The best (and worst) of 2010

Kanye West bum-rushed everyone's list this year.

The best shows

Yoko Ono at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House Feb 16 The underground doyenne celebrated her 77th birthday by leading a star-studded Plastic Ono Band. But for Bette Midler, she handily upstaged all involved.—JR

Iggy Pop at Tibet House US Benefit at Carnegie Hall Feb 26 Fronting Patti Smith's band, Sir Iggy shed his shirt, nearly lost his pants and took what he claims to have been his final stage dive: a twitching vision in waxed flesh.—JR

Kayo Dot at Union Pool Apr 11 Postmetal fantasist Toby Driver & Co. masterfully animated their then-latest dreamscape, Coyote.—HS

The Golden Palominos at the Living Room May 11 Edging out the following week's Public Image Ltd. shows as circa-1989 reunion of the year, drummer Anton Fier's downtown supergroup was reborn as Gotham's most gregarious bar band.—SS

Portal + Gorguts + Krallice + Bloody Panda at Knitting Factory May 26 A cozy Williamsburg club hosted an international avant-metal summit, showcasing transporting riffage from Canada, Australia and right here at home.—HS

Wavves + The-Dream at the Hudson Hotel June 29 In the weirdest bill this side of Delorean and Gucci Mane at the Williamsburg Waterfront, the noise-pop brats of Wavves played a Fader party with The-Dream, who sang only a few songs over his own CD, yet was still kinda awesome.—CG

Spiritualized at Radio City Music Hall July 30 Jason Pierce brought an orchestra and a gospel choir to Radio City to play (possibly) the saddest album ever made, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, one last, glorious time.—SH

Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden Aug 6 Arena rock done right, captured by Terry Gilliam on a stage as grand and legendary as that night's performance.—CG

Belle and Sebastian at the Williamsburg Waterfront Sept 30 Cute Scottish pop and medals being awarded to eager fans as a warm breeze comes off the water at the end of summer? It's not rock & roll, but we like it.—SH

Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden Oct 5 State of the art met state of the heart when the erstwhile Pink Floyd leader mounted a new production of The Wall, in which personal demons ceded space to collective concern.—SS

Best albums | Best shows | Best cabaret | The worst everything | Report card

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