Mark: Best of 2010

2010 was a great year for shows. I got to see several bands that I had been waiting a long time to see, new bands that I just discovered, as well as classic bands that I can’t enough of. Living in NYC, there were a lot of special anniversary, farewell, and one-off shows that I got to catch, many of which made it onto my list. So without further ado, here’s my top 10 shows of 2010:

1. Faith No More – Williamsburg Waterfront: July 2 and 5 (see August 16 TSOI post)
After playing shows on every continent except for North America, my favorite band from back in the day finally played a handful of shows in the US, 2 of which took place in Brooklyn. They may look older, but FNM kicked out the jams like it was 1995 all over again, playing 2 drastically different setlists over 2 nights. The band recently declared that they were finished after playing a couple final shows in early December, so if you missed it, you won’t be getting to see it again. Sucks to be you.

2. a-ha – Nokia Theater: May 6, 7, and 8 (see June 18 TSOI post)
Completely ignored over here in North America, a-ha included the US on the itinerary of their farewell tour. Playing NY for the first time in 26 years, the band came out and rocked the house for 3 sold out nights in Times Square. Greatly underrated band.

3. Rammstein – Madison Square Garden: Dec 11
This one I had been waiting 10 years for. Rammstein’s stage show = FIRE. Lots of it. People came from all over the country to see Rammstein do a one-off US show at MSG. I still can’t believe that it sold out in an hour. Hopefully, this is a sign that the band will make the trek over here more often than once every ten years.

4. Robyn – Terminal 5: Nov 10
I was a little apprehensive about this show, being that I usually avoid acts that are unabashedly mainstream pop, but Robyn’s different. Her 3-part Body Talk album that was released this year is a fantastic slab of electro-pop goodness. I was expecting costume changes and lame choreographed dances, but I got a band with a charismatic lead singer who left it all on stage. And the songs sound way better remixed live than on the album!

5. Dragonette – Bowery Ballroom: Aug 13 (see December 23 TSOI post)
Another criminally underrated band, I discovered Dragonette by complete accident. 2009’s “Fixin to Thrill” is one of my favorite albums of the last couple years. Top to bottom, every track on the album is a banger. Every song sounded unbelievably awesome live, and the band was definitely feeling the love from the crowd.

6. Killing Joke – Irving Plaza: Dec 3
The post-punk legends came out to NYC touring in support of their fantastic new record “Absolute Dissent” after canceling shows earlier in the year to further work on the album. It was worth the wait. The setlist consisted of songs from the first 2 albums and the new one, with some random songs sprinkled in for good measure. One of the only times I’ve gone to see an old school band and was upset they didn’t play more new songs. But at least I got Jaz and Geordie to autograph my homework after the show!

7. Bad Religion – Irving Plaza: Oct 20
Bad Religion treated NYC to a 3-night stand, each setlist devoted to one of the 3 decades of their career. The first night focused on their 80s material. By far the best of the 3 nights, this show was chock full of songs the band hadn’t played in 25+ years. They even included “Billy Gnosis” from their much maligned and ignored prog-rock record, 1983’s “Into the Unknown”.

8. Scissor Sisters – Terminal 5: Aug 25
I was never a huge fan of the Sisters’ first two albums, but the new one “Night Work” is great. I love the bands’ new dancier sound, and live they sounded epic, especially with those thunderous drums! And it’s funny I can’t really put my finger on why, but I have a sneaking suspicion that several members of the Scissor Sisters and/or their fans might be gay.

9. Jello Biafra – Rocks Off Concert Cruise: May 28
This was a surreal night spent on a boat with Jello Biafra just hanging out like a normal dude, autographing everything given to him and posing for pictures with everyone. The set consisted of a bunch of DK classics and well as his Guantanamo School of Medicine project.

10. Cut Copy – Williamsburg Waterfront: Aug 8 (see January 5 TSOI post)
This was a one-off show the band played after playing Lollapalooza a couple days beforehand, while the set was shortened, it was still a fun show. They focused mostly on songs from 2008s “In Ghost Colors” as well as some new songs. Definitely looking forward to the new album.

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