Thoughts From the Dead: Live it Up

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Being dead gives me a lot of time to think. I think about a thing, and then that turns into an opinion, which then turns into fact, and then I give it to you. You found out your new opinion on Tom Waits in our first installment. Greetings from the great beyond, flushers. I’m taking a quick break from hanging out with John Cage and Olivier Messiaen to ramble for a bit about live music and ask your thoughts.

First of all, music needs to be played live. It wasn’t until the 20th century that people listened to recorded music more than live music; there were thousands of years where an actual performance was the only way or the primary way for music to be heard. Obviously, recorded music is absolutely invaluable to us all, and we are extraordinarily lucky to have instant access to an entire world of music through the internet (unless you’re in a grumpy neckbeard band). So I’m not discounting your favorite bedroom noise project that will never play live because it’s way too mainstream, man, but what I’m saying is that live performance is massively important to the history and overall experience of music. This is especially true for metal, a genre born and raised in dive bars, basement shows, and underground clubs. There is far too much raw energy in metal to leave it entirely in your speakers. We feel the urge to headbang, the need to jump in a circle pit. On the other side of the equation, we feel the itch to write a song and unleash it, the compulsion to scream your words to a room full of people. The nature of the art form begs for live engagement.

The point of all of this isn’t to inspire you to magically grow a leather vest and yell “SUPPERT YER SCENE” at kids these days. We all recognize the importance of live music, and most everyone has felt the magic of a particularly good live musical event. That upper echelon of experience, that hallowed “show of all shows,” is what I want to focus on: what makes a performance really and truly stand out? What magical energy fills the room when everything clicks, and what makes it all click? We’re already in such intangible territory that we can’t expect a definitive answer, but it’s certainly an interesting idea to ponder.

To a certain degree, it’s going to come down to taste. If you don’t like black metal (get out), you will not care if Blut Aus Nord brings the house down. However, I once saw August Burns Red on accident, and I had to set aside my frostbite for a second to admit they really nailed it. While they will never be my thing, I could appreciate their mix of high-energy tightness and engaging banter. On the flip side, I’ve seen bands I really like that put on a solid show, but didn’t lift me to the higher realm I was anticipating. General taste will dictate much of the live music experience, but there really is something else that takes a live performance to a new level.

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NERDS

One of the greatest live music experiences of mine was when I saw the Miró Quartet play all three of the Beethoven Opus 59 Razumovsky String Quartets (tl;dr, some classical nerds played some classic stuff). The level of ensemble awareness, technical ability, and sheer musicianship was absolutely astounding. One of my favorite moments (I sat right at the front like a huge nerd) was in the Adagio of Op. 59 No. 2, when there was a hiccup that was only discernable by the members’ faces: the violist briefly glanced at the first violinist with a smirk that suggested “hey, we messed up, but we’re way too good for anyone to notice” (I did not notice). It gave a level of personality to the performance, a touch of charm on top of an incredible musical moment.

In terms of metal, one of my favorite experiences is catching the Between the Buried and Me tour where they played their latest album, The Parallax II: Future Sequence straight through (while my trveness may be in question here, I will kindly pvnch you in the face and defend it to the devth). The band was incredibly on point, with a fantastic mix of studio-level performance and live aggression. Likewise, the crowd was in a frenzy for the duration of the performance. That brings up another important point: for metal shows especially, the crowd can have a significant impact on the perception of the performance. If The Dillinger Escape Plan brought all of their energy and insanity to a crowd of seated fans, it simply would not feel right. You need to be in a venue where the crowd can pile against the stage, and you need dudes climbing over each other to scream along with/get punched by Greg Puciato. I saw DEP in a tiny venue that my band usually plays, and it was all the marvelous chaos you would expect. I broke my glasses, a Ben Weinman landed on me at one point, and my entire body was sore a few days.

So that brings me to my final point: I don’t have a point. Get into the comments below and discuss what you think takes a live performance to the next level, because it will surely be different for each fan. What are some of the best bands you have seen, and what about it was special? Have you seen a band more than once where there was a noticeable difference between shows? That X-factor isn’t always there, no matter how good the band is, and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Hit it!

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  • CT-12

    GWAR is obviously always a good time and I’ve never seen a bad show of theirs. That audience interaction is super key to having a great time, even if it’s just for dudes wrestling to try and get fake blood spewed on them. I saw Judas Priest a few years ago and nobody was doing anything, and it killed the mood.

    • GWAR is the best. Iron Maiden puts on a killer show as well. Baroness is prob my favorite though.

      • VV.

        I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I saw Baroness on Meshuggah’s Ophidian trek, and their set was squeezed between Decapitated and Meshuggah. It was the wrong tour for them. There was just no way for them to win the crowd.

        • Stockhausen

          And I think I told you my story from that show, and how I now hate (not really, but sort of) Baroness for no good reason.

          • Guac&Roll-eh? Jim

            I’m with you, though it’s probably not fair. I spent the entire Baroness show wondering how that fucking guitar player who I was right in front of could possibly hear the rest of the band with his amp turned so loud and without in-ears, because I sure as fuck couldn’t. They may be great, but I just hate them after that.

          • Stockhausen

            I can get behind that, and I’m glad someone else has a random reason to dislike Baroness.

          • Lacertilian

            After the Blue album being average in comparison with the Red album, then a double album (Yellow & Green) even less exciting than the Blue one, left me with some dislike.

          • I had random dislike for Baroness for a while and then this past summer I had another listen and bought all their albums. Needless to say, big fan now.

