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DaveyBoy's Top 5 Live Gigs Of 2009

Here are my top 5 gigs of the year just past. I wish I could have gone to more of them so I could turn this into a top 10, but that can be my new year's resolution for 2010.
1Billy Talent

While this was a (SoundWave) festival set, they surprisingly played for over an hour (which was significantly longer than other bands apart from the headlining Nine Inch Nails). The entire performance was filled to the brim with energy and much tighter than I expected. Bens screech was less noticeable live than on record, but what impressed me most was the talent of their guitarist and bassist, who not only nailed everything musically, but provided sensational backing vocals. The closing trio of Fallen Leaves, Try Honesty and Red Flag were simply out of this world and probably the sets 3 highlights.
2Rise Against

I had been waiting to see the quartet from Chicago for a few years and they definitely did not disappoint when I finally got the chance. Watching the band go absolutely full-tilt for approximately 80 minutes was akin to being involved in a sporting match... There was that much energy in the entire venue. Some of the rapid fire sing-alongs were out of this world (especially Survive and The Good Left Undone), while there was not a silent person in the place during the slower Swing Life Away. And finally, the brilliant power, emotion and lyrics of closer Prayer of the Refugee absolutely blew me away. A great experience and I can't wait to see them again in 4 weeks time!
3Alkaline Trio

I am unsure why I had relatively low expectations, but this festival set totally exceeded them and then some. The setting helped since it was approximately 8:30pm and the sun was setting on a hot Melbourne day. Furthermore, the setting was assisted by a relaxed and spacious feel since the set clashed with more popular headliners Nine Inch Nails. Everything sounded pretty much spot on and both front men were terrific and extremely impressive on their instruments. The bands criminally under-rated sing-along factor was in evidence with Calling All Skeletons, We've Had Enough and Mercy Me standing out for yours truly.

Attending one of what seemed like a million of Pinks Melbourne gigs (I think it was a record-breaking 17 from memory), the pop-rocker provided a nice balance of a concert and a show. Pink made sure that if there were any musical flat spots, then the crowd would at least be entertained with what they were seeing on the circus inspired (Funhouse) stage. The guitar-work was surprisingly strong, while Pink?s raspy vocals held up very well. I personally could have done without some of the theatrics and song covers, but it all fitted into the big picture successfully.

I actually saw Anberlin twice in 2009, but felt their festival set was too short and a little too heavy in order to meet the audiences requirements. Their headlining club performance later in the year was much more varied and was helped no end by including slower highlights such as Fin and Unwinding Cable Car. The musicianship was near enough to spot on, although I would still prefer the band highlighted Stephen Christian?s marvelous vocals higher in the mix, since he was occasionally drowned out by all that was going on around him.
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