1. Harry Styles, Sept. 22, Xcel Energy Center. Styles not only looked and acted like a rock star for modern times, but he was so accessible, friendly and exciting, working his in-the-round stage with panache in an arena filled with feather-boa-flaunting fans.

2. Erykah Badu, Oct. 13, Armory. In her first Twin Cities headline appearance in 20 years, the high priestess of neo-soul was magnetic and mesmerizing, in sound, visuals and words.

3. Bob Dylan, Nov. 2, Riverside Theater, Milwaukee. This was as close as our homeboy came to Minnesota in his first tour in 23 months. The set featured an unprecedented eight live debuts, all songs from last year's stellar "Rough and Rowdy Ways," delivered with conviction and nuance.

4. John Fogerty, July 4, Mystic Lake Amphitheater. The first big rock show of the pandemic was a reminder of the urgency and exhilaration of live rock 'n' roll. Plus, he offered an essential new, Minneapolis-inspired protest song, "Weeping in the Promised Land."

5. Billy Strings, Nov. 5, Palace Theatre. The 29-year-old acoustic guitar marvel and his bluegrassy band dazzled with originals and covers ranging from Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe to the Stones and the Dead. Jam-band heaven.

6. Kurt Elling, June 26, Crooners. The adventurous Chicago jazz vocalist was masterful, from the 15-minute opening scat piece to a spoken-word reading of Tom Waits' "Circus."

7. Maren Morris, Aug. 27, Minnesota State Fair. Never one to stay in her Nashville lane, she poured her heart and personality into her conversation and her songs.

8. Marisha Wallace, Nov. 10, Dakota. The dramatic Broadway/West End singer with the wondrous voice put her own spins on classics, including a goosebump-inducing "Purple Rain." A knockout debut.

9. Leo Kottke and Dave King, Nov. 13, Jamf Theater, Eau Claire. A generation apart, these Minnesota stalwarts teamed up for an immensely satisfying evening of musical twists, turns and tangents.

10. Jose James, Dec. 11, Dakota. The first holiday show ever to make my year-end list. The Minneapolis-reared jazz vocalist was elegantly old-school while making Christmas chestnuts deliciously refreshing.

Chris Riemenschneider's top concerts

  1. Waxahatchee, First Avenue
  2. Beach Bunny, First Avenue
  3. Bleachers, Fillmore
  4. Low Rats, Black Widows, Whiskey Rock & Roll Club MPLS, Hook & Ladder (my first "real" show in 17 months)
  5. Arlo Parks, 7th St. Entry
  6. Trampled by Turtles and Wilco, Treasure Island Amphitheater
  7. Harry Styles, Xcel Energy Center
  8. Green Day, Target Field
  9. Lizzo, Treasure Island Amphitheater
  10. Jason Isbell and Strand of Oaks, Armory