      • CT-12

        Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere Back in Time” and “Maiden England”-whatever tour are the best shows I’ve ever seen, no doubt about it.

      • Trailerpants ov Steele

        Ghoul and Morbid Angel.

    • Stockhausen

      Yeah, that last point makes for an interesting difference between genres. The crowd not doing anything totally kills it at metal shows, but someone in the crowd even clearing their throat at the wrong time can really ruin a classical music performance for some people. I’m not one for an overly stuffy environment at art music events, but I do think the crowd needs to keep it down and not be distracting for the audience members.

  • Death

    I haven’t been to too many live shows. Too many people in those things. My favourite one has to be Ulver’s concert earlier this year. ‘Twas amazingly good.

    • CT-12

      You’ve gotta go to more shows man, totally worth it. Don’t wanna look back on life and see you missed out on seeing some of your favorite bands. Mind you, I totally understand that social aspect, because shows seem to bring out some of the most disgusting piles of humanity known to man, but overall, I never remember those people as much as the show.

      • Death

        Other problem is Finland. Not a lot of good bands come here. When they do it’s usually Helsinki in the middle of the week, which is impossible for me to do. I missed Swans this November because of annoying shit like that. In the middle of the week far away. I’m really pissed. Last year I missed Steven Wilson concert because of same reasons.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    I will back you 100% on that Parallax II comment. That was an incredible album to see live. That was also the first concert I went to alone, which I highly recommend as well.

    • Stockhausen

      Sometimes it’s fun to go with a big crowd and go nuts with your buddies, but other times it’s fun to drive 3.5 hours away, not know anyone, and lose your mind but yourself (my Parallax II experience).

      • CT-12

        Agreed. I went to The Faceless and Prong earlier this year alone and those were some of my favorite shows I’ve seen this year. It’s nice not having to worry about where other people want to be or what they want to do etc.

        • Yep. I finally started going to shows by myself after years of barely convincing friends that don’t dig on harsh jams to join me. It’s so much better.

          • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

            I find going to a club show by myself is more fun, you get to talk casually with other fans , have a drink, not be jostled around if you dont want to be, sit at a table and watch the show and drink. But for me the arena shows are less intimate as far as the crowd goes. Its so big and no one seems to talk. Strange how the less people the more fun the show.

          • KJM

            Almost all my concert buddies are married with kids and are too busy(and broke) to go to concerts anymore.

          • There’s a certain enjoyment I get going to shows by myself and not having to worry about anyone else with me. I can actually fuckin’ relax, drink and enjoy everything about it without a care.

          • KJM

            Fortunately, for the most part, my friends are/were pretty self-sufficient people. I never had to worry about being left in the lurch for a ride home, didn’t have to care about people getting lost, drinking too much, etc.

        • Stockhausen

          That is really nice. I’ve been to a few bigger shows with people where I’ve said “Listen, we can do whatever you want for however long you want, but at (insert time here), I’m leaving you immediately and I will be at (insert whatever stage here).”

      • Keegan Lavern Still

        That’s been my show-going routine (except with commutes only being 2 hours) ever since I graduated high school and was able to start going to shows consistently. The best part of going to shows alone, I’ve learned, is really gaining an appreciation for the shows as a whole. It’s awesome to get roughed up in the pit with your friends, but fucking nothing beats immersing yourself in the performances from bands like Russian Circles and Agalloch. I’d love to go to shows with my metal friends back home again but they’re apparently really shitty at keeping in touch, so fuck them.

  • VV.

    I went to a show where Kataklysm and Napalm Death were co-headlining, and it ruled. It probably helped that Trap Them and Coliseum got the crowd riled up first.

    • VV.

      As to why it was awesome, Kataklysm and Napalm Death both just brought tremendous energy and engaged the crowd well.

    • Man, i’d love to see Trap Them, Coliseum too. I bet that was a dope show.

  • Favorite live show I’ve ever been to was probably Every Time I Die playing a small bar in my college town on their way home from Warped Tour or something. The ETID guys were hanging out in the crowd drinking beers and jamming to the opening bands before they went on. They played a great set and the whole place was one giant mosh pit. Some dude stagedove into my face and broke my glasses, but I didn’t even care. On their last song they invited everyone to get up on stage and sing with them, so the tiny stage had about 25-30 people crowded onto it just going nuts. Afterwards, their vocalist sang along to some older tunes (not ETID songs) on stage by himself, though I can’t remember the songs. Good stuff!

    • VV.

      I’ve seen them live, and they always put on a fun show.

  • Sometimes what takes a live performance to the next level is a killer stage show. Heavy metal does not always have to remain “underground in dive bars” (after all it’s not fucking punk no matter how hard the tryhards want it to be.)

    Bands like Iron Maiden, Mötley Crüe, Rammstein, Alice Cooper, etc know the importance of putting on a killer stage show. Flames, pyrotechnics, thousands of fans screaming along to Shout at the Devil are even “more metal” to me than the awesome bands who play the clubs and steer clear of mainstream acceptance.

    To me this was just as metal as any of the hundreds of more extreme bands I saw in smaller venues. Only difference is the more extreme/lower budget bands have to work harder to make you see a pentagram and flames. Crüe just brings that shit along with them.

    • Stockhausen

      Word up to that. I love the energy and personality of being right in a band’s face at a small club, but I also love the different sort of energy and personality of a band that destroys you with long-range artillery (huge stage show). Seeing Meshuggah isn’t quite as bombastic as Motley Crue, but their huge light show and monolithic presence were unstoppable.

      • VV.

