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07.05.14 Awesome Songs Of The Moment Vol.1612.27.13 2013: A Year In Concerts
12.18.13 '13 Favorites/needs More Listens/disapp09.11.13 Awesome Songs Of The Moment Vol.15
08.14.13 10 Awesome Moments Vol.207.16.13 Awesome Songs Of The Moment Vol.14
07.02.13 10 Awesome Moments Vol.105.02.13 Awesome Songs Of The Moment Vol.13
02.22.13 Ten Favorite Bands/album/song01.02.13 Engleprunt's Top 25 Of 2012
12.26.12 2012: A Year In Concerts12.04.12 70 For 2012
10.03.12 Dream Setlist - Local H09.13.12 Awesome Songs Of The Moment Vol.12
07.11.12 Awesome Songs Of The Moment Vol.1112.22.11 2011: A Year In Concerts
12.20.11 2011 Billboard Top 4010.08.11 Top Ten Mastodon
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2012: A Year In Concerts

Annual San Francisco Bay Area concert going list! So again, I beat my record from the year previous but I was feeling pretty drained near the end. I was thinking about seeing the Melvins and Primus in this last week of the year but am gonna pass. Now there's a bit of a break before it all starts up again with Gojira and Devin Townsend on Jan. 23. Also, here are some bands that came to town that I wanted to see but for one reason or another, didn't make it happen: Crosses, East Of The Wall/Black Tusk, Slayer/Anthrax/Slipknot, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Metallica/Foo Fighters/Beck, Cannibal Corpse/The Faceless/Goatwhore/Exhumed, Kreator, Buckethead, Converge/Torche/Kvelertak, Red Fang, Skeletonwitch/Havok, Neurosis/Voivod, Lamb Of God/Sylosis.
1Ziva
Just Another Night


Jan. 15 @ Viracocha w/La Commission and Garrin Benfield - The first show of the year was my friend's EP release show at a cozy little venue in the Mission. Bron and I came home early from visiting a friend in Vegas to film every band's set. Had we stayed one extra night in Nevada, we could have seen Tool and Intronaut at Mandalay Bay. No comment. 3/5
2Versus Them
A Sunny Day


Jan. 20 @ 19 Broadway - Version 3.0 of Versus Them (featuring two guitarists) had their last show and it was great. I am happy the old keyboardist, John, is back but will miss the extra hard rocking version of this band. Again, I filmed this show like every VT set and got some great footage. 4/5
3Hammers Of Misfortune
17th Street


Jan. 21 @ The Uptown w/Giant Squid - Oakland's Uptown is a great place to catch show and I was excited to see Hammers Of Misfortune, a band I had recently discovered the year prior. Giant Squid opened for them and were a tough act to follow. HoM were fun live but a bit long-winded. I think Koog and his new girlfriend didn't enjoy them as much as I did but overall, a good time was had by all. 3.5/5
4Whiskerman
Whiskerman


Jan. 27 @ Red Devil Lounge - Graham's band opened for some other bands that I can't remember the names of. Whiskerman was great as usual, but everything else was unmemorable. 3/5
5Stolen Babies
There Be Squabbles Ahead


Feb. 2 @ Bottom Of The Hill - The return of Stolen Babies! My friend, Aaron, and I loved this band back in college when they would open for Sleepytime Gorilla Museum so we were super excited to see them play again after so long. On their Facebook page, I requested one of their oldest songs, "A Civil Disguise," not expecting to hear it later that night. However, not only did they play it, but beforehand, they announced that a fan had requested it that afternoon! Hell yeah? Hell YEAH, hell yeah! 4.5/5
6Exodus
Exhibit B: The Human Condition


Feb. 4 @ The Metro Operahouse w/Possessed and a ton of shitty thrash bands - The Metro is a dump in the best way possible and totally fit this 80s throwback show. The night was dedicated to Paul Baloff, the original singer of Exodus, and only old shit was played for their entire incendiary set. It was cool seeing Possessed open even I couldn't see their wheelchair-bound singer. My metal buddy/coworker, Tamra was very excited to see Exodus play and we stood in the sweet spot (back edge of the pit) for the whole show. Kirk Hammet made a cameo and jammed on some old Exodus songs near the end of the night. Great show. 4/5
7August Burns Red
Leveler


