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The Year in Music 

If someone asked me how much live music I witnessed this year — in my role as Creative Loafing's music editor -- I'm not sure I'd have a clear-cut answer.

If we're talking about concerts, I'd guess I attended more than 100. If we're talking about the number of bands -- including local and national artists at various Charlotte-area venues and at spots across the country (like Voodoo Festival in New Orleans and Bonnaroo) -- it's easily more than 200 total this year.

So, how could I possibly sum all of that up? I'm not sure that I can. Instead, I've put together this collection of roughly 70 photos (in this week's paper and online at Clclt.com/music) from some of the concerts I attended in 2009.

From the first show that I went to in January -- Nicolette Emanuelle, The Hot House Hefftones and S.O.Stereo at The Evening Muse -- through the festivals, summer concerts at outdoor amphitheaters, small clubs, large indoor venues ... it was a long year full of variety. Narrowing down the shots wasn't easy either. For each photo that you see here, I probably have another 20 from that show or of that band that I didn't pick for this edition. Hey, maybe one day I'll write a book.

Anyway, I hope these photos showcase a bit of the variety of music and performers that I was lucky enough to see and hear at close range over the last year -- the sweat, the screams, the intensity, the enjoyment -- all through the lens of my camera.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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