        Meshuggah’s light show is something else, and they use it to great effect. I especially love when they just have the lights blasting behind them so you can only see their silhouettes playing.

        • I’ve never seen them but, based on your description, now I want to.

          • VV.

            This is pretty common at one of their shows: http://therockfile.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/meshuggah_live7re.jpg

          • Fuck, yes. The stage show isn’t necessary but damn I sure like to get one once in a while.

            These guys aren’t gazillionaires like Maiden and Rammstein but they still bring the show. Nice.

          • VV.

            Yup. Speaking of Rammstein, I really need to see them next time they hit the states. I almost went last time but instead got a chance to travel overseas.

          • Well, the chance to travel overseas probably beats any show IMO. I don’t think they’ll be around much longer TBH. I used to subject my kids to Rammstein in the car all the time when they were little. They ask me to blast that stuff even to this day and they’re almost fully-grown.

          • VV.

            I think you’re right about the band not being around much longer. I believe I’ve read some stories that there is a lot of internal friction in the band, and the dudes are getting up there in age, especially Till.

          • I’ll bet the decision to not tour North America for over ten years probably pissed Richard Kruspe off.

          • KJM

            Wow, guess I was lucky to see them in 1998. ^_^

        • Between the music and the visuals Its sensory overload in a good way. Its kind of like a controlled trip.

          • I’m getting tickets next time they come around. I can’t stand listening to you all go on about a band I’ve never seen. Makes me feel like an outsider and somewhat ashamed.

        • though i don’t dig newer Meshuggah (with all due respect @disqus_kqxyUNPxty:disqus and Mr. Smithwick) i must agree about the light show.

          another band which does a great job of this is Animals as Leaders (i know i’m not amongst fans). they project a large visual equalizer behind them and it’s sensory overload, in a good way.

          • Lacertilian

            I enjoy Animals As Leaders.

          • that’s not all you enjoy. *wink-wink

          • Lacertilian

            You got me Detective, I also like a nice Islay Single Malt Whiskey to go along with a hop-laden IPA and a chunk of pork crackling after some fine herb.

        • Stockhausen

          Indeed. Plus, when you’re that old, it’s nice to take it easy onstage and let the lights and music do the hard work. Unless you have a neck bigger than your leg.

        • Guac “Team ThrashnDamus” Jim

          Mind’s Mirrors/In Death – Is Life/In Death – Is Death become terrifying when the lights do just that–flash behind them.

      • Lacertilian

        When Meshuggah were announced as the openers for LoG a year or two ago, I lost my shit!
        My friends that were coming just didn’t understand.
        Great show, they absolutely pummeled everyone who was there into statues, leaving us all looking like those fucking giant heads on Easter Island when the lights came back on.

    • CT-12

      Great point. I once heard Angela Gossow in an interview defending the band’s outfits (that were admittedly lolbuttz) that they wore during the backing of “Khaos Legion”. She said something to the effect that they wore the stuff to go balls out into their sound and image as a unified package and pointed out that a ton of bands like Maiden, Priest, etc before them had donned questionable attire before but it made you even that more invested into their ethos (for lack of a better word).

      • I still haven’t listened to Khaos Legions. Is it decent?

        • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

          Mostly not.

          • Haha.

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            I liked the pop hit song though. Just don’t pretend it’s anything else. No gods, no masters I think ’twas called.

        • CT-12

          Mmm, it’s decent, but not something I really would ever put on outside of the car. First song’s pretty good, all others are pretty generic but work for what they are.

        • Death

          It’s boring and bad.

          • I think from what little I’ve listened to the band I came away with the impression that the guitarist was really good but the music as a whole didn’t keep me interested.

          • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

            huh ??

          • RIP Jim Varney

        • to me, because I like AE.. It’s not a gooooood record, but it has his moments.. try listening Vengeance is Mine and City of the Dead.. Those were the songs that I really liked.. And Cult of Chaos, were they go FULL skid row lol

    • I saw MC with WASP and I think Warrant (way after their primes) and they still put on a good show.

      • I fucking love WASP. I had their first one on cassette not long after it came out and that shit was definitely mindblowing for its time. I think it still holds up well. There’s a lot of their albums I never heard after The Headless Children but I still have a soft spot in my heart for them.

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

        I love WASP and I would love to see them. The Crimson Idol is my favorite album of theirs and my favorite album ever. Their other albums are amazing as well.

    • I remember seeing a live dvd of A7X. Say what you will about their music, but they put on one hell of a show.

      • If people like them they like them. They don’t do much for me but it’s not because “they’re not metal enough” or any fake shit like that.

    • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

      I have heard bad things about the crue retirement tour. A short set, for a farewell it should be at least 3 hours in my mind. Mars out of tune, stage cues missed, and of course neil having the microphone in the crowd for 3/4 of the show. Also i was listening to trunk and apparently one of the members dropped that they would be making more music. This feels like one of those false priest or scorpions farewell tour. The old we changed our minds because we had so much fun and such a great turn out. No shit, we thought you assholes were going to retire. Priest are playing smaller venues than they did on the epitaph tour, that’s for sure.

      • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

        Not everywhere (Priest that is) same venue and sold out a lot faster this time.

        • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

          I’m surprised. I wonder how steel panther went over with the crowd.

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            That I know not

      • Well, Neil’s voice is not what it used to be and Mars is definitely ready to get off stage for good. (I think 3 hours would be too much for Mick.) I’m surprised he was moving around as much as he was…his illness has not gotten better over the years. …I’m sure a few of them will be back with other music but if they actually tour again I’ll be a little pissed: paid over a hundred bucks each for the tickets.

