1. The Roots
Roskilde Festival, July 7
The Roots are what hip-hop used to be way back when. The Philly natives shun the pathetic self-referential, revenge-tinged bollocks and swap it for purely eclectic, instrument-rich genius at its most refined. This is what the legendary crew managed to pull off at Roskilde’s massive Orange Stage.
2. Klumben & Raske Penge
Roskilde Festival, July 3
Roskilde’s bookers must have had their hearts in their mouths as the chaos unfolded at Klumben & Raske Penge’s show at Pavillion Junior. The stage is a breeding ground for some of Denmark’s soon-to-be-huge bands and rarely gets packed over capacity. This show was one of a kind however, crammed long before the dancehall dons even set foot on stage.
At his Lille Vega show in April, Kiwanuka showed that he was on his way to stardom (Photo: Søren Bo Basselbjerg / firstname.lastname@example.org)
3. Michael Kiwanuka
Lille Vega, April 27
BBC Sound of 2012 winner Michael Kiwanuka’s soulful music has drawn comparisons to legends such as Otis Reading. Genuinely talented and refreshingly humble, Kiwanuka delivered his best on his debut on Danish soil at Lille Vega. This show paved the way for a second Danish appearance a few weeks ago, this time at Store Vega. Read the full review.
Parken Stadium, August 28
Despite their latest album being something of a disappointment, Coldplay’s live shows repeatedly prove why they are one of the best bands around. Glow-in-the dark bracelets, giant balloons, four huge screens and an explosion of special light effects made optimal use of the stadium space, so a good show was always guaranteed.
5. The Vaccines
Pumpehuset, October 24
In a country where audiences are, in the words of Mike Skinner of The Streets, “almost impossible to please,” The Vaccines set Pumpehuset aflame with their dangerously contagious infusion of driven indie-rock. Props to the audience for dropping their usual poised appearances.
The best of the rest:
6. Of Monsters & Men, Store Vega, September 19.
7. Paul Kalkbrenner, Roskilde Festival, July 7.
8. Charles Bradley, Lille Vega, April 29.
9. Tinariwen, Lille Vega, April 23.
10. Joe Sample & Randy Crawford, Store Vega, March 22.