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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 1460
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:57 am 
 

Given that live music has been off the cards for a while, thought it'd be a good moment to reflect & look at the best live shows we've been to in the last ten years (I'm not proposing a formal poll, unless someone else wants to keep score) - mine below are for more than just the songs (I've argued about one of my least liked shows being too polished in another thread) - so there's some mention of the venue / crowd / etc too.

What are yours ?

Mine (I'm going to list 5)

Delain - Feb 2020 (The Ritz, Manchester)
Absolutely one of the best shows I've ever been to - the band were first rate, the sound was spot on, the crowd were all into it - there weren't many 'casuals' in the audience, everyone knew every word to every song. It was also album release night for 'Apocalypse & Chill', so to my previous point, the singer made sure that the crowd could join in with the new stuff, which went over enormously well. Just one of those nights where everything clicks, everyone has an amazing time, and the crowd stop the show with a 5 minute ovation that the band clearly weren't expecting.

Wytch Hazel - October 2018 (The John O' Gaunt, Lancaster)
I'm a bit of a fangirl for this lot, but they deserve it, bringing twin-lead harmonics back from limbo like they have. The songs were great, the tiny pub front-room was full, the PA was stacked on top of the guitar cases, and a half-time pint was carried to the drummer over the heads of the guitarists. The bassist was half surprise / half shocked that so many of us actually knew the words to their songs. Like time-traveling to 1980 to see a band, in all the best senses.

Paradise Lost (w/ Katatonia & Lacuna Coil) - November 2013 (The Ritz, Manchester)
Memorable because Nick Holmes was on extra-grumpy form; mocking everything from the crowd (MIDDLE AGED MOSHPIT, OOGGGHH), to a gentle dig at the support acts. Everyone on the bill was good, though the crowd was notably thinner for Katatonia, the place filled up by the time PL came on. They played a great of newer vs. older stuff, even digging out Rotting Misery and so on. I've seen PL a few times, and they really made an effort that night, making the newer material really stand up with the older classic stuff.

Alcest - May 2015 (Deaf Institute, Manchester)
First time getting to see Alcest (and one of the few times they'd visited the UK outside of London). They played in a tiny Victorian theatre-type room, with a stage, curtains, the works. The set was a brilliant mixture of Souvenirs, Shelter, and a couple from the inbetween records, but the oldest and newest stuff worked best. Great mixed crowd too - coffee-bothering hipsters, black metal diehards, random normal-looking people from the bar downstairs. The Shelter songs were especially good live, they just filled the room with the feel of that album. The PA broke down part way through, and some random girl in the crowd translated between the band's minions and the venue staff to get things going again.

Powerwolf - August 2019 (Bloodstock Open Air)
We'd gone to Bloodstock after much nagging from a friend (not having been since 2008) - lots of 'go on, you like Sabaton, you like Priest, there's some corset metal on the second stage & everything'. Glad we did, as the special guest slot was given to Powerwolf on the Friday night, and they blew away everyone on that day, and most of the next day too. They put in the same effort as the headliner (Sabaton) in terms of stage set, costumes, etc, but a million miles more effort into the music and working the crowd. The songs were tight but not over-clinical, the singer & keyboardist just lapped it up & the whole band fed off the energy generated and enjoyed it. Brilliant fun.

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lordcatfish
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:44 pm
Posts: 756
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:38 am 
 

Avantasia - London 2016
Think the show was around 3 hours or so, although it didn't feel like a slog at all. I love Ghostlights, so we got loads of songs from that, as well as others from throughout the catalogue (wasn't keen on all of them, granted, and The Metal Opera Pt.II was seriously under represented). All performers put in a shift, but Jorn Lande was next level - so effortless. I also have the image of Eric Martin jumping about with a massive grin as "The Seven Angels" kicked in ingrained in my mind when I think of this show. He was clearly enjoying himself, and the crowd shared his enthusiasm.

Kreator - Manchester 2014
Think I'd seen them a year prior, and was slightly underwhelmed. They were much better this time round (less focus on Phantom Antichrist, which isn't my favourite album it has to be said) and there was loads of energy in the crowd. Arch Enemy were the special guests, who were also pretty good.

