Q106 show makes "2008's best local live shows" list

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Posted by madcityradio.com on December 25, 2008 at 12:46:55:

Here's 2008's best local live shows, events
By Tom Alesia

Ten outstanding live shows or events. And I could have listed at least another 10.

1. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (The Swell Season), Overture Hall, June 16: Precious and loose, the concert proved the Oscar-winning "Once" duo found a musical partnership that works delightfully beyond the film. Hansard is a grand showman.

2. Savion Glover's Bare Soundz, Union Theater, Nov. 8: To see Glover, 34, in his prime will be a treasured experience. Alongside two other tap dancers, he created versatile musical thunder.

3. "Lucia di Lammermoor," Madison Opera, Overture Hall, May 11: Soprano Luz del Alba soared in this lesser-known opera about quarreling families that push a young woman's love into madness. As chilling as it sounds.

4. Eric Church and Jamey Johnson, Madison Marriott West, June 18: A benefit show by country station Q106 featured the perfect match: The raucous newcomer Church and the steely veteran Johnson trading songs. Rowdy but not obnoxious. Just two stellar country acts eager to emerge from beneath the mainstream radar.

5. Wisconsin Film Festival, "Song Sung Blue," Bartell Theatre, April 5: Many good films were shown, but this surprisingly candid and stirring documentary about the Milwaukee musical duo Lightning and Thunder stood above the rest. Better than "American Movie," a 1999 documentary hit about a struggling Milwaukee filmmaker.

6. Bon Iver, Barrymore Theatre, Dec. 19: Frontman and Eau Claire native Justin Vernon lived up to the hype. He recorded one of the year's best albums in a northwestern Wisconsin cabin, then spent 2008 on the road promoting it. By the time his band reached the Barrymore, it was in top form.

7. Doug Stanhope, High Noon Saloon, April 12: I laughed. I winced. But mostly I laughed. A comic renegade, he could teach others a thing or two about using the stage for anything-goes comedy instead of a dialogue script. Beforehand, I had heard that Stanhope's shows were hit or miss. He hit a bull's-eye at this sold-out performance.

8. Sara Bareilles, High Noon Saloon, Feb. 21: Playing one of her first headlining shows while her bouncy but biting single "Love Song" rocketed up the charts, the singer-songwriter revelled in her new-found attention. Good vibes abounded. And Bareilles tackled the Beatles' "Oh! Darling" with appropriate fire.

9. Mike Seeger, Sugar Maple Traditional Music Fest, Lake Farm Park, Aug. 2: Pete's brother, a 75-year-old multi-instrumentalist, led the crowd through 100 years of music while never letting the historical information overshadow the entertainment value.

10. Wisconsin Book Festival, David Wroblewski, Michael Perry and CJ Hribal, Orpheum Theatre, Oct. 19: Oprah lifted Wroblewski's acclaimed novel "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" and his reading here reinforced the book's tenderness. Perry is becoming a Wisconsin treasure and he's barely over 40.

(Wisconsin State Journal)

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