Best of Year: Top 12 Musical Moments of 2020 by David

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Grace Potter performs at The Anthem (Photo by David LaMason)

What can be said for a year that began with so much promise but ends, well, like we are all feeling stuck in an alternate dimension.  Looking back on my calendar which went so off the rails after two and a half months in, it really does look like a glimpse into a world that should have been but one that’s now alternate history. 

But even in this bizarro world of COVID-19 there was some great music created at homes, online, socially distanced, and even on the streets!  There is nothing that can beat the feel of a crowded show, the thrill of being there, and the joyous exhaustion that follows, but this past year we saw people pulling together – giving what they could – to keep live music alive despite every roadblock tossed in its way.

Since these lists are often limited by “best of” or Top 10, I want to include, well, all of those performances I caught this past year.  There weren’t many, but each one I relive when I hear a song from a brilliant artist I’ve seen or go through photos from the past year. Here are my Top 12 Musical Moments of 2020 in chronological order.

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Live Review: Michael Kiwanuka @ Lincoln Theatre — 2/12/20

MichaelKiwanuka23 Michael Kiwanuka performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Feb. 12, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)

To say that the music of Michael Kiwanuka is cinematic isn’t a stretch. The British songwriter and performer has been building on his song craft since his debut LP in 2012. Often compared to Bill Withers, Kiwanuka takes pop songs and creates layers, motifs, and repetition to build mood. Listening to the popular “Cold Little Heart” or “Solid Ground” or “Hero” and it’s hard to pull yourself away.

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