BEST OF 2018: Mark Alexander Hudson’s Top 10 Greater Nippertown Shows

By Mark Alexander Hudson
Photograph of Carl Palmer by Andrzej Pilarczyk

In chronological order:

Henry Rollins’ “Travel Slide Show” @ The Egg, Albany, January 20
The ever fiercely articulate and intense Mr. Rollins showed us his holiday slide show – no, he didn’t go to Disneyland.

Eric Johnson @ Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, March 7
Played the entire Ah Via Musicom album with the original three-piece line-up. Astonishing and stellar guitar playing.

Nightwish @ The Egg, Albany, March 18
Pleasant surprise of the year. I’m not a huge fan of symphonic metal but when it’s played with such conviction and skill, as shown by Nightwish on this evening before an adoring crowd, it’s pretty much undeniable. Also
probably the best use of backdrop animation / live footage screens I have ever experienced.

Steven Wilson @ The Egg, Albany, April 19
Is he pop? Is he prog? Is he alt? I don’t much care – he’s supremely talented, and when the band kicked off (which was often), it sounded like Nine Inch Nails duking it out with King Crimson.

Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy @ Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, April 23
Hands down my favorite show of the year. It shouldn’t work – ELP’s famous canon played by a guitar-bass-drums power trio with no vocals and no keyboards. The fact that it most triumphantly does is due to the talent of
all involved and Palmer’s relentless, remarkable stamina.

Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul @ the Palace Theatre, Albany, May 4
An old fashioned rock & soul revue with Little Steven fronting a dynamite big band, plus a generous helping of Southside Johnny classics, turned the Palace into the Asbury Park boardwalk.

Brandi Carlile @ the Palace Theatre, Albany, May 6
For those bemused by Ms. Carlile’s many Grammy nominations… 1. Go & see her live. 2. Check out her album “By the Way I Forgive You,” exquisitely emotional and heart-wrenching songs, boundless energy and a pretty dead-on
cover of Zep’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.”

Roger Daltrey @ Tanglewood, Lenox, June 15
A beautiful summer’s night in the Berkshires. Daltrey returned to the same venue where The Who had performed “Tommy” some 40 years previously. He played the entire rock opera with a great band and an orchestra. And he absolutely nailed it.

Los Lobos @ Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, July 22
Roots rock, blues, Tejano, Tex Mex, rockabilly – they do it all effortlessly and brilliantly. A national treasure.

Chicago @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, July 31
Folks turning up to hear the ’80s radio hits must have got quite a surprise to be greeted by the entire Chicago 2 double album from 1970, a sprawling collection of socially conscious jazz rock and prog, joyously and immaculately recreated by the current touring line-up. They got the hits later in the show, but that sublime opening hour showed that the band could still indeed “make it happen.”

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Ana Popovic @ Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, April 16
Kansas @ The Egg, Albany, April 27
Alice Cooper @ the Palace Theatre, Albany, October 4
Sonny Landreth @ Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, October 24

MORE BEST OF THE YEAR LISTS
J Hunter’s Top Women in Jazz Albums
Fred Rudofsky’s Top 21 Concerts
J Hunter’s Jazz2K Awards
Ed Conway’s Top Concerts
Stanley A. Johnson’s Top 10 Concerts (And More)
Michael Eck’s Eastern Liberal Elite Best of the Year
J Hunter’s Top 10 Jazz2K Discs
Mike Stampalia’s Top 10 Concerts
Rudy Lu’s Top 12 Concerts, Honorable Mentions Plus Two More
Fred Rudofsky’s Top 31 Albums
Bokonon’s Top 10 Greater Nippertown Concerts in the English Language
Rick Sleeper’s Top 10 Musical Performances at the Cock ‘n Bull
Steve Nover’s Top 50 Concerts

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