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BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Minneapolis 2004 - Lifter Puller

Readers' Choice: Summer Sanitarium Tour (Metallica)

I saw it happen. I was there. Words whose weight should be reserved only for presidential assassinations, natural disasters, broadcast television breast-unveilings, and last summer's Lifter Puller shows. Anyone who spoke those sentences last June recalls every detail from the nights the broken-up-and-moved-away indie-rock band reunited to celebrate the grand opening of the Triple Rock's new concert venue. The brand new bar, lightly dusted with sawdust shavings and slanted down at an angle so that thirsty punks accidentally rinsed their jeans with Red Bull. The fans who flew in from Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles, all outdone by the dude who drove all the way out from San Francisco just to throw his LFTR PLLR-tattooed knuckles in the air. The speakers that blasted Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town" as Craig Finn and his cohorts plugged in their equipment on stage. The riotous yawp as a sold-out crowd gleefully shouted along to the "assless chaps" line on "Math Is Money." The pulsing throng who pogoed themselves right out of their sneakers. And the feeling that the show was so much bigger than the small punk-rock bar that housed it.

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