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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 19, 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 51
BEST OF MUSIC 2014: LIVE PERFORMANCES
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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BEST OF MUSIC 2014: LIVE PERFORMANCES

by Albert Rodriguez and Jessica Price - SGN A&E Writers

In a year that saw lots of marquee names bring tours to Seattle - from Cher and Cyndi Lauper to Lady Gaga to Usher to Stevie Wonder - these are the very best shows each of us attended from January through December, in ranking order.

ALBERT RODRIGUEZ's picks:

1. Jack White @ Paramount Theatre, August 26
Appearing in back-to-back sold out shows at the Paramount this summer, the multi-faceted artist thrilled fans with a 35-song set list on the first night, 25 on the second. He's a genius, we knew that going in, but to witness it in person - his eclectic style of rock, punk, country, gospel, and blues, aside from expert guitar chops and feverish vocals - is a completely unique experience.

2. Lorde @ WaMu Theater, March 24
The only Northwest date on Lorde's 2014 road outing was this spring performance in Seattle that privileged us with the opportunity to see her in action, and she didn't disappoint. Her spastic moves, goth persona, and perky interaction with the crowd was all too unforgettable.

3. Paul Simon and Sting @ Key Arena, February 19
Two legends, both with successful solo and group/duo careers, joined forces for a two hour-plus concert that featured gems from each of their distinguished careers. '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,' 'Englishman in New York,' 'The Boxer,' 'Message in a Bottle,' and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' made for a very memorable evening.

4. Jason Mraz @ Benaroya Hall, October 21
Supported by all-female quartet Raining Jane, the singer-songwriter played a heavenly mix of music from his latest release, Yes!, and previous albums Love is a Four Letter Word and Waiting for My Rocket to Come. A slow-tempo acoustic rendition of 'The Remedy (I Won't Worry)' sounded gorgeous inside the symphony hall.

5. Justin Timberlake @ Key Arena, January 17
With Russell Wilson and Macklemore in attendance, JT's Seattle show on the first leg of 'The 20/20 Experience World Tour' was full of great surprises and excitement. At one point, he traveled from one end of the arena to the other on a portable catwalk, singing and dancing simultaneously.

6. Chvrches @ The Showbox SoDo, August 8
Glasgow trio Chvrches turned a balmy summer evening into a cool night of dreamy electronic-pop tunes, highlighted by an ethereal rendition of 'Recover' and a delightful take on 'Under the Tide' that allowed keyboardist Martin Doherty to sing lead vocals.

7. Elton John @ Key Arena, September 27
Performing for over two hours at the piano without a break, Sir Elton unloaded a set list of familar favorites that audience members sang and danced along to, including 'Philadelphia Freedom,' 'I'm Still Standing,' 'Crocodile Rock,' 'Tiny Dancer,' 'Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting,' and the closing number, 'Circle of Life.'

8. Lisa Fischer @ Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, September 23
Well-regarded backup singer Lisa Fischer (20 Feet from Stardom) was front and center at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley and brought the house down with riveting covers of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones classics, plus a passionate version of her own Grammy-winning ballad, 'How Can I Ease the Pain.'

9. Fleetwood Mac @ Moda Center (Portland, Oregon), November 20
The return of Christine McVie, after an 18-year absence, made this Fleetwood Mac tour especially sweet. The band played the usual roster of hits - 'Dreams,' 'Go Your Own Way,' 'Tusk' - but also dug out 'Everywhere,' 'Over My Head,' and 'Little Lies.'

10. Foster the People @ The Crocodile, January 19
Previewing material from their then-upcoming sophomore release Supermodel, Foster the People gave fans a rather intimate show at The Crocodile that included brand new songs and earlier cuts, such as 'Pumped Up Kicks' and 'Don't Stop (Color on the Walls).'

JESSICA PRICE's picks:

1. Jay Z & Beyonce's 'On The Run Tour' @ Safeco Field, July 30
These two on stage together? Unstoppable.

2. Lana Del Rey @ WaMu Theater, May 27
Lana Del Rey was sheer perfection at WaMu, even if she did take a little too long to sign autographs and pose for fan pix mid-show.

3. Bryan Ferry @ McCaw Hall, April 7
Bryan Ferry's unexpected appearance at McCaw Hall in April was a dream come true.

4. The Black Keys @ Key Arena, November 1
These road warriors rocked Key Arena on the heels of their newest release, Turn Blue.

5. Mary Lambert @ The Showbox at the Market, February 1
Hometown girl Mary Lambert turned it out this year at The Showbox. 'She Keeps Me Warm' is her defining moment...so far.

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BEST OF MUSIC 2014: ALBUMS AND SINGLES
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BEST OF MUSIC 2014: HOTTEST ARTISTS OF THE YEAR
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Best of Music 2014: Featured Artist Interview - An SGN exclusive interview with Jason Mraz
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BEST OF MUSIC 2014: LIVE PERFORMANCES
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WORST MUSIC OF 2014
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Christmastown: A Holiday Noir is lots of fun!
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You make me feel so young, SSO
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The Heavy and The Light are excellent
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The GREATness continues with The Great Society
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2014 HOLIDAY CALENDAR
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Northwest News
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LETTERS
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Cryptically fascinating Imitation an intimate examination of self
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It's a hard-knock life for this reimagined Annie
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Been there, can't go back again
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