LP performs at the 9:30 Club, one of the best concerts of the year, on March 5, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
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.
As we are nearing 2018’s finale, I have to say that this past year brought with it some of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. From the big production shows in large theaters to completely packed club shows, there was an intensity to most of the performances this past year that I’ll remember for years to come! Here are my 10 best shows of the year.
Clan of Xymox performs at Ottobar on Nov. 1, 2018. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Clan of Xymox released Days of Black via Metropolis Records in 2017, and Ronny Moorings and company hit Ottobar on Nov. 1 on the US Days of Black Tour. Jason Nicholson shot the show.
Screaming Females perform at Ottobar on Oct. 25, 2018. (Photo by Rashad Polk)
Screaming Females returned to perform at Ottobar on Thursday for the first time since Un-Fest 2015. The New Brunswick, New Jersey, trio are far from strangers to Baltimore, playing in Charm City regularly since 2007.
Of Montreal thrills a packed Ottobar on Oct. 24, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Of Montreal, the band fronted by the charismatic and wildly creative Kevin Barnes, has been going strong through various permutations for more than 20 years. The Athens, Georgia-born band has released 15 full length albums (not including EPs and singles) — during that time, they’ve experimented with styles (straight ahead pop à la Beatles to country tinged Americana to dance).
Although the songwriting is brilliant and the songs tough to get out of your head, the band’s live show (and by “show” I mean it in the most literal sense) has come to be Of Montreal’s signature, and that show arrived at Ottobar on Oct. 24.
Wolf Parade rocks a sold-out Ottobar on Aug. 29, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Have you ever listened to a song and you swear to yourself you had to see this band to see if they are real? I came to the Wolf Parade party a little late. I had heard their second album, At Mount Zoomer, from a friend who had made a copy for me and I liked it, but for some reason it wasn’t until the follow up, Expo 86, that I really came around to see what amazing musicians and songwriters Wolf Parade are. The band reminded me of that at Ottobar on Aug. 29.
Lucy Dacus performs at the Ottobar on July 11, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
There’s something to be said for artistry within art. Art is an act of creation, but the process of creating art can itself be something to behold and appreciate. On Historian, the second full-length LP from Richmond-based musician Lucy Dacus, you can almost see the interconnecting layers being pieced together to create these stories. And you could certainly hear them live at Ottobar on Wednesday.
Lucy Dacus (Photo courtesy Matador Records)
Lucy Dacus released Historian, her second studio album, in March via Matador Records. She’s on tour now with a stop at Ottobar on Wednesday, July 11.