Top 10 Concerts
In the vein of the Concert-related topics we've had as of late, here's one:
List your top 10 concerts, and try to give an explanation as to why they rank so highly.
Mine aren't in any particular order, though generally the better ones are listed early:
1.Edguy - September 14th, 2004 -New York, NY
Support: Tad Morose
This was Edguy at the top of their game... a spectacular performance and a great set list with some nice surprises (Key to My Fate, Wake Up the King), and Tad Morose were probably the best opening act I've seen to date.
2.Blind Guardian - December 2nd, 2006 - Philadelphia, PA
Probably one of the finest live bands I've seen. Not amazing in terms of accuracy, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself for the duration of their brilliant set.
3.Firewind - September 24th, 2007 - Reading, PA
Support: Beyond Fallen
I was blown away at this show. The sound was a perfect 10, with every instrument as well as the vocals all being perfectly audible. Not a bad comment to be made, and the guys were extremely nice and came out and talked to all of us afterwards.
4.Stratovarius - September 20th, 2005 - Philadelphia, PA
I'd waited for this show for years and it turned out to be well worth it. Though the band (particularly the Timos) were fairly sloppy, it was still a really enjoyable show, and one of the best crowds I've been in in terms of being into the show but not ruining your enjoyment of it.
5.Symphony X - May 25th, 2007 - New York, NY
Another show I waited a while to see, SX headlining. This show was especially great because there were no opening acts. These guys display such a huge amount of ownage in terms of technical performance in the live environment.
6.Gamma Ray - May 1st, 2006 - New York, NY
I have to admit, I didn't enjoy myself that much during a chunk of their set due to the crowd, but in general I was thoroughly impressed. Once I made my way to the back of the crowd, I was able to really appreciate how great their sound was.
7.Iron Maiden - January 24th, 2004 - New York, NY
No real explanation needed here, we all love Maiden. I felt privileged to take in one of the few US shows in support of Dance of Death.
8.Queensryche - February 5th, 2005 - Philadelphia, PA
I've seen them 4 times now, but the first was still the most memorable... A full production of Mindcrime as well as a "hits" set, basically the full package, really enjoyable show, they've not let me down any of the times I saw them.
9.True Metal America (Twisted Tower Dire, Attacker, Sacred Oath) - October 28th, 2006 - Hoboken, NJ
A 90 minute drive turned into 3 hours one way, due to getting lost and horrible traffic. Wound up being a helluva story, but well worth it for a great package of true metal. TTD absolutely owned, and made me feel pretty bad that we were the only ones really getting into their set.
10.Symphony X - August 10th, 2007 - Philadelphia, PA
Despite my issues with the fairly poor set list, this was another show where I was just able to completely enjoy myself and observe a great showing of their amazing talent. Russell Allen sounded brilliant.
Special mentions to:
Iron Maiden (10/7/06)
These are the bands. Not got time to look up the dates right now. Will update later. Might change one or two.
Guns N' Roses
5-8/6 Sweden Rock Festival
24/6 Iron Maiden
1. Iron Maiden- August 22, 2003 - Phoenix, AZ
This one speaks for itself. I suspect that the only thing that would be able to top this would be another Maiden show, or possibly if Sleater-Kinney decided to get back together and I saw them. Otherwise, it will remain as my #1.
2. Against Me!- March 17, 2007 - Tucson, AZ
Seeing one of your favorite bands is great, but seeing them in a tiny, intimate venue is even better. The setlist was amazing, the band was on fire, and the crowd was great (hearing the whole place explode with everyone singing "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong" is something I'll never forget).
3. Alkaline Trio - April 2, 2006 - Phoenix, AZ
This one definitely had one of the most comprehensive and well-planned setlists I've ever heard. They played their entire debut album from start to finish, THEN did a whole set of their other material. They must have played for more than 2 hours.
4. Tegan & Sara - November 1, 2007 - Tucson, AZ
The setlist was amazing, since they played almost all of their new album, and their between-song banter was hilarious.
5. AFI - February 17, 2007 - Tucson, AZ
This was another one where the size of the venue made a big difference. They're an extremely popular mainstream band, but they decided to play a theater that only holds a few hundred people, which made for a great experience.
