Once again a year where I saw a LOT of great shows. I don't even remember them all. 2011 should be interesting as I'm not allowed to pay to see bands I've already seen (local bands excepted).
Concert that would have been #2-3 if that dude hadn't fallen on us: Hold Steady, Riverside, December
Seriously. Bummer. They were rocking all the hits!!
Concert I was Most Surprised I Loved: Muse, Bradley Center, October
I was mildly interested and went as a concert buddy to my friend Kristen. Came away a definite fan.
Most Disappointing Concert: Free Energy, Turner Hall, April
LOVED the album, but was really turned off by the live show. The good thing is it was part of the Daytrotter Tour, and I got introduced to the AMAZING Delta Spirit this way (even though I had to leave mid-set thanks to the unfortunate closing of Hegarty's).
Most Sad I Slept Through Half of It: Dirty Projectors, The Pabst, Milwaukee, September
Was totally amazing. Really wish I hadn't passed out after Bloody Mary Festing and Tomato Romping. Glad I made the last 45 minutes after sleeping through my nap alarm. Definitely one where I wish I'd had a concert buddy.
Best Concert that turned from Suck to Awesome Midway: Girls with Dum Dum Girls, The Pabst, Milwaukee, April (even if the AV Club Milwaukee Disagrees)
Best New Festival: Verge - hopefully it won't monsoon in 2011
Without further honorable mentions, here's my Top 10:
10. Avett Brothers with Low Anthem, Riverside, Milwaukee, March
Probably would have made it higher up the list if my back injury incurred after a bike vs. ice fall that day hadn't prevented me from making it to the Low Anthem. Also, I went solo, having bought my ticket when it was scheduled at Turner, but had to awkwardly squeeze into the Riverside single seats. The Avetts made up for it with an incredible show though. Wow.
9. LCD Soundsystem with Hot Chip, The Rave, Milwaukee, October
This show should be in the upper half of my "of the year" list. Not just LCD, but HOT CHIP too?!? Too bad the venue had to fuck this up in every way possible. I'd really been trying to give them a second chance in 2010 after taking an over two year hiatus from seeing shows there. But when we missed half of Hot Chip while they dug will call tickets out of SHOEBOXES, left early because we knew it would take an hour to get out (FIRE HAZARD), and brushed the CIGARETTE SMOKE out of our airspace (this was October - post smoking ban), the venue pretty much ruined this for me. I was also a bit disappointed with how long it took for the Milwaukee audience to get into it. C'mon! Who doesn't do call and response to "Yr City's a Sucker." My city is a sucker :( Good thing I had wonderful company and danced my butt off.
8. Flaming Lips, The Riverside, Milwaukee, April
Uh, Flaming Lips. Enough said.
7. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings with The Heavy, The Pabst, Milwaukee, May
I want to be Sharon Jones, so this was a no-brainer. You can always expect a killer show from her. The great surprise here (besides actually getting asked out as a result of this show), was The Heavy. They super kick-ass'd and it was excellent to catch them again at Summerfest in July. A huge thanks to Wren who was my last minute date to the show. After about 5 minutes she realized she'd made the right decision.
6. Movits! with Fresh Cut Collective, Stonefly, Milwaukee, January
Do you ever have those concerts that you go to on a total whim and they turn out being freaking awesome? This was that. We'd caught a pretty forgettable Jay Farrar/Ben Gibbard show and were persuaded to make it up to Riverwest. Well worth it, I got to finally catch some Milwaukee hip hop and then dance dance dance to Swedish insanity.
5. Scissor Sisters, The Rave, Milwaukee, September
More dancing. And band that made me most wish I was a gay man. Damn, Jake Shears is HAWT.
4. Dr. Dog with Growlers, Turner Hall, Milwaukee, February
Hippie goodness. Growlers were another surprise killer opening act of the year. They had a dude in a coonskin hat who just sat on the ground and played a tambourine or something. And Dr. Dog always brings it.
3. Lady Gaga, Bradley Center, Milwaukee, September
Look what I got to wear! Of course this show is in the top three. Also, Lady Gaga is fucking amazing and I love her. Count me in as a little monster.
2. Pavement with No Age, Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, September
Uh, Pavement. Kinda like when I saw The Pixies reunion. All is right with the world. Enough said. Related: Megan B. and I may one day create a shrine to Stephen Malkmus.
Also, No Age is brilliant as well.
1. LCD Soundsystem, Roseland Theater, Portland, OR, May
Went with my best friend in the universe. We ended up in incredible balcony seats. I had my own dance party while Kat clapped for me. Then I ended up in a dance party with these two awesome flamboyant dudes who actually did the interlaced finger jump up and down screaming like a little girl before the encore. Portland's audience was TOTALLY into it. I also may have lost 20 pounds in sweat. A perfect show.