Dave’s Top 10 Shows Of 2010

December 30, 2010

While 2009 was the year of the Lo Pub, in 2010 there was good representation of most venues in Winnipeg – with no one venue dominating my list, from the West End Cultural Centre to the Walker Theatre.  (I will never ever call it the Burton Cummings Theatre).

#10. 2010 WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL (July)

With the exception of spectacular performances by the Avett Brothers and the workshop with Arrested Development, Andrew Bird & Konono No.1  it was a pretty underwhelming line up.  Especially with the 2009 line up (including Elvis Costello and Iron & Wine) considered by many to be one of the best festivals ever. 2010 kind of felt like they phoned in the lineup.  For the amount of money being charged for tickets we expect to see a more well rounded mix of new and exciting acts as well as a few more big names. Not a best of from 2004, 2007, & 2009.

#9. HEAD IN THE SAND SHOWCASE // The Cavern (October)

You know you’re at a quality concert when all 3 bands performing (Royal Canoe, Les Jupes & The Liptonians) could be the headliner.  Plus it was a packed house and the crowd was really into it.  The Cavern is not my favorite venue, but this night made it enjoyable.

#8.  HOLY FUCK // The Pyramid (September):

One of many shows during an incredible month of September.  The band delivered, rambunctiously.  A special treat.  Holy Fuck indeed.

#7. THE SADIES w/ PACK AD // The Pyramid (September)

Two great live acts that give it their all on stage.

#6.  GREG MacPHERSON ALBUM LAUNCH // WECC (April)

This album launch show for the Polaris-nominated Mr. Invitation was classic G-Mac.  A killer set that included a perfect mix of old songs and new.  It was one of Greg best shows in recent memory.

#5. DAN MANGAN w/ BURNING HELL //  Park theatre (November)

Two words:  Pleasantly surprised.  I went into this show only knowing a handful of Dan songs and never hearing the Burning Hell but left thoroughly impressed with both acts and the quality of Dan as a singer songwriter.  He had the attentive Park crowd eating out of his hand.  [Editor’s note: Here’s our review of his album Nice, Nice, Very Nice.]

#4.  RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE // WECC (February)

It’s shows like this one that make winter in Winnipeg almost bearable. Awesome renditions of The Dethbridge at Lethbride & The Ballad of the RRA. High energy set, great crowd.  Another kick-ass West End show!

#3.  ARCADE FIRE w/ CALEXICO // MTS Centre (September)

This was an incredible show with the potential to make #1 on this list, only Arcade Fire had the unfortunate luck of playing just 2 days after the band that stole the proverbial show.  So by the timeI saw them I was totally blissed out and my passion for this concert plateaued quicker than I would have liked.  It wasn’t as good as their 2004 Winnipeg concert @ the Walker but it was still pretty amazing.  Calexico were stellar as usual, though their set seemed short.

#2. THE ROOTS w/ MAGNUM K.I. //  Pantages Playhouse (June)

Hands down the best hip hop show I have ever seen.  The Roots blew away my expectations of what this show was going to be.  Pure showmanship, high energy, appreciative of their fans.  Plus any live act that can rock a sousaphone as much as the Roots deserves your respect.  [Magnum K.I. site.]

#1.  THE FLAMING LIPS // Walker Theatre (September)

Pure rock spectacle!  This was one of the most entertaining concerts I have ever been to at the Walker (including Arcade Fire, Wilco, TV on the Radio AND the Pixies).  I was totally blissed out!  A perfect balance of sight, sound and spectacle.

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