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.

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Snapshots: Blood Orange @ Lincoln Theater — 9/28/18

Untitled Blood Orange performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Sept. 28, 2018. (Photo by Brenda Reyes)

At sold-out Lincoln Theater, Devonté Hynes, better known as Blood Orange, gave an amazing performance. His style of funk-R&B shined on stage. He highlighted every single supporting instrument through out the night, making sure that everyone has their moment to shine. Effortlessly, Blood Orange showcased his dreamy tunes and alt-pop sound to DC.

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Snapshots: Parklife DC 10 Best Pictures of 2016

Peter Hook and The Light @ Howard Theatre, Washington DC, 11/23/2016
Peter Hook performs at the Howard Theatre on Nov. 23, 2016. (Photo by Paivi)

It’s been a good second year for Parklife DC, particularly as we really improved our concert photography game.

Our little blog recruited some excellent photographers, notably Paivi Salonen, who is really quite good and sticking around with us into 2017! We also had the pleasure of working with Kristie Chua, who has moved onto other endeavors.

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Snapshots: Blood Orange @ Lincoln Theatre — 9/13/16

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Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange performs at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Sept. 13, 2016. (Photo by Kristie Chua)

Earlier this summer, Blood Orange released a third studio album, Freetown Sound, and recently launched a world tour that included only a handful of US dates.

One of those dates included a stop at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Tuesday, Sept. 13, where Blood Orange, born Dev Hynes, mesmerized the crowd with funky synthpop and orchestral R&B. Of the 21 songs he performed, only about half a dozen came from his previous work. This show was truly “Welcome to Freetown,” and it was a hit.

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Don’t Miss: Blood Orange @ Lincoln Theatre, 9/13/16

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Blood Orange performs at Moogfest 2016 in Durham, NC.

Blood Orange aka Dev Hynes released his hotly anticipated third album Freetown Sound on June 28 via Domino, and then announced a limited run of shows called “Welcome to Freetown” to commemorate it.

This initial run of eight shows begins on August 24 in Los Angeles, but lands here in DC with a stop at the Lincoln Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The new collection of sparkling, funky R&B signature songs from the UK crooner are collectively named after Freetown, Sierra Leone, where Dev’s father was born.

Watch the official music video for “Augustine,” featuring some cool air piano and some dazzling real piano from Dev, by Blood Orange on YouTube:

“Dev Hynes’ work–populist, experimental, healing, agitating, straightforward, multi-layered–demonstrates this unfailingly. Prince’s radical pop spirit lives on in many artists. But none are channeling it more fully, or artfully,” said Rolling Stone of the album.

I too thought of Prince when I saw Blood Orange perform at Moogfest 2016 in May in Durham, NC. Like the late superstar, Blood Orange doesn’t like to stick to one genre, often mixing new wave sounds into his alt-R&B palette.

If you’re hungry for talent and substance, this show will fulfill your appetite. Tickets are available online.

Blood Orange
Lincoln Theatre
Tuesday, Sept. 13
Doors @6:30pm
$35
All ages

Music Park: Moogfest 2016 Pt. 1 (of 3) (Durham, NC) — 5/19/16

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Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange performs at Motorco Park in Durham, NC, on Thursday, May 19.

As I disembarked a shuttle to downtown Durham outside The Carolina Theatre, the sounds of a protest against North Carolina’s House Bill 2 greeted me last Thursday. A group on the corner shouted out against a new law they saw as discriminatory against sexual identity.

As I peered up and down the street, a growing yet small southern city unfolded before me. I wasn’t in DC any longer.

Moogfest, the premier music festival dedicated to the synthesizer, moved across North Carolina to a new home in Durham this year for four days of performances, classes, talks, and exhibits over May 19-22, 2016, and it drew me there largely to cover many of its concert performances. But it’s impossible to ignore the time and place of such a festival, particularly when the Moogfest organizers themselves protested the passage of HB 2 and particularly when the attendees for the “festival of the future” are as diverse as those descending upon Durham.

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