After joining the New Times Broward Palm Beach music section in late February, it has been a humbling year of catching up. There were bands that I probably should have first caught back before I was old enough to drink (Smashing Pumpkins and Naughty by Nature), a few concerts in faraway locales (Harlem and Pavement), and far too many acoustic cover bands delving into the Gin Blossoms' back catalog. Regardless, this was a varied year that made me glad that I always pack a pair of earplugs -- even if that meant regularly pulling them out to bask in the sheets of noise unfolding during A Place to Bury Strangers' Halloween show in West Palm Beach, for example. Counting the number of concerts I attended in 2010 is disturbingly difficult -- and it's entirely beside the point. Here are 10 that I loved for a variety of reasons.
Baby's first South Florida concert occurred before I was officially hired, with former Miami New Times music editor Arielle Castillo and her boyfriend providing transportation. I was already familiar with the Israeli punks Monotonix and their break-neck (too literal?) performances, but this night was a personalized introduction to what sorts of onstage insanity awaited me. As Castillo writes, "And so it went last night that when Monotonix frontman Ami Shalev called
for a doctor barely 15 minutes into his band's headlining set, he was,
at first, relentlessly heckled." And that doesn't even explore the live brilliance of Surfer Blood and Love Handles that opened the evening. The intensity of the live scene here hasn't ceased since.
BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Speaking of firsts, I got to see arguably pop's biggest star perform way way way before Jake Gyllenhaal was even part of her story line. Was I the target demographic? No way. But it wasn't any less funto write about
"a performer who can synthesize that much Vitamin D into a three-minute
pop song about a pale-colored horse."
Fillmore Miami Beach, Miami
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Even my goosebumps had goosebumps. And James Murphy didn't even move.
Guy Harvey/The Jameses
The Vagabond, Miami
Friday, August 13, 2010
Having witnessed the Guy Harvey guys (pictured) and the Jameses gang on multiple occasions at Propaganda, Respectable Street, Lake Worth-It, among others, it was intriguing to catch both bands outside the county. With the fresh release of GH's seven-inch "Take Your Time (With Me)"/"Never Seen Snow" serving as the motivator, it was a night for righteous celebration. My favorite moment was seeing the Jameses "placing themselves front and center in the crowd to support their allies and los[ing] their shit." It's great to see that cross-county pollination can work in the other direction too.
Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley at SunFest
West Palm Beach Waterfront
Sunday, May 2, 2010
If Nas had been anything less than transcendent, I might have been upset that I was sweating through my black jeans like a pig in the 90-plus degree heat. Shorts are not optional in South Florida.
The Orange Door, Lake Park
Friday, December 17 and Saturday, December 18, 2010
Along with Lake Worth-It and the Respectable Street Anniversary Block Party, these were two of the proudest nights for South Florida's local music scene taking place at an underutilized, yet catalytic, venue. Although I could only attend the first day, reports circulating from day two point to a momentous weekend that should build into an even stronger 2011 for locals.
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Built to Spill
Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale
Friday, October 15, 2010
No shock that any Doug Martsch sighting for this writer will serve as an immediate highlight of any year. Bonus points that this was far more elaborate than the Built to Spill frontman merely farting into a napkin or clipping his toenails.
Weird Al Yankovic
Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca Raton
Saturday, July 24, 2010
The only concert of the year that I could sing along with every word.
Respectable Street, West Palm Beach
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Minor sound quibbles aside, this was a packed-out, sweaty night that belongs in a category all by itself. Is it possible to crowd-surf in your mind during a concert? I know it is now.