“The Best Gig I Ever Saw” is a weekly column that will see us ask a musician to chat about their favorite concert thus far. This week it's Juliette Beavan of L.A.-based trip-rockers 8MM.

Rush, UNO Lakefront Arena, New Orleans
Live music seems to get woven into your life when you grow up around New Orleans. My earliest, most exciting memories are of the brass and marching bands in Mardi Gras parades … my sisters and I running as fast as we could to make it to the route in time. The sound of fire trucks signaling the parade approaching … we couldn’t miss the bands. They were exhilarating. The whole scene an expression of abandon, joy and the bittersweet.

When I moved from Louisiana and realized that everyone didn’t know Professor Longhair’s “Go to the Mardi Gras,” my heart sank. How could someone survive without that “holiday classic” in their childhood repertoire? C’est la vie, I suppose. 

But the best gig I would have to say was seeing Rush at the UNO Lakefront Arena when I was 16. As a kid, I was amazed at how much like the records they sounded, and I liked that precision. It also reconfirmed that I wanted to marry Geddy Lee (yes, really). He is one of the best bass players I’ve ever heard and so funky. It was also one of the loudest concerts I had been to at that point. The show was a bone-thumping, enveloping, completely satisfying wave of sound that only exists in the live music experience. (A big shout-out to their front-of-house engineer for none of that ear-searing harshness.)

The band was tight and every song played with the passion as if it was brand-new, whether it was or not. I was transfixed and in awe. They were perfect. They looked like they loved playing, too, even if they did have to stop and ask the crowd to “settle down.” I should mention it was Mardi Gras season so, yes, they actually had to tell the crowd to ease up on the enthusiasm. We accommodated as best we could … fewer panties were thrown onstage after that. Yes. Panty-throwing at a Rush concert. Laissez les bon temps rouler, baby.

8MM play at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5 at Cloak & Dagger. Everyone must wear black.

LA Weekly