2022 is coming to an end and we’re already amped up about 2023. But before we dive into the new year, we asked our some of our friends to join us as we look back on this past one.
Abbey Aronica – Marketing Manager, Hult Center
Favorite Show: I can’t tell if it’s just because I hadn’t been able to get out much in the last year or two (like truly everyone else on the planet) but this year, I got to see SO many amazing shows that scratched the itch I had for live performances. I truly can’t narrow it down to just one performance, but some of my highlights would be seeing Chelsea Handler, Lord Huron, and our last 10×10 Series show with Tolliver. I’ve watched Chelsea on TV for at least 11 years (yikes!) and that was a total bucket list item, Lord Huron put on one of the most exciting shows I’ve been to & they’re one of my favorite bands, and Tolliver was a performer with so much life and vibrancy that it was impossible not to fall in love with him.
Favorite Music: I am absolutely obsessed with Regina Spektor and her most recent album “Home, before and after” was nothing short of amazing. This is her first album release in about 6 years and has all of the elements I love about Regina’s style – it’s whimsical & playful, yet brings a certain heaviness in some of the storytelling. Highlights off the album are definitely “Becoming All Alone” and “What Might Have Been”. 11/10!
Most Anticipated: Ugh, this is hard because we have a lot of exciting shows coming up that I’m anxiously awaiting. I think my most anticipated show might be Step Afrika! on April 15. It seems like it’s going to be an extremely high-energy performance with some education sprinkled throughout. I have a dance background and think it’s the perfect artform for communicating important messages, so I think this show checks all the right boxes for me!
Daniel Olbrych – Content and Design Coordinator, Hult Center
Favorite Show: My favorite performance at the Hult Center this year is kind of a cheat… Emily Wells was here in June as part of the 10×10 series. Her show that night was phenomenal but earlier that day she sat down at a Steinway and played a beautiful, stripped down version of her song ‘The Dress Rehearsal.’ It was such a gift to see Emily perform in this setting. And you know what!? You can enjoy it too, because I recorded it.
Favorite Music: I’m a little late to the party here but ‘Nothing is True & Everything is Possible’ by Enter Shikari is my record of the year. It’s artistic freedom at the highest of levels, these guys do whatever they want. The album is topical, often scary, and sometimes funny… I love this record and band so much. The new Coheed album is pretty spectacular in every way and feels like I’m watching an epic sci-fi movie. And last but not least, Cold Years ‘Goodbye to Misery’ is a record that sounds so very good cranked up as loud as your ears can handle.
Most anticipated: Ryan Adams. To have the chance to see him in this building, on this solo performance tour, can’t wait!
Dora Taylor – House of Records
Favorite Show: I think my favorite show I saw this year was Father John Misty at the McDonald.
Favorite Music: 2022 was such a big year for music releases that it’s difficult to narrow down my top three. My most anticipated (and listened to) album of the year had to be Mitski’s “Laurel Hell.” Although she was exhausted from her last album “Be The Cowboy,” she powered through her burn out and put out a collection of songs laced with catchy synths, earworm pop melodies, and haunting lyrics. My second favorite would be The Smile’s “A Light for Attracting Attention.” I didn’t discover this album until a few months after its release, but this Radiohead side project quickly became a favorite. This album combines Radiohead’s unmistakable sound with elements of funk, ambience, and even jazz. The last of my top three albums is Danger Mouse and Black Thought’s “Cheat Codes,” a project combining the decades-long expertise of two hip hop veterans, collaborations with newer artists, and even posthumous bars from legend MF Doom.
Most Anticipated: I’m looking forward to seeing Reverend Horton Heat at Whirled Pies.
Dusty Adair – Talent Buyer, Hult Center
Favorite Show: I really enjoyed Hamilton. It was my first Broadway show and it did not disappoint. It is great to have Broadway in Eugene.
Favorite Music: Bell Bottom Country, Lainey Wilson – Lainey has been around for a while now, but her career has really taken off this year. She released her album, Bell Bottom Country in October, and I have been listening to it ever since. She stuck to her country roots but added a little rock, soul and funk to the album which makes it unique.
Most Anticipated: Ryan Adams.
Hannah Bontrager – Executive Director, Ballet Fantastique
Favorite Show: BFan’s world premiere of ARRIVALS: RIO on Dec. 31–Jan 2, 2022, because we got to stretch the definition of what a ballet performance is, washing the stage with video, a fusion of live music and international artists, and the travel escape I’m (still) desperately longing for.
