Top 10: Orange County Concerts of 2010

It's time to stop looking back and focus our attention on 2010. Sure, many more concerts will be announced in the coming months. But here are the hot ones, already scheduled, taking place in local clubs, halls, baseball stadiums and hockey arenas. These are the shows you don't dare want to miss. Unless, y'know, you have a family emergency or something.

1. Girls, Jan. 25, Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa
The most hyped indie rock band on the planet--or pretty close to it--plays Detroit Bar for a measly $12, which is well worth the price of seeing if the San Francisco act is as spellbindingly good as suggested by the 9.1 rating granted their debut Album--yes, that's the title--by the snark merchants at Pitchfork. Seriously, Pitchfork might be right about these guys. Gutter poet lyrics about being "fucked in the head" sung in a cracked, Elvis Costello croon juxtaposed with jubilant melodies. Sounds like quality rock to me. 

2. Something Corporate at The Bamboozle California, March 28, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim
OC's Something Corporate put a new spin on alt-rock in the early 2000s with their potent, piano-fueled tunes. And then the band broke up. This show, on the second and final day of Bamboozle, will be Something Corporate's first gig in five years
3. U2, June 6, Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim
The gigantic stage show, whopping ticket prices and Bono's outsized ego make U2 increasingly harder to love. But, as evidenced by their performance at the Rose Bowl on October 25, these veteran stadium rockers can still deliver ultimate rock spectacle that's not devoid of emotional heft.

4. Rufus Wainwright, Jan. 9, Terrace Theater, Long Beach
The drama queen with the stunning voice returns to the area after thrilling audiences April 29 at House of Blues, Anaheim. Yes, we'd gladly pay just to hear him do his spine-tingling version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." 

5. Rhett Miller, Feb. 4, Galaxy Concert Theatre, Santa Ana
The front man for alt-country's most melodic act--the Old 97's--hits the road in support of his superb--mostly acoustic pop--self-titled new solo disc that came out in June.  

6. Pink Martini, April 8-10, Renee & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa
Pink Martini makes every album a worldwide journey, adroitly incorporating sounds from across the globe into their delectable brand of lounge pop. On their latest album, Splendor in the Grass, lead vocalist China Forbes sings in five languages--sounding wonderfully expressive wether intoning in English, Spanish, Neapolitan, French or Italian. The band also knows how to have fun, especially on the title-track to their 2007 full-length Hey Eugene!

7. Slayer and Megadeth, Jan. 22, Long Beach Arena, Long Beach 
Because at least once a year you need to bang your head until your ears bleed. Last year, Metallica provided the deafening joy. In 2010, we turn to these metal mavens.

8. Brandi Carlile, March 12, House of Blues, Anaheim 
Best known for her 2007 hit single "the Story," Carlile's rich, sonorous voice proves equally gripping--and, to a slightly lesser extent, her songwriting--on Give Up the Ghost, which came out in October.

9. Vans Warped Tour with June 25, Fairplex, Pomona 
The longest running traveling music festival is now in its 16th year--making many of us feel extremely old. Sum-41 and All-American Rejects and the OC's Reel Big Fish lead the always extensive lineup.

10. Bon Jovi, Feb. 26-27, Honda Center, Anaheim
I haven't considered myself a Bon Jovi fan since I graduated from the second grade in 1986 but since these two date are a really big deal to a lot of people, figured I'd put 'em down here at bottom of my list. 

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