The Best and Worst of 2016

Well it’s that time again. The time where I look at all the shows I went to this year, make some top 10 lists, and amuse myself by writing silly superlatives. Let’s dive right into it. The only thing I need to mention first is that Pretty Lights in New Orleans hasn’t happened yet but I’m sticking it on this list because I’m confident it’s going to be amazing. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to because I’m drunk with power!

Top Shows of 2016 (in chronological order):
– Too Many Zooz, Brooklyn Bowl
The Floozies, Webster Hall
Big Gigantic, Terminal 5
– Wyclef Jean, Brooklyn Bowl
– Robert Delong, Terminal 5
– The Geek x VrV, The Knitting Factory
– Green Day, Webster Hall
– GRiZ, Terminal 5
– Break Science, Brooklyn Bowl
– Pretty Lights, Mardi Gras World

Top Festival Sets of 2016:
– Machinedrum, Mysteryland
– GRiZ, Mysteryland
– “Whoever dropped the saxy remix of Ginuwine’s ‘Pony,'” FARM Fest (I forgot to find out who this was so this is forever how I will remember this set)
– Modern Measure, FARM Fest
Gramatik, Elements
– Datsik, Electric Zoo
– Big Gigantic, Electric Zoo
– The Polish Ambassador, Electric Zoo
– Chromeo, Meadows
Pretty Lights, Meadows

In past years I’ve done a “worst of” list, but this seems so…negative (thanks, Captain Obvious). I’m still going to list my 10 least favorite shows of the year, with the caveat that I actually did enjoy a lot of these. Some were just a little too sleepy, or weren’t as great as I expected them to be. I included the comments I initially made in my concert spreadsheet after each show.

Worst Shows of 2016:
– Slow Magic, Studio E – “Slow Magic just does not get into a good vibe, ever. Too choppy.”
– Paula Cole, City Winery – “She is super talented but I was kind of bored and trapped in the corner.”
– Gramatik, Mysteryland – “Gramatik was weird and disappointing.” (This is probably the biggest disappointment of my music-fan career)
– Bassnectar, Mysteryland – “Bassnectar was a snoozer”
– Kidnap Kid, House of Yes – “I don’t know who or what I saw but it was the shittiest of all shitty house music so I left early.”
– Carnage, Electric Zoo – “Carnage was terrible.”
– Rihanna, Global Citizen Festival – “Rihanna SUCKED SO BAD. Her music translated live into no energy, boring garbage. We didn’t even stay for the whole thing.”
– Malaa, Webster Hall – “Malaa was awful. I hate deep house.”
– Boombox, Brooklyn Bowl – I don’t have comments for this. It was just bad. Apparently it was their last show ever because they hate each other.
– John Legend, Riverside Church – “This was a sleepy show in a beautiful venue.”

And now for the superlatives:

Best Performance With Something Blocking The Artist’s Face:
Rezz, Webster Hall
rezz

Best Throwback Show:
Culture Club, Ford Amphitheater Coney Island

Worst Throwback Show:
Tiffany, Gramercy Theater (“I Think We’re Alone Now” is her only good song, apparently)

Most Improved:
MOTHXR, Bowery Ballroom (the first time I saw them was…strange)

Best Smelling Venue:
Warsaw (pierogies, yum)

Best Between-Song Banter:
We Are Scientists, Irving Plaza (I don’t remember what they said but my notes say it was about DOGS)

Best Venue:
The Knitting Factory

Worst Venue:
The random tiny warehouse on Scott Ave. in Bushwick

Sweatiest Show:
Snails, Webster Hall

Worst Audience Member:
Everyone at Electric Zoo with some type of Harambe shirt on
Honorable Mention: the thousands of screaming tweens at Justin Bieber in Philadelphia

Show That Crushed My Dreams the Most:
Santigold, Hammerstein Ballroom. She always invites the crowd to dance on stage during “Creator” and I NEED TO DO THIS but I was too far back in the crowd to go up.

Most B-A-N-A-N-A-S Show:
Gwen Stefani, Jones Beach

2017…you’re up!

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