I started to think about this list last month. How will I be able to choose my top shows? What’s the criteria? I thought about many things: cultural importance, some sort of surprise, how much fun I had, who I was with, what I got as memorabilia, circumstances around the show….there’s a lot to think about. And when I was about to make myself dizzy trying to come up with multiple lists, I decided to scrap all the nonsense and just go with the shows that were the most memorable to me. These are the shows that I couldn’t get out of my head for days…sometimes weeks or months after. They touched my heart. I then vetted that list by going back and reading my reviews.
WOW. What a crazy year it has been for me. I’ve realized that not only am I writing this site to share my experiences and spread the word about bands I believe in, but I’m also essentially documenting my life. Because when I’m not at work or sleeping, there’s a pretty good chance I was at a show this past year.
How does one go to 115 shows a year? Well, first of all, it’s what I love to do-and I don’t do much else. Second, I have a good job that is supportive of my hobby. Third, I became single in May, and essentially, live music became my boyfriend. Forth, from about April on I’ve had the benefit of having my site at a point where bands and their PR firms will guestlist me for shows. And fifth, I’m crazy :-p
I know for a fact that several of these shows below were rather disliked by many, and for the NIN shows in particular, they might not be in the order you’d expect. But a concert experience has a bit of alchemy to it. Not only is the event affected by your expectations and familiarity with the music, but it depends on who you are with, where you stand, how you obtained your ticket, the people around you, your mood, what you ate, how much you had to drink…..These are the shows where the stars aligned for me.
I tried to keep it to 10….but I had to go with 20. I had 115 shows to pick from!!! And you’ll see it nicely aligns with my Top 10 albums list.
So here they are, with one sentence to explain why:
I’d been wanting to see Psyclon Nine and Imperative Reaction for quite a while, and they didn’t disappoint with a really high energy performance of pure industrial music that I don’t get enough of live.
It was one of my first shows of the year, and the memory of this special band hung in there throughout the rest of my shows.
Seeing a band of this stature play such a tiny venue was an amazing opportunity.
Yeah, I know……but these are the types of shows that become legendary later on, and I was there to see it with about 10 other people.
A star studded, intimate, affordable event for a good cause hosted by one of my all time favorite guitarists, Tom Morello.
I remember having more fun at this show than most of the other NIN shows I went to, but the most special thing about this one was the size of the venue (and it kicked the Echoplex show’s ass).
Dressing up like a Zombie, destruction, an excellent drummer- that’s all you need to know.
I went into it skeptical, but came out of it completely understanding what everyone was raving about.
More than a show, I was finally able to see Puscifer after a couple failed attempts…and Maynard’s voice!
A very personally relevant show with a new band that I’m passionate about.
A hot summer metal fest with Behemoth….and Slayer and Manson from second row!
Supported by excellent openers, I finally got to see Satyricon, and got a setlist, and got to meet Frost!
Meeting Rob Zombie and being front and center made this one of the most purely fun shows for me this year.
The final Nine Inch Nails show..maybe ever…..please don’t ream me for not making this #1…I’m being honest here…it wasn’t the best and most fun NIN show I saw this year.
The Downward Spiral in it’s entirety was amazing…..but it still wasn’t my favorite NIN show this year.
My first experience with the all day wait and being front and center at the rail, to Reznor joining SSSC for ‘Kick Out the Jams’, to a phenomenal first of many of the year NIN set, to meeting Reznor in the airport the next morning….this was the show that started it all.
My miracle show- from the teased PHM beginning to the excellent special guests, this show was perhaps the best of the final NIN shows for me.
The show that made me follow the band around for the rest of the year.
One blissful evening with Alice in Chains that was perfect in every sense of the word.
You get the most out of what you put the most into- and as far as time spent goes, from the time I started waiting for this show, until the time I went to bed after it, was approximately 36 hours…it doesn’t quite come across in the review, but this was, personally, my most favorite show of the year….I just couldn’t put it into words.
2011: the year of weird. I went to NAMM, had my second year at GRAMMY week, tackled SXSW, and conquered…
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