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2010: A Year In Concerts

I went to a bunch of shows last year in the Bay Area (and one in New York). Here they are chronologically with some thoughts and ratings.

Jan 18 - Cynic/Devin Townsend @ Slim's - 3.5/5
I went for Devin and it was great. Cynic was also cool live but I decided not to stay for BTBAM. I caught them later this year and was happy I skipped out this time; not my thing. I wish Devin had a longer set and my wish was granted several months later.
2Arch Enemy
Doomsday Machine

Feb 8 - Arch Enemy/Exodus @ Regency Ballroom - 4.5/5
Arch Enemy is always great live and they delivered once again. My concert buddy, Koog, and I "kept it real" in the pit while they played. Also, I hadn't seen Exodus before and was really excited for them. They were even better than I expected and Steve Souza came out to sing "Toxic Waltz" for the hometown crowd. Koog got pretty wrecked in the wall of death at the end of their set too so that was fun.
A Sunny Day

Feb 18 - VsThem/The Help @ 19 Broadway - 4/5
My friend's band put on their first show of the year and it featured the debut of their new full-time member after the departure of bassist Jon Bush (also the drummer for Judgement Day). VsThem always puts on a good, fun show and opener, The Help, was good as well.
4Judgement Day
Dark Opus

Feb 26 - Judgement Day @ Bottom Of The Hill - 3.5/5
Speaking of J.Day, I caught them just a week later. They are always solid but usually play with average-at-best indie bands. I'd have to wait until early this year for them to finally be on an awesome metal bill.
Hordes Of Chaos

Mar 21 - Kreator/Kataklysm @ Slim's - 4/5
I went to this one alone but had a great time regardless. Kataklysm is always fun and I had high hopes for Kreator and was not let down. It was one of those shows where I grew a greater respect for the band after seeing them live.
6Fear Factory

Apr 9 - Fear Factory/Amon Amarth/Mutiny Within @ Regency Ballroom - 4.5/5
The only thing that sucked at this show was Mutiny Within. What a terrible, bullshit band. It was weird seeing Fear Factory with Dino again but Koog and I had too much fun in the pit to care about all the drama behind that. Also, Amon Amarth was vikingly epic as expected.
7Faith No More
Angel Dust

Apr 12/14 - Faith No More @ The Warfield - 5/5
I thought I would never get to see my favorite band live but when tickets went on sale for the 14th show, I bought 6 of them immediately knowing that tons of my friends would want to go. When they announced two more shows due to demand, I decided to go the first night of the three as well. These were great shows; the best of the year. Nothing topped this and probably nothing ever will unless they reunite again. Mike Patton is the best frontman ever. I was pretty ruined for a couple days after this and the Fear Factory show only 3 days before.
8Judgement Day
Peacocks/Pink Monsters

Apr 17 - Judgement Day @ Bottom Of The Hill - 3.5/5
This one gets a bit of a lower score only because I was irritated with Muni (SF bus system) that night. Koog and I walked more than half of the 6 miles from my apartment to the venue. J.Day was great as usual though.
Murs 3:16: the 9th Edition

Apr 29 - Murs @ The Fillmore - 3/5
I love Murs and the Fillmore so the combination was great. That being said, hip-hop shows aren't my favorite and I was still on my FNM high so nothing was going to compare. I also didn't like the fat guy that opened for him so that didn't help. Murs did a bunch of songs off this album so that was cool.
Crack The Skye

May 8 - Mastodon/BTBAM/High On Fire/Baroness @ The Fox Theater - 3/5
If Baroness hadn't been on this bill, I probably wouldn't have gone. They were great as usual but I got pushed into my other concert buddy, Tam, and her very sharp metal hair pin poked me in the temple. She claims to wear it for protection from pit people but guess who ends up getting injured...Mastodon was good but the sound sucked during their set and Brett threw a tantrum at the end. He's kind of a bitch (and I guess so am I for complaining about being poked in the temple by sharp objects). I was sorry I missed Bison B.C. but both High On Fire and BTBAM were boring yet chaotic as usual. How is that possible?

