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Aids' Best Live Acts Of 2010

Well, I didn't get this done as soon as I had planned to, but better late than never. 2010 was a great year for concerts and 2011 is looking up as well. Here's 2010, live.
30 Kim Churchill
With Sword & Shield


--August 15 @ The Big Time Out Music Festival, Cumberland BC-- I don?t know what this guy?s deal is, I?m pretty sure he?s Australian. Anyway, he plays really good instrumental-based folk similar to Xavier Rudd. He plays about a dozen instruments as well.
29K'naan
Troubadour


--August 15 @ The Big Time Out Music Festival, Cumberland BC-- ?When I get olda, I will be stronga, blah blah blah blah blah, just like a waving flag? (I?m actually too lazy to google the lyrics).
28Animals As Leaders
Animals As Leaders


--April 9 @ The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver BC-- Instrumental metal act Animals As Leaders opened for The Dillinger Escape Plan and did a good job of holding my interest. The one guitar player is absolutely insane; it?s pretty much just his solo band.
27Cancer Bats
Hail Destroyer


--March 3 @ Save-On Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria BC-- I only caught a few songs from these guys but they sounded pretty good.
26OK Go
OK Go


--May 28 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- OK Go isn?t my favourite band, but they had a nice midday slot on the main stage on the first day of Sasquatch 2010, and I was just feeling the good times. The only song I recognized was the infamous ?Here It Goes Again? but I boogied hard. That?s right, boogied. Here?s a clip of the performance, sans treadmills [A] http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php? v=760699006141[/A]
25Pavement
Slanted and Enchanted


--May 29 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- This was a great show. However, it was a bit of a disappointment, especially considering this was Day 2?s ?headliner.? Pavement?s reputation is legendary. I?ve never enjoyed them as much as one would expect, but I definitely appreciate what they did for indie music and respect them as a band. Their set just left me a little bit cold. I mean, following Massive Attack isn?t exactly easy?. (more on that later).
24Tegan and Sara
Sainthood


--May 29 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- Vancouver Island?s hometown heroes, and everyone?s favourite lesbian sisters, Tegan and Sara played a mid-afternoon set on the second day of Sasquatch 2010. I won?t go into detail, but Day 2 was definitely the day that I was the most messed up. Honestly, I don?t remember much of their set, but I do know that I was right up close and that?s always a bonus. Oh. I remember dancing. Lots and lots of dancing.
23Against Me!
Reinventing Axl Rose


--March 3 @ Save-On Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria BC-- Against Me! are a band I?ve never really gotten into. I?ve heard Reinventing Axl Rose, and I enjoy it, but it?s not an album I consistently listen to. But whether you are a diehard fan, or a casual listener (like myself), it?s foolish to deny that the band rips live.
22Minus The Bear
Planet Of Ice


--June 25 @ Sugar Nightclub, Victoria BC-- 2010 wasn?t a great year for Minus The Bear. Omni was a supremely disappointing follow up to one of the best albums of the last decade. I elected to not see them at Sasquatch in favour of Mumford and Suns, and didn?t regret the decision at all. I did get to see them play in a bar in Victoria about a month later though, and it was a great show. But it would have been a fantastic show if they just forgot every song from Omni (My Time is kind of fun actually, they can keep that I guess), and played Planet of Ice front to back. [A] http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php? v=760683646921[/A] (video of My Time, I dont know why that?s the one I picked to film....)
21Kid CuDi
Man On The Moon: The End Of Day


--May 29 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- Again, Day 2: Booze. Drugs. Fucked. + Hip-hop = excellent awesome party time. Kid CuDi kind of blows in my opinion, but this show was waaaay too much fun.
20Billy Talent
Billy Talent II


