Orlando's best concert moments of 2017 

OW’s music writers weigh in on the shows that moved them the most this year

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click to enlarge Naga - PHOTO BY JEN CRAY
  • Photo by Jen Cray
  • Naga

Naga, Lush Agave, Tiger Fawn Will's Pub, June 14

This benefit show for Planned Parenthood proved that experimental music and outsider feminist aesthetics can, in fact, encourage philanthropy. Performing with plaintive appeal under a red light and lace, Lush Agave's Alisha Erao leveled up that night while Tiger Fawn's Dani Lacerda brought the attitude with an arch-as-always set. Alexia Clarke read the most popular poem from her femme-zine Phosphene Girl, and Tampa duo Naga greeted Orlando at their first in-town performance with fog, facial obscuring and a reading from Kahlil Gibran. With their voices joined in support of sexual health services and resistance of legislation aimed at diminishing choice and access, they delivered $500 to the nonprofit's Southwest & Central Florida branch. The Medusa laughs! – Moriah Russo

Black Marble Will's Pub, June 16

Even though Black Marble lacked high or positive energy, the band were still able to touch my heart with the irreplaceable gentleness and melancholy they softly scattered across the room. It's exceedingly rare to watch a band that so effortlessly encapsulates the experiences you often seem to be alone in having, so I feel fortunate to have been able to catch them 10 minutes down the road from my house. – Jesse Feinman

Forced Into Femininity Spacebar, Feb. 13

Jill Lloyd Flanagan's Forced Into Femininity performance at Spacebar was particularly compelling. Flanagan's commitment to the absurd – spontaneously and vigorously balancing on lawn chairs to reach the venue's rooftop – is the perfect thought-provoking resistance during an era where banning words such as "transgender" and "vulnerable" is part of our national budget blueprint. – Nicolette Shurba

Special Interest and UV-TV Stardust Video & Coffee, March 24

2017 marked the 40th anniversary of punk – that's 40 years of raw source material for the modern musician to revise, revive or bastardize. Diverse in sound, but unified by this modern meta-revisionism, this bill had it all: UV-TV's jagged, jangling, mail-order-era indie pop; Special Interest's collision of grit, groove and social awareness; and the ever-mutating but short-lived Shania Pain's precise tact in blending influence and style. All three groups had fresh new releases and they translated it into tight, A-game live performances. Today's bests keep one eye on history. – John Rousseau

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