        Set was like 90 minutes and Vince did a really good job of singing Home Sweet Home for the encore. They put on as good of a show as one could expect. Some song’s Vince was on and others he was a bit off. I don’t think anyone expects him to be the dude I saw in 1987 anymore.

        • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

          I can see you are a big fan, so i feel bad about my statements.

          • 14 year old JAG was a big fan haha.

            I never really bought or listened to anything after Dr Feelgood though. Their music meant a lot to me before Feelgood…maybe it’s more of a nostalgia-thing for me. IDK/ But I still love those albums. Especially SatD.

          • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

            I think you are right, the 90 minute set and having an opener (which is unusual for a retirement tour) must mean mars is struggling to get through the night, probably not letting on how much pain he is really in.

          • I think that was the idea behind their decision to do no more tours. They don’t want to have to replace Mick on stage.

            Alice Cooper was a total freaking pro…as one would expect. My daughter loves Alice Cooper so she was really stoked to see the whole show.

          • KJM

            Seen Alice 4 times, perfect every time.

      • Fingers Crossed for a new Methods Of Mayhem or Sixx A.M. album!

      • KJM

        I’m just fine with Scorpions going back on their word, gives me another chance to see them again. The others? Meh.

  • pïgchop™
  • Here’s a collection of the best memories, i’ve got from metal shows: Once saw 36 Crazyfists in our local dive bar/venue (which has sadly closed due to under age drinking [thanks alot fucking stupid kids]). At one point, Brock decides he wants to do stage dive. little 17 year old me was lucky enough to have my forehead meet his foot as he dove for a dense area of people. I bled for about ten minutes. Brock apologized afterwards.

    Saw DEP in Boulder last year. By far the most energy ever experienced at a live show. Got a mic shoved in my face and screamed the chorus for “Farewell Mona Lisa” then jumped on stage for “Sunshine The Werewolf” and started headbanging in unison with Greg and Ben, only to have the entire floor follow me on-stage. fucking crazy. I vomited due to exhaustion afterwards.

    As I Lay Dying also played a local show at the redneck country bar in town that has two levels. During that one really popular song AILD has (I can’t remember the name of the song) one of my drunken friends decided to liven up the venue a litte and took a balcony dive from the second story directly onto the floor a few feet behind me. he was immediately booted the fuck out, but it made for a very metal experience.

    ….too many memories to list

    • Stockhausen

      I got some mic time on “When I Lost My Bet” when I saw Dillinger. It was magical. Your experience sounds even better, pretty much the pinnacle of crowd participation.

      • Keegan Lavern Still

        Not as cool as yours, but I ended up getting Greg’s knee in my face when I last saw them. It was the greatest 15 seconds of my life that night.

        • KJM

          I was kicked in the face(by accident) at a Gang Green show by a stage diver.

        • everyone here got punched by Greg Puciato or what?!

      • KJM

        I got to sing along with H.R. of Bad Brains when he did a solo tour in 1988. I’m up front singing along with the lyrics oblivious to all else when I hear my off key voice over the PA. Then I realize H.R. was holding the mike in my face for 1/2 the song.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

      Some of my favorite concert memories are when I saw Mushroomhead and the singer gave me a high five for an unknown reason, getting punched in the face in a Hatebreed pit and when I saw UFO and was right on the barricade. I sang along to every song in their set and they were the best concert I have ever seen. The only band who comes close to that greatness is Y&T.

      • I’m surprised you know Y&T 🙂

        • KJM

          Seen ’em twice, (Twisted Sister/Y&T/Dokken & Motley Crue/Accept/Y&T, both in 1985).

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

          Of course I know them. They did a great show when I saw them and I plan to see them again in April because of how great their show was.

  • I want to go to more live shows. Problem is my work schedule always interferes.

    • CT-12

      Shitty, you work graveyard or something?

      • 3-11 Tuesday through Saturday. That may be changing soon though. At least I don’t miss the football games.

        • CT-12

          Wow, that blows. Hopefully that changes!

        • KJM

          I was lucky. I worked 3rd shift but as long as I gave good advance notice(at least 2 weeks), I could miss a night and it wouldn’t cause trouble.

    • Lacertilian

      At least you can try and cancel work.
      I can’t cancel being stuck in no man’s land where no-one tours.

      • Nah I don’t call in sick unless I’m actually sick. And even then I sometimes don’t call in sick. I suppose that’s my curse, I have too much integrity.

        • Lacertilian

          You’re doing it wrong!
          Call in sick when you’re not sick, so you can enjoy the day/hangover/bangover.
          Go in when you’re sick and hang around people you don’t like in an attempt to make them sick.

  • Seeing Agalloch was pretty amazing this year, last year we went and saw Alcest/Deafheaven (which might be one of the best shows i’ve ever been to), and the couple of times that I saw Atlas Moth were standouts, as well. Blind Guardian also pretty memorable, they had a lot of “presence.” Thou also one of the better live shows i’ve been to. The list goes on and on, luckily i’m in an area where getting to a good show isn’t an ordeal, so i’m fortunate enough to see a lot of them.

    • CT-12

      Saw part of their set with Yob earlier this year, their show finally got me into checking them out more and now I really like them. They were super fucking cool live though I didn’t know any of their material.

    • Loved that Agalloch show as well. What did you think of Obsidian Tongue (the opening act?) I thought they brought it as well.

    • HessianHunter

      I <3 The Atlas Moth 4evr

      • Old Believer is the best album of the year. I started seeing them live around the time that An Ache for the Distance came out. In love ever since.