--March 3 @ Save-On Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria BC-- I went to this concert for Alexisonfire, but Billy Talent, the official headliners, put on a super good show. Their set was tilted more towards their third album than I would have liked, but crowd favourites like ?Devil In A Midnight Mass? and ?Red Flag? from their second (and best) album were good enough for me. All of Canada was still high from the Vancouver Olympics at this point, and Ben Kowalewicz pulled on a Team Canada t-shirt for the last few songs. Number 87 because Sidney Crosby scored the overtime gold medal winner that officially set the record for most golds by any host nation in a winter games ever. Canada RULES. Also of note: (late in the show, Ben to the audience) ?You guys are great, I love Victoria, my grandparents are here, right over there (pointing) and I?m fucking stoked they could join us. We?re all just having a great fucking time and I like how they can just come watch us have a great fucking time. Love you Grandma!!!? [A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=679285130201&set=a.679282375721.2327969.21011192&theater&pi d=42184456&id=21011192[/A]
19Alexisonfire
Crisis


--March 3 @ Save-On Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria BC-- The best of the three (and a half, sorry Cancer Bats) shows of the night. I was right up close for their set, like I always am. They kicked ass, but more on them later.[A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=679285115231&set=a.679282375721.2327969.21011192[/A]
18Band of Horses
Infinite Arms


--May 30 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- Day 3 of Sasquatch had easily the weakest lineup, so we spent most of the day drinking and working our way up in the main audience section to be right up front for Ween (my friend?s favourite band). Band of Horses are pretty average in my eyes, but their songs were made to be played outdoors on a hot sunny day. Here?s a clip of Ode to LRC [A] http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=760706331461[/A]
17MGMT
Oracular Spectacular


--May 30 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- MGMT played right after Band of Horses, and everything I said about them applies to MGMT as well. The ?hits,? if you will, such as Electric Feel, Kids, Time to Pretend (basically anything that isn?t from Congratulations) were all so much fun to dance and sing along to. We (the crowd) were louder during The Youth than during probably any other song of the entire festival. The best part? Easy, the drummer?s pedo-stache. [A]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=691658628611&set=a.691653982921.2337524.21011192&theater[/A ] and here?s a clip of The Youth [A] http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=760708921271[/A]
16The Middle East
The Recordings of the Middle East


--May 28 @ The Yeti Stage, WA-- The lineup for Day 1 was pretty stacked. The National, Vampire Weekend, Broken Social Scene, My Morning Jacket, Mumford and Sons, etc. etc. etc. We needed some downtime. The Middle East weren?t a band I had really heard, but we chilled out on the grass near the stage and listened to their set, and it was perfect. I got some food, some shade, some breezy summer music, and I was ready for the rest of the day.
15Vampire Weekend
Contra


--May 28 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- Vampire Weekend are kind of a love/hate sort of band. Some of you may be all ?omg way 2 hi? but their set was magical. They lucked into the time slot that coincided with the sunset. It was Day 1, I had never been their before, and The Gorge Amphitheatre has one of the most gorgeous views I have ever seen. Songs from their second album such as ?Horchata? and ?California English? are forever linked with images of the gorgeous scenery around me. Here?s a picture, but it hardly does justice. [A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=691658404061&set=a.691653982921.2337524.21011192&pid=42711 665&id=21011192[/A]
14Ween
Chocolate and Cheese


--May 30 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- Oh Ween, what to even say about them. This was the closing act for Sasquatch 2010, and my friends and I were right up front, just trippin balls. Dean and Gene Ween (lulz) pumped out tracks from across their prolific discography, my personal favourite being Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down). They?re funny as hell, but far from a novelty act. Their songs are technical and, at times, virtuosic. Ween had me gazing in amazement at their chops almost as often as they had me laughing hysterically. [A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=691658683501&set=a.691653982921.2337524.21011192&theater[/A ]
13Broken Social Scene
Forgiveness Rock Record


--May 28 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- I saw Broken Social Scene twice last summer, the other time was at a small music festival in Cumberland (where?) on Vancouver Island. Here?s them from that show playing Cause=Time [A] http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=760668292691[/A]. At Sasquatch 2010 though, they mesmerized the crowd. This band is the perfect soundtrack to a carefree summer day, exhibit A [A] http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=760704550031[/A] I rest my case.
12Dirty Projectors
Bitte Orca