Favorite Music: Hard one! I fell utterly back in love (again) with Pink Martini at the Hult 40th and they’re on repeat.
Most Anticipated: New traditions are beginning, and I’m excited. BFan will launch the holiday season on Thanksgiving Weekend (mark your calendar, guys), and I’m looking forward to Symphony NYE. Art experiences to mark holidays is special to me: It means participating in the orchestration of a shared memory for, and with, people I love—and new world class experiences uniquely created in and for our community.
Julie Winsel – Marketing and Comms Manager, Eugene Symphony
Favorite Show: My favorite show this year was Eugene Symphony’s Beethoven’s Ode to Joy concert on December 10. The hall was full of excited families, community members, and musicians, which created a fantastic energy that we all deeply felt and appreciated. It was an amazing way to celebrate the holiday season and share it with our region-wide extended Symphony family.
Favorite Music: We’re on the Bluey train in my house also so my favorite song this year was ‘I Know A Place (The Creek Song)’ by Helena Czajka, Jazz D’Arcy, Jonathan Bush, and Joff Bush. It provides an essential moment of quiet, peace, and zen, even when it randomly comes on in the car on the way to school drop off.
Most Anticipated: I am most looking forward to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in February. It will be my first time seeing the orchestra-movie combo and I’m pretty stoked about the partnerships we have lined up for concert night.
Katie Patrick – Marketing Director, Eugene Ballet
Favorite Show: Our favorite show of 2022 was Toni Pimble’s Taming of the Shrew! This was a world premiere and involved so many artists from set design to costumes to live music. This steampunk inspired ballet brought Shakespeare’s story to life in a whole new way.
Favorite Music: Orchestra Next’s The Nutcracker, of course! Recorded within the Hult Center walls!
Most Anticipated: We are most looking forward to Toni Pimble’s The Little Mermaid, another world premiere, choreographed to Debussy’s La Mer. We are ready to journey to the depths of the ocean with this Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and immerse the audience in magical coral reefs, lush kelp forests, and exotic sea life.
Lee Alberts – Food & Beverage Director, Hult Center
Favorite Show: Clearly my favorite shows this year were the Bob Weir shows. It was great as a Deadhead seeing him play at the place I work and watching our staff effectively serve a very thirsty audience! I’ve seen Bob Weir play 169 shows now and those were my first two with the full Wolf Pack. What a great band and fresh sound!
Favorite Music: My favorite record that came out in 2022 was the Tedeschi Trucks Band amazing four album release of I Am The Moon. It’s a brilliant piece that shows the talents of every member of the entire large ensemble that is the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Most Anticipated: I am most looking forward to in 2023 is The Second City of February 13th. I’m from Chicago and have seen many shows at Second City and it’s one of the most under the radar comedy troupes.
Rich Hobby – Director of Marketing, Hult Center
Favorite Show: Olafur Arnalds – Some Kind of Peace World Tour. Sometimes you see a show that never leaves you the same, and this was one of those. The entire performance was so nuanced and gorgeous with integrated gorgeous light design that truly enhanced every moment of seeing the pianist and composer, along with some incredible string musicians and a percussionist. You could hear a pin drop at times as the audience held their breath waiting for the next swell. Truly unforgettable.
Favorite Music: Like most, it’s so hard to narrow down to one album and had so many shortlist candidates including Spoon, Lizzo, and Bonobo. The one that stole the show through sheer dominance of playtime though was the stellar drop “The Last Goodbye” from ODESZA. The album really brought some fun energy to my life right as some kind of normalcy seemed to be returning to the world. It has dance tracks and even deep thinkers, and I couldn’t get enough.
Most Anticipated: Come From Away – April 25-30 – this show is an absolute must see, especially for anyone that feels like the world is colder and more aggravating than it should be. While the story does center around the heaviness of 9/11, the real focus of this amazing musical is the incredible things that happen when we put aside differences and just try our best to help one another. It’s the happy tear jerker/reminder that we all need, that kindness can truly change the world.
Vicki Infinito – Director of Programming & Booking, Hult Center
Favorite Show: A show I loved is Valerie June – she is an absolute favorite of mine it was so wonderful to see her in the Soreng.
Favorite Music: Picking a favorite for 2022 is not easy. A LOT of really great albums came out this year and this took some serious thought to narrow it down to just three albums. I could have made a much longer list and if I did this another day the list may have changed some.
Spoon – Lucifer on the Sofa
Angel Olson – Big Time
Sudan Archives – Natural Brown Prom Queen
Most Anticipated: Ryan Adams!