the Dying Man- Father John Misty

American Dream- LCD Soundsystem

Carin at the Liquor Store- The National

How many concerts and/or festivals did you go to in 2017?

15 or more, I can’t remember the exact number, there’s some that I almost forgot about when trying to count.

What were your three favourite concerts of the year?

Dawes at The Opera House

Tom Petty at Air Canada Centre

Roger Waters at Air Canada Centre

What was your favourite festival you attended of the year?


What festival had the best lineup (regardless if you attended or not)?

Osheaga, I was willing to travel to any festival with the right lineup this year, and Osheaga was the only one that really interested me in making a road trip.

What/who was the biggest musical disappointment (live or album) for you?

Gorillaz- Humanz. I only really liked a couple of the songs from the album. The good ones are really good, but a lot of it was forgettable to me. Most songs were substantially more enjoyable live.

What band did you see live for the first time that really impressed you?

Dawes. Incredible live and they played for 2 and a half hours with a short break. They jammed and extended a lot of their songs and sounded fantastic doing it. I was extremely impressed by them.

What was your favourite new musical discovery of 2017?

Dawes, I had only really listened to a few of their song here and there, but had a chance to review their concert. I listened to more and more of their stuff leading up to the concert and really fell in love with their music.

Who were you disappointed to miss seeing live this year?

LCD Soundsystem. I absolutely loved their album, but couldn’t fit it in amongst a chunk of other shows I had during that time of year. I know I’ll regret this one (here’s to hoping they show up sometime this summer in the GTA)

Who should we be looking out for in 2018?

MGMT. The first three singles from their new album sound great. I have a feeling this is going to be a huge bounce back year after a commercial and critical let down with their last album nearly 5 years ago.

Who’s going to be headlining (or at least playing) all the 2018 festivals?

Eminem (apparently, kinda had the cheat sheet for this question with all these lineups being released recently)

What was your favourite review, photo set or interview you did for LiL this year?

Well this is a tough one. I reviewed Tom Petty earlier this year and we lost him just a few months later. I feel privileged to not only have seen him play this year, but also that I got to write about it too.

I also had an incredible experience with Dawes when they played for 2 and a half hours and completely won me over with their musicianship and pure joy of sharing their music with their fans.

This year the Horseshoe Tavern celebrated its 70th birthday, do you have a fond memory or favourite all time show from the club?

I saw Half Moon Run there years ago when they first arrived on the scene. The energy in the room that night was incredible, the entire crowd was singing along with every song. Even the band looked shocked that the audience was so attached to the music.

In your opinion, what was the biggest music story?

The passing of Gord Downie. The outpour for him was touching. Music stations across the country dedicated days of airtime to his passing. It felt like we lost a piece of our identity as Canadians, but in a beautiful way it also untied us.

Is there anything else you want to say about 2017 or predict about 2018?

Sadly more festivals will be cancelled; there are far too many and not nearly enough variety amongst them. Some are going to take massive financial hits because they just aren’t offering enough. Hopefully we don’t lose any more GTA festivals. We could use a couple new ones in the area, which can offer a dynamic and unique lineup for a reasonable price. We can count on Field Trip and the CBC Music Festival to deliver some quality and great value lineups once again.

About author

Writer at Live in Limbo. Ryan is a lover of music, vinyl, concerts and festivals. He's a fan of a large variety of alternative, indie, folk and electronica music. He can be found killing time at the local record shop, trying to see over all the tall people at concerts that tend to stand directly in front of him, or asleep on the couch in track pants. You can follow and share your thoughts with him on Twitter @rdubs89.