The Best Live Concerts of 2008 

Stratton Lawrence's Best Shows in Charleston

1. Wilco: Aug. 7, North Charleston PAC — They stood us up last winter, but more than made up for it in August. Orchestrated yet loose, and all around awesome.

2. Shannon Whitworth & The Refugees: Feb. 13, Footlight Players Theater — An amazing venue and impeccable performance from a North Carolina favorite.

3. David Byrne: Dec. 9, North Charleston PAC — The house burned down.

4. Widespread Panic: Oct. 24, North Charleston Coliseum — Give me some sugar and let me be mice elf.

5. North Mississippi All-Stars: May 14, The Pour House — Shirts melted off backs. Makeup was smeared.

Honorable mentions: Bob Weir & RatDog, Dr. Dog, Yarn, Jupiter's Garden, Holy Ghost Tent Revival.

T. Ballard Lesemann's Best Shows in Charleston

1. ZZ Top: June 8, North Charleston PAC — Billy Gibbons' killer guitar tone was the best thing I heard all year.

2. Neva Denova: May 15, The Pour House — The Omaha pop-rock band with the dense sound looked like a bunch of skodes and sounded like a bunch of soft-hearted angels.

3. Duda Lucena Quartet: June 2, Mistral — Singer/guitarist Lucena was super-smooth with terrific support.

4. Bryan Adams: July 21, Charleston Music Hall — The rocker's acoustic guitar work was flawless and his vocal range was totally intact.

5. Gerry Hemingway: June 6, Recital Hall, Albert Simons Center — The composer/drum soloist delivered one of the weirdest and most exhilarating events of the Wachovia Jazz series.

Honorable mentions: The Lovell Sisters, Mark Olson, Dan Tyminski, "Rocktoberfest," Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Don Chambers, We Landed On the Moon.


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