  • Best non-metal show thread?

    Mine would be Brand New. They are fucking incredible live. (Disclaimer: haven’t been to many non-metal shows in general)

    • Either Boris, Mono, or some of the other post- shows I’ve been to.

    • CT-12

      I know I’m gonna get some shit for this one, and I still consider it kind of metal, but for posting’s sake, I saw both Queensryche’s in the same week when they were going through their whole lawsuit thing. Geoff Tate’s Queensryche blew Todd’s out of the water, not even joking.

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

        That surprises me. I wouldn’t expect a Geoff Tate show to be so good.

        • CT-12

          Well, it helps that he was doing all of Operation: Mindcrime live because that’s one of my favorite albums of all time. But he did a way longer set, still sang pretty good, all the scab players were on point, way nicer venue, and just a bunch of shit that blew the other one out of the water. I’m still glad the other version got the Queensryche name and hopefully when I see them again it’ll be better.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      Mine has to be The Dear Hunter, I have seen them a disgusting amount of times live. Probably will write something about them soon.

      • Stockhausen

        I love The Dear Hunter! I’ve seen them twice, once was them opening for Dredg (one of my long-time favorite bands). They put on a great show, although I gotta say that I’m not into their last album. Let me know if you need any input on whatever you write about.

        • Dredg was another show I think I caught at Ziggy’s in Winston and that was quite atmospheric.

          • Stockhausen

            Nice! I’ve seen them 5 times, and I drove 7.5 hours for one of the shows. I need them to not be done, but they’ve really slowed down the last couple years.

          • This would have had to have been at least 10 years ago, probably more, that i saw them

    • Think I’ve only ever been to one non-metal show…regrettably it was Nsync in Boston in the mid 90s, but i was like 12 or something. So it’s not like i was living the brvtal cvlt life yet. Next closest thing would be Ides of Gemini opening for Ghost. Other than all the Van’s Warped Tours I’ve been to, that’s about it.

      • Oh yea…I saw Incubus at Red Rocks too….That was they show they released as their live dvd too…so, I’m in there is me singing along to “Pardon Me”.

        • Actually I saw 311 and Incubus back in their heydays and they put on a pretty good show (was probably like 13 at the time).

          • damn 311 in their heyday must have been rad.. As for the Incubus show, this was right after they released “Crow Left of the Murder”. I’ve been a fan of theirs since i bought the Little Nicky soundtrack….come to think of it, that soundtrack may have been my gateway to metal.

          • That’s an odd gateway but I maintain that Little Nicky is underrated as a movie.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6DKyolWCnI

          • The soundtrack was essentially a nu-metal/alt-rock sampler. I learned about Foo Fighters and Incubus. Disturbed was on there too, and it just took off from there. And most importantly, that was the first time i’d listened to the Deftones.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            A lot of those movies from that time had great alt rock/nu metal soundtracks. Queen Of The Damned and Freddy Vs Jason come to mind when I think about great alt rock/nu metal soundtracks.

          • Yeah, this would have been right around the time of “Make Yourself.” Incubus was good, but 311 was better. Pnut sweat so much his bass shorted out.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            I’ve heard that 311 still put on a great show. I wouldn’t know about Incubus but I’ve got friends who have seen 311 and they said they ruled.

    • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

      Until Tom Waits shows up these parts (never-ever) it’s Tuomari Nurmio as Dumari & Spuget. A cigar-box guitar, an upright bass and near-unintangible lyrical greatness from a man whose charisma is bigger than the self-centered moronism of that guy from The Faceless.

      • Stockhausen

        When Tom Waits plays live again, I’m buying a plane ticket right the eff then. I’ll have to check out…whoever it was you just said.

        • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

          Be careful. A million albums and many styles (even…goddammit…rap) The latest albums he’s done I think are by that name.

          And seriously book TWO plane tickets to the next Tom Waits gig. I’ll never see him otherwise.

          • Stockhausen

            The rap albums may me a bust for me, but I love discovering artists with a huge and diverse back catalog. I discovered Waits in 2012, not long after his most recent album. I basically didn’t sleep for a year as I madly crammed everything of his into my ears. I will not allow myself to never get to see him.

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            Discovered Waits around the same time and in somewhat similar fashion.

            It’s only one song that rap (if memory serves), so even if it is bad, there ain’t too much of it.

          • Stockhausen

            Ah, then I should be able to soldier through.
            Side note: does everyone over there love Tom Waits? I was in Norway last summer and I got into a discussion with a guy about Waits, and he was baffled when he learned that a lot of people in the US don’t know who he is/don’t like his music.

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            I know only one one guy who likes Waits. But I think a lot of people know of him and kind of expect him to be more known. And everytime a music mag covers him they make it look like he was a gazillionaire thanks to his music.

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            ‘Cause I am a nice guy I’ll put these here. Not in the same style as the gig was nor do I know if these are the best entry points but nice songs anyway. Lasten mehuhetki especially has creepy lyrics (translate will help)
            http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DBL6n8CuWgc

            http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zSQotdIP2P0

          • Death

            I really like Waits. Haven’t met anyone who likes him yet, but Finns usually like iskelmä and pop.

      • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

        Or Melrose. They were really good. And probly the only band round here I don’t play in.

    • Stockhausen

      Mine would have to be the string quartet performance I mentioned in the article, along with the handful of times I’ve seen Dredg. From a performer’s standpoint, my favorite playing experience was when I played timpani on a full choir and orchestra performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony. Absolutely transcendent.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

      I would have to say the best non metal show I’ve been to was for a hair band called Y&T. They were co headlining a concert I saw with Twisted Sister and they blew Twisted Sister off the stage. I’m seeing them in April as they’re coming near me again.

