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.**
Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2010 was just about as perfect a day as one could ask for. The weather was phenomenal, the crowds and lines were manageable, and the music was spectacular. An irresistible atmosphere of fun prevailed over Merriweather Post Pavilion as Virgin and I.M.P. presented three stages jam-packed with a variety of great musical acts. The one genre that eclipsed all others however was dance music; the day featured a killer line-up of electronic-inspired groups that kept a large portion of attendees in a near-constant state of dance-frenzy.
I split my FreeFest experience between the Dance Forest and the Main Stage. Although I intended to check it out, I did not venture over to the West Stage once all day; thanks in large part to the caliber of the performances I was already watching. From Will Eastman dropping some DJ science early in the day all the way through to LCD Soundsystem’s mega-finale, I had a fantastic time at Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2010.