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