Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2018 by Brenda

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Ruban Nielson from Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs at 9:30 Club on April 27, 2018. (All photos by Brenda Reyes)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.

The year 2018 brought me great experiences. As my first year of photoblogging comes to an end, I had the great pleasure of attending some amazing shows in DC.  I want to give a huge thanks to Parklife DC for entrusting me and giving me that opportunity. I will forever be eternally grateful! Here are my Top 10 concerts of 2018.

My criteria for Top 10 is that the band or artist instantly made me a fan when they walk onto that stage. Did I immediately go download their catalog onto my music accounts? As for my top shows of the year, I have listed them as a countdown, starting with No. 10:

10 – Mura Masa @ 9:30 Club — 8/17/18

Mura Masa 8

Mura Masa had me dancing the whole night, and Fliss got me hyped. I wasn’t sure what I was going to see onstage, but it was more than just your average DJ equipment.

9 – Matt and Kim @ 9:30 Club — 5/2/18

Matt and Kim
My friend told me to be prepare to “rage” during Matt and Kim  — and I totally brushed that off (hey! — it was my first time seeing them live). So, I didn’t know I had to brace myself for some heavy moshing in the middle of the set, but the energy was incredible. This show changed my mind about a band who I thought maybe had one song for me.

8 – Post Animal @ Union Stage — 6/2/18

Post Animal
Post Animal brought psychedelic sound with tons of heavy metal influences and hints of pop. Just know that when I’m at Post Animal’s show and “Dirtpicker” plays, I’m moshing with the best in the crowd.

7 – The Aces @ All Things Go Fall Classic 2018 — 10/7/18


Left to Right: Cristal Ramirez, Allison Ramirez, and McKenna Petty from the Aces 10/7/2018 (Photo by Brenda Reyes)

On the second day of All Things Go Fall Classic, The Aces played in the middle of day, and I was surrounded by their adoring fans. Their album is on rotation on Spotify for me (Check out “Lovin’ Is Bible”). So, thank you ATG for bringing them to me.

6 – Mt. Joy @ U Street Music Hall — 9/27/18

I fell in love with Mt.Joy when I first heard their single “Sheep.” So, I needed to see them, and they sound even better live. It’s your classic indie-folk rock and a great show.

5 – Maggie Rogers @ All Things Go Fall Classic — 10/6/18

As the first night of ATG ended, Maggie Rogers closed out with a beautiful set. The first time I saw her was at Lollapalooza 2017, and I thought in my head that she would she was going places. Fast forward to 2018, as she helped curate the lineup for Saturday’s All Things Go Fall Classic festival and her performance was the cherry on top for Day 1 of ATG.

4 – Tash Sultana @ The Anthem — 11/21/18

Tash Sultana blew my mind during her set  — and now I am 100 percent committed to Tash. Her style of music is genre bending. There’s no limit to what Tash can do in the future, especially because she can play the guitar (electric and acoustic), bass, synths, keyboard, trumpet, and drum pad in addition to singing and beatboxing.

3 – Blood Orange @ The Lincoln Theatre — 9/28/18

This show at the Lincoln Theater was spectacular. It was an experience just watching Dev Hynes go from guitar to piano to singing. The energy and crowd were dancing the whole night. I loved every single second of his show.

2 – Kali Uchis @ 9:30 Club — 10/9/18

According to my Spotify, Kali Uchis was my top artist of the year, and I’m so happy that I got to see her three times in 2018. She is my favorite because she’s blend of pop with Latin flair. She owns it in her music, and I’m happy with how her year is going. Her Isolation album has been on repeat ever since it dropped.

1 – Unknown Mortal Orchesta @ 9:30 Club — 4/27/18

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My number one this year is UMO at 9:30 Club. The show was beyond amazing — pure talent from the from every member. The energy of the crowd and Ruban Nielson’s riffs/singing were so good. I eagerly await when they’ll return to town. I became an instant fanatic as soon as I heard their new album (Sex & Food).

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