Iron Maiden - Manchester 2018
They seem to get better every time I see them, and this was the Legacy of the Beast tour, so the setlist was amazing and there were some really cool visual elements. "Aces High" may very well be the ultimate opening song. Huge fan of Piece of Mind, so seeing songs like "Where Eagles Dare", "Revelations" and "Flight of Icarus" was a treat. Blaze era tracks were also really cool, and I will never tire of the classics, no matter how often I hear / see them. Crowd was well up for it, and Killswitch Engage were enjoyable as support.

Children of Bodom - Manchester 2017
This was all about the setlist. Essentially an 'early days' tour, with songs culled exclusively from the first four albums (with the large majority being rarities from Something Wild and Hatebreeder). There were some tracks I'd have loved to have seen (namely "Touch Like Angel of Death" and "Hatebreeder") but that'd be nit picking, as it was an ace night overall.

Fear Factory - Manchester 2015
Demanufacture in full, plus an encore of Genexus songs and other fan favourites. Love DM, so was awesome to see the whole thing. Burt was on form (he was poor in 2012 - I suspect / have seen suggestions there was some playback going on) and the other guys nailed it. May very well be the last time I see Burt fronting FF, and it will be good memory for me.

Alice Cooper - Manchester / Birmingham 2019
Yeah, had to mention the Coop despite him not being on the archives (as a 'band' at least). Was front row for both of these shows and they were ridiculously good. He is the ultimate showman and his band is first class. The setlist had some amazing deep cuts (including my favourite Alice song "My Stars"), and I finally managed to get some swag at the 9th and 10th time of asking (Alice bank note, picks, setlist, balloon). Afterwards, my face really hurt and I could barely speak because I was smiling and singing pretty much the whole way through.
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MorbidEarth
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:39 am
Posts: 434
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:20 pm 
 

There are many excellent shows from the past 10 years or so that I could mention . Here are five that come to mind:

Opeth - April 2010 (Royal Albert Hall, London)

This is by far the best Opeth show that I've seen and one of my all-time favourite concerts. This was one of a small run of shows celebrating the band's 20th anniversary and they played Blackwater Park in its entirety along with one song from each of their albums up to that point. The band were top-notch throughout the show and Mikael Akerfledt was on great form with his stage banter. It also felt pretty surreal hearing death metal being played in one of the world's most famous concert halls! I've seen Opeth a couple of times since and their Ghost Reveries show in 2015 was excellent but I doubt that I'll ever see an Opeth gig as good as this one was.

Iron Maiden - August 2013 (O2 Arena, London)

Tough to choose between this one and their show in 2018 as both were great. I have to give the edge to their 2013 show as this was one was part of the Maiden England tour where they played five songs from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (my favourite Maiden album) and also some rarities such as Phantom of the Opera and The Prisoner. I've yet to see a crap Maiden gig and I hope that I never do.

Black Sabbath - January 2017 (O2 Arena, London)

I'd seen Black Sabbath a few times before this show but this was my favourite Sabbath gig for several reasons. First, it was one of the last shows the band played before their retirement so there was that impending feeling of the end coming which made the show just that bit more special. Second, I decided to fork out for Gold Circle tickets and had an excellent close-up view of the band for the entire show. Being that close to performers, especially legends such as Sabbath, really makes a difference to how much you enjoy a gig. Finally, there was the set list. Not only did they play some of my favourite Sabbath songs such as Hand of Doom, Under The Sun and Into The Void but we were treated to a medley of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Supernaut and, best of all, Megalomania. I'll never forget that euphoric feeling I felt when they started playing that riff from Megalomania (the one that comes in around the 3 and a half minute mark). Just brilliant! Tony and Geezer were great as always and as for Ozzy, well, he was adequate for the most part. It was a great lasting memory for such an iconic band and I'm glad that I was there to see it.

