Last weekend I made a quick getaway to Miami to attend the Ultra Music Festival, otherwise known as the biggest electronic music festival in the world. This was the thirteenth installment of this Miami institution and the first time that it was expanded to a three day event. I along with 150,000 devoted dance music fans* sampled some of the world’s best DJs, producers, and electronic-leaning bands at what amounted to a three-day orgy of drugs, sweat, booze, bikinis, concrete, and ultra-heavy bass. I have been to some huge festivals in my day and some mighty big parties, but I don’t think I have ever been to something that combined the two quite like Ultra Music Festival did.
I thought that the readers who follow my musical adventures on We Love DC might like to hear about my field trip down south. The organizers are already planning UMF 2012 and if you dig what you see and read about here, you might want to consider making the trip yourself next year.
While I consider my Best Concerts list to be a pretty definitive guide to what concerts totally rocked socks in the DC area in the past year, I think that top album lists are a bit more vague and really only serve as guides to albums the reader may have missed. I am much more a theme-based best-of list maker. I usually don’t compile a best albums of the year list, but I have received several requests for me to do one this year.
I acquire music rapidly and without much regard to year. So really albums are not so much attached to years for me as they are tied to whatever genre or sub-genre kick I am on at a given time.* It was actually pretty difficult for me to put together my starting list. A lot of what I thought were 2010 albums were actually from ’09! That said I did put together a list of about 50 or so albums from this year that are worthy of mention. From that list I battled them down to a top 10. These are not the best albums of 2010, they are simply my favorite. Maybe you’ll find something new here to check out. Maybe you won’t. Readers you asked for it, you got it. My picks in reverse order (along with a taste of each) after the jump…
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.**
Okay DC, just this once I’m going to say I told you so. I mean, I tried so hard to get y’all to go to this I even gave away tickets for it. If you are a fan of electronic music and you skipped Underworld on Monday night, even after all my prodding, then there really is no hope for ya.
Underworld came, saw, and conquered at the 9:30 Club on Monday night with a rare club show that made the other “Best Electronic Concert” contenders of 2010 look like a bunch of chumps.* Their show on Monday was operating on an entirely different level from their peers. It was a techno-poetic dream and irresistible beat factory all-in-one. I have been telling my friends and family that 2010 is in the running for the most impressive year of live music of my life, and that if Underworld were to magically be scheduled to play 9:30 Club this year, then that would be the topper. Well guess what folks? It happened and Underworld’s amazing 9:30 Club performance put 2010 right over the top to officially be the best year of live music EVER!
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!
This week we are giving away a pair of tickets to one of my most anticipated concerts of the season: Underworld at 9:30 Club on Monday, October 25th.
Underworld are an incredible experience live. Every fan of electronic music owes it to themselves to see Underworld live every chance they get because Underworld are quite simply the best live electronic dance act ever. I have been to some massive live parties in my time, I have seen just about all of the big names in electronica perform live, and I have never had as much fun as I have had at the three Underworld concerts I have attended. If you can’t tell by now, I am totally losing my sh*t over the fact that not only are Underworld performing in DC for the first time in years, they are doing it INDOORS at the best club around!!! With their latest album “Barking” (their best in a decade) Underworld are set to dominate the dance floor in two weeks. I am so excited to hook up some lucky reader with tickets to what I am sure will be the electronica concert of the year.* See you on the dancefloor!
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. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly 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.
Hey DC, I don’t know if you noticed but Underworld at the 9:30 Club quietly went on sale this week. Yes you read that correctly. Underworld are playing the 9:30 Club on October 25th!
Simply put Underworld are the best electronic live act I’ve ever seen. Even though I have seen them three amazing times in the past – seeing Underworld perform on the 9:30 Club’s soundsystem is one of my wishlist concerts. I’m announcing this onsale now because I don’t want any DC fans of this amazing, legendary electronic act to miss out on what is sure to be an incredible show.