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|In Concert: 2013|
This is a list of the bands I've seen this year, with sound-off reviews for
each one. Most of them were at the two-day Aftershock Festival, in which
most of the bands played a shorter set than they normally would.
3/5 Opened for 10 Years. Really good energy, decent set but nothing too
impressive. 'Bones' is still a pretty catchy tune though.
Minus the Machine
3/5 Second time seeing them. Pretty good energy and music, although I always
feel that they have a somewhat limited stage presence. The crowd was only half
into it. Encore was an a cappella version of 'So Long, Goodbye', sung to a
cardboard cutout of one of the guys from One Direction. It involved some really
stupid bitching about how the rock music is way better than pop music and that us
fans are what make it happen. It was kinda pathetic. Still, they played well and I
enjoy their music a lot.
What It is to Burn
3/5 This was Finch's What It Is to Burn reunion tour, and as such, they played that
album front to back. I was really looking forward to this show, and after several
decent opening bands, Finch arrived on stage and instantly took over the room.
The first half of the show was pretty great, although the crowd seemed a bit bored
after the first couple of songs. The encore was great, and the album's title track
was played to perfection. Glad I got to see them before they disappear again.
|4||Fitz and the Tantrums|
More Than Just A Dream
4.5/5 I wanted to go to a show on my birthday, and Fitz & the Tantrums happened
to be playing at the local music venue. I had only heard a couple of their songs
beforehand, but by the time the show rolled around, I was familiar with most of
their hits. And pretty much every song they have is a potential hit. The record
doesn't quite live up to the energy they have live. The sound was perfect, the lights
were perfect, and the crowd was pretty good as well. This is the only real indie pop
show I've been to, but I'd definitely go again if a band like them came around.
Yes I Am
5/5 I have a really good relationship with my mom, and we don't really enjoy the
same music, but Melissa Etheridge is the compromise that we made a while back.
Her recordings are decent but nothing that special; live is a whole different story.
She doesn't play with any opening acts, but that didn't matter this night. She played
at an outdoor amphitheater in the mountains for around 2,000 people, for about 2
hours and 40 minutes. Fantastic performance as always, perfect venue and
environment, and it even ended with a cover of AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell'. Not sure
how to explain her shows to someone who hasn't seen her before. Her show is a
really incredible experience at outdoor venues.
|6|| ||Aftershock Festival|
Sept 14 + 15
Festival was hot, a bit expensive, but had great peanut butter chocolate milkshakes
and some impressive bands.
True Love Never Dies
Generic alt rock, nothing really special about them. They were the first of many
bands to make some sort of stupid salute to the military.
|8||In This Moment|
2/5 Bad music, and awful show, especially for an outdoor venue at 2 in the
afternoon. The dancers were the best part about the show, but it just felt out of
Feel the Steel
?/5 I only caught about half of their songs. I kinda wish I had been there for more
Dark Roots of Earth
1.5/5 I'm sure Testament is good under certain conditions. Not having earplugs
probably made things worse. The sound was as muddy as could be, it was burning
hot, the vocals were almost inaudible, and the guitars were screechy. Might be the
sounds guy's fault, but their show looked pretty boring regardless.
3.5/5 Nostalgia nostalgia and some more nostalgia. Loved these guys a couple
years ago, back in high school. I mostly grew out of their music, but 'Rebirthing'
and 'Comatose' are still songs that I love. They had a few cool stage antics with
platforms that would raise two of the band members. Unfortunately, the singer
couldn't help but mention how much he loves Jesus before they played their final
song. If Jesus loves him so much, why didn't he give them better ideas for an
album than the recycled rubbish of their last one?
2.5/5 Third time seeing these guys. I've seen them when they're great and when
they're not, but this time was pretty much in the middle. Singer Josh Todd didn't go
into any elaborate story during 'Crazy Bitch', something that I was looking forward
to. Their older music was good, but they played more new songs, of which none
3.5/5 Nostalgia and more nostalgia. Also, my third time seeing these guys. I was
expecting a lot, given that this was a hometown show and that they always have a
ton of energy. I'm definitely not a fan of their last two albums, and I don't listen to
them often. The show was pretty good, but I was too far back in the crowd to get a
pit going. Everyone around me seemed like a tourist, rather than someone
genuinely engaged in the music. As a pleasant surprise, they brought out the
original drummer, Dave Buckner, for 'Last Resort'. He was about half the size that
he was when I saw him two years previously.
4/5 I wish I knew the songs they played. I wish I was closer to the stage. I wish I
was as enthusiastic about the genre as everyone else. Megadeth was great, Dave
Mustaine was pretty consistent, and I was impressed. I still don't understand why
Korn headlined instead of them.
3/5 Like listening to a radio. The band writes very catchy tunes and yet I can't
stand them. They had a really cool stage design and made it very exciting for the
first song, but I was pretty over with it by the end of their set. No 'Fly From the
Inside' either :(
The Paradigm Shift
?/5 They were the last band of the night. Left as they started playing. Apparently
they were good, but I don't care for the band and don't regret missing them.
3/5 Besides the fact that their singer has the most awesome white hair, the band
was pretty good. I don't remember much of them playing, but I'm looking forward
to seeing where they take their music. They show some potential.
|18||Falling In Reverse|
1/5 As bad as everyone thinks they are. I couldn't stop laughing during the part of
their set that I was there for.
5/5 These guys weren't even scheduled to play at this time slot, but they were
absolutely incredible. Great tunes, a bit of jamming, great stage presence, and all
around a very pleasant surprise. Their recorded stuff is just as good. Check out 'Fat
Kid' if you have doubts.
