The year of 2016 was certainly an interesting one in the music world. Though many headlines will focus on those who have passed this year, we wanted to reflect on the joyous occasions that music brought throughout 2016. In doing so, we asked a number of musicians to tell us about some of their favorite experiences throughout the year, and will be running features all week to celebrate all things live music.After asking about their favorite festivals, for the second part of this series, we asked, “If you had to choose your personal best performance this year, what would it be and why?” We loved hearing which of our favorite artists’ shows stood above the rest in their eyes. Several of the artists mentioned a Colorado show as their favorite of the year (shoutout to the Rocky Mountain State), three mentioned late-nights or after-shows as their favorites and, understandably, a few artists just couldn’t pick a favorite.Here’s what your favorite musicians had to say…Jesus Coomes (Lettuce) – Fillmore Denver was the last night of our tour and it sleighed like Santa riding through the sky with his reign, dear.Cory Wong (Vulfpeck collaborator) – Vulfpeck at the Teragram, or night 2 at Brooklyn Bowl. The Teragram shows, because at that point I had not played most of those songs ever with the guys. They had no idea what I was going to play, and I had just been learning their live arrangements from YouTube fan clips. It was fun to not just see, but feel their responses to what I was playing and really bring the show to life and have a unique alertness to our playing. Brooklyn Bowl because…PURDIE.Ryan Jalbert (The Motet) – Having logged about 200 gigs last year, that is a difficult one to answer but personally my favorite performances are generally the gigs where we musically get a bit more adventurous and take more chances. For the past few years we’ve done 2 night at Mishawaka Amphitheater in Colorado and those shows are always nice and weird. The venue is up this gorgeous canyon and the stage is right on the river so it’s always a big party but still intimate and removed so people really cut loose and musically the vibe reflects that.Karl Denson – I would have to say the two nights at the Independent with the Greyboy All-Stars in early Nov. It was so much fun and we made so much music together. Those recordings would be worth searching out.Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers) – One of them would be our show at Levon Helm’s Barn in Woodstock. It was a thrill and an honor to play there and we actually recorded the show for our new album, Live At The Barn, coming out in January 2017.Simon Allen (The New Mastersounds) – Maybe Denver, Ogden Theater in October. The room was full, the on-stage sound was great, I felt relaxed and confident and we were just hitting our stride in our collaborations with members of Turkuaz. A close second would be our second late-night Jazzfest Allen Toussaint tribute set at the Joy Theater with Jon Cleary, Ivan Neville and Marc Broussard. We performed loads of tunes for the first time and really nailed it!Dave Watts (The Motet) – Red Rocks. Just being there makes you play at the top of your game!David Shaw (The Revivalists) – I’d have to go with our show at the Orpheum Theater. That was definitely “one of those”. There’s a saying that I heard one time and it goes something like this. Say a band has played a 1,000 shows to date, well 700 of those shows will probably be “pretty good”, 200 of them will be absolutely excellent, 50 of them will change your life forever, 9 of them had you feeling like a golden god upon exiting the stage, and then there’s that one show….that one show that makes you do 1,000 more. That show was our 2016 Orpheum theater show during Jazz Fest.Tony Hall (Dumpstaphunk) – Tony Hall New Orleans Soul Stars at Nola Jazz Fest, so many people dancing and enjoying the music.Matt Gibbs (Evolfo) – Our best performance this year was at the Brooklyn Bazaar on Halloween. We played a mashup set between the music of the Cramps and our own music. Lux Interior is a massive influence of mine and for years I’d had this Cramps tribute idea stashed away for the right show. We wanted to go hard(er than usual) on outfits and makeup and stuff. Super grateful to TimeOut New York and Brooklyn Bazaar for giving us the perfect space to put on this over the top, macabre show. At first we had misgivings because, at the risk of sound ultra hipster, it turns out less people have heard of/are into The Cramps than I had believed. But it is my sincere opinion that, like them or not, The Cramps are the final word on Halloween music. People really enjoyed the show in the end, and that is all that matters!Michael Kang (The String Cheese Incident) – SCI at Cuthbert Amphitheater [OR] – band was really relaxed and patientDominic Peters (Goldfish) – Electric Zoo NYJeremy Schon (Pigeons Playing Ping Pong) – Late night show at The Stone Pony after Umphrey’s McGee…the energy in that room was INSANE.Eric Bloom (Lettuce) – LOCK’N….audience was so fun and open it allowed me to really stretch in a new direction…Laurie Shook (The Shook Twins) – Northwest String Summit late night set, because of all the love that was thereChuck Jones (Dopapod) – Dopapod in Charleston, SCJP Biondo (Cabinet) – The Fox Theater- Denver, Co. This show came at the tail end of a long tour. As a band, Cabinet was feeling really tight.Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz) – Mountain Jam. Just felt dialed in.Neal Evans (Dopapod/RAQ) – RAQ at Wildwoods Music Festival. The band had more fun than weve ever had on stage, and it was clear that the audience was right there with us! And i got to use Rory’s drum kit from lespecial, and that thing has an extra level of swagger built in to really enhance a performance.Alric Carter (TAUK) – Sellout show at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA. It was the first time we played the venue and the crowd energy was contagiously high. Felt like everyone won all around. Great team effort!Sammi Garett (Turkuaz) – Turkuaz at Catskill Chill! Both sets!Nick Tkachyk (Spafford) – Pizza Jam. Pure, mindful, blissness called Jamming.Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company) Any of the Dead & Co shows but only because that’s where I had the most rehearsal time and I had all of my personal gear.William Apostol (Billy Strings) – Grand Rapids post Thanksgiving – I always feel good up there when I look out and see hundreds of my closest friends and family. Michigan knows how to party!Nigel Hall (Lettuce) – The last Lettuce tour because I played keys all night and I have my own rig nowScrambled Greg (Pigeons Playing Ping Pong) – I’m not one for the word “best,” but I was really happy with the way I/we played at this year’s Domefest. It’s always challenging to throw a music festival while simultaneously playing it. Since Jeremy and I are so busy all day (and year) running the festival, it’s takes a second of mental transitioning to put down our walkee’s and get in the zone for the shows. I felt particularly comfortable on stage this year, probably because our staff was killing it and the crowd was as amazing as ever. I thought all of our new material went smoothly and all the jams were dynamic and fun. I had an absolute blast!Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band) – Soule Monde opening for Bela Fleck. We were firing on all cylinders. Felt like we could play anything that night. The crowd was on our side too.Mike Gantzer (Aqueous) – For me, one of the highlights would be our recent show in Chicago- the crowd is always incredibly attentive and responsive, and the band was just really working together as a unit and listening deeply to one another, and those are my favorite shows!Rob Compa (Dopapod) – Can’t choose just one. Pink Floyd cover set a Resonance was really special. My all time favorite band. I dreamt of playing those songs live as a kid.T Sisters – Opening for Amos Lee at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle was a great performance for us. We had the opportunity to open for Amos as a trio, whereas we typically play with a full band, and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to return to the foundations, harmony and sisterhood, that help to define our musical project.Eli Winderman (Dopapod) – Hard to answer that, I’m kinda hard on myself a lot of the time.Seth Walker – Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. Full house and my father joined us with a quartet string section. I felt like music just unfolded that night. Nothing was forced. Love was in the air.Pappy Biondo (Cabinet) – Do I have to?