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BEST LIVE ARTIST Minneapolis 2010 - Mark Mallman

There's no two ways about it—Mark Mallman's live shows are a spectacle. And after a decade-plus of touring relentlessly and attempting larger and larger stunts, Mallman's performances have evolved into must-see, ever-changing affairs. When Mallman performs, it isn't a rock show. It's an event. The glam-inspired piano rocker has never been one to rest on his laurels, so it's no surprise that each of his major local performances this year were separate but equally stunning exercises. For his CD-release show, he dressed his band in striped prison inmate jumpsuits and sang a full operatic rendition of Phantom of the Opera's "Music of the Night." On New Year's Eve, he hung himself from the ceiling in a straight jacket and played his keyboard upside down. And in February at First Avenue he constructed a giant, glowing platform for his keyboard, jumping on and off the stage like a madman. Ever the inventive artist, Mallman doesn't just push the envelope—he tears up the envelope, douses it in kerosene, and makes a giant, wondrous flaming papier-mâché tribute to everything exciting and raw and real about rock 'n' roll.

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