Jon Bream's top 10 concerts of 2022
What a thrill to return to a full slate of concerts even if it meant wearing a COVID mask to indoor shows. The scene was bustling from stadiums to clubs. One show stands above all the others.
I was absolutely enthralled by Billie Eilish, a solitary then-20-year-old able to captivate in a big hockey arena with her open personality, unchoreographed moves and penetrating songs. It ranks among the best concerts I've ever seen in more than 45 years on this beat.
Another 20-something sensation, Mississippi blues guitarist-singer Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, was jaw-droppingly remarkable in his Minneapolis debut, clearly inspired by playing in Prince's hometown. And veterans delivered big time, too, from farewell-waving Elton John and jazz-soul savant Dee Dee Bridgewater to electrifying rapper Kendrick Lamar and hyper-emotional Ukrainian folk group DakhaBrakha. Special shoutout, too, to the always uplifting Brandi Carlile, who seemed to be everywhere in 2022, from CMT's Naomi Judd tribute and Dodger Stadium with Sir Elton to our own Xcel Energy Center.
1. Billie Eilish, March 15, Xcel Energy Center.
2. Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, March 23, State Theatre.
3. Dee Dee Bridgewater and Bill Charlap, April 30, Hopkins Center for the Arts.
4. Brandi Carlile, July 30, Xcel Energy Center.
5. Elton John, March 22, Xcel Energy Center.
6. Kendrick Lamar, Aug. 20, Xcel Energy Center.
7. Sheryl Crow, July 5, Ledge Amphitheater.
8. Yola, Sept. 9, First Avenue.
9. Lyle Lovett & His Large Band, July 23, State Theatre.
10. DakhaBrakha, April 11, the Dakota.
Chris Riemenschneider's top 10 concerts of 2022
Some of this year's best live music experiences in the Twin Cities were buoyed by sentimentality: Low's redemptive return to Rock the Garden, which wound up being Mimi Parker's last gig in town; Jason Isbell's and Los Lobos' return to the old workhorse they rode in on, First Ave; Lizzo's biggest show yet in her former hometown. There wasn't anything special about Kendrick Lamar's visually stunning tour stop other than he poured everything into it.
1. Kendrick Lamar, Aug. 20, Xcel Energy Center.
2. Low, June 11, Rock the Garden.
3. Jason Isbell, Sept. 24, First Avenue.
4. Billie Eilish, March 15, Xcel Energy Center.
5. Jack White, Aug. 13, the Armory.
6. The Killers, Sept. 20, Xcel Energy Center.
7. Beth Orton, Nov. 12, Cedar Cultural Center.
8. Mitski, March 14, Palace Theatre.
9. Lizzo, Oct. 11, Xcel Energy Center.
10. Los Lobos, Feb. 4, First Avenue.