21 January 2010

09 Year in Review

Top 9 shows I saw in 2009:

9. Derek Trucks Band @ Water Street Music Hall
Derek Trucks. Chuck Campbell. Nothing more needs to be said.

8. Ponytail, Phantogram @ Bug Jar
Two of the best new finds of the year played about 20m apart from each other. Even if Yeasayer was a disappointment, this show still stood apart from the rest for the openers alone.

7. Rochester International Jazz Fest Day 8
A night that included guitar master Pat Martino, the most inventive musician I saw all year, Arve Henriksen, and pedal steel wizard Robert Randolph throwing down with the Campbell Brothers, Susan Tedeschi and Ryan Shaw. Yeah, that's making this list.

6. David Rawlings Machine/Gillian Welch @ Newport Folk Fest
The whole folk fest was a fantastic treat, but the standout sets were both David Rawlings and Gillian Welch under different monikers. Also would love to throw in here the Avett Brothers who I finally got to see this year, twice!

5. Akron/Family @ Mohawk Place
There was no show this year that saw me dancing harder.

4. El Ten Eleven @ Bug Jar
Third time was the charm, they brought it to the next level.

3. Wilco @ Artpark
Best Wilco show in by far the best venue I have seen them.

2. Bill Frisell @ Kilbourn Hall (early and late)
There was a 10m or so segment in the late set that was easily the best music I heard all year.

1. Phish @ Syracuse War Memorial
God I hate to waste space here espousing love for Phish when that's the last thing the blogosphere needs, but after seeing average-at-best shows at Fenway and Darien Lake, there was no denying that this was the real deal. Phish is back baby!

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