Here's my top 5 shows of the year
5. Boris w /Deafheaven @ Rickshaw Stop, May 22nd, 2013
This was the perfect show for me to go to after my first year San Jose State University. My first year of college was a great experience, but after the stresses of finals, I need an outlet to detox and relieve some stress, and this show was perfect for that. I caught Boris on their Flood night of the tourís stop in San Francisco, which had Deafheaven opening. It was the perfect setting for my first time seeing Deafheaven. The club was small and intimate and their performance was raw. It gave me a sample of what was to come on Sunbather too, which was great. But more importantly, Boris played. Boris was incredible and definitely the loudest band Iíve seen ever. Their set-list was great: Huge was just that, their cover of My Bloody Valentineís ďSometimesĒ was the loudest thing ever, and seeing Flood live was one of the most cathartic experiences of my life. Just absolutely amazing.
4. Graves at Sea/Aldebaran/Dipsirit/Larvae @ DNA Lounge, March 31st, 2013
This concert was such a sweet surprise. I originally went just for Dispirit, but I was introduced to some incredible bands at this show. Opening band, Larvae started the night off right with some solid black/doom metal. Dispirit performed a great set, playing two wicked new songs that I canít wait to hear professionally recorded (hintfuckinghint). The only weird thing about their set was the amount of light present while they were playing. But the show really took me surprise went Aldebaran came on. As I explained in my original review of this gig, everything about Aldebaranís performance was perfect. Their sound was incredibly heavy and punishing, and the atmosphere was just perfect. Their strain of funeral doom metal really resonates with me and Iím really glad I was able to discover Aldebaran is such an incredible atmosphere. Graves At Sea was another great surprise too, as they performed a great, loud set full of think sludge/doom that got the crowd just the right amount of rowdy. Overall, this show was great experience because the atmosphere and the great discoveries I made.
3. Deafheaven @ San Jose Rock Shop September 27th, 2013
This was hands-down my favorite performance of the year. If you havenít picked up by now, Sunbather is one of my favorite records of the year. So seeing Deafheaven perform the whole record live in a more laid back environment then when I caught them at the Bottom of the Hill in July was an absolute treat. On top of that, the intimacy of the show was incredible, and frontman George Clarke got up close and personal with yours truly. Plus the scream along at the end of The Pecan Tree was one of the most intimate things Iíve ever experienced at a show, so that was really special for me. Deafheaven never disappoint, and I canít wait to see them again. And again. And again. (btw the curly haired dude you seen in front of the dude with glasses is me)
2. Enslaved/Pallbearer/Royal Thunder @ Slims February 9th, 2013
Best tour line-up of the year goes to Enslavedís US tour in support of their 2012 master piece, RITTIR. Sure, Ancient VVisdom sucked complete ass, but the rest of the line-up was incredibly badass. Royal Thunder got the night started right with their badass blend of sludge and eerie, southern blues. They give their songs new life in the live setting itís just awesome. Pallbearer put on the 2nd best performance Iíve seen this year. Sorrow and Extinction may very well be the best doom metal album in recent history, so seeing them play my favorite songs off it and a tasty new jam was a privilege. Their live sound was absolutely incredible too, some of the thickest, tastiest tones ever. Only shame was I couldnít hear the vocals much. And then after the mesmerizing set Pallbearer put on, I got almost 2 hours of amazing progressive black metal from Enslaved! Iím really only super familiar with their more recent works, but the setlist had material from all eras and it all sounded incredible. Theyíre also one of the tightest live bands Iíve ever seen, and each had incredibly fun stage presence, which is awesome considering the complexity of their music. Enslaved was probably the most straight up fun Iíve had at a metal show in quite some time.
1. Stella Natura Festival @ Tahoe National Forest September 20th, 2013
Dude, what can I say. I got to see some of my favorite contemporary bands in the fucking forest. It was truly an experience like no other, just read my original review.