01 January 2011

2010:: Favorite Live Shows

Felt like I didn't see as much music as I have in the past and yet still hit 85 shows. Nice work, me!

The raw data:
Number of shows: 85
Number of different bands seen: 100+
Number of bands seen for the first time: 53
Band seen most often: Phish (10)
Number of different venues: 38
Venue hit most often: Bowery Ballroom (13)
Number of cities hit: 10
Number of states hit: 4

1. Phish 10/30/2010 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City||8/6/2010 Greek Theater
In my youth it seems I always lucked into seeing all the "it" shows, but now it seems just the opposite, seeing great shows but not the transcendent ones. I saw 10 shows this year, ranging from decent to spectacular. These two Saturday night shows, though, blew me away like no other music did in 2010. The band will get their own post, but these two were in another league, finding the band locked into something special. They stand in for all the other PH shows I saw, it's just another category altogether, it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the great music I saw in 2010.

2. 1/23/2010 Anders Osborne|Metzger/Kalb/Johnson/Hall|The Black Hollies @ Sullivan Hall
The Freaks Ball. 10th one, quite possibly the best, musically, at least. God willing, there will be an 11th. Anders Osborne revealed himself to be a force of nature this past year, so we were lucky to get him as he approached his prime. Damn lucky! Not to mention how awesome The Hollies and Metzger & Co. were. As always, the party of the year!

3. 10/22/2010 My Morning Jacket Terminal 5
The album "Z" in its entirety followed by an awe-inspiring encore. The 4th of a 5 night run that shook the west side of Manhattan. Blew me away from start to finish. I saw 4 of the 5 and loved them all, but this was the tops.

4. 1/13/2010 Krantz/Carlock/Lefebvre Rose Live, Brooklyn + 4/24/2010 Highline Ballroom
These guys could probably take a decade off, come back together and melt cerebral matter without trying. More likely they'll never play again as K3, but I'll always have the memories of special nights like these. Amazing they could play such a tiny spot without being overwhelmed. The greatest musical secret this city has ever known.

5. 5/8/2010 Broken Social Scene (Zeus opened) Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn + 9/18/2010 (The Sea and Cake opened) Summerstage

Kevin Drew once proclaimed from the stage that they could never play Madison Square Garden because they could never get their act together. Thank god for that, because while they're talented enough to do it, we're still lucky enough to see them in the warm confines of great rooms like MHOW. Of course, when they need to bring it to the big stage, Live BSS, not much better. Don't sleep on Zeus, either! Summerstage review here.

6. 7/14/2010 Mischief & Mayhem Village Vanguard
Jenny Scheinman leads a group featuring Nels Cline on guitar in the most vaunted jazz room in the city. Intriguing. The music was transcendent, a loose jammy feel by a superlatively talented band. "Jazz" in quotes, this was just amazing music flat out. I hope I get to see these guys again.

7. 1/9/2010 Claudia Quintet, Rudder, Todd Sickafoose, Scheinman/Moran, Global Noize, Benevento Trio, Bitches Brew at Le Poisson Rouge, Bitter End, Sullivan Hall
This early January evening was probably enough for 12-months worth of jazz in NYC. Bouncing around 3 different venues, almost everything was pure gold, from the revelations of Rudder and Claudia Quintet to the power of Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors and the beauty of Jenny Scheinman duet with Jason Moran. All for one ticket price!

8. 9/15/2010 The Bad Plus Bowery Ballroom
Regular readers know how I feel about the Bad Plus. This night they brought their supreme excellence to the best rock club in the city and conquered it like it was a tiny jazz club. My review here.

9. Apollo Sunshine 5/19/2010 Mercury Lounge + 3/25/2010 Southpaw, Brooklyn
Apollo Sunshine made their return to the stage in 2010 and I couldn't have been happier. For a while it seemed like maybe they'd stick around for a while, but as quickly as they reappeared, they were gone again. Thankfully, I was able to see them a couple of times, including this monster show in the Lower East Side. For some it's like riding a bike, I guess. Still one of my favorites, hope they're around in '11. Mercury Lounge review here.

