Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2021 by Mickey

CHVRCHES delivered a top show of the year at The Anthem. (Photo by Katherine Gaines)

Parklife DC invites our staff to list their Top 10 concerts of every year. Although this was a different kind of year, our love of music remained strong, and we definitely caught our share of shows once pandemic lockdowns eased. Some homegrown shows began popping up indoors around May, and events really made a remarkable return by August. Although we live with additional requirements, such as vaccinations, to attend live shows, we happily rise to the moment to do what we love to do — experience live music.

Here are my Top 10 concerts of 2021.

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Live Review: Tokyo Police Club @ Union Stage — 11/20/21

A full house greets Tokyo Police Club at Union Stage on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Happy and relaxed, vocalist Dave Monks beamed at the capacity audience at Union Stage in DC recently, wrapping a tour that celebrated 10 years of his band Tokyo Police Club’s sophomore album, Champ.

Dave had a lot to be happy about and the jangly, singalong songs of Champ set the perfect mood for celebration on the last night of a North American tour.

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Music Park: Tokyo Police Club — 5/2/18

TokyoPoliceClub16Dave Monks fronts Tokyo Police Club at 9:30 Club on May 2, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Tokyo Police Club provided a nice counterbalance as openers to Matt and Kim for two sold-out dates at 9:30 Club last week. In comparison to hyperactive party band Matt and Kim, Dave Monks and company were positively sedate, which was actually quite good for absorbing the Canadian band’s post-punk rhythms.

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Don’t Miss: Matt and Kim @ 9:30 Club, 5/2/18

Matt and Kim_Credit Caleb Kuhl_2521.300dpi
Matt and Kim (Photo by Caleb Kuhl)

Matt and Kim will release their new album, Almost Everyday, via Fader on May 4. In 2017, Kim Schifino injured herself onstage, so they took the opportunity to write an album! She and Matt Johnson have two sold-out shows at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, May 2, and Thursday, May 3.

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Don’t Miss: Tokyo Police Club @ Black Cat, 1/22/17

Tokyo Police Club (Photo courtesy The Billions Corp.)

Tokyo Police Club are having a busy year! The Canadian post-punk quartet released two EPs in 2016 -– the first and second parts of Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness. (There is a Smashing Pumpkins joke in there somewhere…?)

Equipped with the first of those EPs, vocalist and bassist David Monks, keyboardist Graham Wright, guitarist Josh Hook, and drummer Greg Alsop hit the 9:30 Club locally back in April. They published the second EP in September, rounding out the set on Dine Alone Records. Now they are returning to DC to perform at the Black Cat on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.

Watch the official music video for “Not My Girl” by Tokyo Police Club from Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness Part 1 on YouTube:


With the release of the two EPs earlier this year, Tokyo Police Club were not yet finished, however! You see, 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the band’s debut EP, A Lesson in Crime. So they reissued that album as well.

The upcoming tour by Tokyo Police Club is being billed as a 10th anniversary tour for A Lesson in Crime, although they also are sure to play some of those new songs. Experienced the “Radness!” Brooklyn bubble-grunge quartet Charly Bliss open for Tokyo Police Club.

Tickets are available online.

Tokyo Police Club
w/ Charly Bliss
Black Cat
Sunday, Jan. 22
Doors @7:30pm
All ages