Sleep/Candlemass - April 2017 (Desertfest, Roundhouse, London)

It's not very often that you get to see two legends of doom/stoner metal at the same show but Desertfest 2017 gave me the opportunity to do so. Candlemass were great and I loved seeing classics such as At the Gallows End, A Cry From The Crypt, Crystal Ball and the mighty Solitude live. Sleep were just immense. I'd seen them a few earlier years at a festival at Alexandra Palace with Slayer and the Melvins but they were just on another level here. My only disappointment was not being able to buy a Sleep shirt as all their shirts had sold out by the time I got to the merch stall so I had to settle with a festival one instead.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - October 2019 (Alexandra Palace, London)

Not strictly a metal band but they are on the archives and I was seriously impressed with their thrash metal album, Infest The Rat’s Nest, so I was eager to see them live. They did not disappoint. As soon as they hit the stage, they tore into Self Immolate followed by Mars for The Rich - a great one-two punch to get things started. We also got their Sleep tribute, The Great Chain of Being along with their more typical psychedelic stuff which was also very good. I honestly think that they are one of the best rock bands around today and I can't wait to see them again.

Honourable mentions to Satyricon in 2017 (never been a huge fan but they were superb when I saw them), Kreator in 2014, Carcass in 2015, all four occasions that I've seen Mastodon since 2012 (the 2019 show with Scott Kelly was particularly good) and Power Trip's chaotic and all-too brief set supporting Trivium in 2018.

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Cosmic_Equilibrium
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:03 pm
Posts: 408
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:05 pm 
 

MorbidEarth wrote:
Black Sabbath - January 2017 (O2 Arena, London)

I'd seen Black Sabbath a few times before this show but this was my favourite Sabbath gig for several reasons. First, it was one of the last shows the band played before their retirement so there was that impending feeling of the end coming which made the show just that bit more special. Second, I decided to fork out for Gold Circle tickets and had an excellent close-up view of the band for the entire show. Being that close to performers, especially legends such as Sabbath, really makes a difference to how much you enjoy a gig. Finally, there was the set list. Not only did they play some of my favourite Sabbath songs such as Hand of Doom, Under The Sun and Into The Void but we were treated to a medley of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Supernaut and, best of all, Megalomania. I'll never forget that euphoric feeling I felt when they started playing that riff from Megalomania (the one that comes in around the 3 and a half minute mark). Just brilliant! Tony and Geezer were great as always and as for Ozzy, well, he was adequate for the most part. It was a great lasting memory for such an iconic band and I'm glad that I was there to see it.



Yeah, this is on my list too. Which night did you go on? I think I went on the 31st January - it was the second London show, and the band's third last show ever - and I agree with all you said. Especially the bit of Megalomania that got played, fantastic. What impressed me the most though was how Iommi and Butler hadn't stagnated in terms of their playing - they sounded modern and powerful. They'd clearly kept on pushing their overall sound and approach. This was best illustrated in how brutal some of the songs sounded that night, in particular the Master Of Reality material which sounded like Killing Joke. Fantastic show, I dragged my cousin along to it as I'd been promising to take him to a Sabbath gig for years.

The Maiden shows I've seen this decade have been good - special mentions to Download (2013), Sonisphere (2014) and the O2 (2018) which went in my top 3 Maiden gigs (I've seen them on every UK tour since 2003).

The other band I'm going to put in my list is Saint Vitus (both times with Wino, once playing all of Born Too Late). FANTASTIC live band. I've seen some form of Sabbath 9 times - all good shows, too - and with a couple of exceptions (like the gig mentioned above) both those Vitus shows were better. Dave Chandler is just a great guitarist in the live arena, the band as a whole were just really fucking on it both times too.

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MorbidEarth
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:39 am
Posts: 434
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:00 pm 
 

Cosmic_Equilibrium wrote:

Yeah, this is on my list too. Which night did you go on? I think I went on the 31st January - it was the second London show, and the band's third last show ever - and I agree with all you said. Especially the bit of Megalomania that got played, fantastic. What impressed me the most though was how Iommi and Butler hadn't stagnated in terms of their playing - they sounded modern and powerful. They'd clearly kept on pushing their overall sound and approach. This was best illustrated in how brutal some of the songs sounded that night, in particular the Master Of Reality material which sounded like Killing Joke. Fantastic show, I dragged my cousin along to it as I'd been promising to take him to a Sabbath gig for years.