6. Queensryche - February 14, 2005 - Tucson, AZ
3 words: Operation: Mindcrime live.
7. Opeth - September 11, 2006 - Tucson, AZ
Lamb of God were the headliners of this show, but they couldn't come close to Opeth that night. It was a great setlist for how little time they had (still almost an hour), and in terms of musical proficiency, they're one of the tightest live bands I've ever seen.
8. NOFX - April 15, 2004 - Tucson, AZ
Most of their set was pretty good, but when Jello Biafra came out and sang "Too Drunk To Fuck" with them, that instantly solidifed the show in my favorites list.
9. Iced Earth - May 2004 - Scottsdale, AZ
This was on the Glorious Burden tour, and the band played extremely well. There were some great older songs thrown in the mix as well, and Ripper put on one of the most impressive live vocal performaces I've ever heard.
10. Blink 182 - September 2001 - Phoenix, AZ
This one's mostly here for nostalgia purposes, since it was my first concert ever
"COLONEL KLINK, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!"
10 Shows That I Remember as fucking awesome, off the top of my head... No Order
Iron Maiden - October 12th, 2006 - Uniondale, NY
Nothing can ever beat waiting hours for Maiden and getting to be in the front fucking row for one of the greatest tours the greatest band ever has ever done.
Judas Priest/Queensryche - June 17th, 2005 - Jones Beach, NY
With a lineup of two of my favorite bands, how could this not make the list? Fuckin' great show that was.
Stratovarius - October 2nd, 2006 - NYC, NY
This show rocked my balls off.
Symphony X - May 25th, 2007 - NYC, NY
This was one of the most exciting shows ever. Even when the band fucked up the intro to Smoke and Mirrors (which owned) it was awesome.
Iron Maiden - January 26th, 2004 - NYC, NY
To be honest, I could just fill this list up with as much Maiden as possible.
Tony Levin - June 13th, 2006 - NYC, NY
This is an odd pick to go on this list. But, looking back, this is definitely one of the better shows I've seen.
Queensryche - September 21st, 2006 - NYC, NY
Double Mindcrime show. Obvious pick for this list. Goddamn it was good.
Megadeth - November 10th, 2004 (I don't remember if this is the right date) - NYC, NY
Uh. This was fucking awesome. It's hard to describe how great they were that night.
Iron Maiden - July 26th, 2003 - Jones Beach, NY
A significant show for me. Maiden weren't my favorite band until after this show, when I realized no band could possibly be better than that.
Opeth - February 3rd, 2006 - NYC, NY
Great show, amazing set.
Heh, looks like 2006 was a great year.
"So yeah, monkey prostitution has happened."
Since I haven't been to that many, I'll do 5.
1. Symphony X (July 2007): I don't really have to say how awesome the music was, because that sort of speaks for itself. The crowd basically made this show for me; every single person was ecstatic as fuck to see the band, and the show was rather intense, what with moshing and crowd surfing. Russell caught an inflatable dolphin that was flying around and pretended to...erm...hump it, and that was rather enjoyable. The Odyssey was an experience in itself.
2. Dream Theater (August 2007): Although they're not the most energetic band live, and I do hate stadium seating, they get this spot mainly because I love them so much, so the concert was moreso a celebration of the band itself. But the show was still very good.
3. Kamelot (September 2006): My first metal concert, and a very good one at that. It was very intimate because of the small venue, and Kamelot played a hell of a show. Thomas Youngblood throwing me the horns while playing and then throwing me his pick remain two of the most memorable concert experiences for me.
4. Gojira (November 2007): Although they opened for Behemoth, I simply love them more; their intensity is unparalleled, and they are so incredibly heavy. My neck was basically dead after two songs.
5. Epica (September 2007): Here they opened for Overkill (still one of the stranger pairings in recent memory), but because I just know/love them more, they were a tad more enjoyable...that, and I had all of my energy for them, but only half for Overkill later in the evening. Mark Jansen is a hell of a cool guy live, what with giving out guitar picks and marking out for people wearing Death t-shirts (yours truly). Hate them or love them, they give justice to Crystal Mountain.