May 21 - dredg @ Great American Music Hall - 4/5
I've seen dredg many times but this was the most violent show of theirs I've been to. It was probably because they played their most aggressive album in its entirety. Awesome set.
Exhibit B: The Human Condition

Jun 12 - Exodus @ Slim's - 4.5/5
Koog and I caught Exodus for the second time this year for their album release show and it was awesome. Slim's is the perfect venue for them. The pit was tons of fun but really slippery.
A Sunny Day

Jun 16 - VsThem @ 19 Broadway - 4/5
Like always, Matt and friends put on a great but short show. I've been trying to get him to do longer sets recently. Hopefully it will happen this year when VsThem takes over the world.
14Iron Maiden
The Number Of The Beast

Jun 20 - Iron Maiden/Dream Theater @ Sleeptrain Pavillion - 3/5
I'd never seen Maiden before so I was excited. Three problems though: I don't like huge concerts in amphitheaters, their set had too much newer stuff in it that I'm not familiar with, and Tam and I got there when Dream Theater was finishing up their set. I've seen them twice before so no biggie for me but Tam never had so she was disappointed. Iron Maiden really puts on a show. The visuals were amazing even though I was a bit bored.
15Faith No More
Album of The Year

Jul 5 - Faith No More @ The Williamsburg Waterfront - 4/5
It just so happened that I was going to be in New York right when FNM was so I took my sister and we had an adventure trying to get to and from the waterfront in Brooklyn. It was fucking hot and there were tons of hipster douchery (Mike even called them out on it) but we had fun. I started a mosh pit with my sister at the very end of "Stripsearch" when the heavy part comes in. Everyone around us was angry. Assholes...
16Porcupine Tree
The Incident

Aug 11 - Porcupine Tree @ The Warfield - 4.5/5
P.Tree puts on a beautiful show. There's nothing else that I can say to describe how great it was. Tam was in heaven watching Steven Wilson and company.
The Blue Album

Aug 20 - Pinkerton @ Bottom Of The Hill - 4/5
Pinkerton is a Weezer cover band that my friend from Judgement Day is in with some other Bay Area musicians. The year before last they played Pinkerton all the way through, last year was the Blue Album and there are rumors of a b-sides show this year. This one wasn't as awesome as the first one but still tons of fun. Everyone was singing along and the band up there might as well have been Weezer. They were great and nailed every song.
18Judgement Day
Opus 3 Acoustic

Aug 28 - From Monument To Masses/Judgement Day @ Great American Music Hall - 3/5
J.Day was great but played too many acoustic songs. I think they were trying to fit in with the headliner. It was FMTM's last show ever so everyone was there to see them besides Koog and I. There was just an atmosphere of a bittersweet goodbye that I found annoying so we left after four or five songs into FMTM's set.
The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist

Aug 29 - Junius/Orbs @ Bottom Of The Hill - 3.5/5
This was a fun show that I decided to go to last minute with a former coworker, thinking she'd enjoy it. Orbs was cool but I actually like them more on their record than live. Junius was pretty awesome and I'd go see them again for sure. It was kind of strange that there were only like 30 people there all night but whatever...still fun.
Seasons in the Abyss

Aug 31 - Slayer/Megadeth/Testament @ The Cow Palace - 4.5/5
I had been looking forward to this one all year because it was moved from January to August due to Tom's back surgery. It was worth the wait. Three of my favorite thrash bands in one night is destined to be amazing and it was. Everything was awesome except that Dave's voice isn't holding up too well. Probably my second favorite concert this year (after the FNM Warfield shows).
A Sunny Day

Sep 10 - VsThem @ 19 Broadway - 4/5
Yet another short but sweet set from VsThem.
Spiral Shadow

Sep 29 - Kylesa/Torche @ Great American Music Hall - 2.5/5
I really wanted to like this show but I was pretty disappointed. Neither band was that great live although I am a fan of both. I'd only go see either of them again if they were on a bill with a bunch of other bands I really like. Also, I didn't stay for High On Fire. Not a fan.
23Mike Patton
Mondo Cane

Oct 3 - Mondo Cane @ Golden Gate Park - 3.5/5
Mike Patton put on a damn good show with an orchestra for this set. This performance was a part of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a festival held annually in San Francisco. I've never been interested until it was announced that Mondo Cane was going to be there. Patton playing 100 yards from my apartment? Yes, please!

