Ranked: The Top Ten Shows I’ve Ever Been To

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Living within close proximity to New York City has some nice perks for concert goers. Chances are that just about every artist with a fully functional van will risk life and limb to play a show in or around the area if given the opportunity. Having been to and seen so many bands perform in many different venues, I thought it’d be interesting to share some of the most memorable concert experiences from the vast amount of shows I’ve attended. My indisputable list has been compiled, and it can only be contested if I’m cloned and version 2.o of me disagrees. The rest of you will just have to accept it.

10. Bile at The Limelight in New York City, NY in 1995

Bile

Industrial music is not a genre that I listen to much anymore, but when Bile was a thing, they were tops in my book. The Limelight was the perfect place for this type of performance. The Limelight stage was enormous and Bile made use of every inch of it with three masked men handling vocals, a guitar player, a bass player, keyboards and two ladies dressed in tattered clothing. The ladies fought and fondled each other while Bile ripped through their set. What you could not take your eyes off of was the large screen in the backdrop flashing images of violence and pornography. An excellent light show accompanied the performance as my friends and I watched in amazement and horror. In the mid to late nineties, The Limelight was a great place to catch a show when they weren’t hosting glowstick raves for ecstasy junkies. A bunch of great death metal tours came through there in the late 90’s and all the bands that came through there always had stellar sound. For those of you who have never heard Bile, check out Get Out for an introduction. It’s some very heavy industrial music that should appeal to even those who don’t care for the genre.

9. Botch at The Melody Bar in New Brunswick, NJ in 2000

Seeing the influence Botch has left on so many bands years after their break-up, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to have seen them play live. They did not disappoint. Rather than stopping in between each song to talk to the audience, Botch played around 3-4 songs at a time during their half-hour set. They would segue from song to song with a little jam session that embodied their signature brand of calculated noisy hardcore. Unfortunately, I could not locate any images or video from this particular show. If you want to get the full effect of one of their live performances,check out their DVD 061502. This was their final live performance filmed in their hometown of Seattle, WA and captures the spectacle that was their live show. Naturally, I own this, and if you are a big time Botch nerd, this is worth getting a hold of. Here’s a sample below featuring one of their best songs, “Transitions From Persona To Object”.

 

8. Helmet at The Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ on November 25, 2012

Never in my life would I have thought that I’d get to see a band as legendary as Helmet in some dive bar in New Jersey. But that’s exactly what happened. I rarely wear earplugs to shows but this was one of those times I wished I had. Helmet was excessively loud to the point where my ears were ringing for the next two days; a small price to pay for an intimate evening with Helmet. Page Hamilton’s stage banter borders on stand up comedy and was very entertaining in his own right. Helmet played all their hits that their fans know and love from MeantimeBetty, Aftertaste and their most recent album, Seeing Eye Dog. They even played their half of “Just Another Victim” from the Judgement Night movie soundtrack as part of their encore.

7. The Red Chord, Gaza and Trap Them at School Of Rock in South Hackensack, NJ March 2010

red-chord-trap-them-gaza

Promoters that put tours together generally try to vary the package in order to net the best possible crowd turnout. There’s plenty of wisdom in that, but I’m grateful that someone mustered up the cajones to put three of the heaviest bands at the time on one bill together. Trap Them was touring in support of their excellent Darker Handcraft album and came out with their Orange Amps set to buzzsaw. This was the only time I’ve ever seen them, and they flat out killed it. Gaza ranks as one of my favorite bands of all time, and this was also the only time I ever got to see them (Side note: I will get to experience their latest incarnation, Cult Leader in just a few short weeks). Drummer Casey Hansen is worth the price of admission alone. The dude hits hard, and that impact is felt in a live setting. On this particular evening, Gaza did not have a place to stay and asked the crowd for some hospitality that evening. I contemplated offering up my place since we had plenty of room at my house but chickened out for fear of my wife freaking out that I was bringing home 4+ strangers from Utah. Finally The Red Chord closed out the night with a rather strange occurrence during their performance. Some poor fellow decided to stage dive, and it did not go well for him; dude broke his leg. As a result, the show was stopped as we had to wait for an ambulance to arrive so they could haul off the now potentially wheelchair bound patron before The Red Chord could finish their set. Anyhow, Gunface is a sick guitar player, and you can very easily get mesmerized just by watching him play. Oh and the rest of the band are no slouches either.

6. Pig Destroyer at St. Vitus in Brooklyn, NY on January 11, 2014

pig-destroyer-rbss-poster

This particular evening made some headlines because there were quite a few more ladies than one would expect to find where most of the bands performing were all grind bands. Having been there personally, I can vouch that this was entirely true, and the number of guys inside St. Vitus only slightly outnumbered the ladies. As a married man, my interactions were limited to harmless flirting with a few females while waiting in line for the unisex bathroom. As for the show itself, it was among the first performances in which Pig Destroyer would feature their recently acquired bass player, John Jarvis. To be honest, I could not hear one note coming out of his instrument throughout the entire performance, but that was of very little concern because Pig Destroyer always delivers the goods live. Electronics guy Blake Harrison does a nice job of being almost a co-frontman by engaging the crowd and providing backing vocals when he’s not behind the keys. The highlight of the evening for me was opening up their set with “Hymn”, a song that I’m sure die hard Pig Destroyer fans are well aware of but may be counted among their lesser known tracks. And here’s a pro tip for any of you who happen to go to St. Vitus: afterwards head across the street to the deli and get a chicken sandwich to close out your evening. That was a damn fine sandwich, and it sobered me up nicely for the ride home.

