Best Twin Cities concerts 2012

Photo by Erik Hess
The Gimme Noise crew attended a lot of concerts, festivals, events, gatherings, and what have you this past year. As is the case with every year in live music in the Twin Cities, the cacophonous noises etched history into the walls of our storied venues and into our minds. There were a lot of firsts -- and hopefully not lasts -- that highlighted the live experience.

Judging by what was said, written, and photographed in 2012, here are 20 of our favorite concerts of the past 12 months.

See Also:
50 Awesome Concert Photos from 2012

Best Twin Cities songs 2012: Staff lists
Best Twin Cities albums 2012: Staff lists
Best Twin Cities music videos of 2012

Photo by Erik Hess
20. River's Edge Music Festival at Harriet Island, 6/23/12 & 6/24/12 (Slideshows: Music Day 1, Music Day 2, People Day 1, People Day 2)

"As with Taste of Minnesota, and many music events that have come and gone at Harriet Island, the location itself proves enticing -- with wide-trunked trees, ample patches of grass, riverboats that belong in a museum parked nearby, St. Paul's towering skyscrapers, trains chugging by, and the majestic water. Portions of the Live Nation-engineered event matched the majesty of the surroundings, and one could see the potential for a yearly pleasure center on some of the longest days of the year."

Photo by Mackenzie Orth
19. Atlas Sound at the Cedar Cultural Center, 3/2/12 (Slideshow)

Sally Hedberg writes: "Yet, 'My Sharona' endured still, as did Cox's increasingly awkward interactions with the audience. He asked people to take their clothes off. He shouted seemingly intoxicated defenses about his art. He simulated fallatio. He, to the horror of the Cedar employees, told everyone to pick up their chairs and shake them above their heads."

Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
18. Crystal Castles at First Avenue, 11/1/12 (Slideshow)

Pat O'Brien writes: "Crystal Castles' set was just under way, but already there was a feeling that this was going to be like nothing the crowd had seen -- or heard -- anywhere before. It was like getting hit in the face with a cattle prod, and only got better from there."

Photo by Youa Vang
17. Brandi Carlile at the MN Zoo Amphitheater, 6/20/12
Youa Vang writes: "Brandi Carlile is an artist that can inspire an undying loyalty in her fans -- fans who will sell out two shows during the week in a suburb and sit in the rain for two hours just to hear their favorite artist sing."

Photo by Erik Hess

16. Amadou & Mariam at the Cedar Cultural Center, 8/7/12 (Slideshow)
Erik Thompson writes: "Some shows are just perfectly suited for the summer. Tuesday night's uplifting performance by Amadou & Mariam at the extremely sold-out Cedar Cultural Center was indeed one of those shows. The effervescent blind couple from Mali delighted the crowd with their distinct modern style of Afro-beat, delivering a 90-minute set that had both the band and the appreciative audience dancing the summer night away."

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