Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2019 by David

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LP was one of David LaMason’s best concerts of the year. See where she ranked below. (Photo by David LaMason)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 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.

It’s hard to think we’re nearing the end of 2019. I don’t realize how much has happened throughout the year until I look back and get that “Holy Cow! That was this year?” feeling. And I’ve been experiencing a lot of those lately.

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Best of the Year: Top 10 Moments of 2019 by Mark C.

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Martin Barre performs at The Birchmere, April 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 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.

How am I going to do this?! Pick 10 favorites shots, moments, concerts, etc., from a year that was packed with them. Of course, the year had its fill of frustrations and challenges, as well, but those quickly fade from memory to be replaced by the realization that I am, indeed, very fortunate to combine two loves of my life, music and photography, into something I can share.

These moments, documented in the following images, all taught me something… about photography, about the power of music, and, ultimately, about myself; what I value, what moves me, and what’s important.

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Snapshots: The Joy Formidable w/ Twen @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/29/19

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The Joy Formidable mug backstage at Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 29, 2019. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

Earlier this year, The Joy Formidable celebrated 10 years as a band by re-releasing the trio’s debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning. In doing so, the band added a disc containing acoustic versions of the song recorded in their home Welsh language.

The noise poppers celebrated that anniversary — 10 years as a band really — with a rousing show at Rock and Roll Hotel recently. Jason Nicholson photographed them in action.

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Live Review: Son Little @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/30/19

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Son Little performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 30, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Philadelphia artist Son Little (the alias of Aaron Livingston), a sometime collaborator with The Roots and alternative hip-hop artist Rjd2, combines blues, soul, and hip-hop in his unique singer-songwriter style. Playing solo on acoustic and electric guitar, Son Little entertained a post-Thanksgiving crowd of music lovers at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday.

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Live Review: Christopher Paul Stelling @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/30/19

CPS2 Christopher Paul Stelling shakes the Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 30, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

As someone who has called Florida, Colorado, New York, and most recently North Carolina “home,” it’s fitting that the music of Christopher Paul Stelling has a rambling, seat-of-the-pants feel that’s at once untethered and feels like coming home.

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Live Review: Brent Cobb @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/18/19

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Brent Cobb (Photo by Don Van Cleave)

Grammy Award nominee Brent Cobb understands how to put a show together. Southern rap played him onto the stage at the Rock & Rock Hotel recently, ending with a flourish of horns. Strumming a few notes on his acoustic guitar, Brent conversationally told the audience he was going to “ease you on in.” He started his set with the beautiful “Keep ’Em on Their Toes,” about “the best thing you can do when the ignorance shows.” He stopped to acknowledge an especially gorgeous riff by his bushy-bearded lead guitarist, remarking, “Isn’t that pretty?”

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Live Review: God Is an Astronaut @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/14/19

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God Is an Astronaut performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Marc Caicedo)

“Buying records cheers me up…whenever I feel low, I buy some new records.” Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz

The ability of music to lift us from pain born of tragedy is one of its enduring qualities. Recently, God Is an Astronaut (GIAA) showed us how despair and grief can be relieved — if only temporarily — with soaring melodies, a huge backbeat, and the sort of musical intimacy between player and listener that gives solace at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

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