--May 29 @ The Bigfoot Stage, WA-- I wasn?t a fan of this band until a very sexy girl convinced me to go see them play. At first, I was only going to try to reel in this gorgeous, wasted hipster chick (it?s ok, I was wasted too), but about three songs in, I was pushing her ugly ass to the ground so I could get closer to Dirty Projectors and their angelic female vocalists. I didn?t know it was possible to have as many boners as I had during ?Stillness Is The Move.?
11Deadmau5
For Lack of a Better Name


--May 28 @ The Bigfoot Stage, WA-- UHN TSS UHN TSS UHN TSS UHN TSS UHN TSS UHN TSS UHN TSS UHN TSS I clearly don?t know much about house/IDM/whateverthefuckthisis, but this was an awesome show. His stage set-up looks like a giant Rubik?s cube and he wears a white LED mouse head which has trippy faces and other weird stuff going on all the time. [A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=691658453961&set=a.691653982921.2337524.21011192&theater[/A ]
10Massive Attack
Mezzanine


--May 29 @ The Bigfoot Stage, WA-- When I saw the full lineup for Sasquatch 2010, this was my biggest ?FUUUUUUUUCK YESSSSSSSSSS? moment, and for good reason. Massive Attack are legendary, and their show numbed my body. I stood, transfixed for nearly an hour as they played. I literally don?t know where to begin describing this experience, so I won?t.
9Muse
Origin of Symmetry


--April 1 @ The Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver BC-- Silversun Pickups opened and, stupid me, I missed them because I was at a bar drinking pitchers of beer. On one hand, it sucks that I missed Silversun Pickups, as they?re a much better studio band than Muse. On the other hand, it was awesome that I was drunk for Muse because they played waaaaay too much from The Resistance. Muse rules live, what more can really be said? They were so pretentious, and their stage design was super over the top, but who cares, the show was a blast. [A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=679285294871&set=a.679282375721.2327969.21011192&theater[/A ]
8Mumford & Sons
Sigh No More


--May 28 @ The Bigfoot Stage, WA-- This was the first show I saw at Sasquatch 2010 and it was phenomenal. This band gets some hate around here, but I don?t agree with it at all. Sigh No More was a phenomenal debut, and the band played the songs perfectly live. The energy level was off the charts, from the furiously picked banjo lines to the frantically strummed acoustic guitars. The band doesn?t have a drummer, but instead, they took turns on either a full kit or pieces of one. The best part wasn?t, surprisingly, the feeling I got when belting out ?and IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII will change my ways, and IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII?ll find strength in pain, and know my name as it?s called again!!!? but the last ten minutes, when members from The Middle East joined the stage one by one and started picking up instruments. By the end, there were more than a dozen musicians clustered together on a crowded stage, all strumming a guitar or fucking the shit out of a drum or cymbal.
7La Dispute
Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River...


--November 26 @ Club 919, Victoria BC-- The show started at 6:30 for some stupid reason. Also, La Dispute played BEFORE Norma Jean. It makes me barf. Anyway, I missed two songs, and the set was really short. Still, La Dispute managed to captivate me for twenty short minutes as they filled the room with catchy hardcore riffs and soaring emotional screams. There were less than ten of us at the show who cared who these guys were, but we belted out every word, and you could tell that the band were genuinely grateful for our support. I broke up with my girlfriend of 4 years this past year, and she moved to Ireland the day of this show. This show felt like a turning point in my life, and La Dispute was the perfect soundtrack. ?Up m?lady, pack your things. This place is not your home, nor was it ever. Sever every tie; tonight we ride, tonight we RIDE!!!?
6Japandroids
Post-Nothing


--May 30 @ The Yeti Stage, WA-- Japandroids were in the middle of one of the most hectic touring schedules I?ve ever seen, and they had spent the last 72 hours travelling in a mini- van. But they weren?t about to give any excuses: Japandroids were fucking AWESOME. I talked to both members after the show, and they were both such down-to-earth guys. They were so grateful that I had bought a shirt, and took my compliments to heart. These two are the vision of who I want to be as a musician. Here?s a picture of wasted ol? me with Kevin (I think) the guitarist. Pit stains, FTW [A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=691658558751&set=a.691653982921.2337524.21011192&theater[/A ]
5Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains


--May 29 @ The Bigfoot Stage, WA-- One word: sweaty. Ok a couple more words: this band rules and when they play live, they play like it?s their last day on Earth.
4The Dillinger Escape Plan
Option Paralysis


--April 9 @ The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver BC-- I?m sure you?ve heard, but these guys are absolutely INSANE live. When they take the stage, they demand your attention. They have a stage presence like no other band I?ve ever seen. For most of the show, guitarist Ben something was climbing all over the stacks of amps, putting himself in dangerous situations. For thirty awesome seconds, my section of the crowd got to support him at he stood on our hands playing disgustingly accurate riffs. The pit was full of dumbass meatheads (they were probably there for Darkest Hour) but I got some good thrashing in. Absolutely phenomenal show.[A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=686525176091&set=a.686522656141.2333461.21011192&theater[/A ]
3The National
High Violet


--May 28 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- One of the standouts of Sasquatch 2010 were Brooklyn-based indie rockers The National. I met three of them (the twin guitarist and the bass player) and had them sign my recently purchased edition of High Violet right before the show. I was with two of my friends for their set, and we had a nice relaxing spot on the top section of the bowl, the best area for soaking in the view. When the drums for Bloodbuzz Ohio kicked in, I excused myself to watch the performance by myself. I had goosebumps the whole time, easily the live musical moment of 2010. [A] http://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=691658374121&set=a.691653982921.2337524.21011192&theater [/A]
2My Morning Jacket
Z


--May 28 @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, WA-- Ladies and gentlemen, the surprising winner of Sasquatch 2010, My Morning Jacket. Why surprising? Look at the other contenders. The National, Massive Attack, Ween, Deadmau5, Broken Social Scene, Mumford and Sons, Japandroids, Cymbals Eat Guitars, hell I would have even taken Vampire Weekend over My Morning Jacket at the beginning of the festival. Another reason that it?s surprising is that MMJ?s latest effort, Evil Urges, was pretty average, nothing at all comparable to their magnum opus, Z. Colour me shocked, but My Morning Jacket stole Day 1 from The National almost as easily as security ?stole? my friend?s wine she was trying to sneak in. Every song was an extended jam led by powerful drums and a crushing guitar tone, so the mediocrity of Evil Urges was mainly lost between 7-minute killer guitar solos. Being the last act on the main stage, they played an extended encore filled with songs from Z, and it was just awe-inspiring.
1Alexisonfire
Watch Out!


--November 26 @ Club 919, Victoria BC-- The night of this show, Victoria had a curfew for some ridiculous reason. So Alexisonfire had to stop playing at 10; they were not even allowed an encore (much to the chagrin of the sweaty shirtless Norma Jean fans). I?ve also already seen AOF several times before this, and their last album was their weakest in my eyes. But for some reason, maybe all the stars aligned that night in Victoria, because Alexisonfire took the limited time they were given and proceeded to crush the face of every pathetic mortal in the room. George, who has never given a bad performance in his life, was seething with fury as his screams echoed off the back walls of the crowded venue. The crowd hung on his every scream, on Dallas? every note, and on Ratbeard?s every whack of the skins. They played songs from across their catalogue (except for their self-titled debut, which is understandable, but still disappointing), but whether it was from Watch Out! or their new EP, Dog?s Blood (which I got on limited edition green vinyl, 700 copies), there was one constant: the energy was through the roof. I had the best crowd surf of my life during ?This Could Be Anywhere In The World? and George helped me on stage. I leaned in so he could hear me, yelled ?you guys fucking destroy!!!? and dove backwards into the audience as the security guard tried to prevent me from jumping so he could remove me from the venue. My knees were so weak after the set was done, I could hardly stand. This was a very surprising show of the year considering what a phenomenal time I had at Sasquatch, but Alexisonfire takes top honours in 2010, easily.
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