From Death to Destiny
3.5/5 I really expected this band to suck, and to suck hard, but they did a pretty
good job. Still not the kind of recorded music that I'd want to listen to, but they
were fairly entertaining live. The vocals were much higher quality than the cookie
cutter cookie monster metal core vocals that I was expecting.
Tears on Tape
2/5 Boring, bland, half slept through their set. I wasn't really familiar with their
music beforehand, and after seeing them live, I don't want to be. I was let down
with pretty much everything that these guys did.
The Strange Case of...
4.5/5 Halestorm is without a doubt one of the top rock bands in the world right now.
They've got it all - catchy tunes, entertaining live show, strong sex appeal, and a
strong connection with their fans. As a drummer, Arejay Hale's playing embodies
everything that playing the drums should be about.
Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies
2.5/5 I read this comment about Volbeat on Sputnik a while back: "This guy's voice
is a parody of itself." It's quite true. I realize that he's Danish, but at some point, I
stopped sympathizing. I like a couple of Volbeat's songs, but I was done with them
after 30 minutes.
|24||All that Remains|
A War You Cannot Win
3.5/5 The only band I really wanted to see at the side stage, since Filter couldn't
make it. They were good, playing mostly hits and a few new songs. Given the small
size of the stage and the type of sound quality that side stage bands get, they did
|25||Five Finger Death Punch|
The Wrong Side of Heaven Vol 2.
1.5/5 Well, this show confirmed my belief that Five Finger Death Punch's fanbase
(as well as the band itself) are shallow nationalistic pricks who cheer "USA! USA!
USA!" at the first sign of anything relevant to the military. No Moody, I will not
congratulate the military for my freedom. I came here to listen to music, not your
political rants. Then again, your music sucks so much that I'd rather hear you talk.
They had a good song or two from the first album, which kept them from being as
bad as Falling In Reverse.
Hail to the King
3/5 Only stayed for half their set to beat the traffic, but they were on point. I was
impressed with the guitar work, but M. Shadows vocals (and hair) were
questionable. Songs were from Hail to the King and Nightmare, two albums that I
would be fine never listening to again. The A7X classics were good though.
The Hands That Thieve
5/5 Third time seeing Streetlight, and I like them more each time. Didn't really get
in the mosh pit, but still had a great time dancing and whatnot. The set missed
'Point/Counterpoint' and 'Ungrateful', but they played so many songs anyways that
I wasn't too upset about it. Got a picture of my girlfriend with Toh Kay after the
show (something pretty special considering they're her favorite band). The band is
great on the record and live and I'm sad that they won't be touring much anymore.
3/5 Opened for Clutch. Good, but not great. I wasn't that familiar with them before
the show, and I wasn't exactly impressed when they played. They definitely have
some skill, but really lacked stage presence. Good opening act I suppose.
4.5/5 Last band I saw this year. So much energy, so much fun. I was
uncomfortably pressed against the front of crowd for the first 6 songs or so, but
after that things got better. Plenty of moshing, plenty of singing a long to the songs.
It's great that Neil has a low enough voice that someone like me could actually sing
a bit of it. 'Gone Cold' was a fantastic change of pace as well.
|28/28 album art. I guess I'm good at this.|
Just to clarify, 7-26 were all at the Aftershock Festival. I didn't go to many shows this year outside of the festival.
|ahhh i still need to see Streetlight! Came so close to seeing them a few months ago. i hear they're amazing live.|
bet Clutch rocked the house too.
|I'm not sure how much Streetlight will be touring after this year, but if you ever get the chance again, don't pass it up.|
And Clutch kicked ass. Probably lost 5 pounds during their show lol
|Had the chance to see Megadeth live, but I missed it and I'm still annoyed at myself for that. I'm pretty jealous that you got to see them.|
I did see FFDP at Mayhem Fest back in the summer, and yeah they were douchebags as expected but they had so much energy that they actually became rather entertaining. I didn't think they were all that bad, I'd give them a 3/5.
|I love seeing 28 live, seen them 3 times. I think they're really fun but it might just because the crowds in Dallas go crazy for them|
|Sucks about Testament, they were great when I saw them.|
|the only show I've ever been to was so I could see 3. They played stuff off the vastly superior second album to and barcalow can fuking sang. Either way the show cemented in me the desire to never go to a live show again.|
@Judio Yeah they had more energy than some of the other bands, but I hate them lol.
@Lyzak The opening bands rarely get good sound quality. I probably would have enjoyed them more otherwise.
@Nagrarok It was a mix of several things that contributed to me really not enjoying their set, but even under good conditions I doubt I would enjoy them that much. Thrash isn't a really a genre I'm into though.
@Calc Yeah, it definitely wasn't the best show I've been to.
|Great list! I make annual concert lists too. Enjoyed your write-ups evn though I'm not into most of these bands. Too bad about Testament. Depsite Chuck's goofy air guitar on his mic stand during solos, they're always awesome live.|
|Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for Testament I guess. I'm not sure lol. This was the first write up thing I did, kinda fun and reflective.|
|pretty cool I saw Clutch a few weeks ago!|
|@Supernatural: Ok, I understand. However, I can't say in good faith that I hate them, per se. Their fanboys just give them a really bad rep. Their albums suck, but live they're actually quite enjoyable to an extent.|
|@Judio There's nothing entertaining to me about a repeated "burn motherfucker burn motherfucker burn" for 4 minutes. I couldn't really enjoy them at all|