Sarah Shook fronts The Disarmers at Pearl Street Warehouse on Sept. 12, 2018. Mark Caicedo chose a picture from this show (but not this one) as one of his Top 10 of 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
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.
Women have long been major influences in music history, going back to the jazz greats like Nina Simone Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald; through country legends Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly; pop icons like Bette Midler, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper; and the rock and blues greats Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry and Chrissie Hynde.
Today, while female musicians like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Pink, and Adele continue to break boundaries, local and regional bands feature women whose talent, drive and influence is just as powerful as the superstars.
My Top 10 concert photos of the year salute 2018 as the Year of Women.
Soccer Mommy performs at Black Cat on Dec. 1, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Soccer Mommy is on fire. With a debut full length album, Clean (Fat Possum Records), on several best of 2018 lists, a string of sold-out tour dates through next year, and loads of positive press coverage, Sophie Allison’s band showed up at the Black Cat on Saturday night ready to set the sold-out house ablaze.
The Julian Lage Trio performs at Union Stage on Nov. 28, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Julian Lage bounded onstage wearing a huge grin that never left his face the entire evening in his recent appearance at Union Stage. And for good reason — his trio thrilled on many levels: technically, musically, and emotionally. Along with his two companions, Jorge Roeder on standup bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums, Julian’s set hit all the right notes, flowing like one long beautiful song, and it kept us all smiling along with him.
Jason Bonham performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
“This is the most fun anyone could have fully clothed standing in front of an audience.”
That was Jason Bonham describing Sunday night at The Fillmore Silver Spring as he led his band, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening (JBLZE) in a revival (not a tribute) of the 1970’s preeminent rock band. The music project he refers to as the “band I play in for fun” performed over two hours of Zeppelin’s music to a faithful and adoring sold-out audience.
Jason Bonham (Photo courtesy Lappen Enterprises)
Any music lover will tell you, rhythm is an essential ingredient of a song. Any musician will also tell you that percussion was the first musical instrument. Ancient peoples discovered that banging on things would create patterns and melodies one could move to and feel deep inside. Since those first humans struck a piece of bark or a stretched animal skin, the tympani, the gong, the dulcimer, and the piano, among other percussion instruments, have become central to orchestras, jazz combos, pop groups, and marching bands.
When it comes to drummers, one of the greatest modern drummers ever to play was surely John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. Recently, ParklifeDC had the pleasure of speaking with drummer Jason Bonham, John’s son, in anticipation of Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening appearance at The Fillmore Silver Spring this Sunday, Nov. 25.
Loi Loi performs at Union Stage on Nov. 10, 2018. (Photo by Marc Caicedo)
Loi Loi (frontwoman Kristie Di Lascio and Ron Storhaug) gamely tried to get a dance party started at Union Stage recently. The show began early with Subradio, followed by Loi Loi, but I had the feeling that the audience wasn’t quite loose enough yet to move their feet.
Samantha Fish performs at The Birchmere on Oct. 22, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Somewhere on the hallowed ground between Etta James and Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Johnson, Samantha Fish is staking out her own territory. This sassy-sweet guitar slinger with a voice that both purrs and growls continues to make the claim that she stands with giants, as well. A packed, standing-room Monday night crowd at The Birchmere would no doubt agree.