My Favorite Sets Of 2019 – Markus Akre


This is the final of our 2019 Favorite Set Lists. It’s always fun for me to see what our staff come up with. With almost 600 shows and 1500+ artists covered in the last year.  Only a few artists made it to two different top fives surprising as we had many shows where several of our staff ran into each other (Frank Turner holds that record with 6 of us being there). Genre, venue size, popularity….it did not really matter. 

So without further ado, here are mine

Honorable Mention

Caster Volor – Local band that channels over the top hair metal and is simply a blast to experience

Kishi Bashi – A personal favorite who captured my heart with an intricate, fun set

Josin – A German composer and producer who weaved her intricate web at the Entry. 

Adam Ant – Taking me back to my youth. For one night I and a bunch of other old farts felt like young punks again.

VOWWS – Dark, moody, post punk with a goth touch yet modern and relevant.


Robyn at the Palace Theatre

This was the show I was most looking forward to all year. Robyn’s songs always get the volume turned up when she comes on. Her set matched her elaborate stage setup and was so much fun.

Foals at First Avenue

One of my favorite bands and First Ave was the last stop of their current tour. Photographers were held until the end of the set and we were richly rewarded. Singer Yannis Philippakis dove into the crowd and even jumped from the balcony.

My Brightest Diamond at the Cedar

I may be punk / new wave at heart but I have a soft spot for a good performance art set and My Brightest Diamond checked all the boxes at the Cedar. There were some good dance tunes but it was a set that required me to pay attention and remained memorable.

James at Music in the Zoo

James was a band that had slipped my mind except for ‘that one song” and their set showed me how a band can change over the years without losing their essence. Add the visual transformation of lead singer Tim Booth from curly haired softie to serious looking bald dude and I was not the only one in the crowd floored.

Pip The Pansy

I did mention I like some quirky acts, right? Well Pip The Pansy had me the moment she whipped her flute out of a quiver on her back. Her multi tasking skills on stage were nothing short of impressive. At one point she beatboxed and played the flute at the same time. Her music was complex, layered and quite danceable.