Class of 2010: Performers

After seeing over 250 acts at around 100 shows and 5 festivals in 8 states, these are my 20 most memorable live music experiences of 2010…

Attending SXSW for the first time.  Highlights included Lissie, Ben Nichols, Sleigh Bells, a showcase featuring The Besnard Lakes, Soft Pack, Band of Horses, Drive-By Truckers and meeting most members of Broken Social Scene.

An amazing night with friends and an amazing show/dance party with Miike Snow and Delorean at The Ogden.

Back-to-back whiskey soaked nights with Lucero on their 13th anniversary as a band.

Seeing Sleigh Bells and eventually meeting Alexis after they opened for Yeasayer at Bluebird Theater.

Having my name on the guestlist for back-to-back Drive-By Truckers ‘rock showsbecause of throwing the Denver release party for The Big To-Do.

Catching Local Natives put on an amazing show at Larimer Lounge just before they blew up!  A few months later they were playing the Fox Theatre.

Having The National perform About Today just for us in San Diego and then seeing them end with an acapella version of Crybaby Geeks in Denver.

I didn’t think The Black Keys could fill the large stage at the Fillmore…being proven wrong was a lot of fun!

Janelle Monáe‘s opening set for MGMT at Red Rocks was so worth getting wet for!

Traveling back in time while watching Concrete Blonde perform Bloodletting from the 3rd row.

Attending the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. The heat almost ruined the weekend, but Robyn‘s early evening set, Big Boi performing OutKast material, Titus Andronicus, Wolf Parade and LCD Soundsystem were worth the trip.

Finally understanding Rush‘s popularity after seeing them at Red Rocks.

It only took 4 or 5 tries, but the Pavement show at the Ogden made me a believer!

Titus Andronicus and Free Energy might not really be punk rock, but this was the most punk show I have been to in a long time.

Watching local indie folk star Nathaniel Rateliff perform Leonard Cohen songs for about 50 people at Lost Lake Lounge.

Gorillaz traveling circus at Wells Fargo Theatre.

The performance of a lifetime, Roger WatersThe Wall Live in Kansas City!

One of the most unexpected shows of the year…Sufjan Stevensperformance at Paramount Theatre was nothing less than amazing.

Another amazing Fun Fun Fun fest in Austin, TX.  Highlights were Descendents, “Weird Al”, Bad Religion, Snapcase, The Gories, Dwarves, Cults, Best Coast, Deerhunter, P.O.S. and Kylesa.

Rediscovering modern metal.  I saw 30 or so metal bands this year and have had my faith restored in extreme shows.  Sometimes I feel a little too old to be in the pit, but never too old have my ears rattled!  Highlights were Dimmu Borgir, Mastodon, Kylesa, High On Fire, Nile, Watain, Danzig, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Slayer, Black Label Society, Between The Buried and Me and Dark Tranquility.