1. Joanna Newsom, Orpheum Boston
    Two hours, double encore, crazy musicianship, witty banter... Joanna Newsom is un-fucking-paralleled.
  2. Beirut, House Of Blues Boston
    Zach Condon's voice is shockingly good and strong in person. Probably the first show I've ever been to where there were no guitars!
  3. San Fermin, 3S Artspace Portsmouth
    This band is amazing and in three years everyone will know and agree. We were lucky enough to find out early.
  4. Conor Oberst/Lady Lamb/Larkin Poe, House Of Blues Boston
    Every time I see Conor Oberst I feel renewed. And he brought some great acts out on the road with him this time. I remain jealous of the set he was doing with the Felice Brothers, though. (We Are Free Men!!! Ahhhh!!!)
  5. Neko Case, Prescott Park Portsmouth
    Every Neko Case song, it turns out, is like 90 seconds long. It was so weird. We were off to the side of the stage so its rank is mostly situational.
  6. Heather Maloney, Prescott Park Portsmouth
    Maloney is a young, new act, and we caught her short set at an Americana festival. She was fun!
  7. Josh Ritter, Prescott Park Portsmouth
    My boy JR played like twenty snoozers in a row, and so rarely kicked into gear that it felt like some kind of mean joke. Like half the audience left. It was a BUMMER.
  8. Spoon, State Theater Portland
    Gonna mostly blame the venue here. The State Theater is pretty, but it's like a tin box and every guitar chord felt like a knife to the ear. They played all their best songs, but it was like being tortured by a loved one.