Listomania: The 15 Best Concerts of 2010

With apologies to Robert Earl Keen, Devin the Dude, Cake, Hayes Carll and the multitude of also-rans filling up the regional concert calendar in these final weeks of 2010, it's safe to say, I think, that, with Friday night's Wu-Tang show at the Granada Theater, the year in live music effectively wrapped itself up this weekend -- at least so far as we're concerned. And, given our list-obsessed state of minds at the moment, that's good news: Now we can finally get around to looking back at the year that was in area concerts.

Looking back, it was an incredibly busy year, thanks in some part to the festivalization of North Texas. No, there's still nothing in the area that can compete with SXSW or ACL or even Fun Fun Fun Fest, all of which were huge successes down in Austin this year. But between NX35's glorious run back in the spring (hello, Flaming Lips!), the inaugural Homegrown Festival in Downtown Dallas and, sure enough, our biggest Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase yet, things on the multiple-stage-show front were suddenly not so bad around here.

Neither was the region's booking. Past years have found Dallasites griping about the lack of anticipated national tours stopping through the area. Is that much still even a viable complaint? Dallas got the Guided by Voices "classic lineup" reunion tour kickoff, the Clash of the Titans tour reunion kickoff, the most recent run from The Pixies, Wu-Tang and countless other showcases. Did we really miss much else? Not as far as we can recall. Pretty much every tour worth its weight came through the region -- and, if it didn't make it here the first time through, more often than not, those bands just came back later.

Given that sheer volume, looking back on the year in concerts is something of a herculean task. As a unit, we here at DC9 reviewed somewhere in the vicinity of just over 200 shows in 2010. Personally, I'd say I attended somewhere in the region of 150-plus (or more) shows of varying sizes over the course of that same stretch -- while still managing to somehow miss greatness like Neil Young at the Meyerson, either of Mumford & Sons' two stops through town, Levon Helm and Ray LaMontagne at the Verizon Theatre and, I'm sure, many other worthwhile efforts.

But, fact remains, I still did see plenty of shows. And, thusly, I present my subjective list of 2010's best concerts in the region, in order, after the jump. Here's hoping you made it out to a couple of them.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman