Sunday, January 3, 2016

BEST SHOWS of 2015

Lists... I am really tired of lists and I was not going to do one this year of my favorite ten shows of the year. But since a flat tire prevented me from doing a live show review last night, let's go to Plan B. I do have one problem--of the 138 shows DC ROCK LIVE covered, Kyle reviewed 2 and John reviewed 22 so perhaps Courtney Barnett, Jesus and Marychain, or Sinkane should be on the list. But aside from those covered by my able cohorts, I did somehow manage to cover 114 shows (in a year I was trying to cut down, ha ha). So of my 114 shows, these were MY ten favorites, as best as I can remember at least.

10. A Place to Bury Strangers, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Multicult - Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Feb 20th:
Ed Schrader is always fun and Strangers are always intense with a killer light show. This is what live music is all about.

9. Ride, DIIV - 9:30 Club - Oct 8th:  DIIV was worth the price of admission themselves, but of course I wanted to see the band I was not sure would ever reform and they had it working.

8. Carl Palmer Band - Ram's Head - June 25th:  I finally caught up to the former ELP drummer who has spent recent years between Asia tours recreating ELP music with a guitar-bass-drums instrumental trio. They were heavy, engaging, and tight as whatnot.

7. Stiff Little Fingers, Government Issue - Black Cat - July 11th:  I missed seeing some of the early GI members, but a Stabb set is always worthwhile. And when it sets the stage for the immortal Northern Ireland band, Stiff Little Fingers, well it is going to be (and was) a great night.

6. Ancient Warfare, Glitterlust, Hailey Wojcik - Velvet Lounge - August 14th:  Glitterlust is a hilariously great local duo and Ancient Warfare a much more serious out of town band. Like often is the case, the Velvet Lounge can deliver a wildly diverse night of excellent music.

5. Follakzoid, Amos Piper - Black Cat - May 20th:  If you thought psychedelic music in South America started and ended with Os Mutantes, well you were wrong from the start as well as today as this Chilean band was as brilliant as any psyche band from any continent.

4. Marian McLaughlin - Strathmore - April 22nd:  DC/Baltimore's Marian McLaughlin made one of my lists previously as a solid opening act for Marissa Nadler. I would say that it is now just her, but her collaborators and guest musicians, some of who she met during her Strathmore residency, made this an outstanding group effort featuring Marian's brilliant originality.

3. Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Luke Roberts - 9:30 Club - October 8th:  I've seen Vile at least twice before, I have liked him every time out and yet I still don't own any of his music. I kept thinking that over and over that night as each great song went by. Kudos to the openers as well.

2. Mudhoney, Kid Congo Powers - Black Cat - July 7th:  Mudhoney still has the fire and being one of my favorite active bands during at least a few years of their long career, I really enjoyed this. And Kid Congo Powers was absolutely brilliant, as Mark Arm was sincerely blown away, too.

1. Death, Obnox - Black Cat - May 28th:  I would have plunked down my money and been happy seeing a lousy set by Death, as they totally deserve the chance to make up for lost decades as they missed a chance to capitalize on their brilliant and nearly lost 1970s music. But fear not, they delivered the goods and made this a special night. But cap it off with one of the absolutely finest sets of original punk rock music by Cleveland trio, Obnox, and you had a monumental occasion--one for the ages.

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