2010 – Year in Review

Posted: January 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

I went to a lot of good shows in 2010. I got to see some good bands for the first time (and often a second), but I also got to see some old favorites again. I went to some pretty big music fests like SXSW and Pitchfork but I also went to a few tiny living room shows. Overall, it was a good year of live music.

Multiple Viewings

Some bands were so good that I had to see them more than once. Here is the breakdown of multiple viewings for 2010:

  • Bear Hands x 2
  • The Dead Weather x 2
  • Ha Ha Tonka x 2
  • The Hold Steady x 2
  • Japandroids x 2
  • Lawrence Arms x 2
  • LCD Soundsystem x 2
  • Maps & Atlases x 2
  • The Morning Benders x 2
  • Robyn x 2
  • Rocky Votolato x 3
  • Rogue Wave x 3
  • Savoir Adore x 2
  • Sondre Lerche x 2
  • The Tallest Man on Earth x 2
  • Tim Kasher x 4
  • Titus Andronicus x 2
  • Sundowner x 3
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks x 3


I saw a ton of shows in 2010 but some certainly stand out more than others. The first third of the year had a few standout performances. In January, I saw Sundowner @ Beat Kitchen. After that, I remember spending a lot of time at Lincoln Hall. In March, SXSW dominated what I listened to in terms of live and recorded music. Moreover, it was more than shows in Austin, there were a fair number of shows that I saw in Chicago that served as preparation for SXSW. I saw We Were Promised Jetpacks with the Lonlely Forest and Bear Hands at Lincoln Hall.  I saw Sondre Lerche put on two amazing performances, one in Chicago and one in Austin. I also got to see Japandroids twice. I saw Rogue Wave for the first of many times at Red Eyed Fly. I also got to see Savoir Adore and The Middle East for the first time.

After all that, thing settled down a bit. In April, the Antlers put on a live show at Lincoln Hall that took their album to a whole new level. In May, getting to see Voxtrot’s final Chicago was both fun and sad at the same time. The next day I saw the Dead Weather play a “secret” show that included free booze and a solid performance.

The summer was filled with a lot of festivals and a ton of music in general. I saw the Good Life play Subterranean but I don’t really remember that one. I saw two good shows at Lincoln Hall by Junip and Matt Pond PA. Superchunk rocked the Taste of Randolph in June. The Tie That Bands played a benefit show in Houston, which was both nostalgic and energizing.

July started off with two classics. I saw Rocky Votolato play an intimate living room show on July 3rd in Pilsen. Passion Pit’s July 4th performance at Grant Park was surprisingly fun despite the oppressive heat. July also included a double a dose of WWPJ and 3 days of fun at Pitchfork. LCD Soundsystem at Pitchfork was probably the performance of the year. One of the more interesting shows was Tim Kasher @ Tonic Room on July 27th. Then, at the end of July I headed out of town to see the Dead Weather in Detroit.

As for August, I skipped Lollapalooza but I did catch some good aftershows by The New Pornographers, Rogue Wave, and The Black Keys. Later that month Sundowner had their record release show at Subterranean and gave their best performance ever. In September, I got to see the Tallest Man on Earth at Park West, my favorite place to see Scandinavian singer-songwriters. Later that month, Deerhunter played a free show under the Ohio St. underpass on the coldest day of the month. On September 28th, I rushed to Lakeview after work to see Tim Kasher play an in-store at Reckless.

The shows kind of slowed down after the summer. I got to see Bad Religion for the first time since high school in early October. It was pretty cool seeing Blake Schwarzenbach’s new band, forgetters on October 12th. I really enjoyed the double bill of Rocky Votolato and Ha Ha Tonka at Beat Kitchen. On October 22nd, I took the train up to Milwaukee to see Hot Chip and get my LCD Soundsystem fix.

November was kind of slow. There was a strong dose of dance pop; I saw Yelle play the Echo Plex in L.A. and Robyn turned Metro into Lakeview’s biggest gay bar.  November also featured a strong performance by Tim Kasher at Schubas. December had a few standout shows. There were two unique ones, with Matt Pryor playing a living room show in Logan Square and Andrew Bird playing at Fourth Presbyterian Church. I finished the year with some old favorites. On December 30th, Tim Kasher and the Hold Steady played Lincoln Hall. THS were amazing, playing one of their strongest sets at my favorite venue in Chicago. On the final night of the year, I saw Cursive at Subterranean. The drunken energy in that place was insane. It was a great way to end the year.


Here are some photos I took at shows throughout the year:

First Half of 2010

Second Half of 2010

The End


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