Oct 11 - Alice In Chains/Deftones/Mastodon @ The SJSU Event Center - 4/5
This seems like such an odd bill but it seemed to work out really well. I love all three bands and knew every song played so that made for an all-around great show. My old high school buddy and I couldn't resist the pit when the 'tones ended with three straight songs from this album. Can't wait to see them again.
25Devin Townsend
Accelerated Evolution

Oct 12 - Devin Townsend/TesseracT @ Slim's - 4/5
Devin is the fucking man! Tam and I had eargasms when he started playing "Deadhead." It was a super fun show and TesseracT was pretty cool too. Just get rid of the douchey singer and we're good.
The End of the Beginning

Oct 23 - Murs @ Shattuck Downlow - 2.5/5
Murs is fun live but I was so tired that night that I almost fell asleep on the couch while the openers did their thing. He didn't go on until midnight so that didn't help either. My sister and I got to meet him though so that was cool. Some of her friends were opening for him but I thought they sucked, hence the couch sitting.
A Sunny Day

Nov 28 - VsThem @ Blake's - 4/5
This was the first concert of VsThem's that I filmed for their upcoming web series that my friend and I are working on for them. Again too short but I got some great footage so it was all good.
A Sunny Day

Dec 15 - VsThem @ 19 Broadway - 4/5
The return of Jon Bush! VT's original bassist had to fill in because one of the members was on tour with his other band. It was a fun reunion show and I got it all recorded for the web series.
Ashes Against The Grain

Dec 22 - Agalloch @ Great American Music Hall - 4/5
I've been wanting to see them for a long time and finally got the chance. It was a great show but I was kinda sick. I forced myself to go regardless and tried not to cough on anybody. Prety damn good set but I didn't get to hear some of my favorites. Maybe next time...
Sailing The Seas of Cheese

Dec 30 - Primus @ The Fox Theater - 3.5/5
Primus sucks! Les, Lar and whoever is drumming for them at the time always put on a good, fun show. I stayed out of the pit this time because Primus pits are always so unreasonably violent but mostly because my friend didn't want to go in. They were great but I'm getting a bit tired of the play-a-full-album-all-the-way-through fad.
Axioma Ethica Odini

These are concerts I missed for one reason or another, Enslaved being the one I was most disappointed about. They played the same night that I was filming for the VsThem web series so I couldn't miss that. A Perfect Circle played three nights in November at the Fillmore but I didn't get tickets in time and they were like $200 on Craigslist. Fuck that. Tool played while I was out of town so I've missed them for the fifth time in a row now. Dredg also had another show in November but they were opening for Circa Survive (barf). I have a sweet spot for Nada Surf but just forgot about their show after it was announced. Muse played on the same day as Faith No More so that wasn't going to happen. Primus played at the Great American Music Hall in the Fall but I didn't know about it until the day of when I drove by the venue. Too late. Howl come to town but I just wasn't up for it that night. Same deal with Keelhaul. Judgement Day apparently had an awesome show at the Independent with Tornado Rider but since I've seen them probably 15 times, I decided to go to Kylesa and Torche that night. Mistake. Speaking of the Independent, that reminds me of one show I forgot about. I saw Fat Freddy's Drop there with a bunch of friends that don't share my musical taste. I can't remember the last time I was so bored at a show. Now I know why I forgot about it.
So that was 2010 in concerts. What did y'all see this year? Anyone at any of these shows too?
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