NYCTaper Top 10 Concerts of 2010

December 28, 2010

[photo courtesy of Camey Scott]

Here is our annual Top 10, a completely subjective ranking of our favorite shows of 2010. Acidjack will be along soon with our annual “highlights” post (with a downloadable song mix).

1. Holly Miranda August 8, 2010 Vivo in Vino
This night was without a doubt the best time I had at a show all year. The combination of great wine, great company and a relaxed solo performance by Holly led to a very memorable evening. It helped that Holly dedicated “I’d Rather Go Blind” to me personally. Her set consisted primarily of covers and her inimitable voice nailed each one of them. The guys at Vino are terrific people, and we partied with the rest of the wine on an East Village rooftop late into the night. An unforgettable time.

2. Yo La Tengo December 7, 2010 Maxwell’s
The best of the eight strong Hanukkah 2010 shows, this night featured the superb guitar work of Nels Cline. The extended jams of “Glitter” and “Hatchet” were song of the year contenders.

3. Built to Spill September 2, 2010 Rocks Off Concert Cruise
This show was the second best time we had all year — BTS playing literally inside of the packed crowd on the main deck of the Rocks Off cruise. The band seemed to thrive on the energy and the surroundings as their performance was lengthy and inspired — it was two hours of smiles all around.

4. Oneida March 19, 2010 Knitting Factory
Oneida live performances are always bigger than life. This one was perhaps the best we’ve ever seen this band. The show started with a crashing “Ghost in the Room” which gave way to an untitled new jam which endured for an unbelievable twenty-nine minutes. While the rest of the set could have been considered icing after that jam, it continued along in the same vein with tremendous versions of “Up With People”, “Sheets of Easter” and “I Will Haunt You” to close the show.

5. Holly Miranda May 26, 2010 Bowery Ballroom
I love these events where artists headline and sell out Bowery Ballroom for the first time. Its sort of like a signpost along their career path that reads “I Made It”. On this particular night, Holly not only “made it” but delivered a stunning performance — her Etta James cover is perhaps my favorite single song played this year.

6. Pavement September 19, 21, 22, 23, and 24 Williamsburg and Central Park
A reunion we truly never expected to see, this was a week-long celebration of the most enduring band of the 90s. The setlists varied, the band played two-hour shows, and they seemed to be having a great time. Pavement likely won’t be back again, so this was a perfect final send-off.

7. Woods June 25, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg
A band that just keeps getting better, Woods relaxed neo-psychedelia with folk roots can be at time twisted and other moments melodically simple. On this night it was the extended jams that made the show.

8. Tune-Yards August 2, 2010
The opening night of the Rock Shop was a winner. We came to see Sharon Van Etten, and stayed for the headliner. What we witnessed was an incredible live talent. Merrill Garbus creates intricate layered beats and strong vocals to propel her African-influenced songs. This night the packed venue rocked with every beat.

9. Owen Pallett April 24, 2010 Webster Hall
The most talented performer we saw all year. Its breathtaking that one person can create such huge symphony-like pieces, and the bonus is that the songs are well written with clever lyrics.

10. The Joy Formidable January 12, 2010 Pianos
We saw TJF three times this year, but this first show at the tiny Pianos really impressed. It was a ferocious performance, we predicted the obvious — that the band would soon be big — and were proved right when they headlined Bowery later in the year.

Honorable Mention:
Akron/Family March 3, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg
Ted Leo April 9, 2010 Irving Plaza
Panda Bear September 11, 2010 Governor’s Island
Pearl and The Beard September 25, 2010 Backyard Brunch Sessions
Sharon Van Etten October 8, 2010 The Rock Shop
Suzanne Vega November 14, 2010 Housing Works Bookstore
Jeff Tweedy December 4, 2010 Bowery Ballroom

5 Responses to NYCTaper Top 10 Concerts of 2010

  1. December 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

    A lot of great recordings this year. My personal favorites include:

    – The Yo La Tengo Hannukah shows (all of them)
    – Every Real Estate recording, bought CD afterwards and saw them twice in Barcelona
    – Motel Motel at the Gaza Benefit, bought their Big Island through iTunes
    – Cap ‘n Jazz reunion. Didn’t know them, immediately bought the Analphabetopology cd.
    – Built to Spill boat show (also saw them twice: Brussels and Barcelona)

    Thanks again.

  2. December 29, 2010 at 7:02 am

    … almost forgot: Titus Andronicus as well. Got to know them through this site, bought the 2 albums afterwards. :)

  3. December 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for everything you guys do! Truly an amazing site, truly amazing music.

  4. Johnny Fried Chicken Boy
    December 31, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Awesome shows and awesome recordings. Thank you!

  5. January 3, 2011 at 11:11 am

    HEY THANKS! We loved having you and look forward to more great shows! You rock!

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