"I will forsake you
Destroy and unmake you
With all my might, I will take you down"
too many to sort through, but my favorite Maiden show was the Ed Hunter Tour. getting to see Bruce back with Maiden was a highlight.
12/05: Fates Warning
I'm gonna do performances rather than entire shows, because a lot of great performances were at shows with shit bands.
1. Queensrÿche- September 28, 2005- Columbus, OH
The first good concert I attended (I had seen Good Charlotte and Ted Nugent prior). Ryche have lost some staying power with me but this show and Mindcrime were completely ridiculous.
2. Sparrows Swarm and Sing- August 19, 2006- Troy, OH
Still probably the most incredible thing I've seen from an artistic standpoint. Helped get me into atmospheric music and just basically ruled.
3. Tool- June 29, 2007- Cincinnati, OH
From a technical standpoint, easily the best prog show I've seen. They nailed the stuff from the record and even made it better live. Plus, Danny Carey=God.
4. Clutch- February 28, 2007- Columbus, OH
Caught 'em on a night when they jammed. They played close to three hours and played a fifteen minute Cypress Grove. Unbeatable rock show.
5. Rush- September 1, 2007- Cincinnati, OH
Classic band playing classic songs. It's unreal to hear stuff like "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" that you've heard on the radio for years in a live setting and see how well they handle it. Plus, Neil Peart=Jesus.
6. Opeth- February 21, 2006- Columbus, OH
First death metal band and first true prog band I'd seen live. Blew my mind. And Mikael's onstage banter is always hilarious and charming.
7. Kenoma- August 19, 2006- Tipp City, OH
First time I saw these guys live and it changed my life. I'd never listened to post-anything or anything-gaze, and they blew me away. Bonus: open window behind band during thunderstorm added mucho effect to songs like "1913".
8. Queensrÿche- November 18, 2006- Covington, KY
Definitely a fantastic show, and it was awesome to see the acting/story for O:M I and II. But II dragged a bit so it can't be higher.
9. Porcupine Tree- October 23, 2007- Cincinnati, OH
Steven Wilson & Co. produced an amazingly memorable night of prog. Bonus: met Eric.
10. Heaven & Hell- May 8, 2007- Cincinnati, OH
Being that close to Tony Iommi was unreal. Great great metal show.
Mortals are mortar and life is the fuse.
Not necessarily in order, but sort of...
Guided by Voices, Detroit, The Magic Stick, circa 2003
Best live band ever. (Saw them again on their final tour which confirmed it). During the first song Robert Pollard opened a bottle of Jack Daniels, took a swig, and handed into the front row for folks to pass around. He and the band proceeded to drink like mad and go thoroughly nuts on stage for the rest of the set. Which was mammoth. After 90 minutes Pollard said they were just about halfway through their set, which I thought was a splendid joke until I realized he actually meant it, and they went on to play another 90 minutes. Beyond it's sheer size, the set list was great, and they sounded fantastic, and it was just the best, most impressive, most thoroughly enjoyable night of live music I've had the privilege to experience. Just thinking of the version of "Cut-Out Witch" they played that night gets my blood pumping.
Iron Maiden at Ozzfest 2005 - August 4th, 2005 - DTE Energy Music Theatre – Clarkston, MI
(w/ In Flames and Black Sabbath and others).
The Early Days setlist was fantastic, with the big highlights being Phantom of the Opera and an amazing rendition of Revelations. Bruce sounded better than I've ever heard him. A completely mesmerizing performance. The rest of Ozzfest was just a bonus -- and Black Sabbath was surprisingly good (the old songs sound great with Iommi's more modern, crunchier guitar sound), and In Flames took by totally by surprise with how excellent they sounded live.
Tom Waits, Detroit Opera House, August 11, 2006
Tom Waits hadn't played Detroit in like 20 years, and probably won't ever make it back again, so tickets sold out in minutes, and I was lucky as hell to snag a pair at 8:01 the morning they went on sale. I don't know that much explanation is required -- it's Tom fucking Waits. He slew. After playing with his band for a while, in the middle of the set they brought out a little piano for him to sit at and do a few of his older tunes - and he went way back and pulled out songs I hadn't dreamed of hearing: "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis", one of the most perfect songs of all time, and "Invitation to the Blues." An amazing evening.
