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.
Wolf Alice performs at Union Stage on Nov. 15, 2021. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)
Ellie Rowsell grabbed the microphone and sang in a manner both hypnotic and snarling. With “Smile,” a recent single and the concert opener at Union Stage on Monday, Ellie declares her intent to do things her way, and she doesn’t give a damn if you don’t like it.
To her side, guitarist Theo Ellis wrapped Ellie’s snapping mission statement in wonderfully layered psychedelia, ad Wolf Alice was officially on the prowl for the first of two-sold out shows in DC.
Marco Benevento shakes up The 8×10 on June 14, 2018. (Photo by Shantel M. Breen)
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.
This year has been a music filled year for me. I have managed to make it to over 80 shows in 2018 and some of these shows I had the pleasure of reviewing for Parklife DC. As I wrap up my concert calendar for this year, I started reflecting on my most memorable shows for 2018. I focused on shows that I felt were excited to photograph or the performance left an impression on me. In most cases, the shows in my Top 10 were the first time seeing the band perform and consequently, winning me over as a new fan. Listed in chronological order, my Top 10 will take you through 2018 and hopefully remind you of some great musical memories as well!
Ellie Rosswell fronts Wolf Alice at Rams Head Live on April 13, 2018. (Photo by Shantel Mitchell Breen)
Back in 2013, my very musically advanced 13-year-old daughter shared a song with me that she had heard on a Spotify-curated playlist. She instantly fell in love with this song, and she could not wait to share it with me. I heard the song and said, “This song is great. Who is this? I need to look them up!” The band was Wolf Alice, a new band out of London, and the song was “Bros.”
Ellie Rowsell fronts Wolf Alice at 9:30 Club on Dec. 8, 2017. (Photo by Paivi)
Wolf Alice released Visions of a Life, the band’s sophomor record, in September via Dirty Hit/RCA Records. The quartet scheduled some North American dates and performed at 9:30 Club in a sold-out show on Friday! Paivi was there to get some pix.
Wolf Alice (Photo by Laura Allard Fleischl)
London noise rockers Wolf Alice released Visions of a Life, their second studio album, via Hirty Hit on Sept. 29, and they are on a world tour to celebrate it. While they are in the United Kingdom tonight, Wolf Alice will soon perform at 9:30 Club on Friday, Dec. 8. You can win a pair of tickets to see them courtesy of Parklife DC!
Drenge (Photo courtesy Press Here)
The song “We Can Do What We Want” is a snarling 3-minute banger that tells the listener to fuck off.
It gets straight to the point, but man, you sure can dance to it as well. Is it a dash of The Clash? A bit of Ramones?
Whatever it may be, it involved a whole lot of youthful energy from the three-man band Drenge, fresh to the United States from Sheffield, England, where the gents have refined their mastery of blistering punk beats over the course of two records. Drenge are touring in support of the second record, Undertow, and they stopped by U Street Music Hall in a sold-out show to open for Wolf Alice as a stop on the tour.
I don’t know if the crowd was expecting an opening act as kinetic as Drenge, but I do know that Drenge was expecting a crowd. From the start, drummer Rory Loveless served as a spokesperson and announcer for the band, addressing the audience in crisp accented English. His brother and guitarist/vocalist Eoin Loveless followed his lead to engage in a bit of banter here and there, but Rory kept the show moving.