Top 5 Gigs of the Year

Live music is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Little is more exciting than seeing a band on fire, doing their thing in front of a baying crowd.  Therefore, it has to be said that ranking gigs is always kind of difficult, different bands go for different atmospheres.  However, I am still going to give it a damn good try.

Number 5 – Limp Bizkit w/ Crossfaith, Nekrogoblikon and Baby Godzilla, O2 Academy Glasgow.

I can’t claim to be the world’s biggest Limp Bizkit fan, in fact the hits aside, I can barely claim to be a fan, but when a show is this good, it just can’t be argued with.  Right from the start this night felt special, as Baby Godzilla terrorise the early arrivals with their unique sonic assault on the senses.  Nekrogoblikon were, em, there…  Before Crossfaith showed why they are quickly becoming one of the best live acts on the planet.  All of this pales in comparison to Limp Bizkit though.  Sure they were kind of overdoing the covers, no one wants to hear them do “Heart Shaped Box”, but it doesn’t change the fact that they have tune after tune after tune.  It’s ridiculous how good they sound and while there is still no denying they are still a fucking daft band and Fred Durst is a dick, on nights like this one, it is hard not to appreciate them.

Number 4 – Iron Maiden, Sonisphere.

The claim for Iron Maiden as one of the greatest bands of all time is strong.  When they hit the road doing this setlist, it all seemed too good to be true.  Sadly however, their performance at Download last year lacked that sparkle, the sound was a bit flat and while the band were great, it took some of the shine away.  Thankfully, round two at Sonisphere this year righted all wrongs.  Maiden were on fire and it was the best I have ever seen them.  Even at this stage in their career, Maiden feel like one of the most vital bands on the planet and as long as things stay the same, we can all be happy.

Number 3 – The Wildhearts, Studio 24 Edinburgh.

Credit: Stuart Iversen
Credit: Stuart Iversen

The Wildhearts are still one of the best alternative rock bands to strap on a guitar and to see them play a venue as small as Studio 24 in my own city, was a bloody delight.  Throw in the fact that they brought the brilliant Love Zombies along for the ride (seriously, check those guys out) and it was a near perfect night.  The Wildhearts were on fire and as they blasted out hit after hit, it was hard not to love life.

Number 2 – Heights, Classic Grand

For all the great this year, there was some sad thrown in as well.  One of those sad moments was the announcement that Heights were set to call it a day.  Every cloud has a silver lining and all that though, so it also led to them hhittingthe road for their final ever tour and absolutely smashing the shit out of Glasgow’s Classic Grand.  It was the perfect ending to a band that were genuinely one of my favourite acts to come out of the UK hardcore scene.

Number 1 – Machine Head, Liquid Rooms

2014-12-13 20.51.20

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Machine Head have had one hell of a year.  The first hint towards that, was when they hit the road in order to go to cities they either hadn’t played, or if they had not for a long time, and to play clubs that they would have sold out around twenty years ago.  One of those venues was of course the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh, which I was lucky enough to go along to.  What transpired was one of the greatest gigs I have ever been to and was quite frankly carnage.  Machine Head blasted through a set of songs that only about three bands on the planet could compete with and Edinburgh crumpled in their hands.  This wasn’t just one of the best gigs of the year, but one of the top three I have ever attended.

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