    • Keegan Lavern Still

      Even though they have bits and pieces of metal in their sound, Stolen Babies opening for Devy and Katatonia a few years back. Those beautiful fuckers made me start reaching out of metal for juicy jams, and I have since found SO MANY of them.

    • Lacertilian

      Regina Spektor @ the Sydney Opera House.
      Took my missus for our anniversary one year.
      Wine made it work.

  • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

    Riistetyt, which plays HC punk (not your average madball bs, but real hc) was playing a nostalgy show and I went qith my friend to see it. I wasn’t huge on the band or punk and had only heard their later more crossover-ish stuff. It turned out marvelous. The singer had the crowd by the balls the whole time, and it felt good. He wasn’t much of a traditional performer but boy did he know how to take a crowd.

    Later on we went to see them again, only not a nostalgia gig, in a bigger place. I was nervous knowing they would play much stuff I wasn’t gonna like. Somehow the same guy managed to outdo himself and threw an even better show. That was maybe the best I have been to.

    • WAIT. Is Madball not real hc now? When the fuck did that happen?

      • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

        Madball and their peers sound more metal than punk and for me HC has always stood for Hardcore punk.

        • more beer

          NYHC that is all.

      • Death

        Obviously BMTH is the real HC.

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

        Of course Madball is real HC. They come to my area very often as do Hatebreed. I haven’t seen Madball though.

      • more beer

        It didn`t happen they are real hardcore. That was delusions from an imaginary land.

    • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

      How does Neurosis do it? No one sans the bassist (10 into first song loses his mind, I suspect severe schizophrenia) is moving, yet it’s so encompassing

      • HessianHunter

        Because it’s genuine and they never fake the emotions they evoke. They’re not a thrash band; it’s intense in an inward way, so for them to perform like DEP would just be forced and weird.

        • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

          I kinda get it (and love them) but it seems so weird that with so little you can make it feel like so much. As if there was a huge performance going on and yet there isn’t

    • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

      Every single member of the crowd climbing on-stage for “Between…” at an Anaal Nathrakh gig was pretty cool too.

  • CT-12

    Related, I’m seeing Death to All tonight, fucking stoked.

    • Trailerpants ov Steele

      I saw em in LA with my buddy, I’m planning on seeing em again when they come to my area and definitely getting to meet Steve Di Giorgio.

      • CT-12

        What’d you think of the show?

        • Trailerpants ov Steele

          It was pretty damn awesome. Oh and Rivers of Nihil is EXTREMELY AWESOME.

          • CT-12

            Nice man. I’ve been apprehensive with RON just because I’ve heard there was some weird suspicion of a member of the band being some rapist or pedophile or something. As Schuldiner himself said though, I should “support music, not rumors”

          • Bill Cosby’s in RON?

          • CT-12

            ^^^The gold standard hahaha

          • Trailerpants ov Steele

            Best coincidence ever, I was looking up those allegations and Bill cosby came up.

    • totes jelly. i’d just get a seat up high and watch sean reinert with binoculars (he’s in my top 5, if not #1)

      • CT-12

        Oh yeah dude, Sean Reinert’s probably my favorite drummer of all time outside of Craig Nunemacher. Saw him with Cynic earlier this year, the dude’s just so fucking good at drums it’s insane. Makes it look easy as hell.

      • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

        I know, i used to be in the front, but heading towards 50 i am getting too old to fight for 3 hours at the front of the stage. I have never went in for the moshing and pit shit. I want to get up front and just watch how the fuck these stellar musical gods are playing their intricate music.

        • Gvrp

          *gets on lawn*
          Yeah, old man, wouldn’t want you breaking a hip or anything…

          • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

            bazinga !

    • Xan

      Have fun, dude. I was all set to go during the North Carolina show but my Biology professor had other plans and decided to give us a paper on the probability of a child having hemophilia if the parents were both normal but carrying the trait. SO MUCH FUN!

      • #recessivegenes

        • Xan

          #monohybridcrosses

      • Elite Extremöphile

        damn how many north carolinians we got up in this bitch?

      • CT-12

        Wow, fuck that, hope you get to see them soon

    • David Vincent on Tinder

      Let us all know how rad it was.

      • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

        Yea, everybody who goes to a show should write an extended comment about it. I am always fascinated by concert reviews, especially by real fans, not jaded music journalists.

      • CT-12

        IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME!!! Seriously though man, definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, great fucking setlist

    • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey

      Definitely a great show. Saw them with Gorguts a little while back.

  • Trailerpants ov Steele

    Btw in relation to another comment of mine, Rivers of Nihil is completely rocket and next time I see em I’m buying the shit out of their merch.

    • i would watch the fvck out of them live, Vince be damned.

      • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

        666 days of trve kristmas day 3

        on the 664 of kristmas varg gave to me :

        A crate of burzum albums which i dumped in the sea.

        • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

          NOOOOOO! You could have given them to a bear!

          • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

            Even bears won’t put something that shitty in their mouths.

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            I would’ve!

            (Karhu = Bear)

          • Death

            What the fuck does “beerhands” mean? Is it one of these damn inside jokes again?

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            Yes it is an inside joke.

          • Death

            Oh god fucking dammit! There’s too many of them!

          • Death, eat a snickers.

          • No, death, eat an oreo.

          • Death

            Eat a dildo.