5. Nasum’s Farewell Tour at Europa in Brooklyn, NY on May 24, 2012

Nasum flyerSadly, I missed the opportunity to catch Nasum while founding member Mieszko Talarczyk was still alive. I vowed not let that happen again, as I had grown even fonder of Nasum’s pioneering style of grindcore after Mieszko’s passing. They definitely closed out this farewell tour in style by enlisting the services of Rotten Sound’s Keijo Niinimaa to handle vocal duties. He’s a great frontman in his own right, and he definitely brought his A-game for this tour, handling songs from Nasum’s catalog with relative ease. As big a Nasum fanboy as I was, I feared that I would not recognize some songs due to the sheer volume that is contained within their discography. It turned out that this would not be an obstacle because I identified everything they played and was particularly delighted when they broke into “I Hate People”. This evening proved to be costly for me because even though I was on the outskirts of the pit, I somehow managed to injure my right foot and was limping around for the next few days. It was clearly accidental and I have no hard feelings against whoever stepped on me. Also it would be criminal not to mention the opening acts for this show – Magrudergrind, Dropdead and Brutal Truth. Brutal Truth in particular played quite a few songs from Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, an album that holds a special place in my heart. Add that to an already incredible headliner and you’ve got yourself quite a memorable evening.

4. Hellfest 2004 at Rexplex in Elizabeth, NJ July 2004

Hellfest 04 2

Festivals are all the rage in the United States during the summer months, and they’ve been going strong for quite some time now. Hellfest (not to be confused with the yearly metal fest in France) was a hardcore and metal festival that would wind up seeing its final go around in 2004 after seven years running. Three stages and over a hundred bands in three days is a lot to take in for that amount of live music. Rexplex was a nice venue to accommodate this, but if I remember correctly, there was no re-entry policy should one choose to leave the venue for any particular reason. That meant you were being held hostage in a sense because your dining choices were limited to their crappy pizza and beverages laced with high fructose corn syrup. Yes, there was bottled water of course but for a fest that for many years prided itself on catering to vegans and the like, this place was not doing such a hot job of meeting those people’s dietary needs, so pretty much everybody ate like shit whiHellfest 04 1le being trapped inside the venue. Plenty of good bands were on tap for fans of both metal and hardcore alike. Converge, All Else Failed, The Red ChordE-Town ConcreteAndrew WKFear Factory, Life Of Agony and the list goes on and on if you want to click on the crumbled up flyers to see who else was on the bill. This one is most memorable for bad reasons instead of good ones. While I don’t condone or advocate a band trashing a venue they are playing at, the famously blacklisted Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza did precisely that. Within 30 seconds of them starting to play, full garbage cans, smoke bombs, light bulbs and pretty much anything anyone could get their hands on was thrown around with reckless abandon. Bleachers were flipped over with people still standing on them. A pig’s head was thrown into the crowd by the band, and it was rumored that someone ate a little bit of it after their set. I saw a girl who had a barbed wired bat stuck to the sleeve of her jacket. While she didn’t appear to be harmed, she was definitely shocked as were many others who didn’t get the memo about what this band does in a live performance. The violence did not last long as the power was cut and BL13 just crossed another venue off their list of places to play. You can see what all went down in the video below including the bleachers being flipped over.

3. Discordance Axis at CBGB’s in NYC  July 10th 1999

As you all know, CBGB’s has been reduced to a men’s designer clothing store since it was closed in 2006. That made Discordance Axis‘ performance at this historic building all the more sweeter. For being a three piece minus a bass player, each band member put their own stamp on the performance to make it a very unique live experience. First you had guitarist Rob Marton just sitting on a stool through the entire set while Jon Chang screamed and yelled as he floundered around the stage like a neanderthal on crack. Chang’s stage presence goes along perfectly with DA’s chaotic, full speed ahead style of grind. And if you are a fan of Dave Witte’s (Human Remains, Burnt By The Sun, Municipal Waste, too many other bands to name) playing then this was a sight to behold as he blasted relentlessly through the set while making it look effortless. The sound inside CBGB’s sounded almost as good as hearing their landmark album, The Inalienable Dreamless on record. The sound on the video here is not so good unfortunately, but you should play it for Witte’s drumming alone and to experience what one of grindcore’s greatest bands did in a live setting. I caught DA a second time (once again at CBGB’s) a year or two later but they didn’t sound as good this time. This might’ve had something to do with Rob Marton no longer playing due to potentially losing his hearing and fill in guitarist Steve Procopio (Human Remains, Gridlink) having a different playing style resulting in a much noisier sounding performance. The first go around however was something that was above and beyond what I was expecting and ranks as one my favorite live performances to this day.

