This is my favorite post to write each year. There are many reasons why but the main one is that I love how it tasks me with reliving my year in music. I have re-read every review that I have written in the past year. I have thought about every show and every individual set that I have seen in 2010.* I have made numerous lists of the sets I have seen, and I have broken them down into categories to determine the best of the best in each. I always enjoy the concert-to-concert combat that rages in my memory as I try to boil down a year’s worth of experiences into a shortlist that best represents the year. I am equally surprised and proud to discover that this is the sixth year that I have completed this process of list making.
2010 may be the single best year of live music that I have experienced in my eighteen years of concert-going. Collectively the shows I have seen across the U.S. and in and around DC this year have provided me with more moments of music nirvana, pure aural bliss, then I ever imagined was possible. I often say I am on a life-long quest to attain music nirvana and 2010 is as close as I have come to discovering it in a sustained form. With a year this good, my usual challenging task of narrowing the field down to the 10 best concerts was more difficult than ever.**
Last Tuesday, The Dead Weather hit the 9:30 Club stage like a sonic hurricane. It is almost a week later and I am still completely, utterly, hopelessly gobsmacked by their incredible concert. I have been trying to process their over-the-top, in-your-face stage presence and pitch-perfect, rock-n-roll transcendence for days now; my entire music-loving spirit is still humming from witnessing this resonant performance. It was a performance that tapped into that deep-down love of rock-n-roll; that passion that dwells in the chest of every red-blooded music fan whose pulse beats to the rhythm. The Dead Weather put on a show that was a colossal celebration of the leather-clad, hair-in-eyes rock image and jaw-drop inducing, instrument-torture creativity. Their whole live presentation combined music and image so perfectly that it is impossible to imagine one without the other. Together these elements combined on-stage to create a brilliant set of music that I will remember for a very long time.