I was at the show on 31st January too. And, yes, I was also impressed with how powerful and hard-hitting some of the songs sounded. Under The Sun was another one that was particularly crushing.

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gestapothrash
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:55 am
Posts: 893
Location: The Land Down Under
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:33 pm 
 

Blasphemy - Max Watts, Melbourne Australia 2019
This show was the highlight of the decade for me, and to top it off Reaper and Vomitor opened the show. The sound was on point, the crowd was great - an overall 10/10 night.

All the other shows of the decade I've seen are drawing a mental blank, as the Blasphemy one was the standout
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Hexenmacht46290
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:30 pm
Posts: 76
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:04 pm 
 

Kreator - The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, California
I hadn’t really listened to them before, and I wasn’t aware of their modern reputation, of being ‘one of those’ nuclear blast bands. Iron Reagan opened, both bands played with fury, and the crowd went off. I was surprised to see Kreator playing such a small venue, the big room can only fit a few hundred people. The circle pits didn’t stop, and later on in Kreator’s set, there was even a wall of death. There were teenagers and drunken forty-somethings knocking each other over, and picking each other up. At one point, I saw something on the floor. I thought it was a shoe, like a sneaker or slipper. It was a black Vibram sole, like from a boot. It had gotten ripped off, in the pit. The last song was “pleasure to kill.”

High on Fire - The UC theater, Berkeley, California
One of my favorite bands headlining, Matt Pike wasn’t drinking, and he and the rest put on a kickass 2 hour set, with great songs from all over their discography. They also had an improvisation, as an intro, to the song “Baghdad.” Power Trip played right before them, and they fucking ruled. It was raining hard that night, and there were actually puddles, on parts of the highway. In bigger cities, I always park far away, to save money. I was soaked in rain, when I went inside, and I hardly sweated, while running around in the pit for hours, high on infernal marijuana. The show ended at 12:30, I got home around 2:00, and, compelled by the riff power, figured out how to play the intro, and main riffs to “snakes for the divine.”

Black Sabbath - San José Sharks hockey stadium
Expensive, but worth it. I went with friends, we had all never seen them before, and it was the last chance. Assigned stadium seating isn’t cool, but, it was Black Sabbath, so that made up for it. Ozzy Osbourne did the “alright maybe, if you really want it, we could do one more song” thing, and they closed with paranoid, although the majority of the crowd was chanting sweet leaf. They played all the classics of the first four albums, which is insane, because what other band has normies and metal elitists united, in liking the same albums?

Weedeater - The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, California
The first band Mountain Tamer, told the crowd that they didn’t have merch, but would appreciate gas money donations. When playing their first, instrumental song, a skateboarder went up to the stage, and put a joint in their mouths, to give them all some. When Weedeater got on, Dixie Dave Collins was fucking hammered. He had a bottle of bourbon in front of him, he put his middle finger in it, like a cork, picked it up, flipped off the crowd, then pulled it off, not spilling any bourbon, and drank from it, in between songs. He also had a salt shaker, on his amp, and was making a circle around himself. His vocals were more intelligible than when he talked to the audience.

Tengger Cavalry - Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, California
There was some perpetually moshing group, of drunk shirtless dudes, they weren’t being asshole jocks, or anything, they were actually amusing. One was in a kilt, and telling everyone how he’d being drinking, on the way there, while the designated driver drove, and another was well over 6’ tall, and fat and heavy. He was drenched in sweat, it was a hot summer night, so people’s palms slipped, when trying to push him, I gave him a few good shoves though. One of the opening bands was some prog, and had a double necked, extended range guitar, and bass. This group sat down, in the middle of the pit, and made like they were rowing a ship, during one of their songs.
Tengger Cavalry had just come out with their sellout album, but they played just one or two songs from it, and it was mostly the good, old school songs, in Chinese. It was a tiny space, and I got to meet them. They put on a great live show, despite the decline in recorded output.
Also, some dude, in a Carly Rae Jepsen shirt, was moshing hard, defying your expectations.

