2010 was an unbelievable year for concerts this year. Not only did I attend more shows this year (10 shows, 1 festival), the quality of acts I witnessed were pretty amazing. Regrettably, I missed Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem, but I think I did quite well for myself.
8. Vonnegutt – Smith’s Old Bar -11/24/10
Another typically solid and tight show by Vonnegutt, but Big Boi came out and tore thru “Follow Us”.
7. Chromeo (and Holy Ghost!) – The Masquerade – 8/27/10
A truly great show, but maybe the novelty of their live show has worn off since I saw them at Lolla ’08.
6. Yeasayer – The Masquerade – 4/6/10
Its usually tough to compare a festival appearance to a band’s solo date, but Yeasayer greatly improved from Lolla ’08. Their Atlanta stop featured material mostly from Odd Blood which resulted in much more dancing than I imagined. “I Remember” was the highlight of many sing-alongs.
5. Passion Pit – The Tabernacle – 6/9/10
Fantastic music and a sweltering sweat fest on June 9th. Tabernacle was at capacity and Michael Angelakos had the audience singing nearly every note of every track from Manners and a Cranberries cover. Seeing the crowd’s neck-jerk reaction to “Sleepyhead” is something thats tough to describe but memorable to see.
Also, I know I’m in the minority here, but this was the show that made me realize I’m not a big fan of Tabernacle. It holds a ton of people and is a historic backdrop, but I kind of think the sound sucks. I originally just assumed that it sounded so bad at Kid Cudi in ’09 was due to what I like to call the “rapper effect”. I’m not a sound expert by any means, but if I didn’t know Manners so well, I would have had struggles deciphering one song from the next.
4. Matt & Kim – The Masquerade – 10/16/10
I had expected the constant perma-grin emitting from Matt & Kim, but what I didn’t expect was the infectious energy that didn’t stop until the last note. Matt screamed lyrics while kicking one leg in the air and turned the Masquerade into a synth factory. Kim destroyed every beat on the drums, cover Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone” and booty danced on top the crowd to Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor”. The crowd was sweating and smiling nearly as much as Matt & Kim were.
3. Local Natives – The Masquerade – 5/1/10
If not for the next two massive musical events, Local Natives would have been the best show I saw all year. Let me rephrase that, one of their two shows I attended, would have been the best show I saw all year. I am more partial to the May concert (the first, obviously), but both were amazing. I bought our tickets at the last minute and it was a relevation afterward at how talented these guys are. The harmonies are even more impressive in person and the drum fest at the end of the show for “Sun Hands” is something all should witness.
2. Hangout Music Fest – Gulf Shores, AL – 5/14-5/17/10
Two days at the inaugural Hangout Music Fest was quite a success, so I can’t imagine how great Sunday would have been like. Torrential derailed the 3rd day of the Gulf Shores, AL festival, but I had already saw great performances from the likes of Robert Randolph & the Family Band, The Roots and Rodrigo y Gabriela. John Legend, The Black Crowes and Zac Brown Band were relatively disappointing, but my front row spot for Girl Talk outshined any miscues. It was such a great experience that I already have tickets to 2011….who’s comin’ with me?
1. Jay-Z – Philips Arena – 2/27/10
Definitely one of my favorite shows and probably one of my best birthday gifts ever. Jay-Z defined what a true entertainer is at Philips one February night. Balancing an apt number of tracks from Blueprint 3 and a hit parade from his decade plus career, there was certainly something for everyone. The opening hand claps of “Run This Town” gave me goosebumps, the crowd lost their minds when “On To The Next One” dropped and the plethora of classics like “Can I Live”, “Jigga My N****”, and “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” was spectacular.
What shows did you attend in 2010? List your top concerts in the comments.