We all enjoy gigs - it's part of what working at MetalTalk is all about and here are some of our favourite gigs from 2013.
Unquestionably for me, Amon Amarth at The Barrowlands in Glasgow last month. It was an amazing audience - where else would you see the entire audience on the floor "rowing" in time to the music? Most of all though, the band looked as though they were enjoying it too, and the audience really were the sixth member of the band that night.
Black Sabbath at the O2 Arena in London on Tuesday 10th December was flawless with Tony Iommi's riffs being volcanically eruptive and Ozzy Osbourne has the perfect demonic voice. No one does doom like the originators!
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Highway To Hell - Day 2, run by Chic Talent who also organise Road To Hard Rock Hell UK and Ibiza, AOR and Classic Prog and Rock festivals), which is held at The Classic Grand, Glasgow for the last two years. If all the bands that night - Maverick, Blue Origin, Defy All Reason, Fireroad, The Kix and Attica Rage to name a few - played the second stage at a major festival, I would have never seen the main stage! Good music over major names can surprisingly make you more happy at the end of the day.
Killing Joke at the Forum, London in March - what can I say! Blistering! The only gig this year I bothered to elbow my way to the front for, with its awesome set list and getting guitarist Geordie Walkers pick at the end (disgusting fangirl behaviour, yes) made this particular night the most memorable.
Queens of the Stone Age tripped me out with their psychedelic slideshows during their performance in Indianapolis, and European gypsie punk band Gogol Bordello kept me stomping and dancing with their inexorable energy. For me though, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Klipsch Music Center (where I was also lucky enough to also see Black Sabbath as part of their '13' World Tour) on a warm June night had me singing along to 'Last Dance With Mary Jane' with my boyfriend in the Press seats.
Without a doubt, my gig of the year was (the mighty) Status Quo at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on 9th March when John Coghlan and Alan Lancaster returned to a heroes welcome after not being on a Quo stage in Glasgow for over thirty years. This was a day that I thought I would never see – and it's a memory that I will cherish. Oh, and they played a fantastic set that night too!
The Powerwolf/Ashes Of Ares/Battle Beast/Majesty gig at Camden Underworld back in September. I can't really add anymore superlatives to what I wrote about this gig on the night. I saw four absolutely superb bands and anyone who thinks that Metal is dying would have changed their mind dramatically if they had been at The Underworld for this one. You can check out my full review by clicking here.
This is getting boring, but my favourite gig of 2013 was, you guessed it – The Temperance Movement in Manchester on 22nd November 22nd. I'd heard reports that they were a phenomenal live experience but cynically thought that it had to be exaggeration. But up close in an intimate venue they put on a show that was equally intense yet even more exciting, emotional, and above all fun! Until I saw them, my choice for gig of the year was Rival Sons live in Preston back in April. That was a wonderful show, with Rival Sons giving a performance of near spiritual intensity.
I was lucky enough to see a lot of great gigs over 2013 (and I have two more still to do!) so this wasn't an easy choice. Honourable mentions must be given to Volbeat, Roger Waters, Rammstein, Saxon and Halestorm as all are highly recommended live bands. Stream Of Passion are always great live and their gig in Amstelveen in Holland was fantastic but the winner has to be the Anneke Van Giersbergen show in Paris. Supported by Amanda Somerville's Trillium this was an amazing double header of a show, two great acts at the top of their game in front of an adoring and enthusiastic crowd. Just a magic night.
My best gig of 2013 just has to be Watain at the Electric Ballroom in London. A mind blowing and faultless performance of musical excellence, stunningly atmospheric pyrotechnics in the form of the burning tridents, good stage presence and engaging manner from vocalist E, all set in one of London's best venues, which made it an event of epic proportions.
Amon Amarth - http://amonamarth.com/
Black Sabbath - http://www.blacksabbath.com/
Highway To Hell - http://www.hardrockhighway.com/
Killing Joke - http://www.killingjoke.com/
Queens of the Stone Age: http://www.qotsa.com
Status Quo - http://www.statusquo.co.uk/
Powerwolf - http://www.powerwolf.net/
The Temperance Movement - http://www.thetemperancemovement.com/
Anneke Van Giersbergen - http://www.annekevangiersbergen.com/
Watain - http://www.templeofwatain.com/