Best Shows of 2007, Redux (This Time With Acts You've Actually Heard Of!)

Hey, Morrissey, get off my lawn! (Gerald Martineau/TWP)

Mr. Malitz has already weighed in with his Top 10 Concerts By Kinda-Sorta Obscure Artists list, which is heavy on acts that many of you apparently haven't heard/don't care about/etc.

And now, for my own not-quite-Top 10 list, which is loaded with Big Names, some of which you probably don't want to read about again this year - or next.

1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Verizon Center, Nov. 11
So potent. So powerful. So committed. And so, for the second time in a row, my live-shows-of-the-year list is topped by the Boss. The top half of his November double-header was full of magical moments, which were detailed in painstaking detail on This Very Blog. The concert wasn't quite an all-timer for me, a la Bruce's stunning spring-of-'06 hootenanny at Nissan Pavilion. But it was still the best show of the year. (Original Review)

2. Patty Griffin, Warner Theatre, April 17
Touring behind a career album in "Children Running Through," Griffin staged a masterful concert in the city's most majestic venue. Her vocals were jaw-dropping, and the arrangements and musical performances flirted with perfection all night. (Original Review)

3. Arcade Fire, Constitution Hall, May 4
Big band, big ideas, big, crescendoing sound - and the best big-venue crowd I've encountered at a non-country concert since moving here in 2005. (Original Review)

4. M.I.A., Virgin Festival, Aug. 5
M.I.A. brought nothing but heat at the end of a long, sweltering weekend, as her outrageously detonative set threatened to blow apart the dance tent. (Original Real-Time Blog Post)

5. Marc Anthony, Verizon Center, Oct. 5
That voice! That band! That repertoire! ¡Dios mio! This show would have ranked a notch or two higher but for the fact that J. Lo let the air out of the room with her tepid headlining set. (Original Review by Teresa Wiltz)

6. Jay-Z , Rams Head Live, Nov. 9
Jay's albums aren't the events they used to be, but he's forever in another league when he steps on stage. Let Lil Wayne, Andre 3000 and their ilk fight over the best-rapper-alive crown; Jay is the best rapper live. Period. (Original Review)

7. Stevie Wonder, ASCAP's American Troubadour Award dinner, March 13
I was fortunate enough to see Stevie on stage four times this year: At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial benefit in New York; at the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song ceremony in honor of Paul Simon; at Stevie's own concert at the Verizon Center; and on Capitol Hill, where Wonder was honored by ASCAP. His Verizon Center show in October was terrific (the set mirrored the one Chris Richards reviewed in Baltimore a month earlier); and the MLK and Paul Simon shows had their moments, for sure. But the performance I liked best came on the Hill, where Wonder was feted by a bunch of other artists (and politicos) before he got on stage for a fantastic mini-set that was full of twists and turns. The ad hoc backing band had no idea where Wonder was going, as he kept calling out changes. It was quite a sight - and sound. (Original Review)

And finally, the 1,523rd-best show of 2007 - also known as The Most Boring Concert By A Band Whose Music I Otherwise Enjoy: The National, 9:30 club, June 20
"Boxer" is worthy of an A-minus, but this show was a big-time Zzzzzz. (Original Review)

By J. Freedom du Lac |  December 28, 2007; 10:01 AM ET Year-End Lists
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ahhhhh...i knew there would be another list! thanks J. Free! :)

Posted by: around | December 28, 2007 10:44 AM

We review the concerts to which we are sent, not the concerts to which we wish we had been sent.

Posted by: Lindemann | December 28, 2007 10:46 AM

We meaning me? Not really, since I'm the one doing the sending.

Posted by: J. Freedom | December 28, 2007 10:50 AM

Yeah! Morrissey sucks! [indecipherable wailing]

Posted by: kristeen young | December 28, 2007 11:05 AM


I agree about Bruce and the gang. I was at the Monday show and it was really something. There's a passion there that I don't think any other performing group matches.

Maybe we'll get a doubble threat next year and Bruce will team up with The Arcade Fire for the stadium tour.

Posted by: EricS | December 28, 2007 2:14 PM

I am surprise Sufan's Kennedy Center show didn't get a mention here.

Posted by: Adams Morgan | December 28, 2007 3:56 PM

Where is the Van Halen concert at Verizon???

Posted by: TD | December 28, 2007 9:57 PM

No mention of Bettye Lavette???

Posted by: Anonymous | December 29, 2007 2:49 PM

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