Ani Difranco with her 7 piece band, Ann Arbor, Hill Auditorium (I think), circa 2002
Many of her songs sounded completely renewed and refreshed by the full band -- especially the horn arrangements -- and the new (as in brand new, written on tour and never previously released or recorded) songs she played were outstanding.
Old 97s with the Meat Purveyors, Detroit, the Magic Stick, circa 1997
They were such a great live band in their prime, before they got all adult contemporary. Unbelievable. And the punk-bluegrass Meat Purveyors were spectacular as the opener.
Tad w/ Babes in Toyland, The Heidelberg, Ann Arbor, circa 1990
One of my first live shows at a small local club when I turned old enough to get in the door. I was already big fan of Tad (a heavy lumberjack grunge band, sorta), and being able to see them in a tiny club, right up close, was mindbending. And I had never heard Babes in Toyland -- but they completely floored me. All female band that rocked like crazy, and their singer had the most astonishing banshee growls and wails that I've ever heard.
Jawbox w/ My Bloody Valentine, St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, circa 1991
I was on the guest list. (I had interviewed Jawbox's bassist and done a story on them for the student newspaper.) Jawbox was debuting a lot of new material, and really the first hints of the band they would become (which is one of my all-time favorite bands) -- so it had the air of being let in early on a big secret. It felt revelatory. And My Bloody Valentine (who was my roommate's favorite band -- and he was on the guest list too, having interviewed and done a story on them) were really strong live, too -- much more compelling than I had ever found them to be through their recordings.
Anthrax and Ozzy (and Helloween), circa 1989 (whenever the No Rest for the Wicked Tour hit Detroit)
Good memories of this concert in part because I wasn't allowed to go, and had to deceive my parents (Mom I'm staying over at Dave's house -- what do you mean you called and couldn't get through -- oh silly me I must have mixed up two of the numbers in his phone number). And in part because Anthrax was phenomenal (opening with Be All End All was huge), and Ozzy was no slouch although the new material with that scrawny Zakk Wylde kid left something to be desired. (A side note: we laughed Helloween off the stage as sad Iron Maiden wannabes.)
Iron Maiden Somewhere on Tour, March 14, 1987, Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland OH
Well, it was my first real concert aside from seeing Journey with my parents a year earlier. In truth, my memory of the show is patchy at best. I remember the fog-filled stage during Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and I remember the big cyborg Eddie strolling around on the stage for a song. But mostly I remember the incredible stage set, and the way Eddie emerged from the stage during the last song -- the drums rising up on top of his head, the two little platforms where Adrian stood in the palm of one hand, and Dave in the palm of the other... at age 14, that was unbelievably badass.
Dio with Megadeth and Savatage, Feb. 16, 1988, Cleveland OH
I was a metalhead, Dio hadn't jumped the shark yet, and Megadeth hadn't either, and Savatage had just put out Hall of the Mountain King. I mean, Savatage only played about 4 songs, but two of them were 24 Hours Ago and Hall of the Mountain King. And Megadeth played the entire first half of Peace Sells. Jesus. That ruled.
Lollapalooza 2, with RHCP, Soundgarden, Ice Cube, Ministry, and others. (first festival-type show)
Nirvana w/ Urge Overkill (first show I got into for free, on account of having interviewed King Rosier for UO, back when UO was awesome and Nirvana was just breaking big with Nevermind)
Pearl Jam on the Ten tour. (what sucked is that my glasses got knocked off my face 15 seconds into the show when the entire floor of St. Andrews inexplicably started moshing to the first song, and everything after that was blurry -- including Eddie Vedder climbing the wall of Marshall stacks to reach the balcony, and then climbing all the way around the entire venue along the balcony until making it back to the wall of Marshall stacks on the other side of the stage, and climbing back down, all during the space of a song...)
Concrete Blonde (Johnette's voice live is toooo good.)
So well informed I don't know where the truth begins.
These are copied and pasted from a text document I keep of (nearly) all my concerts. I'm really tired but for some reason I committed myself to writing this up now, so if my descriptions sound a little dispassionate, you know why.
