Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Top 10 Concerts of 2010

I’ll be posting my top 10 theatrical productions and movies of 2010 in the coming days, but first, here’s a look at my top 10 concerts of the year.

10. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Surfer Blood, June 12, Grand Central, Miami

This was a memorably disastrous show from Surfer Blood, marred by a conflict that soured the band on both the venue and this concert’s promoter, Poplife. But the Pains of Being Pure at Heart inaugurated this new venue with a too-short set of twee-pop heaven that had a full dance floor bopping along with the sweetness.

9. The Swell Season, May 24 at the Fillmore, Miami Beach

This duo of Scottish balladeers brought their history of romance and heartbreak to Miami, reflecting warmly and humorously on their first trip to sunny South Florida while pouring out their souls in gorgeous song after gorgeous song. Shame on us, for this one was one of the most poorly attended shows I saw this year.

8. Built to Spill, Oct. 15 at Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale

There aren’t too many shows in South Florida for devotees of ’90s, riff-heavy indie guitar rock, so you can believe the bearded hipster intelligencia turned up in droves to see these indie guitar gods, the best thing to come out of the Midwest since… I dunno, corn?

7. Imogen Heap, June 2 at the Fillmore, Miami Beach

Eccentric UK songstress Heap brought a helluva live show along with her “Ellipse” tour this year, with video-projected graphics providing a soothing ambiance. Heap was fascinating to listen to, whether she was playing electro-pop gems or rambling to the audience in her many impromptu monologues. She even invited a Boca-based high school choral group to sing one of her hits onstage with her.

6. Pat Metheny, April 10 at the Fillmore, Miami Beach

The popular jazz bass guitarist mounted a tour like no other this year in support of his latest album “Orchestrion.” The orchestrion in question was a mammoth electronic soundboard that engulfed much of the stage, created most of the backing music for Metheny’s set while resembling something out of a ’50s science-fiction film. I loved it, and I don’t even listen to this kind of music.

5. Wilco, March 22 at the Fillmore, Miami Beach

Wilco’s first appearance in Miami in four years played like a mea culpa to the bandâs South Florida fans. The band performed everything you could possibly want to hear from a Wilco show, from epic rockers to quiet ballads, alt-country barn-burners to psychedelic experiments.

4. Sting, July 2 at Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach

This satisfying set full of Police hits, ballads and pop favorites from his own solo career was aided by a full orchestra, but Sting was so compelling himself that you almost forgot the symphony was there.

3. The Drums and Surfer Blood, Sept. 18 at Grand Central, Miami

Surfer Blood opened this show with the most polished appearance I’ve ever seen from these local boys, and The Drums followed with a magnetic set of indie-pop bliss anchored by vocalist Jonathan Pierce’s inimitable stage presence — a kinetic melange of any number of 1980s male-pop divas.

2. The Mountain Goats, March 14 at The Social, Orlando

This probably shouldn’t count, because the show took place outside of South Florida, but this list wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from my favorite band, which I see at least once each year no matter how far I have to drive to do it. This appearance was particularly special: It was a solo acoustic gig from singer-songwriter John Darnielle, a make-up show following a canceled Mountain Goats appearance last November. Darnielle was in top form, playing a set of singalong audience favorites and crowd requests that included the rarely played “Cubs in

Five” and “Going to Bolivia.”

1. Roger Waters, Nov. 13 at BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise

Well, duh. Thirty years ago, Pink Floyd reinvented the rock opera experience with theretofore unseen Broadway panache and circuslike showmanship, and in 2010, the prog-rock band’s frontman reinvented his own reinvention to reflect the social and political malaise of our time. For many who saw this one-of-a-kind spectacle, it can accurately be described as a life-changing concert experience. It certainly changed my life for the better: I proposed to my girlfriend midway through “Comfortably Numb.”

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