2. Relapse Festival at The Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, PA January 18th and 19th 2003

R-1086471-1191004875The people at Relapse Records really know how to put on a fest. A weekend of death metal, hardcore, sludge, grindcore and other assorted forms of cacophony in the city of Brotherly Love was just what the doctor ordered so you could forget that it was another shitty winter in the Northeastern United States. Relapse has a deep and diverse roster, so it should shock no one that they had all of their top talent on hand for a weekend of loud music. Cephalic CarnageMastodonHigh On Fire, The Dillinger Escape PlanPig DestroyerBurnt By The Sun and Today Is The Day to name a few. Even with all that talent on hand, it was Neurosis who stole the show. They headlined the first evening, and coupled with the fact that our hotel was within walking distance, it was a perfect opportunity to get loaded up. My friends and I were drinking grape juice mixed with vodka and partook in some of that sticky icky to get us right for the evening. This turned out to be the perfect tonic to experience Neurosis live. I had seen them a couple times before and they were very good, but on this night, the combination of substances that I was under the influence of slowed Neurosis’ music down to a crawl. You could feel the weight of their monstrous sound bearing down on you like an impending avalanche. The sound inside the Trocadero was enormous, and the crowd was most definitely put into a trace while they nodded along to sludgy atmosphere that only a band like Neurosis can provide. During their entire set, a screen behind them played images that meshed perfectly with the music, a true audio visual experience.

1. Hellfest 2k in Syracuse,NY July 1 – 2, 2000

Hellfest 2K

What happens when you drive over four hours for three days of hardcore and you find out that it might be cancelled when you arrive?  That was the scene for the first scheduled day of Hellfest. We rolled up to the venue to find out that there were issues with holding the event at the chosen location. Nobody knew what was going on, bands who were scheduled to perform had already arrived and had nothing better to do than sell their merch while everyone waited for any sort of news about whether this thing was going down or if it would just be cancelled altogether. After hanging out for a few hours, a Hellfest rep with a megaphone got on top of someone’s touring vehicle and announced that Friday would be cancelled but the Saturday and Sunday would go down as planned at another venue. A day was lost and that meant no Dillinger Escape Plan or Candiria. Having seen both of those bands perform many times already, it was not much of loss. Once things got going at 12PM the next day, the letdown of Friday’s cancellation was quickly forgotten. If you’re familiar with hardcore, you’ve heard all the platitudes that get bandied about – unity, “the scene”, taking care of one another in the pit along with countless others. On this weekend, these were not empty words and those ideals were on full display. There was a sense of community amongst everyone there. The mosh pits were civil. If youe got knocked down, someone near you would pick you up, and you’d thank them for being a good samaritan. Above all else, I discovered a whole slew of good bands I’ve never heard before and went home with a ton of merch to boot. Just some of the highlights from the weekend in no order of importance:

  • Buried Alive – Before Scott Vogel was hyping up crowds for Terror, he was doing the same with Buried Alive, who played all the moshy jams from their debut album, Death of Your Perfect World. The pit was easily over a hundred people throwing air haymakers. It looked almost like a huge choreographed fight scene.
  • Walls of Jericho – Hardcore kids love Slayer, and Walls of Jericho’s brand of metallic hardcore is heavily influenced by them. Another huge pit broke out for this during the band’s energetic and well-played set
  • Cave In – By now Cave In had started their musical shift from hardcore into space rock, so naturally they played a couple of cuts from Jupiter and worked in a few songs from Until Your Heart Stops as well. They closed out their set with a great cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused”.
  • Poison The Well – Prior to this fest, I had no clue who Poison The Well was. That changed quickly as they opened their set with the intro to Metallica’s “To Live Is To Die” before busting into a track from their debut album, The Opposite of December. The album hadn’t been released yet, but a good deal of people in the audience were singing along to the words. When you catch a band that grabs you solely on a live performance, you know you’ve got some music you need to get familiar with.
  • Turmoil – Turmoil closed out the festivities for the weekend and decided to do so in Bad Luck 13 fashion. Singer Jon Gula told the crowd to trash the place and that resulted in them playing about two and a half songs before the power was cut. Empty water bottles, toilet paper and anything that could be launched was being thrown at the stage. It would’ve been nice to see them play a full set, but they screwed themselves by telling the crowd to bring the place down.
  • Eighteen Visions  – Before eyeliner and hairspray overtook metalcore and made it a laughable genre, Eighteen Visions put on one heck of a show. Their tact of piling breakdown after breakdown into their songs is something many deathcore bands do, but they don’t do it to the point where it’s memorable. I got a hold of Until The Ink Runs Out the night before and jammed it a few times at the hotel so I could familiarize myself with what was to come. The band played their set acting like a rock n’ roll band; instead of a moshfest, it was more like a party.

There you have it, almost twenty years of concert going all slapped into one single solitary post. Share some of your favorite concert experiences with us in the comments, get elitist about how your list is better than mine.

Images (VIA,VIA,VIA,VIA,VIA,VIA)

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  • I went to all 3 days of the 04 Hellfest. I knew to stay far away from BL13.

    • That whole “high school gym” look is dope.

      • Rexplex was a big sports center. 2 Indoor soccer fields, 1 roller hockey rink, basketball courts, half-pipe and some other stuff.

    • I had a good view, almost close enough to be in danger. I saw that pig’s head with my own eyes being kicked around.

