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: Raphael Saadiq @ 9:30 Club — 2/9/20

RaphaelSaadiq1 Raphael Saddiq performs at 9:30 Club on Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)

A few years ago, I was a commuter, making the trip from Baltimore to DC every day through rush hour traffic and some time on my hands while stuck in that bumper-to-bumper grind. My one saving grace was this album, “Stone Rollin'” that I became obsessed with. It felt old but in a new way — bright production with an old soul.

I knew of Raphael Saadiq’s group in the late 80’s, Tony! Toni! Toné! due to my brother’s R&B CDs (I was more of a punk rock youngster myself), but there was something about Saadiq’s solo work that clicked with me.

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Music Park: Raphael Saadiq @ The Kennedy Center — 7/27/18

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Raphael Saadiq performs at The Kennedy Center on July 27, 2018. (Photo by Jati Lindsay)

Singer, songwriter, producer and all-time soul music great Raphael Saadiq made a recent stop in DC to play for a sold-out audience at The Kennedy Center. The Grammy-winning architect of R&B hits performed music from his illustrious career — past and present

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