Some of my favorite concert moments - Walter Sickert (& the Army of Broken Toys), Iggy Pop (and The Stooges), Sarah Negahdari (of The Happy Hollows) and Evelyn Evelyn

Some of my favorite concert moments - Walter Sickert (& the Army of Broken Toys), Iggy Pop (and The Stooges), Sarah Negahdari (of The Happy Hollows) and Evelyn Evelyn

While I didn’t get out nearly as much as I would have liked in this crazy year, what I did see was pretty wonderful. New Year’s Resolution: See More Live Shows! Here’s my top ten list, in chronological order.

Dawes, Corey Chisel & The Wandering Sons, and Jason Boesel @ Great Scott

February 20, 2010 | review

While I saw Dawes again in November at the Royale, this one was special, as it was my first time seeing them, and I was completely blown away. My first time hearing “Time Spent In Los Angeles,” which they had just written, and which was so pretty, it made me cry. And fantastic, “kindred spirit” support bands.

Evelyn Evelyn and Friends @ Oberon

April 13, 2010 | review

Despite some misgivings about the commercial exploitation of two young girls with special needs, I, like many others, felt a strong attachment to this new act, brought to the world by Amanda Palmer and Jason Wembley. Amanda and Jason, along with the illustrious and industrious Sxip Shirey, performed small support sets to compliment the sisters’ unique and memorable performance.

Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa @ the House of Blues

April 28, 2010 | review

DeVotchKa

DeVotchKa

I’ll admit I originally went to see this so I could catch DeVotchKa and their elegant Eastern European gypsy-rock. With accordion, acoustic and electric guitars, double bass, bouzouki, trumpet, sousaphone, percussion and theramin, they sounded absolutely gorgeous. They were spectacular visually as well, with their lady acrobats dangling high above the HOB stage. But nothing was to prepare me for the Balkan punk fury of Gogol Bordello. Confrontational, celebratory, the craziest gypsy jamboree you’ve ever been to, and audience participation off-the-charts. Mind completely blown.

Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys CD Release Party @ Cafe 939

June 4, 2010 | review

Top10Shows_BrokenToys

The traveling medieval circus of Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys on a particularly auspicious evening – their CD Release Party for the magnificent Steam Ship Killers. A magical and wacky journey, the evening was kicked off in grand gothic style with the always exquisite Jaggery.

The Happy Hollows @ O’Brien’s Pub

June 21, 2010 | review

Top10ShowsHappyHollows

One of my favorites of my beloved Eastside L.A. bands, The Happy Hollows, blow out the doors of the small and intimate O’Brien’s Pub in Allston. A steamy summer’s night, made all the more so by Sarah Negahdari’s ethereal and crazed banshee vocals and blistering lead guitar, propelled into outer space by Charlie and Chris’s pounding and throbbing rhythm. Absolutely love them, and really enjoyed seeing them here. Nice venue.

Crowded House and Lawrence Arabia @ the House of Blues

July 17, 2010 | review

Neil Finn of Crowded House

Neil Finn of Crowded House

Warm and genuine, bringing from their native New Zealand a battalion of well-loved songs for a night of audience sing-a-longs – and gracing us all with that quirky Kiwi humor – it was fantastic to see Crowded House for the first time (though I had seen Neil before in various other incarnations). They brought with them fellow Kiwis Lawrence Arabia, who had previously impressed me on a bill with Robert Francis and Fanfarlo.

Jaggery CD Release Party at Church of Boston

July 28, 2010 | review

These were actually taken when the lights were *on* (yes, poor photography skills)

These were actually taken when the lights were *on* (yes, poor photography skills)

Jaggery makes it into this ‘Top 10’ list twice because they’re not only amazingly gifted musicians – they’re amazingly spontaneous and adept at handling complete clusterf*cks. After almost not having their CD at the CD release party due to manufacturing problems, they began their set, only to have the power go out two songs into it. Not only did they persevere, they put on the best show I’ve seen them do. Intimate, personal, powerful, and uh… acoustic.

Iggy Pop and The Stooges @ the House of Blues

August 31, 2010 | review

Top10ShowsIggyStooges

Do I even need to say anything here? Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Gimme Danger, little stranger…

The Airborne Toxic Event with The Calder Quartet @ the Somerville Theatre

September 8, 2010 | review

Top10ShowsAirborneTox

My favorite band in one of my favorite places to see a band… how could this show not be amazing? And indeed it was. Even nicer, the Calder Quartet were there to add some beautiful strings and a hell of a lot of class to the proceedings. I’m looking forward to having Airborne Tox on my ‘Top Shows of 2011’ list, as they’ll be doing a major tour in the new year to support their soon-to-be-released second album.

Crooked Fingers @ T.T. the Bear’s Place

December 12, 2010

Top10ShowsCrookedFingers1

No review for this one, as it was my ‘night off’ to enjoy the wonderful songwriting of Eric Bachmann (Archers of Loaf). It was actually just the duo of Eric on acoustic guitar/vocals and Liz Durrett on drums, guitar and backing vocals. Which proved to be a perfect setting that placed the focus squarely on his songs. Which are astonishing. Despite T.T.’s just ‘not getting it’ with regard to more delicate, singer-songwriter and folky acts (yes, it was too loud, and yes guys, nice new sound system, but sheesh, we’re in a shoebox here!), the show was absolutely breathtaking. My personal highlights – “New Drink for the Old Drunk,” “Sleep All Summer,” “Little Bird,” and the encore, “Man O’ War.” Hope he’ll be back soon.

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