Now that I am retired from gigging I listed the best 10 concerts that I have attended. So here I am again to conclude my list of my 10 favorite gigs I have ever been to. Just in case you have missed the part 1 I will give you a quick refresh of the concerts I talked about last month:
10 - NOFX - Brixton Academy November 04, 2007/ Rancid - Brixton Academy. November 16, 2006
09 - Butch walker - The Borderline August 7, 2013
08 - Jay-Z & Kanye West: Watch The Throne tour - O2 Arena - May 18, 2012
07 - The Cure - Madison Square Garden - June 20, 2008
06 - The Descendents - Brixton Academy - August 24, 2011
And now the last five concerts from my top 10 list, I hope you all enjoy it!
That was my third time seeing Mötley Crüe and this time they were out to prove they were big. They had the word “SIN” lit up across the stage and pyrotechnics set up ready to blow our eyes, ears and brains off. Wild Side' was the opener which set everyone in Wembley into a wild frenzy. Singer Vince Neil just about managed his way through hits such as Shout at the Devil and Same Ol’ Situation. What can I say, he's a great frontman but a terrible singer. Once again Tommy Lee stole the show, same thing happened the other two times I saw The Crüe, first he played a shiny piano for 'Home Sweet Home' and then did his solo on his infamous drum rollercoaster. Tommy invited a member of the audience up for the ride of his life while he drummed along to Love Rollercoaster by The Ohio Players. An incredible thing to witness, Mötley Crüe proved that night that they still could kick-some-ass.
That was my second time in an AFI concert but this one was way better that the other I have been a few months before. It started with the Androgynous frontman, Davey Havok appearing through a white haze and the drum beats of Prelude 21/12. Brixton was immediately filled with screams and the audience went nuts. The stage looked amazing, an immaculate clean, white stage. Actually, everything was white, from their clothes, to the microphones stands. I have never seen such a perfect performance, every movement Havok makes is just so smooth, every jump, and turn was in time with the music. Set list was a good mix of older songs, like “Total Immortal” moving onto some Sing the sorrow numbers like Girls not Grey and Dancing through Sunday, and some tunes from their December underground album that they were promoting on that tour. The atmosphere was breathtaking! And pretty much every single person in the crowd (including me) sang every line to every song for the entire length of the show. It was an great experience!
The Beastie Boys were without a doubt a phonemail band but it's only until you see these guys live that you would realize just how special they were. I was very luck to witness their greatness and I will never forget that day. The setlist was a mix spanning their entire careers- from punk gems like Heart Attack Man to Hip Hop classics like Shake Your Rump and it was billed as a 'Greatest Hits' show. Even though they didn’t play Fight For Your Right I was very pleased with the selection of songs they played. Everything was how it supposed to be,The Beastie Boys and their backing band wore their trademark suit and sunglass combinations. Mix-Master Mike demonstrated his sensational skills on the decks, just as if he was in a near perfect symbiotic relationship with the Boys and the set closer, Sabotage, brought the crowd to another level of ecstasy and summed up that evening.
Since they reunited in 2011 I saw Blink 182 live a few times and even though these three performances in the Brixton Academy were supposed to be only ‘warm up shows’ for their headlining spot at Reading and Leeds Festivals I thought that this was a better performance than the other times I saw them. Maybe it was because Brixton is a smaller venue than the other ones they played before and it felt more intimate, who knows.The stage production was impressive, not as elaborated like the other performances I saw (no flying drums this time) but still had two huge screens showing what’s going on at the stage and some great lightning work too. When they kicked off the gig with Feeling this Brixton erupted in a way that I’ve not seen before. They went through all the classics, some songs they recorded after they reformed and a semi-acoustic set as well. The song Man Overboard and the Misfits cover Hybrid Moments were great surprises and welcome additions to their set. After a short break the encore started with a brief drum solo from Travis which led right into the heavy, self-titled album track Violence. Accompanying this performance was the inclusion of the word ‘FUCK’ literally on fire hovering at the back of the stage, it was an epic way to close this epic performance.
Michael Jackson died trying to do what Prince did in 2007 a mind-boggling 21-date residency at the 02 Arena in London. There are some artists you need to see before you die and Prince was definitely one of them and I was luck enough to see him in one of these dates. Prince took London by storm during those 21 nights, everyone was talking about him that summer. When the lights went down 20,000 voices screamed with almost thermonuclear hysteria, the Symbol-shaped stage begins to glow and he yells, "London! I am here. Where are you?" , "Did you miss me?" At this point, I realized, “Who that's actually Prince, in real life, right there" He played an awesome greatest hits set a Beatles cover and an awesome version of Purple Rain he came back for the encore and close the show with Nothing Compares 2 U Prince proved he had a catalogue of classics to rival and beat anyone else in the world. Sometimes, you walk away from a concert feeling privileged to have been present and Prince’s performance that night was one of this rare times.
Well, that is my list. Maybe I’ve become jaded or it may simply be a case of concert fatigue on my part, since I’ve seen too many shows in the last two decades. I had a lot of fun seeing all this artist but the truth is, when the best part of a concert is going home, maybe it is time to stop going to concerts.
See also Part One