In terms of the humdrum everyday, concert attendance often gets edged out in favor of Netflix or just trying to recover from the challenges of a working day, but to us, there's a crucial witchcraft in seeing good live music performed that hits pleasure receptors in a way that few other things do. Our writers recall the shows this year that reminded them of what they loved about music in the first place.
Bishop Briggs the Social, May 16
When Bishop Briggs sold out the Social someone forgot to tell her that it was a small club and not an arena. The electropop songstress, with a soulful gospel-choir voice and hip-hop beats, barely had room onstage for all the band members and LED light drops she had brought with her. Still she dominated and amped up the energy of a crowd already hyped on the opening act double-punch of Shaed and Manatee Commune. This was the kind of show that made both the club kids and the music snobs salivate. – Jen Cray
Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra Timucua White House, March 19
An amazing and unique live experience with the renowned jazz composer Karl Berger coming to town and bringing together the city's musical best and brightest, in addition to world-class filmmaker Julian Benedikt documenting the whole thing. This was a concert of creative outpouring that reminded us and connected us to a bigger world of art that transcends: a place our beloved Sam Rivers occupied, bringing home the spirits of Don Cherry, Jeff Buckley, the Blue Note Records legacy and well beyond. – Kyle Eagle