The Revolution | First Avenue | April 1 | Photo by Steven Cohen

By Emily Hoar

In a year of surprises, music functioned as an escape from a politically polarizing landscape, dominating the cultural conversation. High-profile albums appeared suddenly, and beloved artists left without warning. It’s this dichotomy that informed the year as a whole.

Our Year In Review records the shows that made the year-end lists of: American Songwriter, Consequence of Sound, Fact, Gorilla vs. Bear, NME, NPR, Paste, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Spin, Stereogum, Tiny Mix Tapes, and The Wire, in addition to Billboard’s 50 Top-Charted Albums. While there are plenty of great artists that didn’t make the list, this is Part 2 of First Avenue’s most critically acclaimed shows of 2016. (See Part 1.)

Car Seat Headrest | Triple Rock Social Club | July 18 | Photo by Andy Witchger

July

Adele @ Xcel Energy Center
• Billboard #1 (for 23) • Billboard #24 (for 21) •

Fear of Men @ 7th St Entry
• Gorilla vs. Bear #16 •

Puro Instinct @ 7th St Entry
• Gorilla vs. Bear #47 •

Marissa Nadler @ 7th St Entry
• Gorilla vs. Bear #50 • Spin #43 •

Big Thief @ Triple Rock
• NPR #31 •

Car Seat Headrest @ Triple Rock
• American Songwriter #36 • Consequence of Sound #18 • NME #45 • NPR #8 • Paste #3 • Pitchfork #24 • Rolling Stone #4 • Spin #35 • Stereogum #11 •

Mitski @ 7th St Entry
• American Songwriter #19 • Billboard #15 • Consequence of Sound #11 • Fact #5 • NPR #29 • Paste #5 • Pitchfork #18 • Rolling Stone #23 • Spin #14 • Stereogum #8 • Tiny Mix Tapes # 43 •

Japanese Breakfast @ 7th St Entry
• Consequence of Sound #47 • Gorilla vs. Bear #37 • Paste #31 • Stereogum #27 •

The Coathangers @ 7th St Entry
• Paste #44 •

Mothers @ 7th St Entry
• Consequence of Sound #41 •

Into It. Over It. @ Turf Club
• Consequence of Sound #35 •

Wilco | Historic Hall’s Island | August 20 | Photo by Steven Cohen

August

White Lung @ Triple Rock
• Rolling Stone #31 •

Chance the Rapper @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
• American Songwriter #12 • Consequence of Sound #2 • NME #9 • NPR #10 • Paste #15 • Rolling Stone #3 • Spin #7 • Stereogum #3 •

Wilco @ Historic Hall’s Island
• Consequence of Sound #16 • Paste #26 • Rolling Stone #41 •

Weaves @ 7th St Entry
• Consequence of Sound #49 •

Parker Millsap @ Turf Club
• American Songwriter #11 • NPR #43 •

Danny Brown | First Avenue Mainroom | September 25 | Photo by Adam DeGross

September

Noname @ First Avenue Mainroom
• Consequence of Sound #36 • NPR #22 • Pitchfork #27 • Stereogum #28 • Tiny Mix Tape #26 •

Whitney @ Triple Rock Social Club
• Consequence of Sound #38 • Gorilla vs. Bear #30 • NME #42 • Paste #37 • Pitchfork #31 • Spin #41 •

Hoops @ Triple Rock Social Club
• Gorilla vs. Bear #22 •

Explosions In The Sky @ First Avenue Mainroom
• Consequence of Sound #32 •

Xenia Rubinos @ Icehouse
• NPR #11 •

Tegan & Sara @ State Theatre
• Consequence of Sound #27 • NME # 18 • Paste #28 •

Andrew Bird @ Festival Palomino 2016
• Paste #24 •

Margaret Glaspy @ Festival Palomino 2016
• American Songwriter #47 • Paste #41 • Stereogum #45 •

Show Me The Body @ 7th St Entry
• NME #48 •

Cobalt @ 7th St Entry
• Stereogum #25 •

Tacocat @ 7th St Entry
• Paste #27 •

Drive-By Truckers @ First Avenue Mainroom
• American Songwriter #7 • NPR #14 • Paste #48 • Rolling Stone #24 •

Danny Brown @ First Avenue Mainroom
• Consequence of Sound #25 • Fact #3 • Gorilla vs. Bear #20 • NME #16 • Paste #21 • Pitchfork #11 • Rolling Stone #19 • Spin #16 • Stereogum #10 • Tiny Mix Tapes #9 •

Car Seat Headrest @ The Cedar Cultural Center
American Songwriter #36 • Consequence of Sound #18 • NME #45 • NPR #8 • Paste #3 • Pitchfork #24 • Spin #35 • Stereogum #11 • Rolling Stone #4 •

Porches @ 7th St Entry
• Pitchfork #49 •

Japanese Breakfast @ 7th St Entry
• Consequence of Sound #47 • Gorilla vs. Bear #37 • Paste #31 • Stereogum #27 •

Circuit des Yeux @ 7th St Entry
• The Wire #47 •

October

Glass Animals @ Myth Nightclub
• NME #35 •

Steve Gunn @ First Avenue Mainroom
• The Wire #27 •

Twin Peaks @ 7th St Entry
• American Songwriter #50 •

Cymbals Eat Guitars @ 7th St Entry
• Spin #29 •

The Range @ First Avenue Mainroom
• Consequence of Sound #37 •

Cass McCombs @ Turf Club
• American Songwriter #33 • GvB #59 • Stereogum #31 •

The Felice Brothers @ Turf Club
• American Songwriter #46 •

Sunflower Bean @ 7th St Entry
• NME #12 •

The Lemon Twigs @ 7th St Entry
• NME #44 •

St. Paul & The Broken Bones @ First Avenue Mainroom
• Paste #47 •

Fruit Bat @ 7th St Entry
• Paste #49 •

Courtney Marie Andrews @ 7th St Entry
• American Songwriter #28 • Paste #50 •

Margo Price @ Turf Club
• American Songwriter #3 • NME #35 • NPR #20 • Paste #12 • Rolling Stone #21 •

Nicolas Jaar | First Avenue | November 7 | Photo by Erik Hess

November

Moor Mother @ Triple Rock Social Club
• The Wire #3 •

Hiss Golden Messenger @ Turf Club
• American Songwriter #24 • Paste #45 •

Nicolas Jaar @ First Avenue Mainroom
• Consequence of Sound #29 • Gorilla vs. Bear #27 • Pitchfork #20 • Spin #25 •

December

Parker Millsap @ First Avenue Mainroom
• American Songwriter #11 • NPR #43 •

Amanda Shires @ Turf Club
• American Songwriter #43 •

KING @ Fine Line Music Café
• Pitchfork #37 • Spin #21 •