Dying Fetus - The Ritz, San José, California
This band is what got me into metal, back in high school. Of course, non stop pit, and stage diving and crowd surfing. Some bouncer was splashing water on us, from the stage(he was too scared to leave the stage, the other ones, had to, to kick someone out for fighting), we yelled at him, that that made moshing less safe, because of slipping hazards, and that splashing higher malt content beer is preferable, for traction reasons. I sang along to the “...with my weed, I smoke everyday...” part, in “skull fucked,” and I shouted along, because I know all the words, to “kill your mother/rape your dog.(known them since high school, when I told people, “actually this band is very smart, because they have lyrics about social criticism, check out this song)” Bought a tour shirt, which I wear to work, to this day. There were some other, let’s say “interesting” options, at the merch table, too edgy for me though.

Church of Misery - The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, California
Last show before quarantine. Wizard Rifle played some crazy avant-garde noises, Black Wizard gave us some double guitar heroics, Church of Misery delivered the filth. They all wore the official band uniform, of bell bottom pants, and true old school, obscure band shirts. Tatsu Mikami had his bass slung low, with the body down around his ankles. They played their best material, and had the good taste, not to make reference to Ed Kemper, when they played the song about him, as they were only a few miles, from where he did most of his murders. What’s that you say? You can’t make a pit, to 70s hard rock? Well guess what, we did, riff madness and reefer madness commanded us.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:51 am 
 

Metallica - Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (September 14th and 16th 2015)

Metallica closing the Colisee Pepsi, and opening Centre Videotron.

The first show was absolute insanity. I was on stage right, in the first deck, and during For Whom The Bell Tolls (second song), I actually ACTUALLY thought the concourse was going to collapse. It was literally shaking to the point that some kids down the row from us started asking people to stop jumping up and down at the same time. The energy in that building felt like a pressure cooker.

Night two seemed a little "calmer", but over the two nights, Metallica brought out a lot of rarities:

King Nothing (hadn't been played much in the last few years)
Lords Of Summer
All Nightmare Long
The Unforgiven II
St. Anger
The Frayed Ends Of Sanity
Turn The Page (had only been played about 4 times in the last 4 years at the time)

Add in that the opening bands killed both nights (Gojira night one, Baroness night two. Metallica isn’t always known for having great opening acts in North America. We usually get like, Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold, a fucking stand up comedian or Nu metal like Mudvayne, Godsmack, Linkin Park or Limp Bizkit).
--------
Another thing I'll mention is in April 2019, over the course of three days on a trip to Toronto, I saw the following three bills

Zeal & Ardor, Baroness, Deafheaven (April 2 - The Danforth)
Fleshgod Apocalypse & Hypocrisy (April 3 - Opera House)
Dream Theater (performing all of Scenes From A Memory - April 4 - Sony Centre)

These are all pretty good shows, but the fact that they all lined up at a time where I had to travel to Toronto with my brother for a medical appointment made it really special.

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Morn Of Solace
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 2108
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:21 am 
 

Three great ones that come to mind:

Carcass, on Fosch Fest 2015

Not much to say, the combination of a pristine sound, massive amounts of people into their songs (freaking singing the verse riffs of songs like Incarnated Solvent Abuse, Heartwork...:lol:) and a killer setlist meant a damn memorable night, far better than the other times i saw them. I felt absolutely satisfied!
Also the Fosch fest atmosphere is unlike any other festival, i really miss it.

Criptopsy, at Dagda Club, 2017

They were playing in a remote venue in an ex-gym in the middle of nowhere, there were only few people in the audience and with Flo being the only original remaining member my hopes weren't the best at first: They were going to celebrate the None So Vile album, playing it in full, so i decided to go with my friends and give it a shot.
Turns out that the few people knew it by heart, the energy was amazing and they really did the album justice, even recreating little nuances. I was really suprised by McGachy's performance, ferocious and tireless!

Arcturus at Slaughter Club , 2019

Live shows with Vortex singing are always a gamble, sometimes he's in top form and even better than on disc, other times he's... drunk. Or at least he sounds drunk.
I saw him completely butcher Borknagar songs few years before, but he redeemed himself straight from the first song and delivered a great performance.
The band is tight as hell (Knut in particuar is a very underrated guitarist) and the setlist was more focused on the first two albums. The highlight was a stellar performance of Radical Cut, damn memorable!

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