Myles Kennedy performs at Baltimore Soundstage in 2018. (Photo by Chris Smyth)
Where 2020 was mostly a lost year for music, 2021 became a banner year for the industry. While much of the industry is still working to recover from the massive toll that was forced upon them by the pandemic, we fans have been gifted a plethora of music this year. Vaccines got in arms, bands went back on tour, and new albums were released in droves. So many new records came out in 2021 that at times it was hard to keep track of it all. There were multiple times that I was surprised by a new release, or I realized that I had completely missed a new album by and artist I loved. It’s very possible that there are still a few records that I haven’t listened to that I am certain to love.
CHVRCHES delivered a top show of the year at The Anthem. (Photo by Katherine Gaines)
Parklife DC invites our staff to list their Top 10 concerts of every year. Although this was a different kind of year, our love of music remained strong, and we definitely caught our share of shows once pandemic lockdowns eased. Some homegrown shows began popping up indoors around May, and events really made a remarkable return by August. Although we live with additional requirements, such as vaccinations, to attend live shows, we happily rise to the moment to do what we love to do — experience live music.
Here are my Top 10 concerts of 2021.
The Allman Betts Band performs at The Birchmere in June. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
2021 saw a gradual return to live music as venues and musicians did their best to return to “normalcy” and keep everybody safe. Things didn’t always go according to plan: People still got sick, tours were canceled or postponed, and attendance to indoor shows still sometimes lagged.
Bob Mould’s return to 9:30 Club in September ranked among David LaMason’s Best Shows of 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)
If you would have told me around this time last year that I would have had the opportunity to see concerts again, let alone in indoor venues -– some that I hadn’t stepped foot inside in over a year and half –- I would have thought you were crazy. But not only did I have that opportunity –- in large part to vaccines, mask mandates, and the venues and artists who did everything in their power to make sure it was safe to experience live music again –- but I saw some of the best shows I’ve seen in years!