The Best and Worst of 2015

2015 has come and gone! It was the best of times, it was…the best of times! I went to so many amazing shows last year, and even though there were a few duds mixed in, I’m happy with the amount and quality of music I listened to in 2015.

Just like last year I’ve rated my top 10 favorite and least favorite performances of the year, only this year I decided to make 2 favorite lists: top 10 best festival shows and top 10 best “regular” shows. And, just like last year, it’s followed by some yearbook-style superlatives.

Top 10 Shows of 2015 (in chronological order):
– Gramatik, Best Buy Theater (both nights!)
– Dan Deacon, Rough Trade
– Goldfish, Highline Ballroom
Axwell/Ingrosso, Terminal 5
– Ludacris, I Heart Radio Theater
– GRiZ, Terminal 5
– Odesza, Rough Trade
Pretty Lights, Red Rocks Amphitheater (night 2, but really both nights because RED ROCKS)
Noisy Freaks/Freddy Todd, Slake
Phantoms, The Knitting Factory

Top 10 Festival Performances of 2015:
Beats Antique, Mysteryland
Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Electric Forest
– Galactic with Macy Gray, Electric Forest
Gramatik, Electric Forest
Big Gigantic, Electric Forest
– Pretty Lights, Camp Bisco
Bassnectar, Camp Bisco
– Tipper, Camp Bisco
EOTO, Electric Zoo
Beyonce, Global Citizen Festival

And, sadly –

Worst 10 Shows of 2015:
– Rustie, Music Hall of Williamsburg
– Alien Ant Farm, Webster Hall
– Borahm Lee, The Knitting Factory
– Cashmere Cat, Webster Hall
– Bonobo, Output
– Exmag, Bowery Ballroom
– Hot Chip, Output
– Darude, Cielo
– Marina and the Diamonds, New York Hall of Science

Thankfully I could not even begin to put together a “worst festival performances” list because most of the music I see at festivals is amazing. On to the superlatives!

Best Performance By A Hobbit:
Wooden Wisdom (AKA a duo with Elijah Wood), Brooklyn Bowl

Best Show Where I Legitimately Wanted to See the Headliner but Ended Up Leaving Early:
Dirtwire, Santos Party House

Worst Show Where I Legitimately Wanted to See the Headliner but Ended Up Leaving Early:
The London Souls, Cameo Gallery

Most Improved From 2014:
Orchard Lounge, Output

Most Hipster Crowd:
Tei Shi, Music Hall of Williamsburg

Best Show Interaction from Artist’s Street Team/Fan Base
Robert Delong, Rough Trade (they paint faces!!!)

Best Throwback Show:
New Kids on the Block/Nelly/TLC, Madison Square Garden

Best Artist Doing a DJ Set:
GRiZ, Output

Most Random Show:
RJ Mitte (Walt Jr. from Breaking Bad), BB Kings

Best Venue:
Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO


Photo via

Best Festival Venue:
Electric Forest. Obviously.

Best Venue That Isn’t A Festival or Otherwise Extremely Epic:
Baby’s All Right

Worst Venue:
I can honestly say I did not hate any of the venues I went to in 2015. Woohoo!

Best Afterparty:
Vibe Street/Brightside (after Basslights), Newport News, VA

“And Now For Something Completely Different” (from what we’re used to seeing)
Lady Gaga (with Tony Bennett), Radio City Music Hall

Best Time Pretending I Was Still in College:
Big Gigantic and Passion Pit, Penn State

Most Inconsistent (Artist That Could Have Made Both the Best and Worst Lists):
Tie: RJD2 and Slow Magic



5 thoughts on “The Best and Worst of 2015

  1. Pingback: 2015, By the Numbers | Not My Forte

  2. Pingback: Artist Spotlight: Too Many Zooz | Not My Forte

  3. Pingback: The Best and Worst of 2016 | Not My Forte

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