  • Sponge Of Mystery

    Idc how much shit I get, Insane Clown Posse was one of the funnest concerts I’ve ever been to. May not have been the best, but definitely one of the funnest

    • Maik Beninton™
      • Sponge Of Mystery

        This is my favorite show ever

    • i went to a Twiztid show in college for the LOLZ. gotta agree, it was fun!

      • more beer

        If you want to go to a fun show go to a Murphy`s Law show. They are always one big party.

  • COAL ROLL

    Sorry that you haven’t been to a good show since Jan 2014

    • Been to more than I count, going less due to marriage, kids, other adult shit.

      • COAL ROLL

        Hear that Frosty??? get it in now!!

  • God

    Summer slaughter 2012… 2011? I cant remember. But it had a killer line up. Vital remains, The Red Chord, Animals as Leaders, Carnifex, Cephalic Carnage, Veil of Maya, and Decapitated. Each act (surprisingly even Carnifex) fucking brought it.

    • The Red Chord goes hard.

      • God

        Animals as Leaders was up before them and per the norm they wore suits their entire set. Well the red Chord gets on stage right after, also all members wearing suits, and the guitarist leans into the mic and says “hello….we are animals as leaders” and proceeded to do some technical nonsense on his guitar.

        • Good to see you around, God. It has been awhile!

          • God

            It’s good to be around.

          • You still telemarketing?

          • God

            No got out of that shit. Warehouse work now. Shipping out customer wheels.

          • Good! I am sure it is better than calling grumpy ppls

          • God

            A lot better. No dealing with customers directly. Just shipping out the wheels to retailers.

          • shipping out wheels, sometimes taking care of mankind, sometimes causing mass disasters; you’re a deity of immeasurable talents

          • God

            I also have a hot wife too. My immortal life is pretty sweet.

          • AND a siqq vote-to-comment ratio!

      • don’t even get me started

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Seeing Krisiun, Angelcoprse, Immortal, and Satyricon in spring of 2000 will always stand out.

    • I’m very jelly about you getting to witness Angelcoprse. That’s badass man, was it John or Tony on the skins?

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Yeah, it was the only time too, unfortunately. It was Tony as they were supporting The Inexorable at the time.

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

      Krisiun fucking slays it live, especially the drummer!

  • Well if we are just talking shows and not specific bands I’d have to go with MDF. Next year will be my 6th year in a row going to that fest. It never disappoints.

    If I was to pick out individual bands off the top of my head that were great live, I’d have to go with Levon Helm, Dead Congregation, Mgla, Primitive Man, Dark Angel, Slayer (Original Line-Up), Tsjuder, Aosoth, Defeated Sanity, Marduk, Eyehategod, Napalm Death, Taake, Today is the Day, Revenge, Evoken, Cripple Bastards, Diocletian, Unholy Grave, oh and of course John fucking Mellencamp!

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      Play some squash on that fucking forehead of his.

      • Oh, I did see Bongripper. That was heavy as fuck. I smoked a joint wrapped in a page from a bible during that ONE song set that lasted 45 minutes. Some crust punk passed it to me. If I was smart, I would have just passed it along but I didn’t.

        • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

          Damn, that song probably felt like 100 hours long in stoner time!

    • Rush was damn good. I don’t think those guys know how to fuck up.

    • Hells Headbash was sick. I’m trying to rank the bands here.

      1. Satanic Warmaster
      2. Nyogthaeblisz
      3. Blood Feast
      4. Destruktor
      5. Archgoat
      6. Bonehunter
      7. Midnight
      8. Abysmal Lord
      9. Acid Witch
      10. Perdition Temple

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        I’ll agree with that list and replace Abysmal Lord (who I missed) with Shitfucker.

        • Nice! They were a fun band for sure. I was really disappointed with Black Witchery’s sound. I think they could have been a LOT better with a different mix. It was just too much.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Unholy fuck were his vocals loud!

          • Yeah that whole mix was unfortunate. It was hard to out do Nyogthaeblisz. Those guys brought it fucking hard!!!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            That set was pure evil!

          • You pretty much summed it up bro.

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

      Whatever happened to Taake? First CD was great, second was lolbuttz, then they seemed to disappear.

    • Saw Eyehategod last year, I think they’re better live than they are on record.

      • They are way heavier live. That’s for damn sure.

      • more beer

        Definitely.

    • I’ll see you there again this year dude, I’ll be up front screaming the words to every song Satan plays

      • Killer! That reminds me, I still need to book a hotel. I need a few more pay checks until I can take care of that though.

        • I’d go in with you, but I already got a room

  • Mvthvr Shvbvbv 8

    I have the Bile greetest hitz CD somewhere here. A bit lolbuttz when looking back on lyrics like “We are the dead, we are in league, we are the doctors of low self esteem”.

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

      Most industrial around that time was lolbuttz lyrics-wise. Still pretty much is overall (especially Frontline Assembly writing all their lyrics in haiku), unless we’re talking something like Punto Omega or Project Pitchfork.

  • Seen In Flames, All that Remains, Gojira, and 36 Crazyfists in November of 2007 (Cleveland). Surely the top of my list!

    • ME GORAK B.C.™

      WHAT THE GUITAR MAN NAME IN 36 CRAZYFIST????

