Monday, December 13, 2010

Music Roundup: Top Shows of 2010

I was originally going to post on the top five shows of the year; but then I realized I have only been to six shows total. So rather than praising the best of the best, I'd really just be dissing one band (sorry, Beach House, you did not make the cut).  Overall this has been a really good year for live music, shows ranged from really good (Beach House) to supremely awesome (see list).  Below are the top three concerts I've been to this year:

3).  Jens Lekman and Air France at Empty Bottle (January 2, 2010). Swedish crooner Jens Lekman is a real crowd pleaser; proving himself to be even more funny and charming live than on his albums.  Jens played pretty much every song you'd want him to (i.e. "Black Cab," "Postcard to Nina," almost all of Night Falls Over Kortedala), and none of his so-so songs (in spite of one girl feverishly requesting "F-Word").  I was slightly disappointed no one yelled out requests for "Kanske är Jag Kar i Dig" (loose translation: Maybe I'm in love with you), but thankfully he played it anyway.  Jens must have boundless energy as he managed to perform three encores, ending with an intimate take on "Maple Leaves." 

2). Black Keys and the Morning Benders at Metro (August 7, 2010).  Regular Media Corner readers know that we are not shy about our affection for this duo from Akron, Ohio.  And they sound even more awesome live, even with a less than ideal closing song choice ("Sinister Child").  I have tickets to see the Keys one more time to this year, so they still have a chance to get the top spot (especially if Dan Auerbach breaks out the steel guitar and plays "The Lengths").
Read the original concert review

1).  LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip at the Aragon (October 25, 2010). Monday night shows are usually very low energy, but this was the exception.  LCD Soundsystem did a nice job of balancing songs from all three of their albums.  The audience was definitely the best out of all the shows I've been to this year.  And then there was the light show, which was so spectacular that they had to post a warning on the door.   Read the original concert review

Showman of the yearErlend Øye.  Dan Auerbach can play a mean guitar.  Jens Lekman can captive an audience with Scandinavian twee-dreaminess.  But only Øye would have a dance-off with audience members to Paul Simon's "You Can Me Al".

Biggest regrets:  The National at House of Blues (August 7, 2010). I've been a fan of this band since 2005, yet I haven't caught them live yet.   This year I was forced to choose between the National and the Black Keys, and I chose Keys.  Still, I hope the National plays Chicago again soon (and not just at Lollapalooza).