Front Row Music News 2015 Retrospective – Best and Favorites


2015 was an amazing year for Front Row Music News. With our current staff of Azuree Wiitala, Ed Spinelli, Jen Emmert, Sarah Hess and John Kosiewicz, we covered nearly 100 concerts in the midwest. Included were some of the biggest fests: Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Farm Aid; along with the biggest shows of 2015: Taylor Swift, Madonna, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Van Halen, just to name a few. We appreciate everyone’s support of Front Row Music News 2015 and look forward to a great 2016 year!

Here are some of our highlights from 2015 as selected by Front Row Music News’ staff.

Most Extravagant Concerts
Taylor Swift (John)
Madonna (Azuree)
AC/DC (Ed)
• Peaches (Jen)
Madonna (Sarah)

Loudest Bands
From Ashes to New (John)
August Burns Red (Azuree)
AC/DC (Ed)
Deap Vally (Jen)
Deftones (Sarah)

Best Live Cover Song
I Prevail – Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” (John)
Van Halen – Kink’s “You Really Got Me Now” (Ed)
Milo Greene – Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” (Jen)
Hozier – Skip James’ “Illinois Blues” (Sarah)

Favorite Performance – Male Artist
Andy Grammer (John)
Sufjan Stevens (Azuree)
Neil Young @ Farm Aid (Ed)
• Mac DeMarco (Jen)
• Papa Emeritus III of Ghost (Sarah)

Favorite Performance – Female Artist
• Meg Myers (John)
• Charlie XX (Azuree)
Mavis Staples (Ed)
Jenny Lewis, Lady Lamb, The Bird and the Bee, Natalie Prass (Jen)
• Alicia Bognanno of Bully (at Pitchfork and Lollapalooza) (Sarah)

Favorite Performance – Local Artist (Chicago area) Band
The Flips (John)
• Dave Specter @ Space (Ed)
OK Go (Sarah)

Most Raw Energy Performance
Royal Blood (John)
Every Time I Die (Azuree)
Imagine Dragons @ Farm Aid (Ed)
Sleater-Kinney, The Ting Tings, Misterwives (Jen)
FIDLAR (Sarah)

Most Spectacular Light Shows
Imagine Dragons (John)
Delta Spirit (Azuree)
AC/DC (Ed)
The Ting Tings at Thalia Hall (Jen)
Tame Impala (Sarah)

Favorite Individual Artist Performances
Foo Fighters at Wrigley Field (John)
• Father John Misty (Azuree)
Van Halen (Ed)
Twenty One Pilots (Sarah)

Favorite Overall Shows for 2015 (includes opening artists)
• 101.1 WKQX The Nights We Stole Christmas – Night 3: AWOLNATION / The Struts / Meg Myers @ Aragon (John)
Third Eye Blind (Azuree)
Sleater-Kinney, Ex Hex, Jenny Lewis, The Mynabirds, Lenka, Oh Land (Jen)
Mumford and Sons (Sarah)

Favorite Band in 2015
• twenty one pilots (John)
• War on Drugs (Azuree)
• Van Halen (Ed)
• Sleater-Kinney (Jen)
• Diarrhea Planet (Sarah)

Artists to watch in 2016
• The Struts (John)
Albert Hammond JR (Azuree)
• Black Pistol Fire (Ed)
• Springtime Carnivore, Deap Vally (Jen)
• The Bots (Sarah)

Best Fests
Lollapalooza (John)
Lollapalooza (Azuree)
Farm Aid (Ed)
Pitchfork, Sasquatch! (Washington) (Jen)
Lollapalooza and Pitchfork (Sarah)

Favorite Venues
• Aragon Ballroom & House of Blues (John)
• House of Blues (Azuree)
• United Center, Hollywood Casino Pavilion, Space in Evanston (Ed)
• Lincoln Hall, Riviera Theatre, Thalia Hall (Jen)
• Lincoln Hall (Sarah)


About John Kosiewicz

A passionate photographer sharing his love of music and photography with the world though Front Row Music News.

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