Feb. 5 @ The Regency Ballroom w/Silverstein - After a half-drunken walk from a bar to the venue on Super Bowl Sunday, I was not really in the mood to see two bands I knew nothing about but figured I might as well cuz I don't get to see my ol' concert buddy Koog that often. His girlfriend is a big fan of ABR and they were alright but not really my thing. Speaking of not really my thing, during the absolutely horrid Silverstein, a bunch of scene kids were karate-ing like fucking assholes in the "pit." Like it says on my favorite Havok t-shirt: "No karate in the pit!" 2/5
8Judgement Day
Peacocks/Pink Monsters


Feb. 17 @ Rickshaw Stop w/Whiskerman - Birthday show! All my best friends came out to see two of my favorite local bands kill it the day after my birthday. Some highlights included a birthday shout out from my buddy Jon (J.Day's drummer) before playing my favorite song of theirs (Excelsior), Whiskerman's Graham joining his brothers on stage for a cover of "Black Dog" and my pint-sized girlfriend jumping into a pit near the end of J.Day's set that I think Koog had started. Great show, great birthday. 4.5/5
9Testament
Dark Roots Of Earth


Feb. 19 @ The Avalon w/Hatriot - Here begins thrash week (3 thrash shows in one week). Tam and I traveled south to catch Testament in Santa Clara and it was worth it. She wanted to be right up close but changed her mind after the first song. I think the pit was just a bit too insane. We backed out and still had a great time watching the boys play pretty much a greatest hits set. Gene Hoglan on drums was awesome. I had forgotten that Paul Bostoph had to bow out cuz of health issues and right when I thought that, there he was, standing next to me. 4/5
10Megadeth
Rust In Peace


Feb. 23 @ San Jose Events Center w/Motorhead and Volbeat - I wasn't really planning on going to this show but my friends B.Lo and Ron were excited to see Megadeth. I drove down to SJ to hang out with them and catch Dave and co. but was kinda disappointed. I've seen them plenty of times before and Dave sounds more and more like shit each time. Music was still good though so it was fun. Motorhead were predictable but decent (drummer was fun to watch) and Volbeat was lame. 3/5
11Death Angel
Relentless Retribution


Feb. 24 @ Slim's w/Hammers Of Misfortune - Thrash week finally comes to an end with this show and it was a doozy. HoM were better in a smaller dosage and Death Angel kicked all sorts of ass. The Kiss and Metallica covers were fun and the whole night just seemed like one huge party. 4/5
12Junius
Reports From The Threshold of Death


Mar. 2 @ Bottom Of The Hill w/Happy Body Slow Brain - B.Lo and I took our significant others to a show I was expecting to be fairly tame. Happy Body Slow Brain opened and, despite their terrible name, were really good. They remind me a bit of dredg. Junius then took the stage and blew everyone's wigs back. I don't think the girls' ears were ready for the aural pounding. I always forget how loud the mix is at this venue. Didn't help that we were standing hella close to one of the speakers. Anyway, I enjoyed the show but everyone else seemed so-so about it. 3.5/5
13Versus Them
A Sunny Day


Mar. 9 @ Rockit Room w/Midi Matilda - Versus Them 3.5 (one guitar, new bassist, no keyboards still) played a last minute gig at the Rockit to a small crowd but it was still fun. Once again I filmed the set and Midi Matilda's unofficial debut (It was a practice for the official one later in the month). VT was solid as usual and the crowd really seemed to dig MM. Good news for their upcoming show. 3.5/5
14Whiskerman
Whiskerman


