The Absolute Best Concerts of 2018

We covered a ton of shows this year! The most shows, and the biggest shows- and many we got invited to cover. Garth Brooks, Greta Van Fleet, Bon Jovi, Pink, Noel Gallagher, Muse, Olivia Newton John, Gary Clark Jr., Jason Isbell, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Backstreet Boys, Tom Morello, David Byrne, Chris Stapleton, Barry  Manilow, ACL Fest, CMA festival, Houston Rodeo, SWSW, 30 Seconds to Mars, John Prine, Slayer, Anthrax, Lauren Daigle, Jason Mraz, Willie Nelson, Pixies, Weezer, Elvis Costello, Violent Femmes, Dixie Chicks, Lukas Nelson, Nick Cave, Phoenix, B52s, Simple Minds, Brad Paisley, Pat Benatar, Alejandro Escovedo, Dan Auerbach, Steve Aoki, Foreigner, GEazy, Earth Wind & Fire, Flogging Molly, Rick Springfield, Andy Grammar, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Blue October, Jack Johnson, Vans Warped tour, Depeche mode, Kat Edmunson, Levitation Fest, Ministry, iHeart Country fest, Dr. Dog, Echosmith, Mastodon, Primus, Johnny Lang, Joe Satriani, Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews Band. You can view our BEST SHOWS OF 2017 to review last year’s picks and photos.


Backstreet Boys

Austin 101 BackStreet Boys-4(Diego Donamaria)

Noel Gallagher




Dan Auerbach


Johnny Lang

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Garth Brooks


Simple Minds


Lauren Daigle

Taylor Swift

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Another huge Houston show, Taylor came to NRG Stadium on her ‘Big Stadium tour for her Reputation album”. It was truly one of the biggest productions and sets we have ever seen (and too many semis carrying gear to count).


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The best rock show we saw this year for sure. Although other huge tours including Mastadon and Slayer were epic and could fit this category too, these young boys (and brothers) from Michigan have blown up since we covered them early in 2018 at iconic Stubb’s Ampitheater in Austin.

Gary Clark Jr.


Our local blues legend played 3 sold out nights at ACL Live in December.

Elvis Costello


Earth Wind & Fire

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David Byrne

DSC_7059(Jason Bollenbacher)

Olivia Newton-John

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Lukas Nelson

Lukas Nelson - SXSW 2018 Pandora 4

30 Seconds To Mars


(Jason Bollenbacher)

Slayer and Anthrax



Best hard rock, heavy metal show this year for sure.


Joe Satriani/G3

G3 - ACL Live 2018 5

CMA Music Festival


We covered  a ton of music festivals in 2018 and they were all a bit different, but this Nashville fest was one of the best (and yes a country genre focus) with epic headliners and legendary acts such as Oak Ridge Boys, We got to see Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Kelsie Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Dan & Shay, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Trisha Yearwood, Brothers Osborne, Brett Eldridge, and more.

Tom Morello

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Absolutely one of the coolest and most unique shows we have ever seen. Playing intimate venues for his Atlas Underground project. Telling stories of friend Chris Cornell (and playing the beautiful song he wrote for him when he hadn’t heard from him) and playing with Bruce Springsteen, and playing several songs demonstrating his huge array of guitar skills and music genres (even playing with his teeth or the mic stand) to a finale like you have never seen. He brought the intimate crowd on stage with him for a rendition of his epic Rage Against the Machine song.






Dave Matthews Band

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Justin Timberlake


Albert Hammond Jr. at SXSW


Depeche Mode

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You can see all our concert photos and reviews on Austin 101.

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