Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2015 by Mickey

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Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet was a star player at the 9:30 Club on April 28, 2015. (Photo by Joy Asico)

When I look back upon 2015, I certainly discovered my share of new favorite bands. But I have to confess, the best shows of the year were dominated by legacy bands returning to reclaim their pop thrones. And so the shows I am most excited about in 2015 were generally those shows where a genre-defining artist came back to DC and absolutely mastered their art.

But I’ll add this postscript: 2015 also was the year of the punk rock girl, as several notable bands reminded me of how much I like a woman’s voice over a bit of surf or rockabilly guitar. I’ll explain more after my official list of Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2015.

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Music Park: Craft Spells @ Comet Ping Pong — 3/10/15

Craft Spells by Greg Barnes
Craft Spells (Photo by Greg Barnes)

In 2010, Justin Vallesteros released his first song “Party Talk” as Craft Spells, recording the lo-fi single on his own.

The song is pleasing, straightforward number expressing sentiment of a desire for something more out of a chance meeting.

“Is this new? ‘cause I’m falling for you/
This better not be party talk”

The lovelorn lyrics represent an attempt at identification with the rest of humanity in general and a pretty girl in particular. Fast forward to 2014, and Craft Spells have released their second full-length LP, Nausea — the title track of which almost seems to reference the 1938 Jean-Paul Sartre novel of the same name!

“Nausea/
You’ve kept youself away from everyone you used know/
Nausea/
You brought yourself here now everybody’s gonna know”

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