Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2017 by Mickey

warpaint_dm-gore Martin Gore performs with Depeche Mode at Capital One Arena on Sept. 7, 2017. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: ConspiracyCaptures/GrillworksBen)

The year 2017 was a good year for revisiting old friends as they returned to remind us that they truly still “got it.” In the past year, Parklife DC reviewed a great deal of musicians and bands, and the performances that really distinguished themselves often came as something of a pleasant surprise.

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Music Park: Wesley Stace @ 9:30 Club — 11/28/17

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Wesley Stace performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 28, 2017.

The charming Wesley Stace filled 9:30 Club with catchy rhythms and witty asides on Tuesday as a sold-out crowd filtered in to catch him open for Squeeze.

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Music Park: Squeeze @ 9:30 Club — 11/28/17

Squeeze 08 Squeeze performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 28, 2017. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)” by Squeeze is a song of sweet nostalgia. It inspires memories of summer vacations and young romance, and it does so in such a brilliant and successful way that the song has become timeless since its debut in 1980.

Squeeze performed the song early in their set for a sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, and while welcome hits were a key part of the show, Squeeze also made it clear early they are no nostalgia act. The same clever wordsmithing, strong pop moorings, and superb musicianship that generated songs like “Pulling Mussels,” “Black Coffee in Bed,” and “Tempted” was fully on display in songs from a brand new 16th studio album, The Knowledge, in addition to being on full display during the concert.

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Don’t Miss: Wesley Stace @ 9:30 Club, 11/28/17

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Wesley Stace (Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records)

Singer-songwriter Wesley Stace will hit the road to open UK new wavers Squeeze, in support of Wesley Stace’s John Wesley Harding, and the show comes to 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Nov. 28. It’s sold out, but Parklife DC reminds you to get there early to see Wesley Stace if you’re already going!

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Ticket Giveaway: Squeeze @ 9:30 Club, 11/28/17

Squeeze Squeeze (Photo courtesy Republic Media)

Legendary songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford form the backbone of Squeeze, and the gents are bringing the latest incarnation of their new wave band to 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Nov. 28. You can win tickets to see them with Parklife DC by joining a free raffle at Dodge City on Thursday, Oct. 19.

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Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2016 by Mickey

CHVRCHES 008 Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.

That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.

Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)

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Music Park: Squeeze @ 9:30 Club — 10/11/16

Squeeze 20 Glenn Tilbrook performs with Squeeze at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Wow, how fresh and invigorating is the live music of Squeeze? I somehow had missed the band live in all of this time, given changes in the band’s membership over the past 40 years and various periods of hiatus, so I was not fully aware of just how powerful a band they remain in concert.

But I caught my first-ever Squeeze show at last at the 9:30 Club, where the latest iteration of the band sold out the night on Tuesday, Oct. 11 in short order. The crowd was practically bouncing off the walls in anticipation of a full Squeeze show, and boy did the band fulfill those expectations.

Founders Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford are clever songwriters who know how to hook you, and once you revisit their catalog, you will find yourself drawn into a series of remarkable hits characterized by a compelling narratives and intricate melodies.

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