      • HAHA I know this one!!!! BROCK!

        • ME GORAK B.C.™
          • I don’t get it Gorak. I am srry

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!!!!!!

            (2 OV GORAK FAVORITE SHOW HAPPEN @ CLEVELAND AGORA ALSO!!!!!!)

          • Bob Loblaw
            Steve Holt
            Arrested Development

            Am I missing something?

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            BOB LOBLAW & STEVE HOLT CHARACTER ON TV SHOW ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!!! 36 CRAZYFIST GUITARIST ALSO STEVE HOLT!!!

          • Are you talking about Gary Holt, from Slayer?

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            EXODUS & “SLAYER”!!!!

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

      Seen ATR live with Dragonforce (both were fucking awful), but Gojira put on one fucking hell of a live show when I saw them with Behemoth.

  • I did get to see Nasum on their farewell. They headlined the one year at MDF. I was way to drunk to remember it though.

    • There was blast beats and stuffs.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    I’ll just sit over here, smile, and say nothing. ^_^

    • You never saw a concert? No favorites?

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        I’m just being an elitist dick. Don’t mind me.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          By all means dick away!

      • Maik Beninton™

        I never, anytime a metal band comes to make a show at my state is at Curitiba which is hundreds of kilometers from where I live (it’s a 6 hour trip).
        And on my town the only real festivals we have is of country music, and I hate that.

    • TELL US STORIES ABOUT THE 80’S!!

      srs, plz!

  • RJA

    Great article Duece – I love hearing about people’s concert experiences even if they are vastly different than mine. Most of my top 10 would not be metal – i.e, pavement, guided by voices, built to spill, red red meat in the mid 90’s come to mind. Helmet in 97′ might be our only shared connection.
    I’m always curious about loudest concerts anyone has experienced too.
    Off the top of my head – Dinosaur Jr. and Mogwai both in bars.

    • I rly, rly dig Pavement, GBV, & Dino Jr.

      • RJA

        I know a lot of that stuff is pretty removed from what we talk about around here but that’s what I grew up on. Pavement is absolutely my favorite band – Robert Pollard is a rock and roll legend – J. Mascis probably most underrated guitar player ever.

    • I think seeing any well known band in a small place makes for a great experience. I like to rub the Helmet show in my friend’s faces because they love them and didn’t go for whatever reason.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Anaal Nathrakh a couple years back was pretty wild. A huge moshpit on stage, amps falling on a dude, endless stage diving…
    The venue has a lot stricter set of rules now, after all that.

    • I don’t like much of their recordings but damn were they tight live. They had a hell of a drummer.

      • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

        I’m amazed you don’t like ’em. Their songs are pretty fucking raw and angry as fuck.

        • Drum machines, and they are not raw at all. VERY over produced.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeq1LwASogs

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Eh, I quite likey them. Mortician was pretty raw and they used a drum machine.

          • That’s why Final Bloodbath is my favorite release by them. Real drums.

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Haven’t heard that one. I’ve only heard House By The Cemetery.

          • more beer

            After Matt their drummer died. It took them years to find a new drummer who could play as fast as he did. That`s why they used the drum machine.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Here’s the oldest stub in my collection.
    Dio/Twisted Sister @ Worcester 8/24/84
    Price $11.50 plus fees(probably another $1.50)
    My 3rd concert

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Now we’re talking! Any Metallica with Cliff?? Slayer back in the day? Venom? Need the info!

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        I had a gods-damned ticket voucher in my hands to see Metallica in August 1986 in Kingston, NH. I had the ride set up and everything. Then fucking stupid Hetfield breaks his wrist and everything changes, show was canceled. My one chance to see Cliff ruined because of that idiot.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Fucking bummer dude! I have a buddy who was going to see them in 1986, but his parents said no. So stupid!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I got a lot of shit at that age, but none of it was about music, hair, or concerts.

          • Oh no! Your parents didn’t let you go see About Last Night in theaters?

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Heck, my mom took me to see Alien for my 12th birthday and let me see The Exorcist a week later.

          • Haha, Badass dude!

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Alas, my dad’s taken me to see Spawn, Dragonheart, and Universal Soldier when I was younger. We went to see Team America in theaters years ago, which offset seeing the flushfest that was The Ring 2.
            Which reminds me, I haven’t been to a theater in years. Anything you’d recommend that’s out right now?

          • more beer

            I saw them in 88 & 90. In a small place that held about 300 people.

          • CT-12

            If you get the time, you oughta post a list of your favorites as well

          • more beer

            30 plus years of shows it`s hard. In my post above I put a last fm link. To a club I saw a lot of killer shows at. Things that stand out The first Napalm Death show in America. The last Possessed show with the original lineup. SOD in a tiny club in Yonkers with Overkill. Venom all 3 times including the one with Slayer and Exodus. The first Immolation show with a band called Rip Torn, which I was talking to Ross about last week when I saw them at California Death Fest. Rest In Pieces, Sick Of it All, Burn, and Boogie Down Productions which was a crazy show. Motorhead in this tiny place in Port Chester New York they were so loud my beer was bouncing up and down on the bar. The first time I saw Carnivore when they still wore the furs and threw meat on that bill was also nuclear Assault, Exodus Bailoff was to fucked up to sing and they had different people from the crowd singing. The next time I saw Carnivore when Lamours told them they couldn`t throw meat, so the threw White Castles because they said they contained no meat. Michigan Death Fest 3. Finally getting to see Celtic Frost because the 3 or 4 time before they couldn`t get into the country I can keep going but it`s alot.