Mar. 23 @ Cafe Du Nord w/Song Preservation Society - Whiskerman played a solid set and debuted some new tunes but there was some drunk bitch that kept getting up on stage trying to make out with Graham as he played. He obviously was not into it and looked pretty annoyed at times. It kinda ruined the vibe for the whole night despite the band sounding great. Song Preservation Society was boring. 2.5/5
15Midi Matilda
Red Light District


Mar. 27 @ Cafe Du Nord w/Beam and Peck The Town Crier - Midi Matilda's official live debut sold out quickly and they played to a packed house. One of the guitarists from Versus Them's other band, Beam, opened and were a lot of fun. Chris Peck was his usual nerdy self but this was really the MM boys' night. It was a lot of fun and the crowd was into it. The performance was a tad sloppy cuz they were still figuring things out but overall good. I'm a little regretful that I skipped seeing East Of The Wall and Black Tusk but the girlfriend really wanted to go to this show and I wanted to support some friends in all three bands so here I was. 4/5
16Protest The Hero
Scurrilous


Apr. 2 @ Slim's w/Periphery and Jeff Loomis - I went to this show for two reasons: 1) This was gonna be Koog's last show in the Bay Area before moving to Oregon and 2) Jeff Loomis. He was great and I'd see him again anytime. Koog and his girl love PTH but I am not much of a fan. Frontman's between song banter needs a lot of work and overall it was kinda boring. They had a lot of fun so I was happy for Koog to have a great time at his last show here for the foreseeable future. As for Periphery, there were only two bands I saw this year that was worse: Silverstein two months before and Passion Pit just a couple weeks ago. 2.5/5
17Steven Wilson
Grace for Drowning


Apr. 6 @ Fillmore - I had a hard time getting into Steven's solo work but made a big effort in the two weeks prior to this show to try and wrap my head around it all. I'm glad I did because I think it helped me appreciate his set a bit more. Obviously all musicians involved were amazing and everything sounded super crisp. Tam even brought her husband along who seemed to enjoy himself. It's not often she takes him to one of our shows but I think he digs P.Tree or something. 3.5/5
18Sepultura
Kairos


Apr. 11 @ DNA Lounge w/Death Angel, Krisiun and Havok - Tam was super psyched to see Sep for the first time. We both agreed: Max or no Max, they still are great live. This lineup of bands was waaaaay better than when I saw them last year too. Death Angel, obviously was great but not as fun as usual despite playing their hometown and Krisiun was good if a bit monotonous. I was really bummed we missed Havok but hopefully there will be a chance to see them in 2013. 4/5
19Giant Squid
The Ichthyologist


Apr. 14 @ Elbo Room w/Alcest - One of my favorite local metal bands put on a small, early show at the Elbo and it was a great way to spend an afternoon. French progressive metal band, Alcest, played too and while they were good, I enjoyed their set opening for Enslaved a bit better last year. 3.5/5
20The Naked And Famous
Passive Me, Aggressive You


Apr. 21 @ The Warfield - My girlfriend was on a Naked And Famous kick so we decided to go to this show. It was a bit too poppy for me but enjoyable nonetheless. Not much else to say...The light show was cool. 3/5
21Opeth
Ghost Reveries


Apr. 27 @ The Fox w/Mastodon and Ghost - This was a really fun show and I couldn't pass up two of my favorite metal bands on one bill. Tam stood one level up from the pit while I got thrashed around during Mastodon. The second half of Opeth's set was awesome as they played both "Demon Of The Fall" and "The Grand Conjuration." The crowd went pretty nuts during those two which was fun cuz it had been fairly tame before that for the most part. Oh yeah, Ghost sucks. Bigtime. 4/5
22Meshuggah
Koloss