          • Nordling Beerhands Karhu

            Haxl’s Dragon Bilbo?

          • Too late.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            Death, stop being cold as ice.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYWiJNKfBU4

        • make sure your Chrimbus bush is trimmed and wet!

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            I don’t celebrate Chrimbus but I do celebrate Festivus.

          • I’m buying you a .45 for christmas McNulty

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            I’m buying McNulty a nice mug that looks like a biohazard can that the Spencers near me sells. If not that I’ll buy him one of those coffee thermoses that looks like a camera lens.

          • Trailerpants ov Steele

            Will that Biohazard can sell tea and be filled with shades of Earl Grey?

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            It depends what you drink when it comes to those kind of beverages. You can put tea in it, you can put coffee in it, it doesn’t really have a specific purpose beverage wise/

          • i’m gonna get you.. a new… poop deck?

          • ONLY IF YE SWAB IT NEXT, LANDLUBBER

  • HessianHunter

    I saw the Miro Quartet absolutely demolish Schubert’s 14th String Quartet, aka Death and the Maiden and it was breathtaking. Those kids are pretty fuckin’ good.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

      You know what I’ve always wanted to see? There’s this group called 2Cellos who do amazing cello renditions of rock songs and they’re going down to NYC in April. I plan on going if I don’t go see Y&T or Pat Travers.

      • Guac “Team ThrashnDamus” Jim

        I always felt that they were just kinda doing stuff Apocalyptica had already done over a decade ago. Not that they’re not talented, but just that they started blowing up, I wasn’t wowed in the same way everyone else seemed to be.

  • HessianHunter

    WEIRD OPINION TIME: the most EVIL live band I’ve ever seen is… The Ocean. To me, much moreso than yer Watains and yer Cannibal Corpses and any other Satan-obsessed bands, their live energy is somehow just genuinely, palpably demonic, even though their music is about outer space and philosophy and shit. Can’t explain it except that when The Ocean performs, I feel like I’m watching otherworldly forces that truly hate life lovers and their puny God and intend to destroy both.

    • I remember seeing these guys when they came to our little dive bar/venue. Such a damn good show. Plus it was very surreal having this huge post-metal band playing in my home town. This was right around the time they put out Precambrian.

      • HessianHunter

        They were supposed to play a big supporting US tour after putting out the -Centric albums, but they got fucked out of the tour and just did a DIY us tour instead. This meant they played a shitty “metal” bar in St. Paul with a bunch of wack local deathcore bands. They were incredible, even though the show itself was mega shitty.

    • Guac “Team ThrashnDamus” Jim

      I’d love to see them live, especially before their last batch of lineup changes. They really had something otherworldy going on, like you said.

    • God

      I’m not puny 🙁 it’s just cold. It happens to everyone!

    • Trailerpants ov Steele

      I imagine that’s the best description of an Akercocke show as well.

      • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

        speaking of the cocke. Here is a live clip of them doing leviathan which is pretty much their signature track. And the quality of the clip and their live playing is out of this world. At this point they had graduated from casual to super casual stage attire. I found this by accident and was blown away. Must have been one of their last shows. The sound and video gets better as it progresses.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_-vimmKhFs

        • Trailerpants ov Steele

          I liked the formal suit stage attire, provided a weird contrast in way. But I love Love LOVE that ambient keyboard part towards the end. If I had remembered that would have been my non-guitar riff of the week.

  • FeelTheDarkness

    Oasis

    • Lacertilian

      yuk.

      • FeelTheDarkness

        Twice

  • Guac “Team ThrashnDamus” Jim

    I think this might have come up on a Washington Think Tank, but Rammstein is one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. The entire show is so well designed and the effects just escalate the live performance to the next level. Next to them, Roger Waters also puts on a mind-boggling live show.

    I’ve also seen shows that are in smaller venues, and are much more intimate. I love both kinds of shows, but I think in a large venue, do lots of visual things to utilize the space you have, and in a small venue, keep it simple but engage the audience. There are ways to do both situations correctly, and I’ve seen tons of bands in stadium settings who have no live “performance” and they become boring, and tons of bands in small venues who try to put on a stage show, and it feels underwhelming and tacky.

    • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

      I really want to see Rammstein live. Them and TooL are on my bucket list.

      • Guac “Team ThrashnDamus” Jim

        Oh I’d forgotten about Tool!! They also put on a great show, though in a much darker way. They managed to cultivate a mood in the audience that kept me engaged through the whole show, even though they themselves didn’t do much. The lights were great, and the vibe was addicting.

        I highly recommend seeing both bands.

        • Tool and Rammstein are two things I’ve never seen that I think would be dope.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            They’re better live than Foreigner, that’s for sure. I saw them at my county fair and they were bad. It didn’t help that the one original member was not Lou Gramm.

          • No interest in seeing Foreigner, sorry Janitor Jim (but I think its good they brought you back)

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            No one should have to see them when they’re this bad. At least a band like Tool can put on a show. Many bands have an addicting vibe like Tool such as the Misfits when I saw them.

          • I just want Maynard’s house. #momoneymoprollems

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            He has a very nice house. I would buy it if I had the money.

          • #Gaudy is the poor man’s word for #Expensive

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Trailer P

            I prefer to call flashy things like that garish because gaudy just isn’t part of my language. I was looking at pictures of a house that Mike Tyson used to own that was extremely garish. It had tiger cages, a basketball court and rooms that looked like a 70’s disco club. The house has been abandoned for years though it is on sale.