          • CT-12

            My. fucking. god. I could only hope to live a life half as cool as yours. Got dayum

          • more beer

            I was just lucky to grow up really close to NYC at a really good time for music. The secret is to not get married and have kids. That ruins all of your fun.

          • CT-12

            hahahaha words to live by!!!

          • more beer

            Also find a way to work for yourself it really helps to not be able to get fired.

        • more beer

          I saw them on New Years eve in like 83 or 84 at this place called the left bank.I paid attention until Master of Puppet`s and then moved on.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I liked “Justice” just fine and saw the tour twice w/Queensryche opening up. TBA(aka Smell The Glove) was my final straw even though I saw that tour twice as well.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Slayer?
        I saw them in 1987 too, but that was at a club that used old movie theater stubs so I don’t have it.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Nice!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Alas, no Venom. : (

          • Bummer duder!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Not listed on the ticket: Overkill. It was a double bill and Overkill opened.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Shit, even better!

        • Max

          Who was on drums? Lombardo or Scaglione?

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Lombardo had just come back.

          • Max

            Okay. I’ve always been curious as to what Scaglione would have sounded like; I don’t believe there’s any recorded document – official or otherwise – of his time in Slayer. Apparently he couldn’t do the solo in “Angel of Death”.

    • COAL ROLL

      you use your AARP discount to get that price?

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Seeing as I was only 17 at the time…

        • COAL ROLL

          alright, bad joke. you win. Old guy

        • COAL ROLL

          that was back when AAF ruled

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            No doubt, best station in the area at the time except for Sunday nights when we had WERS and WBCN actually played Metal for 2 hours.

          • COAL ROLL

            Do you remember PIRATE RADIO?

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Not sure.

          • Seton Hall?

          • more beer

            Of course Seton Hall. Used to listen to that when I lived in New York.

          • Used to listen to Monday Night Mayhem all time for my new death metal fix.

          • more beer

            Also Crucial Chaos for hardcore.

          • I’m aware of that but I wasn’t very much into hardcore at the time. That came a little later in my listening habits.

          • more beer

            I think maybe a little before your time also. They would have bands in doing live sets. It was good way to spend Tuesday nights drinking beer and listening to that.

          • Guppusmaximus

            muh-muh-muh-muh-muh- Metal Shop! {the end of Malmsteen’s solo for “Hot on Your Heels”}

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I’d have to keep “station surfing” between WBCN, WERS, and WCOZ(Dr Demento), then WCOZ folded(for all intents and purposes) around 1984 or so.

        • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom
    • I say it all the time, but I would kill to have seen the classic Dokken lineup back in the day….

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        ^_^

        • WHOA

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I believe my Twisted Sister/Y&T/Dokken stub was lost a while back, could be wrong.

      • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

        You can still see Dokken, lol.

        • “Classic” lineup is the key

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Haha yep.

      • Óðinn

        I saw Dokken, kind of by accident, back in the day. My girlfriend dragged me to an Aerosmith concert and Dokken happened to be the opening band.

        • Dope either way! The videos on the interents of them during that tour are killer. Nice

    • ME GORAK B.C.™

      GORAK ONLY SEE DIO W/ HEAVEN & HELL!!!!

    • Boss the Ross

      Damn! Killer show!

    • Nice! I wish I’d seen Dio just once then.

  • Vote for Jeb

    Any of you dudes ever been to a BYOB show? The three I’ve been to were all nuts.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Bring Your Own Boy? You saw Michael Jackson?

      • Vote for Jeb

        I was going to chastise you for a tasteless joke, but then I looked down and saw my own smirk and realized that I could not in good conscience cast the first stone.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          More tasteless the better, I always say. And yes I’ve been to a few basement shows. Always good times and flowing suds!

      • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom
    • A bunch. Saw Nunslaughter in a garage here once. Broken glass all over.

    • I have not but guys in Organ Dealer have told me the Meatlocker is an unifficial BYOB place here in NJ.

      • Vote for Jeb

        It’s wild, dude. WiLD

      • Not that I should know this… but in Ohio… many strip clubs are all BYOB. It is… wild.

        • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

          There’s drive through liquor stores all over the Cincinnati tri-state area, at least when I lived there.

        • ME GORAK B.C.™

          GORAK LIKE “GENTLEMAN CLUB”!!!! GORAK DRINK LOTS & PAY LADY TAKE CLOTHES OFF& DANCE FOR GORAK!!!!! GORAK GENTLEMAN!!!!

        • True, my buddies and I went to BYOB place in Atlantic City for a bachelor party. Hands down, the most fun i’ve ever had at a strip club.

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

      Most shows I’ve ever been to have been BYOB for me, but then again I snuck mine in. :-p

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt

      Pretty much all of the strip clubs in NE PA have gone BYOB.

  • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

    Damn, haven’t heard Bile in fucking ages!!!! Loved them way back when, when I was on a massive industrial binge.

    Top ten concerts for me (Past the first three, the whole ranking thing goes out the window)

    Mago De Oz
    Melotron
    Cradle Of Filth (hate their music, but goddamn do they have an awesome live setup!)
    Luftwaffe
    Cynic/Meshuggah
    Iron Maiden (of course)
    Helloween/Gamma Ray
    VNV Nation

    The Darkness

    Finntroll/Moonsorrow

  • Vote for Jeb

    Just watched that BL13 video. Not gonna lie, I’d be pissed if I was just enjoying the music and got knocked unconscious by a flying trash can.

    • I got a concussion at a concert way back in highschool. I can’t remember who I saw but it was in Philly. Some dude stage dived and kneed me in the head. I spent the whole rest of the show staggering around and vomiting. People had to of thought I was drunk.

      • Vote for Jeb

        That sucks! I’ve had people dropped on me who were crowd surfing or stage diving.

        • Honestly, going up front is just dumb for that reason and the fact that the sound sucks that close up. I’m fine standing in the middle where no one can run into me and where I can hear the band the clearest.

          • Vote for Jeb

            That’s where I hang out nowadays.

          • Good call.

          • BEARD-SPLITTER

            We always just sit at the bar.

            #postedup
            #gettingold,man

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            If I’m on the floor, I tend to be near the mixing board area for exactly that reason.

        • This reminds me that some drunk girl at a Pantera show climbed on top of my friend and I’s shoulders so she could flash her hooters.

          • Vote for Jeb

            This is known Pantera girl activity.

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Wait, whaaaaaaaaaaaaa……….. there’s female Pantera fans (besides Jada Pinkett Smith)?!?!

            http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/star-trek-mind-blown.gif

          • Based Pingu

            I’m suprised that there are Pantera fans to begin with.

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            CAVEMEN LIKE PANTERA!!!!!

          • Maik Beninton™

            Hey have you heard of this guy Joe Thrashnkill?

          • Based Pingu

            Doesn’t ring a bell.

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            They weren’t terrible, but goddamn they are so fucking overrated. Especially when you consider how much they ripped off Exhorder.

          • Based Pingu

            They were terrible

          • KJU And The Temple Of Ploop

            Nah, but what they spawned was fucking horrible!

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            The old Exhorder chestnut hey?

          • Mailbox Full O Chicken Tenders

            Si, seniora.

        • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

          Lol, I’ve told this one a million times, but one guy jumped up on my shoulders two or three songs into Meshuggah’s set, and ended up jumping and body splashing onto the floor.

      • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

        Someone punched me in the back of the head when I saw Moonspell/Type O/Cradle Of Filth. I instinctively elbowed someone in the mouth full force and went home with a bloody elbow. I’ll never know if I got the right person or just some unlucky fellow.

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

      I got hit in the head by a beer when I saw Craig Ferguson live, and almost got knocked over the balcony. Rest assured, if I saw who did it, I would’ve tuned his ass up after the show!

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt

      I had a firecracker go off right next to my head at Lollapalooza ’93 just as Primus started. Couldn’t hear anything with my right ear for the rest of the night. That was the same show that RATM did their lame-ass PMRC protest.

  • JWEG

    Lucky people.

    I can’t even come up with ten metal gigs I’ve been to in the last 20 years, let alone order them and not be tempted to drop half the list for not being nearly worthy of a normal Top Ten list.

    • BEARD-SPLITTER

      Agalloch always puts on a good show, full of feels

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt

      I’d love to catch Alda live. I’ve been playing the hell out of their new album. I might even like it more than the new Panopticon, which is saying a lot.

  • 3leggedDog

    makes me want to see bile.

    • dope name!

      GL

      • Maik Beninton™

        More like a feels name.

        • 3leggedDog

          como?

          • Maik Beninton™

            Them feels bro.

          • “I will take one dope name, extra feels.”

            thnks

          • 3leggedDog

            i feeled bad for the tiny dog too until i saw him run. not slowed down at all.

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt

    Both times I saw Helmet in 1993, it was in dive bars in NJ. First time was in Asbury Park with Therapy?, the second was in Trenton with The Jesus Lizard.

    • Vote for Jeb

      Did David Yow take his pants off?

      • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

        I was at Lollapalooza ’95 when he pulled out his junk. Thankfully I didn’t get to see that!

      • Pagliacci is Kvlt

        I remember him being shirtless, but I think the pants stayed on.

  • BEARD-SPLITTER

    As commonplace as they are now, several years back i saw Amon Amarth at a small venue in raleigh. Still the best show ive ever seen.

