Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

The Ten Best Concerts In And Around DC For 2011

“The Foo Fighters” by Andrew Markowitz

Time once again to calculate and list the ten best musical performances I saw in the past year in and around Washington DC.* This ‘best of’ article is one of my favorite activities as a music writer because it embodies the very essence of why I take the time out of my increasingly busy schedule to attend so many concerts and write about them. Simply put, I am a fan of great live music and when someone or a group of someones delivers a really special performance I want to tell as many people as I can about it. There is real magic happening during a great musical performance that is unlike anything else I have ever experienced; if I manage to share just a fraction of that magic with my readers by exposing them to a band they might not otherwise have heard then my job as a music writer is done.

In the last six months, positive events in my personal life have greatly affected my ability to cover as many concerts as I’d like too with the quality of writing that I feel they deserve. Because of this I have been writing much less than usual and I predict that this trend will continue for most of 2012. I know from reader feedback and from conversations with some of the great people I’ve met at shows over the years that my writing about music has had an impact on their musical world. Knowing this enables me to walk away from music writing fulfilled.

2011 was kind of a weird year for live music. The entire year felt like an odd hang-over from 2010 (one of the greatest years of live music ever). In recent conversations I think I have been undervaluing 2011’s shows, because now as I revisit all of the sets I saw, I realize that there were plenty of great performances, they were just obscured by a lot more mediocre ones than I have seen in recent years. Once I dusted away the humdrum and the disappointing, I was left with about 35 really great sets to choose from for my top ten list this year.
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Hot Ticket: Brandt Brauer Frick @ Red Palace, TONIGHT!!!

You gotta love that video and that sound!

Brandt Brauer Frick are a trio of German musicians creating a unique sound that is often described as “acoustic techno”. Using primarily non-electronic instruments they craft intricate pieces that somehow find a common ground between classical music and the dance-floor. Their avant-garde concept and non-traditional approach seem intended for the more cerebral listener but through sheer charisma and compositional genius they manage to lend it a delightful pop sensation. On their latest album “Mr. Machine” BBF have expanded into a larger ‘ensemble’ to create a moody, rhythmic, cinematic masterwork.

It is a bit of a mystery whether or not the full ensemble will be on hand tonight. Word on the street though is that whatever formation Brandt Brauer Frick take in their live shows, they are always very special affairs that are not to be missed. BBF are in the US to perform at MoogFest in North Carolina this weekend and are hitting DC on their way down South. I highly recommend taking the time tonight to catch a rare US appearance by this one-of-a-kind band.

Brandt Brauer Frick
w/ Outputmessage (Live)
@ Red Palace
9pm – TONIGHT!