1. 9/23/07 @ First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA
Support: Gunna Vahm
The combination of two of my very favorite newer bands, Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust, was absolutely mindblowing. The First Unitarian is a fucking great venue, and the moshing during this show was completely insane.
2. 1/17/07 @ Saints, Montreal, Canada
Support: Profane Anthem
This show ranks so high really more for the experience than the show itself (which in any case was really fucking good). Three friends and I decided to make the 7-hour roadtrip up to Montreal in the dead winter, and it was one of the more fun thing's I've ever done. Moonsorrow were unbelievable; they were drinking heavily when we showed up hours before their set, and continued throughout the night, including while they were on stage, and they still managed to sound amazing. The drive back was pretty scary, though--we left immediately after the show and we were all falling asleep. We had to pull over at a rest stop at like 3 in the morning to sleep for a short while, and we got back at like 8 in the morning.
3. 5/26-27/07 @ Sonar, Baltimore, MD
Maryland Deathfest V
Lineup: Brutal Truth
Extreme Noise Terror
Cock and Ball Torture
Nunwhore Commando 666
Fuck the Facts
Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation
Even though Ghoul was the only band in the lineup that I'm really really into and their set was disappointingly short, this festival was simply the biggest gathering of quality bands I've ever seen. 28 bands and not a single bad one (some were more average than others though). Really fun weekend.
4. 2/6/07 @ First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA
Another wonderful thrash show at the First Unitarian. Into Eternity sucked though. There was this totally insane thrasher kid who was giving them the finger through their entire set, but sung along to every single word. It was bizarre.
5. 9/29/06 @ Metal Kingdom, New York NY
Some others I don't remember the names of
Although we had to wait through hours of shitty black metal bands (Agrath being the good exception), Destroyer absolutely crushed. The highlight of the night was their last song--K.K. asked the crowd if they'd rather hear a Venom, Sodom, or Bathory cover, and Bathory got the loudest response, so they tore shit up through a cover of Call from the Grave. It was tremendous. We ended up missing the last train back and had to wait in Penn Station until the morning, but it was so worth it. Also, the venue was fucking crazy--it was this shitty little metal bar owned and operated by a bunch of awesome Mexican dudes. Everyone in that place was absolutely fucking wasted by the end of the night, and there were so many broken bottles on the floor, it was intense.
6. 9/15/06 @ BB King's Blues Club, New York, NY
One of the few shows I've been to where there are more than 2 bands and they're all quality. Frost was fucking great. And I met a good friend of mine at this show.
7. 10/21/07 @ B.B. King's Blues Club, New York, NY
Support: After Forever
I had to get an Overkill show on here somewhere. All 6 times I saw them (well, maybe excluding Gigantour 2006) were about equally awesome, but I was gonna go with either this one or my first time seeing them, for nostalgia reasons, or the time I went backstage and met them. I went with the most recent one mostly because the set was so great--they played a couple songs they usually don't (including F.U.C.T., which they've never played live before--I was so fucking excited they did), and something about them just seemed dead on that night. I didn't enjoy After Forever much, and I think there may have been another opening band, but I don't really remember.
8. 12/2/06 @ Sonar, Baltimore MD
Auditory Assault Festival
(Only saw Atheist)
I had been wanting to drive down to Maryland to visit my friend who moved there for school, and this show provided a perfect excuse to get down there. It was a festival, but I only showed up for Atheist. They were just really really good live, enough so to make it on this list. Plus, getting to see my friend added to the fondness for the memory.
9. 2/26/06 @ BB King's Blues Club, New York NY
Support: A Perfect Murder
A Perfect Murder (and whatever other bands there were) were no good, but Napalm and Kreator were just fucking aces. Just a plain old great concert, no special circumstances surrounding it.
10. 1/8/06 @ BB King's Blues Club, New York NY
Something about this concert makes me want to include it on this list, but I'm not sure exactly what that something is. Both bands were great, sure, but something about that night makes it stick out in my memory. Partially I guess it was that there were no shitty openers and I love both bands so much.
Aaand done. I'm gonna go crash
Last edited by overkiller; 11-28-2007 at 10:35 PM.