    Blind guardian a close second

    • Boss the Ross

      I will be seeing Blind Guardian in the near future. Can’t. Freaking. Wait.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Shit NES just turned 30 and now we’re talking about our 10 favorite shows?! HELL YEA! #oldasfuck

    Let’s see if I can remember this shit (Not in any order – because memory):

    Faith No More – Angeldust w/ Helmet (Worcester Auditorium)

    Faith No More – KFADFFL w/ Steelpole Bathtub (Hollywood Florida)

    Iron Maiden – No Prayer for the Dying w/ Anthrax -Persistence of Time (Worcester Centrum)

    Napalm Death – Harmony Corruption w/ Godflesh & Lawnmower Deth (The Channel, Boston)

    Judas Priest – Painkiller w/ Megadeth (RIP) & Testament (SOB) (Worcester Centrum)

    Dream Theater – Six Inner Degrees & Train of Thought (Orpheum, Boston)

    David Cullen & Michael Manring (Mark Walker / drums) – Equilibré (Center for the Arts, Natick)

    Deftones – Adrenaline w/ Prong(?) (Mama Kin’s, Boston)

    A.I.C. – Facelift / opening for Van Halen – For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (Worcester Centrum)

    {Note: this may get edited when I have a wtf moment about other concerts – real war inside my head}

  • Max

    Roughly chronological, no particular ranking:
    Pungent Stench, Fear Factory, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Brutal Truth, Cathedral, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Impaled Nazarene, Van Halen, Slayer, Entombed, Cradle of Filth, Opeth, Soilwork, Nile, Hate Eternal, Napalm Death, Sodom, Meshuggah, Mayhem, Beyond Creation, Judas Priest, and hopefully At The Gates in about a week’s time.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      I got up on stage at a Pungent Stench show in Newcastle about 12 years ago and sung a verse of Klyster Boogie on the mike. Martin just stood back and played guitar and let me have at it. I finished the night sitting on the side of the stage watching because I fucked my neck head banging. To this day I still have problems with it. But man I had a ball that night.

      • Max

        Pungent Stench in 1993 was my first extreme metal show. I have a bootleg cassette of it.

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          That would be the Been caught Buttering tour with Nitocris in support? The infamous tour that made it onto Derryn Hinch if I’m not mistaken?

          • Max

            That is indeed the “As seen on Hinch” tour, although Nitocris weren’t the support here in Adelaide. Instead it was a local Suffocation cover band and then a band called Discarnated, who were pretty typical death metal for the time although they were also Christian, like Mortification I guess. They got some tasty support slots back then but they’d broken up by about ’97 I think.

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Scrolls of the Megolith is still one of my all time favourite death metal albums

  • The inaugural Scion Rock Fest in Atlanta was pretty fucking epic.

  • Mon*Star

    I keep a database of all the shows I’ve been to. Listing each band individually I’m around line 490. Here’s what I have listed as my top 10:

    1. Alice Cooper, London, 7/19/00 (Filmed for ‘Brutally Live, first time seeing an all-time favorite.)
    2. AC/DC, Cincinnati, 9/12/96 (Front row)
    3. Judas Priest / Queensryche, Los Angeles, 7/8/05 (Front row)
    4. The Who, Dayton, 11/6/96 (First time seeing an all-time favorite.)
    5. King Diamond, Pittsburgh, 10/14/15 (Near front row.)
    6. Immortal / Absu, Pittsburgh, 2/21/11 (Near front row.)
    7. ZZ Top, Los Angeles, 2/11/07 (Club show.)
    8. Iron Maiden / Alice Cooper, Washington DC, 6/30/12 (Pit seats.)
    9. Triptykon, Pittsburgh, 10/14/10 (Near front row.)
    10. Mastodon / Opeth / Ghost, Pittsburgh, 4/15/12 (Front row.)

    I’ve been to a lot of amazing club shows as well, but these stand out due to the acts, venues, crowds, seats, sound, etc.

    • Max

      An actual database. What a cool idea. Wish I’d done it. Did you include setlists? (That’s where my memory’s gotten real hazy over the years.)

      • Mon*Star

        No, but I do reminisce by looking setlists up on setlist.fm.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    So should I go to the UK slam fest to see a load of German and British slam bands I’ve never heard of

  • more beer

    It`s way to hard to pick the ten best shows I`ve been to after more than 30 years of going to shows. Heres a last fm list of shows at place I went to almost every week for years. I was at pretty much everyone that wasn`t a hair metal band. http://www.setlist.fm/venue/streets-new-rochelle-ny-usa-1bd721a4.html

  • Boss the Ross

    Its hard to rank, but Clutch and Rush are tied for my number 1 spot.
    Torche was excellent, i felt like i was pummeled by a robotic elephant by the end of it. The Red Fang show i recently went was insanely good. Goatwhore left me feeling crusty and blackened. The Sword and Kadavar were solid and rocking. And Helmet playing Betty in its entirety was one of the greatest experiences ever.
    And a handful of other stuff and local bands.

  • Waynecro

    That was a really cool, fun article. Thanks! I saw The Red Chord once. It must have been at one of the Summer Slaughter shows, because Tosin Abasi from Animals as Leaders joined them onstage to sing the “And it’s not gonna be all right. And it’s not gonna be OK” part of “Dreaming in Dog Years.” That was pretty swell.

    • That sounds awesome, definitely one of my favorite Red Chord songs.

      • Waynecro

        They were great live. And I love screaming along with that song while I’m in my car.

  • Count_Breznak

    Huh…I got 2 albums by a band called “Bile”, but it’s goregrind form the netherlands..apparently they are called Skullhog now.

  • JamesGrimm

    UUUHHH……..
    Behemoth, Goatwhore, Cloudkicker in the sameweek. thought that was neat.