Rocks Off's Favorite Shows Of 2010
Mary J. Blige, Reliant Stadium (RodeoHouston), March: Exquisite.
Beach House, Walter's on Washington, April: Can't hate on this one either. Magical.
Wu-Tang Clan, Numbers, December: Against all odds, they brought the motherfuckin' ruckus.
Pavement, Central Park Summerstage, New York: While we Pavement devotees bought our Central Park tickets (literally) a year in advance, most of 2010 was spent anticipating what we were led to believe would be one of the band's first shows after their decade-long hiatus. I first caught their Pitchfork Festival performance in Chicago, but it didn't compare to the NYC show, as it took place in atmospheric Central Park on a crisp autumn evening. The band seemed more unified, better rehearsed, and less characteristically apathetic.
Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield, Mercury Lounge, New York: As I maneuvered my way into the tiny sweltering Mercury Lounge, to catch the rare performance of who I consider the King & Queen of 90s alt-rock, the spirit of 1993 was revived, and Dando and Hatfield--their ambiguous, mysterious, visibly intimate relationship--were resurrected, celebrated. The duo alternated songs, delivering duets including "Paid to Smile," "Drug Buddy," and a welcome Teenage Fanclub cover ("Cells"). The best part of the show was the crowd--there wasn't a soul there who wasn't a diehard Lemonheads fan, and that's OK by me.
Titus Andronicus, Pitchfork Festival, Chicago: What closed the deal on this band for me was their performance at this year's Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. They were a mid-afternoon revelry to the fest's hottest day, throwing hefty doses of gritty, unapologetic punk-rock in our sweaty faces. Front man Patrick Stickles paired the band's explosive anthems with hilarious between-song banter, sustaining our interest during the otherwise sleepy afternoon.