May 6 @ Fillmore w/Baroness and Decapitated - This was definitely the best show of the year. Seeing (or experiencing, rather) Meshuggah was the most fun I had had at a concert since Faith No More back in 2010. I'm not even a huge fanboy or anything either; they were just that good. Normally I can only get through about half of one of their albums before I need to listen to something else but after over 90 minutes of ridiculous polyrhythmic pounding, I still wanted more. Matt from Versus Them, Jon from Judgement Day, my buddy, Aaron and I all had an amazing time. At one point, I dragged Aaron into the pit during "New Millennium Cyanide Christ" so he could headbang his shit off with me. Baroness was good too and while they are probably my favorite band on this bill, they were a bit out of place. Jon and I dug their set but most of the crowd seemed kinda indifferent. Another memorable bit was the half hour of Rod Stewart's "If You Think Im Sexy" on repeat during Meshuggah's soundcheck. Ugh...Real funny, guys. 5/5
23Fear Factory
The Industrialist


May 22 @ The Regency Ballroom w/Shadows Fall - I went to this show last minute cuz I had nothing better to do that night. I used to love these two bands back in college but I'm kinda over it now. They both put out decent but not great albums this year that sound kinda dated. The live sets also reflected that lackluster nature. Nothing outright bad about the night, just nothing that stood out. I think the Regency is too big for bands of this popularity on a weeknight. 3/5
24 Soul Pie
Album


May 24 @ The Sweetwater - Some current and former Versus Them members reunited their old band with a slightly different lineup recently and played a set at the new Sweetwater in Mill Valley. They asked me to film and it was one of the best experiences I've had filming a live band. The venue is awesome: Great sound, lots of space on the dance floor, good beer and sufficient lighting on stage. On top of all that, Soul Pie killed it. Not only were their covers of Zeppelin, The Stones and Ohio Players spot on, but their original stuff was great too. Just great straight-up rock and roll. I look forward to working with them this year on a few different projects. 4/5
25The Tubes
Remote Control


Jun. 2 @ New George's - The newest New George's in San Rafael is a nice space but set up strangely. I was surprised to hear that The Tubes were gonna play there cuz it seemed small for them but I guess they draw a smaller, older crowd now after almost 40 years. Because they were one of his favorite bands back in the day, I took my dad for Father's Day. Tam and her husband met us there and we all had a good time. Roger Steen, their guitarist, is severely underrated. 3.5/5
26Jonny Keigwin Band
Goodbye Love


Jun. 11 @ The Sweetwater - w/The Highway Poets - My friends in The Jonny K Band played a fun set at my favorite new venue. It was a good time reconnecting with some people I hadn't seen in a while and the show was fun. 3.5/5
27Judgement Day
Polar Shift


Aug. 3 @ Bottom Of The Hill w/Giant Squid and A Sun That Never Sets - Holy Hell, I went almost 2 full months without a single show? Granted I was on vacation for 2 weeks of that (and missed the Death To All - Chuck Schuldiner night >:{ Bad timing!) but seeing J.Day play their album release show was a good return. Having Giant Squid open made it even better. Again, B.Lo and I took our women and once again I think I was the only one that really fully enjoyed the bands. Part of that was due to the fact that this venue insists on starting shows like at 9:30 and everyone was tired once J.Day took the stage. We left around 1am and they were still playing. 3.5/5
28Agalloch
Faustian Echoes


Aug. 11 @ Great American Music Hall - Outside Lands was happening right across the street from my apartment and after listening to Metallica "play loud enough for the entire Bay Area to hear," as James Hetfield put it, I drove out to the Hall for a much more intimate show. Highlights were "Ghosts Of Midwinter Fires" and some dude yelling, "Not Unlike The Waves!" to which John Haughm yelled back, "Not gonna happen!" A lowlight was the insane amount of mist that the fog machines were emitting the entire night. I know it's supposed to be all bleak and foresty but c'mon. 4/5
29Versus Them
A Sunny Day


Aug. 16 @ 19 Broadway w/Soul Pie - It was VT/SP keyboardist John Varn's birthday and he celebrated by having his two bands share a bill. I filmed like I always do and was happy to catch a between song pie-in-the-face happy birthday ode to the bday boy. Soul Pie had the crowd moving all night and Versus Them debuted a few new songs that will soon show up on an upcoming EP. Fun show even if my face was in the view finder the whole time. 4/5
30The Devin Townsend Project
Epicloud