          • Marciano was the greatest boxer ever, anyway

          • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey
      • Lacertilian

        My first gig was seeing Tool in Sydney on the Lateralus tour when I was about 16.
        Ridiculously good.
        So much so that when some of my friends went last tour I couldn’t go for fear that it may not live up to the nostalgia of that immense night.
        Might also have had something to do with 10’000 days not grabbing me much.

  • JWG

    So last night I went to my first ‘non metal’ gig in pretty much ages because there was no way I would pass up Makana touring outside Hawaii. He’s an exceptional young slack key guitarist whose activity is mixed between playing in the style of his ‘elders’, writing original compositions in a similar (but progressive) style … and taking music from other styles (blues, jazz, and early rock and folk-rock) and rearranging them to suit his progressive slack-key style.
    Here are two covers from a past gig at a Resort Hotel in Maui:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTl3AmnlnCg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liIu7RSPo1g

    I didn’t think to record last night, but I do recall the non-Hawaiian “covers” he did were Robert Johnson and James Taylor.

  • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey

    That’s one of the things I miss about my music journalism days, going to 2-3 concerts a week for free (and often with a guest pass, which I used a number of times to get laid). Best concerts I’ve seen: Melotron, Sigur Ros, Craig Ferguson (not music, I know), Mago De Oz, VNV Nation, Napalm Death, Cynic, Meshuggah, State Of The Union, Cradle Of Filth (hate their music, but they put on one fucking hell of a stage show), Luftwaffe, Hocico, Death To All, Neil Halsted (the guy from Slowdive, who I also met and got a signed CD from that I still have), Goreguts, Blind Guardian, Fintroll, Moonsorrow, Peter Murphy, Diary Of Dreams, Wintersun and way too many others to even name.

    • You saw Melotron? …the German synth-pop band? Damn…that’s about the last band I’d have expected to be namedropped on a blog like this haha.

      • Mannn I’d love to see Wintersun. Blind Guardian was really good. Another I haven’t seen is Kamelot, which I guess wouldn’t be the same now.

        • I had a chance to see Wintersun and I totally freaking blew it. Love Wintersun and Time I was amazing. The production was like classical with booming dynamics and shit.

          • Didn’t I read something about the production costs of that album being outrageous? Wintersun >>>>>>

          • Fuck it…artists should care about how their art is conveyed. Starving artists still use the best canvases they can find and the best paints to paint them with. With most modern music it’s somehow shockingly different:

            I guess most bands really don’t give a squirt of piss how bad their music may sound to future generations who will laugh their asses off and/or not even listen to their clipped/distorted/overly-compressed crap.

          • Urr no, that was my stance entirely. I <3 high production. That's like saying "yeah I know we have the *vaccine for polio, but i'd rather *everyone roll around in the wheelchair" (edit: i just now realize i misinterpreted you, my comment still stands.)

          • Gvrp

            You’d think that’s how it would be for all the basement black metal.

          • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey

            Yep, and that’s been a major roadblock to Time II getting finished.

      • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey

        Yep, I looooooooooooove ’em (and synthpop in general)! Also interviewed them way back when, and met them backstage.

        http://www.chaindlk.com/interviews/Melotron/

        • Nice.

          I have Sternenstaub and Cliche.

          • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey

            Awesome! Morderwerk and Weltfreiden are my personal faves.

    • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

      may i rent your memories ? A kind of pay per view. So much per minute.

      • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey

        Sure, but you’re gonna have to sort through a lot of thoughts of “damnit, my ass itches”, “man, I’m not flushing this one, I gotta show everyone! I think it’s throbbing!”, and sticking my pinky in various chicks’ buttholes.

        • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

          The last line sounds promising.

    • I entered journalism school to do music journalism lol.. never found a work in that area 🙁 I would kill to interview Cynic

      • Kim Jong Un Pardons A Turkey

        I never made any money off of it, just got hooked up with free DVD’s. CD’s, tickets and interviews.
        If you find a site or mag to write for, just simply toss Season Of Mist an email and they’d likely set you up with a Cynic interview, no problems.

        • thanks, Kim Jong Un.. you made me hopes in a bright future one more time..

  • MikeHawke

    Happy world toilet day, flushers

  • agent ov void
  • Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo

    I saw Weedeater 2 years ago and it was LOUD, and Dixie Dave is a great showman. I saw Red Fang 4 times and they get tighter every show. I am also stoked to see Earth nex January

    • Weedeater was indeed awesome live. I missed a chance to see Earth, maybe they’ll come back around here.

      • Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo

        Talking about missed chances, I missed Conan a month ago and I’m still pissed about it

  • KJM

    Love going to concerts. I’ll probably go see Opeth next month despite not caring about the support acts.

  • I’ve only went to a couple of shows here, mostly local bands. The only international bands I saw were a Pantera Tribute, Ross the Boss (didn’t liked) and Brujería (Didn’t liked either). In fact, I think that the show that really moved my ass was one of a venezuelan Alt Rock band: VINILOVERSUS. Pffft, they put a hell of a show… They play with two bassist and the sound was peerfect.

  • KJM

    Any David Bromberg fans in the house?

    I once saw him do a solo acoustic show(circa 1990) in a small club during which he did a fiddle solo while walking through the audience. He saw me in my Metallica ‘Metal Up Your Ass’ shirt, walked right up to me, and got even crazier with the fiddle solo for about 30 seconds and then walked back to the stage. Mind blown.

  • hey guise! i was just watching the news. HALP WAT IS THIS
    http://youtu.be/kmwisVEjJFo

    WHAT DIS IS?!