It’s the end of the year and there are 22 million different lists out there, but we like lists, so we went around the office and asked some of the DICE team to pick their best gig or club night of the year.
Track of the year: Bicep - Glue
Album of the year: J Hus - Common Sense
Gig of the year: Justice at Sonar Festival
For one week of the year Barcelona is completely taken over by electronic artists from all over the world. With Sónar and the OFF parties, every single music venue in the city has an incredible event going on day to night. Justice at Sónar by Night was my absolute highlight. I’ve never seen production like it. When the lights lit up the completely packed out room you could see every single person with their hands in the air. It was UNBELIEVABLE.
Track of the year: Lorde - Green Light
Album of the year: MUNA - about u
Gig of the year: Maggie Rogers at Electric Brixton
Maggie Rogers’ emotional and expressive blend of pop, folk, dance and everything in-between has been one of the most comforting soundtracks to the shit show that has been 2017. Rogers’ show at Electric Brixton was her third sell out of the year in London, following a pair of Omeara gigs in February, all of which were proper "I was there" moments. Delivering a captivating set including deep cuts like Resonant Body to her euphoric reworking of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon and obviously all the gems that make up brilliant debut EP Now That The Light Is Fading, Maggie is already a star. “I walked off you and I walked off an old me” are lyrics from her breakout single Alaska, which seem appropriate to remember as 2018 rolls around and we wait for more headline shows and a full length album.
Track of the year: Miami - Baxter Dury
Album of the year: Come Over When You’re Sober Part 1 - Lil Peep
Gig of the year: Trippie Redd @ Day n Night Festival
A year of music that Hip Hop owned peaked for me at Day n Night Festival in California. Thousands of fans were out in scorching midday heat, in the carpark of Anheim baseball stadium, seeing their heroes live. Trippie Redd’s set was the moment that the emo/soundcloud rap sound that emerged this year and will define 2018 all came together. Passionate, intense, threatening, vulnerable, essential.
Track of the year: Marilyn - Mount Kimbie (Palms Trax remix)
Album of the year: John Maus - Screen Memories
Gig of the year: Bicep (Live) - Village Underground
Bicep have been smashing it all year and the Village Underground gig was absolutely banging from start to finish. The three flexing muscles rotating in the background was an amazing feature, the sound was crisp and overall vibe during it was quality. Bicep knew exactly who their audience was and people couldn't stop dancing as a result (well I couldn't, anyway) . The anticipation leading up to the gig was real. I'm already buzzing to see them at The Roundhouse in April. Deadly. TOP LADS.
Track of the year: Thundercat - Friend Zone
Album of the year: TROBBB! - Kutmah
Gig of the year: Aphex Twin at Field Day
Aphex Twin’s headline set at Field Day was triumphantly weird. Two hours of blistering sonic chaos. No hits. Rhythmic bombardment cranked up to Valhalla. No one knew what to hang shapes on, so the audience just found new ways to get down. Completely bonkers.
Track of the year: Slowdive - Sugar For The Pill
Album of the year: Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
Gig of the year: Mare at The Black Heart
FYI, Mare are a two piece avant garde metal act from Canada whose only release is a self titled EP (which is 13 years old…). Prolific they may not be, but this was one of the heaviest and most captivating shows of this year. Vocally the set was especially impressive, ranging from gentle chanting to pterodactyl-like shrieks. The show also featured 2 of the UK’s most exciting heavy acts, Pijn & Conjurer (yes lads!). Thanks to the Black Heart for the best show and the most painful morning after.
Track of the year: Drake - Passionfruit
Album of the year: Smino - Blkswn
Gig of the year: Goldlink at Heaven
This had to be my gig of the year (I’m getting goosebumps reminiscing about it!) - from when the intro of Hands On Your Knees dropped and GoldLink came out with crazy energy, the crowd was instantly hyped, and this set the tone for the rest of the gig. He performed all the bangers from his At What Cost album, and even brought out Hare Squead. He also performed a couple classics, including Late Night with Masego playing the sax, which elevated the crowd to a whole new level. The gig was wrapped up with Crew being double played and everyone hollering the lyrics - great end to an amazing gig.
Track of the year: Public Access TV - Metrotech
Album of the year: Her's - Songs Of Her's
Gig of the year: Shame at The Haunt (Great Escape)
A proper - see off your pint, push to the front and behave like you’re ten years younger - kind of show. I've seen Shame a few times this year but the gig in May at the packed out Haunt was the best by far. An incredible live band with the talent and songs to back it up. During Goldhole the singer jumped into the crowd and shoved the mic in my face. I’d never heard the song before so panicked and drunkenly shouted ‘BABY BABY BABY’. Bring on the album release in January and the Electric Ballroom show in April.
Track of the year: A. Nwaar Is The New Black - Damso
Album of the year: Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
Gig of the year: Flavien Berger at Moth Club
To my knowledge, this was one of the first and only gigs Flavien Berger has ever played in London, and you could feel it in the room. Everyone was super excited, and his live show was packed full of additional energy and glittering synth lines. Although it was freezing cold outside, you could still smell the sweat of euphoria. It was great.
Track of the year: Tokyo - Thundercat
Album of the year: Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives
Gig of the year: LCD Soundsystem at Warehouse Project
I was late to the game and only started listening to LCD Soundsystem after their 2011 “farewell” tour. I instantly fell in love and feared I would never get a chance to see them live. When they announced that they were reuniting for a fourth album and tour I knew I had to be there.
The gig itself did not disappoint, they sounded fantastic, James Murphy belting out the hits with a backdrop of All His Friends. When the initial percussion started on Dance Yrself Clean during the encore everyone in the crowd knew they were in for something special.
Track of the year: Cosmo Pyke - Great Dane
Album of the year: Brockhampton - Saturation II
Gig of the year: MUNA at Heaven
If you’re gonna do a show on Halloween, you prepare for high expectations. If people are ditching their true drinking, getting-wrecked-whilst-dressed-ironically-as-a-cat tradition, they’re invested. MUNA’s Halloween show didn’t disappoint. Heaven being a fitting venue, and Halloween being a fitting date, their live show was holy levels of dark-pop perfection. In full Halloween get up and through their raw and affirming cuts, not one person was left untouched. With their debut album, About U, running through a bigger range of human emotions than anyone had clocked prior, there were tears, screams of solidarity and full hype. They managed to make minorities feel like majorities, it was one of the realest gigs i’ve ever been to.