Sep. 7 @ Great American Music Hall w/Stolen Babies, Paradise Lost and Katatonia - A few friends and I spent the evening with Dev and co and it was glorious. I didn't love Epicloud but live, a lot of the songs he played from that album were awesome, especially "Grace." Even the annoying "Lucky Animals" was fun. But nothing beat "Bad Devil" near the end of the set when everyone went bonkers. I love seeing Devin live and will do my best to never miss a Bay Area date. Having one of my favorites, Stolen Babies, open the show was great too Hopefully the extra exposure will give them a boost. Paradise Lost was extra boring and we didn't stay for Katatonia who have been boring in the past. 4/5
31M.I.R.V.
Feeding Time On Monkey Island


Sep. 15 @ New Parrish w/Manmade God - M.I.R.V. returns! I had not been to this Oakland venue before but it was great; bigger than it seems and a nice patio area right in the middle. The first time I ever saw M.I.R.V., Manmade God opened for them and it apparently had been about as long since they had played a show. I remember liking their one and only album but hadn't listened to it for almost 10 years. Despite the guitarist from Forbidden starting this band, the two sound nothing alike. MMG is more bro-rock than thrash and the crowd reflected that. Once M.I.R.V. took the stage, all the weirdos were front and center, Reilly-Bone and me included. It was fun hearing old high school favorites like "Cool," Monkey Boy," and "Unabomber." 3.5/5
32 Local H
Hallelujah! I'm A Bum


Sep. 26 @ Brick And Mortar - It had been a long while since I'd seen the Illinois boys play and I was excited to catch them again. Once again, I got to experience a new venue but this one wasn't as impressive as New Parrish. It was small but wide and the stage was maybe 2 feet off the ground. It made for an intimate show but just not what I was expecting. When Local H took the stage, the crowd was excited but it took a while for people to get into it. Once the end of the set was nearing, a decent-sized pit opened up and we even got Scott to go back up onstage for one last song (a cover of Wolf Like Me by TV On The Radio), even after he had already gone to the merch both to meet fans and sell shit. I mentioned in an earlier list that this band always seems to have an awesome flow to their set and tonight was no different. 4.5/5
33Deftones
Koi No Yokan


Oct. 10 @ The Warfield w/Scars On Broadway - I took my buddy, Brian, to this for his birthday and tried to get him in the pit with me for old-time's sake but he stayed near the edge the whole night. To each their own, I guess. It had been a while since I had ventured into a pit so I jumped in for the long-haul. While I had a lot of fun and the 'Tones sounded great, I think I realized I'm getting old f'real now. Most everyone in the pit with me looked like they were in high school and I seemed to get winded much earlier than normal. I'm hoping that last part was just cuz it had been since Meshuggah that I had moshed. 4/5
34Morbid Angel
Altars Of Madness


Oct. 12 @ Slim's w/Dark Funeral and Grave - A coworker, Zach, turned me onto Morbid Angel earlier in the year and we decided to check out their show when they were in town. He's a huge death metal guy and while I love it too, I had never gotten into quite possibly the most influential band of the genre. The night was full of memorable moments: The kid playing air guitar while whipping Zach's shoulder all night with his long, curly, sweaty hair, the dude near us who screamed, "Morbid Angel!" as they took the stage while filming himself on his smartphone headbanging, my favorite piece of merchandise I've ever seen from Grave: panties that said "Into the GRAVE" on the front and "Into the darkness" on the back, and lastly, the filthy dude that had been kicked out of the venue before we got there that was simultaneously making out with his even more disgusting girlfriend while trying to convince the security guard to let him back in. What a night. 4/5
35Stolen Babies
Naught


Oct. 19 @ Bottom Of The Hill - Stolen Babies returned to SF for an album release show and Aaron and I took his friend that had recently moved to the Bay Area to witness the ridiculousness. She loved it and even helped start a pit part-way through the set. At one point, some big asshole put me in a headlock and ran around in circles while I tried to break free. Later on, we all talked to Dominique, the singer, for a bit and hung out on the street cracking jokes and telling anecdotes til like 2 in the morning. Happy times. 4/5
36Death Angel
The Ultra-Violence


