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It seems you all have enjoyed the first of my best of lists for 2008. We started out with the best songs and albums that you probably never heard to give you a break from some of these best of lists that are starting to look a bit like carbon copies of each other. This is definitely not a bad thing. Just proves that were a few albums that were indeed the creme de la creme – essential for any true music fan to have in their collections. I’ll be adding my two cents to that discussion very shortly.

Before we get there, since I am also a very amateur videographer and live for my  concert-going adventures,  I have to throw those into the countdown fray as well. By year’s end, I will have attended exactly thirty live performances by some of the best artists in the industry today. I’ve also supported up and coming underrated artists who are trying to make a name for themselves. For those just joining us, you can find video from all of these shows and more on my You Tube channel which has grown leaps and bounds this year.

In 2007,  I shared my top five shows. I look back at that post and smile because back then, I was averaging about one show a month. My how we’ve grown! So this year, there was absolutely no way I could limit it to five.

Reminisce with me for a minute.

(in no particular order)

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Maxwell, Landmark Theatre in Richmond, VA  11/08

My my my my.

Maxie, don’t do me dirty now. You turned on the oven now you better be cooking something over there! I look forward to round two in 2009. In which time I should also have an album that I can cradle close to my bosom and play until my ears bleed.

Read my review of the Maxwell show and watch live video I captured of the performance. The review and videos ended up on several Maxwell fan forums and websites including The Latest Maxwell News, all Maxwell, all the time. Such serious stanneration  dedication. Gotta love it!

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Jill Scott, The Roots, Chuck Brown and Estelle, Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia , MD 8/08

Even if I wanted to forget about this summer superfest, Jill fans won’t let me. I get several comments a week on the videos I captured from this show. This was my second time seeing Jill in 2008. The first was at home in Philly and that show was then aired in a television special. Raheem Devaughn and Musiq were on that bill. I was iffy about going again since I had plunked down a nice piece of change and traveled a couple of hours at that. I had also seen The Roots several times this summer already. I am so very glad I went ahead and spent my grocery money on a ticket to this show. Those PB&J sammiches I had to eat for the rest of the month were SO worth it.

Read my brief review of the Jill Scott, Estelle, The Roots and Chuck Brown show  and watch live video of the performances on my You Tube channel.

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Foreign Exchange, Black Cat in Washington, DC 11/08

You already know. Phontigallo (the man of the year) in his good clothes getting his serious croon on. Yazarah styling on everybody in the baddest solid gold dress I’ve ever seen. Her and Muhsinah (the woman of the year) flowing so melodically over Nicolay’s  (the producer of the year, RECOGNIZE) beats. There’s nothing better than youuuuuuuu indeed.

Read my review of the Foreign Exchange concert and watch live video of the performance.

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Rock The Bells, Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD  7/08

I think I may still be high from this show – literally and figuratively. Rock the Bells was probably one of the best shows of this magnitude and with this caliber of line up that I’ve ever been to. As I rode home that night (and almost crashed my car cause I had a contact high), I put on the CD sampler because I just couldn’t get enough. Me and h.e.r got a thang going on and I can’t wait to get some more in 2009.

Read my Rock the Bells concert review and view live videos of the performances.

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Legends of Hip Hop, Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore MD, 8/2008

Although I had a few critiques about this show, it made the list because of the lineup. Strictly for the thirty and over crowd. Just as I like it. It’s not often that you’ll see Mc Lyte, Chubb Rock (!!!), Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, Doug E Fresh, Rob Base, and Kool Moe Dee (!!!) on one stage. On a warm summer night by the water, I was throwing my hands up in the air and waving them like I just didn’t care. Real hip hop was definitely in the building.

Read my review of the Legends of Hip Hop Concert and watch the videos of the live performances.

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Raphael Saadiq, Black Cat in Washington DC, 9/08

This was the show where I probably should have just gone up on stage took the mic and sang because apparently I felt I knew Raphael’ssongs better than he did. At times, I’m all you hear on the videos! Not a good look but definitely a testament to my long standing love for him as part of the Tonys and as a solo artist. He has provided the blueprint for how the Motown sound should be done and his stage show was the perfect compliment.

Read my review of the Raphael Saadiq concert and watch live video of his performance.

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Amp Fiddler, Tortured Soul and Fertile Ground, 930 Club, Washington DC, 2/08

See that look on Christian of Tortured Soul’s face? It’s because of all that funk he created up in the 930 club back on that cold February night. I’ve seen many performances there but never have I seen the place turn into an all out party. I had to check to see if I was at a club. (I wasn’t or there wouldn’t have been any dancing. It’s DC). I left that show seriously considering following the tour bus up the road to NYC for their next gig. Turned out!

Read a very brief review of the Tortured Soul, Amp Fidder and Fertile Ground show and view my video of the performances on my You Tube channel.

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Q-Tip, 930 Club in Washington DC, 11/08

In which Vivrant Thang is still swooning over the fact that she met her muse and got to preview the hotness that is Renaissance. After seeing him with ATCQ this summer at Rock The Bells,  I couldn’t wait for him to get back to the area to give it to us live as only a true emcee can. I almost didn’t make it to this show and I would have hated myself the morning after if I hadn’t. There is nothing like the live versions of these songs.

Read about Vivrant Thang getting up with Q-Tip and watch live video of the performance.

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THE FIRST Annual Roots Picnic and Pre-Picnic Jam Session in Philly, 6/08

I was at the first annual Roots Picnic and I got the t-shirt to prove it. Heh. I think I am still scarred by how brutally hot it was out there that day. However, I hung in there because the energy and the performances were nothing short of amazing in spite of the heat. I’ll never forget how cool Binky Griptite of The Dap Kings looked out there in a suit. I don’t think I saw a bead of sweat roll down his face. I am so glad that The Roots will continue to put this on despite “retiring” from touring. I know that I will get a eclectic group of artists and make some new discoveries (like Santogold and Esperanza Spalding who both ended up on my best of 2008 lists).

Read my review of The Roots Picnic and watch live video of the performances.

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Can A Sista Rock A Mic?, Washington DC, 10/08

Look at that bad mamajama right there!

Yazarah performed on the third night of this multi-day festival showcasing the best in underrated female soul and hip hop artists. It was out of this year’s festival that my underrated female soul singers spotlights were born. I’ve profiled some of the performers including Jean BaylorTamara Wellons, and Liv Warfield. Stay tuned for more. I look forward to the talent this festival will bring to the area next year.

As you can see, it’s been a damn good year musically. Remember you can view live video from each of these performances over on the You Tube channel. Subscribe. There’s much more to come.

Have you been to any great shows this years? Share with me in the comments.

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