My colleague David Malitz and I each saw over 200 performances in 2011, so allow us to quote local rap star Wale and say “we outchea.”
With the year drawing to a close, we decided to rank the best of the best, with a few parameters: Only one out of town show allowed (LCD Soundsystem’s farewell tour didn’t leave New York and I had the flu when Gary Clark Jr. came to Red Palace), no repeat performances (sorry, Wild Flag, Dope Body, Kurt Vile and Wale), no performances-and/or-DJ-sets-of-close-personal-friends (sorry, many D.C. friends that Washington City Paper is doing a fine job covering).
Oh, and we also saw a lot of horrible shows. Want to ask us about them? Want to chime in with your favorite gigs of 2011? Want to talk about the artists, bands and venues you hate and love?
We want to hear about it. That’s why we’re hosting an online chat today, Thursday at 1 p.m. Please send questions, criticism and whatever else is on your musical mind.
Until then, check out our lists after the jump. A lot of the entries are linked to our original reviews, too.
Chris Richards’s top concerts of 2011
1. Jay-Z and Kanye West at Verzion Center,
Oct. Nov. 3.
2. Sade at First Mariner Arena, June 16.
3. TCB, Reaction Band, TOB, ABM and XIB at the DMV Bounce Beat Teen Awards, D.C. Armory, Jan. 29.
4. James Blake at Rock & Roll Hotel, May 8.
5. Gary Clark Jr. at Mercury Lounge, New York, Dec. 13.
6. Animal Collective at Merriweather Post Pavilion, July 9.
7. Pharaoh Sanders at Bohemian Caverns, May 26.
8. Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross at Verizon Center, April 3.
9. Janet Jackson at DAR Constitution Hall, March 22.
10. Gang Gang Dance at Rock & Roll Hotel, July 18.
11. The Band Perry at Delaware State Fair, July 28.
12. Chancha via Circuito at Restaurant Judy, April 28.
13. Bon Iver at 9:30 Club, Aug. 2
14. Yelawolf at Rock & Roll Hotel, March 7.
15. TV on the Radio at Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Sept. 10.
16. Wild Flag at Black Cat, March 10.
17. Dope Body at La Molienda, May 7.
18. Kendrick Lamar at 9:30 Club, Aug. 12.
19. Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser at Regency Furniture Stadium, June 18.
20. Swamp Dogg at Smithsonian Folklife Festival, July 4.
21. Real Estate at Red Palace, July 10.
22. Liturgy at DC9, July 5.
23. The Strokes at Sweetlife Festival, Merriweather Post Pavilion, May 1.
24. Jamey Johnson at Fillmore, November 4.
25. Bill Callahan at Rock & Roll Hotel, July 14.
26. The Ex at Black Cat, May 12.
27. Kylesa at Black Cat, Jan. 20.
28. Dolly Parton at Wolf Trap, July 31.
29. Fresh & Onlys at Red Palace, April 25.
30. Wale at Yardfest, Howard University, Oct. 21.
31. Odd Future at Rock & Roll Hotel, May 18.
32. Dismemberment Plan at Galaxy Hut, Jan 15.
33. Dirty Beaches at DC9, Sept. 19.
34. Kurt Vile at Red Onion Records and Books, March 2.
35. Mastodon at 9:30 Club, Nov. 27.
36. Plies at DAR Constitution Hall, Aug. 7.
37. Bob Mould at Birchmere, June 10.
38. Eleanor Friedberger at Black Cat, Oct. 20.
39. Danny Brown at 9:30 Club, Oct. 1.
40. Fat Trel at U Street Music Hall, Dec. 22.
David Malitz’s top concerts of 2011
1. Jay-Z & Kanye West at Verizon Center, Nov. 3.
2. LCD Soundsystem at Terminal Five, New York, March 29.
3. Dean & Britta at National Gallery of Art, Nov. 12.
4. Yelawolf at Rock & Roll Hotel, March 7.
5. Bill Callahan at Rock & Roll Hotel, July 13.
6. Sade at Verizon Center, June 22.
7. Wild Flag at Black Cat, March 10.
8. The Feelies at 9:30 Club, June 18.
9. Screaming Females at Black Cat, Oct. 6.
10. F----- Up at Rock & Roll Hotel, June 27.
11. Archers of Loaf at Black Cat, Aug. 5.
12. Total Control at Sonar, Nov. 13.
13. TV on the Radio at Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Sept. 10.
14. The War on Drugs at Red Palace, Sept. 2
15. Bon Iver at 9:30 Club, Aug. 1.
16. Fresh & Onlys at Red Palace, April 25.
17. Paul Simon at DAR Constitution Hall, May 25.
18. Dirty Beaches at Black Cat, May 10.
19. Kurt Vile at Red Onion Records, March 2.
20. David Kilgour at Iota, Aug. 25.
21. Animal Collective at Merriweather Post Pavilion, July 9.
22. Kylesa at Black Cat, Jan. 20.
23. Double Dagger at Black Cat, Feb. 24.
24. Freddie Gibbs at U Street Music Hall, April 24.
26. Ty Segall at Comet Ping Pong, Sept. 26.
27. Times New Viking at Black Cat, May 30..
28. Gang Gang Dance at Rock & Roll Hotel, July 18.
29. J. Mascis at Millennium Stage, Sept. 7.
30. G-Side at DC9, Dec. 4.
31. Wye Oak at Black Cat, March 11.
32. Sharon Van Etten at Red Palace, April 17.
33. Yuck at Black Cat, May 6.
34. Holy Ghost! at 9:30 Club, Nov. 23.
35. Mi Ami at Subterranean A, March 19.
36. Odd Future at U Street Music Hall, Feb. 14.
37. Eleanor Friedberger at Black Cat, July 12.
38. Big Boi at Park, July 25.
39. Julianna Barwick at Iota, Jan. 11.
40. Stephen Malkmus at Rams Head Live, Sept. 29.