Oct. 20 @ Last Day Saloon w/some shitty thrash bands I'd never heard of - Tam and I traipesed up to Santa Rosa to see DA for a super fun but obnoxious set. There were several different Bay Area dates to choose from to see them this week but this was the only one that was mutually convenient. Death Angel's new-ish bassist is from SR so the night was in part celebrating that?or him?or whatever. They played The Ultraviolence all the way through and it was amazing. After, they got super drunk and started covering the first 30-40 seconds of tons of classic rock songs until we finally called it a night before they were done. Sloppy but fun. 3.5/5
37Revocation
Teratogenesis


Nov. 1 @ Sub-Mission w/A Life Once Lost - Everytime Revocation has come to town, either I've been out of town of they had the opening slot on a lame bill. Tonight they headlined and despite the fact that this is one of the worst venues in the city, I decided to finally check them out. They played a great show but missed some of my favorites. The crowd was super young, the pit a little sparse for most the night and the sound was the shits but everyone had good time. I'd go see them again in a heartbeat but hopefully they play a better venue. 3/5
38M.I.R.V.
Dancing Naked In A Minefield


Nov. 17 @ Bottom Of The Hill w/The Dead Westerns - B.Lo, my girlfriend and I took this one in on a Saturday night. We were all kinda tired and considering how late shows last til at this venue, we left a bit early; I could tell my girlfriend wasn't into M.I.R.V. ("Why are they so old?") and B.Lo had an hour drive ahead of him. Admittedly, they were a lot more fun a couple months previous. Kinda wish I had gone to Voivod/Neurosis in Oakland that night. Oh well?The Dead Westerns were pretty cool. 3/5
39 M83
Hurry Up, Were Dreaming


Dec. 8 @ Oracle Arena w/Grouplove, Tegan And Sara, Passion Pit and The Killers - My girlfriend was excited to go to Live 105's Not So Silent Night so she bought us tickets to the second night. I was in a weird space dealing with some family shit but thought it would be a good distraction and it was despite this not being a show I'd normally have interest in. We missed the first band but got to our seats just before Grouplove hit the stage. I'd never heard of them butI found their brand of grungy pop enjoyable. Tegan And Sara were next and promptly bored the shit out of us. M83 blew us away and were the most impressive band of the night by far. Then Passion Pit came on to lull us back to sleep. I caught myself slouching in my seat several times during their set. The Killers finally played around 10:30 and were fun but unmemorable. I've heard M83 shows sell out quickly and there is a good reason why. If you get a chance, go see them live. 3/5
40Cattle Decapitation
Monolith Of Inhumanity


Dec. 9 @ DNA Lounge w/Cerebral Bore, Fallujah and Dying Fetus - After a strange couple of days, all I needed was some good ol' death metal to wash it all away. I've been wanting to see Cattle Decap all year since I absolutely loved Monolith Of Inhumanity. I finally got the chance and seeing the Bay Area's own Fallujah open for them was icing. I didn't feel like being in the pit so I stood right up against the stage as Travis Ryan flung sweat all over me. Cool. His vocals are nuts but he can't pull off some of the high pitched craziness live night after night. No matter, they were still great. Didn't stay for DF. Sarz. 4/5
41dredg
Catch Without Arms


Dec. 20 @ Great American Music Hall w/Judgement Day - I thought it was fitting to see a band called Judgement Day the night before the supposed apocalypse. They're the main reason I went to this show because the last time I saw dredg, I was less than impressed (that show is documented in the 2011 concert list). B.Lo was taking his wife and said that the band was playing Catch Without Arms all the way through so I thought it would have to be better than last time. It was (by far) and it was really cool to see the J.Day guys jam with dredg during the last few songs of the night. "Triangle" with a cello and violin made an epic song even more epic and was a great way to end not only the night but this year's concert going madness. 4/5
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