Reviler Best Shows of 2010
We here at Reviler are lucky enough to go to a lot of shows over the course of the year. Some are duds, but others are great and serve as reminders as why we love standing in the middle of sweaty crowds to see live music three times a week. The lists below represent the shows this year that helped to reaffirm why we love live music.
Adam Bubolz (Reviler)
1. Swans – Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL – 10/5/10
2. Guided By Voices – First Avenue – 10/12/10
3. AmRep 25th Anniversary – Grumpys – 8/28-8/29/10
4. Lightning Bolt – Triple Rock – 7/15/10
5. Sleep – Brooklyn Masonic Temple, Brooklyn, NY – 9/6/10
Jon Behm (Reviler)
1. Boss Hog at Grumpy’s
I had a pretty legendary evening at the Amphetamine Reptile 25th Anniversary show this summer. Not only did I get to hear Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez jamming in the Grumpy’s parking lot, my friend and I hung around afterwards and chatted it up with everyone from Mark Arm to Judah Bauer’s sister.
2. Grinderman at First Avenue
I finally fulfilled a longtime wish to see Nick Cave live this year and he and Grinderman did not disappoint. Cave and Warren Ellis have to be some of the most charismatic performers alive today.
3. Caribou at the 7th St. Entry
I am incredibly glad to have been able to see Dan Snaith at the Entry’s intimate space before the artist moved up to the mainstage later this year. I had wondered how his epic sound would translate in a small club atmosphere, and I found out – the music totally encompasses you.
4. The Very Best at the Cedar Cultural Center
These guys put on such a terrific live show – everyone was grinning ear to ear and dancing their feet off.
5. Rhymesayers Haiti Benefit at First Ave
Brother Ali, Toki Wright, Slug, Sims, Sage Francis – the energy at this show was amazing and it was all for a great cause.
1. Pavement @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
They were disappointing at Pitchfork, but one of my all time favorite groups redeemed themselves at their fun, loose and raucous show at Roy Wilkins.
2. LCD Soundsytem @ Pitchfork + Roy Wilkins w/Hot Chip
One of my favorite bands of the last few years were amazing both headlining Pitchfork and playing a great double bill with Hot Chip this fall. I really hope the rumors of their demise are not true.
3. Grinderman @ First Ave
Finally seeing Nick Cave could have been a letdown, but I walked out blown away by the band and marveling that a bunch of 50 year olds could rock harder than 99% of current bands out there.
4. Thee Oh Sees/Red Pens/Invisible Boy- Turf Club
This year saw me finally catching both Fresh and Onlys and Thee Oh Sees (now I just need to see Ty Segall!). Fresh and Onlys were really good, but Thee Oh Sees were amazing at the Turf and, along with two solid local openers, provided a top to bottom amazing show.
5. The Very Best @ Cedar Cultural Center
I am pretty much the last person in the world who dances while sober, but this show came close to making this change. Infectious, world influenced pop music that was the most fun show I saw all year.
(Honorable Mention: Modern Radio 10 Year Anniversary Show @ Cedar Cultural Center, Sufjan Stevens @ Orpheum Theater, Guided By Voices @ First Ave, Japandroids/Walkmen @ Cabooze)
1. The Bronzed Chorus & Falcon Arrow @ The Hexagon
A little-known duo from Greensboro, North Carolina that write short instrumentals that are equal parts fist-pounding and effervescent completely mesmerized not only yours truly but also the reliably interactive weekend crowd at the Hex, often to the point of hooting, hollering, and magnetizing more and more head-bobbers closer and closer to the stage. The Twin Cities’ best kept secret, Falcon Arrow (another instrumental duo), did likewise, proving that sometimes all you need are the bare necessities to amaze.
2. Why? & Deerhoof @ First Avenue
Perhaps not the most cohesive pairing in the world, but it made for the first double-billing in a long time that actually felt like the concertgoer was getting two shows for the price of one. Yoni sauntered around on stage hypnotically while Minneapolis natives Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson completely shredded in the background. Meanwhile, the guitar interplay center stage with Deerhoof’s John Dieterich & Ed Rodriguez, while Satomi and Saunier bopped around, the quartet creating a potently carefree yet commanding presence.
3. Pavement & No Age @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
It sure was surreal, watching Malkmus and Nastanovich and company in 2010 in a venue that both serves nachos and sounds like it was built for anything but live music. But the awkward tension dissipated almost immediately when the decorative yellow lights shone brightly and a false start featuring a muttering S.M. transitioned effortlessly into some of the most anthemic and joyfully messy rock music of a maligned generation exploded into the air. It was all summed up rather well by Malkmus himself when he said, “Remember the 90s? When Pavement wasn’t broken up and hummus was exotic?” I do. Barely.
4. The Octopus Project & Starfucker @ Triple Rock Social Club
Another unlikely pairing that had seemingly only one simple yet noble common goal: be bright and fun. The headliner did this despite the poorly dressed neon-clad youngins disappearing after their lead-in in spades, featuring an energy unmatched by their electro-rock contemporaries and projected video that toed the line brilliantly between abstract and concrete. And despite my reservations regarding their fanbase, Starfucker, a band I felt merely tepid about previously, totally lit up the place with gooey pop songs drenched in giddy beats and blaring melodies.
5. Lights Out Asia & The Autumn Project @ Ritz Theater
Put together by Radio K’s Nowlikephotographs, a program that (full disclosure) I used to host, two small Midwestern bands shared one of the most spacious and still intimate performance spaces in town, with Milwaukee’s LOA opting to turn it into a sci-fi planetarium of sorts with their chilling spacey epic electronica (and accompanying looping DVD clips), and Des Moines’ TAP modestly rocked hard downtempo tunes stoically for the first half of their set and then slashing through the blackness with naught but volume and an expertly placed Michael Myers mask. Local geniuses Nomia opened up the show, playing their devastating brand of post-rock alongside projections of the 1950s version of The Blob. Needless to say, it was epic.
Lindsay Schwartz (Radio K)
Anders Ponders at the Nomad, January
The bar was nearly empty with January weather permitting its vacancy, but Anders Mattson’s viola was the perfect mood-setter for a snowy freezing night in Minneapolis, and the band members felt like dear friends after the first song. So intimate, so unexpectedly shaken by these talented local musicians.
Jonsi at Pantages Theater, April
I knew to expect great things for this show after witnessing Jonsi’s beautiful contributions to Sigur Ros, but could not have prepared to feel as moved as I was after even the first couple songs. Between the subtle and endearing interactions of the well-versed musicians on stage to the theatrical set and graphics designed to compliment each song, I was stunned in my seat. Endless aesthetic depth and thought was invested in each minute of this performance.
Lucy Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles at the Cedar in October (on Halloween)
Got more than just an exceptional new release (Good of That) at this show. The band encapsulated the spirit of the Cedar as they always do; modest and down to earth, just doin’ what they love to do – making music and sharing it with friends the most honest and playful way they know how. These guys, dressed in silly sea-related attire in honor of the holiday, once again proved their nature as sweet, engaging young artists dedicated to all the joys their hard work brings them.
Delorean at the 7th St. Entry, November
Danced my heart out. I’ll take moving and shaking with these beautiful Spaniards anyday. They knew their shit so well they just tuned out the intimately packed crowd for their own party on stage. So confident. So smitten.
Sharon Van Etten at The Cedar, November
Hauntingly rich and universally bonding for the audience, this performance was chilling. While accompanied on stage, Sharon’s vocals were sparse enough to perfectly echo her proficiency in heartbreak and leave each listener to mourn their own in a melancholy, thoughtful manner.