slides: 13 Biggest Music Stories in Central MA in 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

With great venues like downtown Worcester's DCU Center or the Palladium, or even the smaller Ralph's Rock Diner or Lucky Dog Music Hall, Central Mass is home to some of the best live music in New England. 

With so many great live shows and musicians, it is hard to pick the best of the best...  But we tasked our expert music critics Ken Abrams and Rob Duguay with just that.

These are GoLocalWorcester's 13 Biggest Music Stories of 2013:

  • 13. Opera

    In July 2013, the Greater Worcester Opera put on its 10th Annual Summer Concert Series at Worcester's Briarwood Community Center. The popular event featured a variety of singers performing themed selections with all proceeds going to support the GWO's season. 

    This year, the performances included Broadway Melodies, American Songbook, Operetta- G&S & More!, and Opera Gala.

  • 12. Wormtown Music

    The Worcester music scene, popularly known as Wormtown, celebrated its 35th Anniversary in May of 2013.  To honor the occasion, Ralph's Diner hosted a concert featuring five bands (The Commandos, The Performers, Musclecah, The Time Beings, and the Numbskulls), who's members have been key players in this piece of local history.

    Photo: Mike Malone

  • 11. Karaoke Bars

    Not all live music is supposed to be good. Sometimes, the best music entertainment is watching your friends and coworkers crash and burn in their attempt to emulate Tom Jones or Carly Rae Jepsen.

    Yes, I am talking about karaoke. 

    In 2013, GoLocal found out the best spots to belt out the classics yourself.

    Find out where you can go to practice for the next American Idol auditions here

  • 10. Ashley Jordan

    Ashley Jordan is barely 21-years old, but she is already making a big impact on the Worcester music scene.

    The Harvard-native was honored with the Best Female Vocalist and Best Country/Americana Act Awards at the 2013 Worcester Music Awards, and in August, she sat down with GoLocal's Kelly May for an interview.

    Read Ashley Jordan's interview here

  • 9. Indian Ranch

    If you are a fan of country music in Central Mass, Webster's Indian Ranch was the place to be this past summer.  In 2013, their summer concert series drew some big-time acts, such as The Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vassar, Dwight Yoakam, and 2011 American Idol winner Scott McCreery to the cozy 3,000 seat amphitheater. 

  • 8. Sir Elton John

    He may not have been in Worcester, but it was certainly worth the trek to Boston to see music royalty. Sir Elton John has been performing live for decades, and never lost a step along the way.  Just ask GoLocal music critic Ken Abrams who reviewed Elton's Providence appearance:

    Elton John made a triumphant return to Providence Saturday night, making the Dunkin Donuts Center the second stop on his Diving Board Tour. Expectations were high for the near capacity crowd and Sir Elton did not disappoint. He covered a number of hits in his 28 song set, including a full album side from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Read More

  • 7. Robin Lane

    She grew up with Sally Field, lived with and sang for Neil Young, and married Police guitarist Andy Summers. But even more impressive than her resume, is the adversity that Robin Lane has faced and overcome.  GoLocal's Susan Wagner had the privilege to sit down with this musician and trauma survivor in 2013 for an interview.

    Read Susan Wagner's conversation with Robin Lane here

  • 6. Live Music Venues

    Worcester's music scene was alive and well in 2013, and as much credit goes towards the bands and performers; its the infrastructure -- the venues -- that give these talented artists the medium to share their work with the world.

    In 2013, GoLocal compiled some of the best live music venues in Worcester, check them out here, and here.

  • 5. Life is Good Festival

    Spread the Optimism! That was the tone for this summer's Life is Good Music Festival in Canton.  The family-friendly event brought in some great, and cheerful, national acts such as Hall and Oates, The Roots, and Jack Johnson... and for the kids, DJ Lance Rock and the gang from Yo Gabba Gabba performed both days. 

    All proceeds from the festival went to the Life is Good Kids Foundation.

  • 4. New Bedford Folk Fest

    GoLocal Music Critic Ken Abrams spent the weekend of July 6-7 enjoying some hot weather and dozens of cool artists to the New Bedford Folk Festival. Previously known as New Bedford Summerfest, the name change this year didn't affect the remarkable talent present at the festival. We’ll share some thoughts on a few performances; sadly, we couldn't get to all of them. Read More

    Read GoLocal's Coverage of Music Festivals in Central Mass Here

  • 3. Paramore

    In November, Grammy nominated alt-rock group Paramore dropped in to play a major show at the newly-renovated DCU Center. The Tennessee band drew a huge crowd, and their live show received widespread critical acclaim. Their self-titled album “Paramore” debuted at #1 when it was released in April. The show opened with Metric and Hellogoodbye.

  • 2. Pearl Jam

    On the same day that they released their tenth studio album, Lightning Bolt, grunge-rock legends Pearl Jam took the stage at Worcester's DCU Center.  GoLocal music critic Rob Duguay was fortunate enough to be front and center for the October show:

    Last night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Seattle alternative rock legends Pearl Jam kicked off their two-night stay with authority. Earlier in the day, their tenth studio album Lightning Bolt was officially released to the masses to much acclaim. What better way to celebrate a new record from the all-time greats than in front of a sold out arena? With one of the best bands of the past 25 years making everyone go crazy for three hours with no openers, Worcester was about to get rocked into another stratosphere. Read More

    Photo: Shawn Schillberg

  • 1. Algonquin Lip-Dub

    The athletes at Northborough's Algonquin Regional High School became internet celebrities in 2013 after their YouTube video went viral.

    The video featured dozens of students performing a lip-dub of a song by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen while backpedaling through the school.

    The video was part of a marketing class project, and had more than 18,000 hits within 48 hours of being published.

    Watch the amazing video here .