Before we jump in the Top 10 albums, I'll be doing Top 10 live performances. Again, increments of 5.
10. Hyro Da Hero @ Warped Tour -- San Francisco, CA -- June 23rd
Hyro Da Hero and his band put on an incredible live performance. I only knew to check him out because Manks gave 'em a positive review in his Warped '12 preview, and I'm sure glad I checked out Hyro. He and his band has so much energy, running and jumping around the stage almost like DEP, and played really fun rap-rock. Despite not having the most impressive crowd, Hyro put in his all and often got on the guard rail and during the last song actually got into the crowd and moshed with people. That really got the crowd going. Overall super fun, high-energy set.
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers @ Oracle Arena -- Oakland, CA -- August 15th
My first concert was almost 6 years prior to this date, when I saw the Chili Peppers at the same spot on August 22nd in in 2006. They put on a hell of a show then and put on a hell of show now. As usual, these guys were full on energy, played tons of awesome songs including most all the necessary hits and a few songs of the new one and some deep cuts, like Sir Psycho Sexy
. Although I think they should've played longer due to their extensive library, it was a good show and it was fun seeing 'em again!
8. High on Fire @ The Atrium -- Santa Cruz, CA -- December 18th
My third time seeing High on Fire and the best so far! Matt Pike and co. but on an awesome set full of nothing but heavy hitting songs! All the songs sounded awesome from the new ones to the classics. Everybody sounded flawless and Des was on it! The crowd had one too many drunk assholes in the pit, and the set could've been longer, but it was still a hell of a time rockin' out to some fucking awesome heavy metal.
7. Young Hunter @ Arlene Francis Center -- Santa Rosa, CA -- June 1st
I learned of these guys about 3 days prior to the event when Cormorant announced they were doing a west coast tour with these cats. I checked out their debut album, Stone Tools (which you'll read of later
) and was really impressed. They were playing a gig in Santa Rosa before the tour started while Cormorant was off playing some 21+ show in the next town over ;_;, so I decided to hit up Young Hunter with my buddy. After all the odd opening bands, Young Hunter came on and blew me away. They sounded even better live than on record and put in so much emotion and soul into their playing. The music was so heavy and created such an honest atmosphere that I couldn't help but love. I talked to the lead man and the bassist after the show and they were super chill. Also, I'm pretty sure me and my friend were the only dudes there who weren't friends of the band.
6. Agalloch @ The Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA - August 11th
What a show! Agalloch put on an incredible set including material from all their full lengths and two most important EPs. Like last time, they had a lot of nature themed stage props and more importantly sounded incredible. Aesop sounded awesome the whole night, especially on Faustian Echoes, and John and Don were also spot on with all the guitar work. It was all there: awesome/lengthy set, incredible stage show, incredible sound, and just enough stage banter. Everything was genuine and awesome.