Concert Roundup: Top 11 Concerts of 2018

Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice @ Rams Head Live on April 13th made the Top 11 List of 2018! Where did they finish? (Photo Credit: Band’s Facebook)

Which concerts in or near DC were my favorite in 2018?

2018 proved to be a banner year for live music. Let’s have a peek at the top concerts from those I reviewed.

The 2018 crop of concerts to draw from is robust (41 reviews!) and with so many excellent shows, it was difficult to decide. But with a little spit and polish, I whittled it down to 11 concerts.

Countdown to the top 11 concerts:

11. Courtney Barnett @ The Anthem (7/24/18) – Aside from her witty song titles and lyrics, Courtney showed us just how much Australians like to rock. It proved to be a lot.

10. The Beths @ Songbyrd Music House (10/14/18) – Sure their album title (Future Me Hates Me) is great by itself, but hearing their high-energy and fun pop-rock songs in a small venue made it even better.

9. Courtney Marie Andrews @ Rock and Roll Hotel (9/20/18) – I had a fling with country music in the 1990’s, and suddenly found myself flush with country concerts in 2018. The second Courtney on this list proved to be quite a fine fling.

8. The Kills @ Lincoln Theatre (5/14/18) – Lead singer Alison Mosshart rocked so hard I thought she’d break her neck. She didn’t, but I definitely almost broke my chair enjoying myself.

7. Middle Kids @ Rock and Roll Hotel (6/15/18) – It is no mistake this Australian band is good, hopefully when their album came out you bought it! I’ve been listening to it more than deemed normal. Their show at the Rock and Roll Hotel was also terrific.

6. Lucius @ Lincoln Theatre (3/23/18) – A treat of a show, the first great show of the year for me. Their harmonizing brought chills.

Before we get to the top 5, let’s take a moment to honor all the great bands and artists that has come through DC (and local bands) in 2018. And all the fantastic venues that house them.

Fun fact: The Anthem (1st) and the 9:30 Club (3rd) finished in the top 5 in number of tickets sold for a club venue in the world for 2018! Impressive. Most impressive.

In 2018 the venues I visited most often were: 9:30 Club (7 concerts), Black Cat (7), Rock and Roll Hotel (6) and The Anthem (5).


5. Joe Satriani @ Warner Theatre (2/14/18) – Mr. Satch would have made my list last year too (if I had written one). Another fantastically epic guitar-laden, full on soundscape.

4. Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers @ Royal Farms Arena (3/30/18) – Over 70 years old and still going strong. Jimmy is a living legend, and always puts on an amazing show.

3. Dead Sara @ Black Cat (9/18/18) – They kicked the Cat crowd’s ass with Emily Armstrong’s blasting voice and the heavy, pure hard rock wall of sound, and it was good. This is the type of show that makes going to concerts enjoyable.

2. The xx @ 9:30 Club (7/26/18) – I had never seen them live, so was stoked to make it to one of the three shows at the 9:30 Club. My Uber driver asked about the band I was seeing, and as a curious talker, he streamed a couple of songs and replied ‘Wow, this is dope!’

1. Wolf Alice @ Rams Head Live (4/13/18) – I had to travel all the way up to Baltimore for this show, but it was worth it. Even the band said it was their favorite show ever. (Maybe they say that every night…) It was not a sell out, so everyone could get close and their performance was as great as it was beautifully unconventional.

Honorable Mentions:

Joe Purdy & Amber Rubarth @ The Hamilton (1/30/18)
Sunflower Bean @ Rock and Roll Hotel (6/2/18)
Metric @ Royal Farms Arena (7/27/18)

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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