I’ve decided to chart the top 10 live performances I’ve seen this year, I count individual artist performances meaning that I can have multiple performances from Festivals for example as otherwise it would make the list unfair as Download would easily win hands down, although it has to be admitted even doing it this way it is a Download heavy list! Anyway here goes: –
10. Of Monsters & Men – Reading Festival 26/08/2012
I saw these at Reading solely because my younger brother & Si wanted to see them, was massively impressed so much so I got their album and purchased a ticket to go see them again next year in Portsmouth in March, therefore worthy of the 10th spot on my list.
9. Soundgarden – Download Festival 10/06/2012
I’m not going to lie I was never the hugest fan of Soundgarden and I still don’t like a lot of their earlier stuff as I find it all a bit too sludgy for my taste, although I really enjoyed their latest offering ‘King Animal’. I saw Soundgarden if I’m honest because I wanted to tick them off my list and I knew Chris Cornell was a good singer, but I was genuinely blown away by how good they were and had to make my list.
8. Katherine Jenkins – Portsmouth Guildhall – 08/01/2012
This was my first concert of 2012 and was definitely against the norm for a lot of the shows I go to, but her performance was nothing short of faultlessly stunning, and is without doubt the best vocal performance I’ve ever seen although that probably shouldn’t be a surprise given that she is a classically trained singer!
7. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls – Bath Pavilion – 01/12/2012
If the last performance on the list was the first show of the year this was the last, I knew Frank Turner was good but this show just seemed to up the ante even more, the last night of the tour they were all clearly having fun all night and it just added to the enjoyment and energy of the crowd. I think this show was also added to by the fact that it was nice to be away for a weekend and check out a beautiful city and new venue.
6. Billy Talent – Portsmouth Pyramids – 16/11/2012
What can I say about this show, the support was truly terrible some of the worst I’ve ever seen but from the opening note to the last Billy Talent more than made up for that with a simply stunning performance, I was bowled over at Download by them I was left Speechless after this show! Truly Amazing!
5. Mastodon – Brixton Academy – 11/02/2012
Up next are my favourite Metal behemoth’s Mastodon, this band are just the epitome of awesome, so technically gifted, and they’ve improved massively on the vocal front too, especially now Brann Dailor takes on a lot of the clean Vocals. This performance was in all honesty probably note perfect, and the fact that it was one of the few gigs I’ve actually stood at the front for in years probably added to the specialness.
4. Biffy Clyro – Download Festival – 09/06/2012
Well lets face it they were always going to be in this list it was just a case of where, I’ve settled for 4th because of the sheer phenomenon’s that are the top 3, this performance was brilliant and was a chance for me to see some of the new material live which was a huge bonus!
3. Foo Fighters – Reading Festival – 26/08/2012
What can I say it’s the Foo Fighters so it’s guaranteed to be amazing, the fact that they took the opportunity to unleash a fair bit of material off of the first album just made it extra special. Dave Grohl & Reading Festival is just a special pairing that always seems to bring out the best in them!
2. Metallica – Download Festival – 09/06/2012
Ah, Metallica, there stage banter/show maybe as cliched as ever (and unchanged for the last 30 years) but boy do they know how to put on a show, they also had another trick up their sleeve, ‘The Black Album’ in it’s entirety which for me meant I’d finally get to see ‘My Friend Of Misery’ live as I love that song and when James Hetfield got the crowd to split for the vocal harmonies what a truly amazing moment that was.
Before I get to number one I would like to say that this was an incredibly hard list to put together as there were so many other great performances I saw this year, Steel Panther & Anthrax at Download for example, Lady Antebellum was a great show, as was Bombay Bicycle Club at Portsmouth Guildhall unfortunately I can’t list them all so here’s to the number one!
1. Black Sabbath – Download Festival – 10/06/2012
There could only ever be one winner here, I mean come on It’s Black Sabbath!!! I know there are defector’s that will make note of the fact there was no Bill Ward and although that was true, it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to seeing them. The thing that made this so amazing though was the back story having seen Ozzy before I knew that his voice was all but shot and yet somehow he almost seemed to have gotten it back here I don’t know if it’s because this was essentially a one off show and therefore wasn’t doing it night after night or something else but he just seemed to have it on this night, add to that the fact that Tony Iommi was in the middle of fighting cancer and still came out and put on the Performance of a lifetime, I can honestly say I felt Honoured to be there at witness this show!