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.
As a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader each week. Check back here every Wednesday morning at 9am to find out what tickets we’re giving away and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!
We are giving away tickets to another scorching hot show this week! This week’s prize: a pair of tickets to catch The Dead Weather at their sold out show at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, July 13th.
Not that this Jack White/Alison Mosshart super-group really needs any introduction to those readers who would kill for these tix; but for those passer-bys that might want to roll the dice this week, I’ll say that The Dead Weather are a formidable foursome cranking out some of the very best and weirdest down-home, bad-mutha, rock-n-roll this side of the Mississippi. Masterminded by Jack White of The White Stripes, supported by multi-instrumentalists Dean Fertita of QOTSA and Jack Lawrence of The Greenhornes, and led by a reinvented femme-fatale, bad-ass in Alison Mosshart of The Kills; The Dead Weather have made two killer albums that offer a danger-cool sound all their own. Their sound is sweaty, bible-belt, sinning preachers; paint-peeled rocking chairs on rickety porches; sneaked belts of whiskey behind wood-sheds; Jim Thompson novel climaxes along thorny creek-beds littered with rusty Studebaker husks. In other words, their music is a dark, sexy, humid swirl of southern-tinged rock awesomeness and winning these tickets will be your passport to The Dead Weather’s night of swampy, foot-stomp, crazy.
For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 9am and 4pm today. One entry per email address, please. If today doesn’t turn out to be your lucky day, check back here each Wednesday for a chance to win tickets to other great concerts.
courtesy of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.
Everyone knows that sometimes the best way to appreciate where you live is to get away for a little while. It is also true that sometimes the best way for a music critic to reboot his love of music is to attend an awesome music festival without an impending review deadline hanging over his head. This past weekend I did both when I attended the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California.
This was my third Coachella (2004, 2007*, 2010) and I think it is without a doubt the best music festival in the United States. After a three-legged, 12-hour journey by plane, I made my way into the California desert to enjoy some of the best music on the planet for three days. The weather was beautiful, the music was excellent, and I got the re-charge I was looking for. I decided to write mini-reviews of the bands I caught and to post them here for those who follow my music writing. Keep in mind, I was focused on enjoying the music this weekend without my reviewer’s hat on. So these little reviews are more personal and less detailed write-ups of the bands I saw over this great weekend.