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The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through May 31st, 2015

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D’Angelo – February 7th – The Apollo – Friday, February 12th, 2012, I witnessed Aretha Franklin honor her recently deceased Goddaughter whitney Houston at radio City Music Hall, part pop manifesto, part revival meeting, the queen of soul sublimated her pain in song and worship. It was the best show I’ve seen this century. And D’Angelo at the Apollo was the second best show I’ve seen this century.

Azealia Banks – May 11th – Irving Plaza – This is it folks, in the battle of the women rappers (not to mention men rappers) we have a winner. Banks does everything she said she would, dances, raps, boogies down, takes us on. Pump-parrrrump-pa-rrum-pump

Sufjan Stevens – Beacon Theatre – April 11th – With the album of the year under Sufjan’s belt, here he was performing it live on stage and you could have heard a pin drop, a magnificent performance of (mostly) an album that changes what the term “confessional” means.

Lee Ann Womack – City Winery – April 20th – 1990s real country singer battles a terrible cold for 75 minutes and is extra concentrated with the effort it took.

Great Voices In Harlem, The Gloster Project – MIST Harlem – Sunday, March 9th, 2015 – Any afternoon, any time at all, you get to listen to such a great collection of musicians, especially in such an intimate space, is a great afternoon. Or evening. And in aid of such a wonderful project -did I mention Dr. Randy Weston was there?

Bjork – City Center – Saturday, March 28th, 2015 – If you have heard and loved Vulnicura as much as I do (I consider it her best album since Post), you must see this performance. It completes the journey to a bright future. It is magic realism, where through art one is made whole. A masterpiece of a performance.

Manic Street Preachers – Webster Hall – April 23rd – The UKs best rock band performs their beloved and respected and very strange The Holy Bible. Richie didn’t show. How could he. It got better with the last seven songs

Wussy – January 17th – Studio At Webster Hall – I thought these indie rockers from Cincinatti were great at the time and I thought they were greater when I thought back on it. Essentially, they are a midwestern Shellshag who didn’t make it through the long run as a couple have lived to explain the pitfalls and disasters of romantic love and this night played em down to the ground. “You guys are killer,” Lisa walker claimed. So is she.

The Gotobeds – Cake Shop – May 30th – Agitprop Sub Pop signees crack fun, rock hard.

Jack White – Madison Square Garden – January 30th – white is so very weird he makes me sound weird when I write about him, he brings out the bipolar hate the someone but love the sound and watch white hit it and hit it and hit it with sterling silver guitar car crashed: it is like ramming a Lamborghini into an electric fence and what can be wrong with that?

The Who – Barclay Center – May 26th – Roger in better voice, Pete in better health, better setlist and better set than 2013.

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