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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2013: The Concerts

At this point in time do I really need to say that I see a lot of concerts during the course of the year? I hope not because this one of the key factors that makes up my daily life as founder of the PiercingMetal brand. That said ?I wanted to once again use the Official Blog for the site to highlight a number of the shows that I attended during 2013 that I felt were the absolute best experiences. They’re not really in order of impact or importance but there are a few at the top that did hit me the hardest. Here we go.

1. Metallica @ The Apollo Theater: Thrashing like a maniac in Harlem? Yeah that happened. Classic set and free beer for the whole show. No complaints here.

2. Kamelot @ Stage 48: Returning to the headlining stage with Delain as support and Eklipse. This was a righteous show for sure. My belief in this band was reinforced yet again. I was not surprised in this.

3. Eddie Trunk 30th Anniversary Bash: Another one that I was super fortunate to participate in because an all-star jam with members of KISS, Overkill, Twisted Sister, Accept, Anthrax, Stryper, Guns n Roses and so many more is just impossible to qualify as being “an okay time”. This was insanity.

4. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Prudential Center: The final go round for the “Lost Christmas Eve” tour premise. Always a bombastic spectacle that needs seeing for believing.

5. Rock Allegiance Tour w/Volbeat & HIM @ Williamsburg Park: Two excellent main acts and solid support from All That Remains. Whew. Exciting for Brooklyn and you know how we roll in this borough.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2012: The Concerts

Looking back on 2012 as a concert going year I had to say that there were a lot of cool highlights for me. Sure I was compiling my “Year End Best Of” to cover all the different things that I’ve examined over the year but with the blog growing faster and faster and more contests happening on it for the crushing shows that hit our town, I decided to keep showcasing a number of the concerts that I saw during the course of the year. Bear in mind that these are my very favorite ones out of the whole bunch. I really had a great time seeing a number of shows but these stood out. Here we go.

1. KISS @ Live On Letterman: I don’t think that I need to go into how cool it is to see a band like KISS in the Ed Sullivan Theatre. The place holds 500 or so people and KISS sells out places that hold thousands more. See why I felt this was special. So yeah.

2. Nightwish and Kamelot @ Beacon Theatre: Nightwish and Kamelot both hold very special places to me as a music scribe and having them paired up for a tour was extraordinary.

3. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Prudential Center: This show was the debut of the new “Lost Christmas Eve” themed tour.

4. Roger Waters @ Yankee Stadium: My second time at Yankee Stadium for a massive concert and with Roger playing “The Wall” from front to back I stood awestruck.

5. KISS & Motley Crue @ PNC Bank Arts Center: This was a kickass pairing and the guys in The Treatment were pretty damned good as well.

6. Lamb Of God @ Roseland Ballroom: Metal laid waste to NYC this night.

7. Paganfest @ Gramercy Theatre: Turisas headlined this one and brought along Alestorm, Arkona and Huntress.

8. Sabaton @ Gramercy Theatre: This band is climbing the pole of popularity. Local support

9. Rhapsody Of Fire @ Gramercy Theatre: There was so much drama with the RoF division leading up to this show but you would never notice with the levels of kick ass Power Metal that was happening on the stage.

10. Marillion @ Irving Plaza: Leaders of the Neo-Progressive Rock movement. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them and they even did “Kayleigh”.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2011: The Concerts

Logo - The Best Of

Even though I generally hammer out the concerts I liked the most in my year end overview, I figured that it was high time to start using the blog to feature this kind of angle. So what I did was start with the view of sharing my top 10 concerts that I attended in 2011. Then I wrote down fifteen, then twenty and then begged my brain to stop letting the coffee push me towards thirty concerts and end with twenty three. Of course since I saw about “80” shows this past year there were a lot more that I liked but these were probably my very favorite.

1. Kamelot @ Gramercy Theatre: The band returned to the headline stage with Fabio of Rhapsody Of Fire, would he be the new voice of the band? I hope so since he ruled.

2. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Prudential Center: This year’s tour was apparently to be the last of the presentations of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” for awhile and wow how could that not be a thing to see. As always this group pulls out the stops and leaves me impressed and exhausted.

3. Volbeat @ Irving Plaza: These guys are just climbing the ladder of success.

4. Stryper @ B.B. King Blues Club: There is nothing like a little bit of a yellow and black attack in this Times Square venue.

5. Thin Lizzy @ Best Buy Theater: Phil Lynott might be gone but his influence and melody remains.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of Decade”: 2000-2009: The Concerts

As I’ve previously noted, we’ve always aimed to deliver a year end “Best Of” list and with the end of the decade just having happened, it’s time to continue our thoughts about what was the “Best Of The Decade” from 2000-2009 – I’ve already doled out the Music and Video picks and now it’s time to get into the live concerts that we found the most enjoyable over the past ten years.