10. 4/7/2010 Midlake Bowery Ballroom
Got to see a lot of the bands I really, truly love last year... some of them more than once. Midlake was in fine form with a fantastic new album and multiple NYC hits. Review here.

11. 8/2010 Newport Folk Festival Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI
Great music, great vibes, great festival. Jim James dominated a lineup that was top notch from start to finish.

12. 6/14/2010 RANA Half Moon Cruise Ship
Just play once a year Rana, that's all we ask. Just make sure that one show is as ripping as this one. 2003 form right there in 2010. The boat + Rana were made for each other. Make it happen again in 2011!

13. El Ten Eleven 9/18/2010 Mercury Lounge + 4/9/2010 Pianos
One of the great underrated bands shredding brain right now. One of those "how the F are they doing that?" kind of shows and yet they had packed rooms in the Lower East Side in boogie mode as well. Not many bands can burn both ends of that candle. Two guys worth checking out.

14. 2/16/2010 Trey Anastasio Terminal 5
Trey is back to fine form and it's trickling into his solo act as well. Review here.

15. 3/19/2010 Portugal. The Man Highline Ballroom
Of all my favorite live bands out there, I think I got to see almost all of them in 2010. P.tM is certainly on that list and they did not disappoint at the Highline in March. The kind of show that transports you to someplace else of the band's choosing. Thank the lord these guys are workhorses, so I think we can expect a new album and lots of touring once again in 2011. Don't miss 'em when they come your way, you won't regret it!

The rest of my 50+ favorite shows of 2010:
16. 7/14/2010 Heartless Bastards Music Hall of Williamsburg
17. 7/30/2010 Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, RI
18. 3/23/2010 The Clientele Bowery Ballroom
19. 10/18/2010 My Morning Jacket Terminal 5
20. 4/3/2010 Wilco Wellmont Theater
21. 9/23/2010 Pavement Summerstage
22. 2/5/2010 Galactic (Tea Leaf Green opened) Terminal 5
23. 10/13/2010 My Morning Jacket Ed Sullivan Theater
24. 6/8/2010 Les Claypool Brooklyn Bowl
25. 4/23/2010 Jason Collett/Zeus Mercury Lounge
26. 5/14/2010 Oneida/Silver Apples Abrons Arts Center
27. 7/16-17/2010 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival Walsh Farm
28. 11/23/2010 Mike Gordon Westcott Theater
29. 7/3/2010 Portugal. The Man Water Taxi Beach
30. 9/23/2010 Anders Osborne w/ Stanton Moore Trio Brooklyn Bowl
31. 11/13/2010 The Books Zankel Hall
32. 3/14/2010 Carolina Chocolate Drops Bowery Ballroom
33. 3/31/2010 Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors Jazz Standard
34. 4/8/2010 The Bad Plus The Blue Note
35. 4/17/2010 Surprise Me Mr. Davis Mercury Lounge
36. 6/29/2010 Robert Randolph & the Family Band Bowery Ballroom
37. 9/29/2010 Midlake Webster Hall
38. 10/23/2010 My Morning Jacket Terminal 5
39. 11/20/2010 The New Mastersounds Brookyn Bowl
40. 5/15/2010 Dr. Dog Terminal 5
41. 1/17/2010 Some Cat from Japan Sullivan Hall
42. 12/28/2010 Surprise Me Mr Davis Brooklyn Bowl
43. 11/13/2010 Horse Feathers Bowery Ballroom
44. 8/21/2010 Ben Allison Nublu
45. 3/30/2010 Jenny Scheinman Barbes
46. 1/28/2010 Krantz/Carlock/Lefebvre 55 Bar
47. 10/6/2010 A.A. Bondy Bowery Ballroom
48. 5/6/2010 Local Natives Bowery Ballroom
49. 10/12/2010 Broken Bells Terminal 5
50. 11/22/2010 Aimee Mann Music Hall of Williamsburg
51. 7/10/2010 The Statesmen Brooklyn Bowl
52. 9/12/2010 Stockholm Syndrome Brooklyn Bowl
53. 10/7/2010 Miike Snow Terminal 5
54. 11/6/2010 Dawes Webster Hall
55. 12/28/2010 John Zorn improv The Stone