I was not really planning on doing a decade spanning concert “best of” but many of the readers of the site had sent me emails after the list posted inquiring about those events which I thought were the biggest highlights to me. Based on the interest, I figured that it was better to append the article to also feature this information of be stuck answering emails over and over. I’ve been fortunate as a writer and photographer to get to enjoy a large number of shows and I hope that you enjoy the list I came up with.

Van Halen @ Madison Square Garden (Warner Music Group): The Brothers Van Halen reunited with David Lee Roth made this one of the highlights of my decade. Yes Michael Anthony was no longer a part of the band but I could live with that since it gave me back Dave. The hits were non-stop at the show and I think I watched it five feet above the floor where my seat was. Everyone in NYC was dancing the night away that’s for sure.

Iron Maiden @ Madison Square Garden (EMI Music): This show was for the “Brave New World” CD that many loved for bringing back Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith into the fold. I loved it for its amazing level of energy and how it showed just how good Maiden was and the fact that it had Rob Halford as the opener and Queensryche. OK I admit that I didn’t feel the Ryche were all that good that night and were rather slow after the Halford set. It was fantastic seeing Rob’s then new band in action of course as he was still years away from rejoining Judas Priest.

The Gathering @ The Knitting Factory (The End Records): I was a casual fan of The Gathering and my buddies who went to the show with me were much more into them, but seeing them in this smaller space was fantastic. Very moody and atmospheric stuff and done well in the live sense. Anneke sang like a siren and one of the openers was an unknown group called Unexpect. I’ve been a supporter of theirs since that night and feel that this appearance gave me a heads up on a terrific band many years before the rest of the folks would catch on.

HIM @ The Bowery Ballroom (Universal Music): While working at one of the investment banks from hell I scanned a video for HIM which was “Join Me In Death” and I was hooked and did my best to find a couple of the bands albums. Their first show on US soil in NYC would be at The Bowery Ballroom and the two nights were close to sold out. We caught the first show I believe but its been awhile and in any case it was amazing to see HIM in such an intimate room. Going forward we would watch the band play larger places each time and having all of the shows sell out well in advance.

Kamelot @ B.B. King Blues Club (SPV Records): I am referring to the first time that I ever caught Kamelot performing at B.B. King Blues Club and not one of the other four times. I was very new to the band and how they did things but it was a smoking show and one that made many fans for the guys who would rally to their cause in the future. They continue to impress the masses and we love them for it.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Books and Videos

I know what you are thinking, gee Ken you guys sure did like a lot of stuff over the course of 2009 and you are not kidding. This will be my last installment from the “Best Of” rundowns and we will not only cover the videos and books that we enjoyed the most but also will line out a bunch of the things that disappointed us here at the Metal Media Command HQ. DVD releases continued to impress and amaze as not only were new and exciting videos being released but also a number of cool historical archives had finally come to see the light of day. We reviewed quite a bit of them this year and still have a number of them to go but the list below focuses on some of our favorites which we made sure to line out first to be a part of this list. Let’s take a look.

The Best DVD’s of 2009:

Iron Maiden “Flight 666” (Universal Music): Maiden’s documentary about their “Somewhere Back In Time” World Tour that discussed how the band flew their own airplane to dozens of countries to deliver the Metal to the faithful believers has to be seen to be believed. Filmed by the famous Sam Dunn of “Headbanger’s Journey” fame.

Anvil: “The Story Of Anvil” (VH1 Classic Records): Anvil finally gets their due and some proper attention based on this fine documentary film by Sasha Gervasi.

Journey “Live In Manila” (Wal-Mart): If you didn’t get enough of Arnel Pineda when Journey delivered us “Generations” then wait till you get a load of him doing his thing in his home country, the Philippines. This show rocks and the crowd was going crazy for their countryman as he led this legendary band into the future.

Rick Wakeman “The Six Wives Of Henry XIII” (Eagle Vision): Former Yes keyboard wizard gets to fulfill a dream performance and we are members of the audience thanks to this special DVD release. A companion CD was also offered and this is a must for the legends fans.

ZZ Top “Double Down Live” (Eagle Vision): This DVD presented not one, but two performances from ZZ Top and while one comes from recently, it is the vintage show from 1980 that is the one to appreciate most. There isn’t a lot of footage of the band that’s been made public, so this was something that many classic rock and blues rock fans can appreciate quite a bit.
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