This is a top 10 list of the best gigs/festival performances i’ve seen in person (so no Nirvana at Reading fest here). I’ll put a significant song or moment with each gig, but mainly these were my favourite due to sound, performance of songs, engagement with the audience and impact on myself and others as the audience. As always this list is in no particular order. This is also as of 3/2/2016 … obviously i’ll be going to a bunch more gigs soon.
10 – Ludovico Einaudi – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
For years all I went to were rock/metal gigs, like you do when you’re an edgy teenager. Going to see Ludovico was my first “cultured” gig and first gig way out of the realm of anything i’d been to before. Everyone there was kind of stuffy (chin scratching) and their was no audience interaction … yet the whole performance was encapsulating and awe inspiration, simply from the music.
9 – Public Enemy – Nottingham Rock City
This gig was very special, for myself and Public enemy, it being a celebration of their nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and coming off of the success ‘Harder Than You Think’ gained at the 2012 Paralympic Games. The whole gig was a performance, Flava Flav was just on all night, Chuck D was rapping better than anyone around today and the whole band were tight as hell. This was one of those gigs where time just passed, there was no boredom or checking of watch moments.
8 – Immortal Technique – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
We went into seeing Immortal Technique knowing he was an underground rapper and therefore may not have the biggest crowd … but boy was the venue empty at the start. Slowly but surely fans gathered in (probably just wanting to skip the support) until the place was packed. Immortal Technique simply destroyed the show, delivering messages of peace, anti-war and anti-government, not in a preachy way, but in a well informed way. The highlight of this show had to be him performing the hit ‘Dance With The Devil’ and those haunting last few lines. Technique also stayed at the venue until he’d met every single person who’d waited for him.
7 – Nordic Giants – Nottingham Contemporary
I knew very little about Nordic Giants before I went to this gig, and they just blew me away. The mixture of video and atmospheric music mesmerised me and everyone else in the venue to the point where I was still staring at the stage after the performed had finished, wondering what I had just witnessed.
6 – Snoop Dogg – London Wembley Arena
Snoop Dogg was just a crazy gig. Myself and a friend travelled up to London just for this gig, getting lost on the train before had and staying over at his millionaire auntie and uncle afterwards. We went into the gig feeling so out of place it was unreal, with this thick cloud of smoke above everyones heads (i’m sure you can tell what that was). This gig however soon became one of the most fun performances, everyone singing along to every word, dancing, passing around things and laughing at Snoops onstage capers.
5 – Black Sabbath – Download Festival
Getting to see a bonafide legend of any genre is always exciting and that’s what Black Sabbath are, the guys that pretty much invented metal. Seeing these legends with a packed out audience at Donnington as well was a massive plus and they pretty much nailed their performance, playing all the hits. Its been a sad year with the passing of Lemmy and Bowie, so being able to see as many older acts as possible is a must do atm, Black Sabbath being one of those I can tick off.
4 – Biffy Clyro – Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
I’d seen biffy 3 times before this gig, but always as the support act (foo fighters, linkin park & metallica). Slowly they became my favourite band, up to the point where they’d announced a headline tour. This gig was just spot on, the sound was great, they were super energetic and Simon Neil performed ‘Machines’ acoustically under one bright light, which was an awesome moment.
3 – Rolo Tomassi – The Bodega Nottingham
I’ve been to gigs ranging massively in price, Rolo Tomassi probably being the cheapest (which wasn’t just a pub/local gig) at a fiver. Coming out of this gig I would have easily payed 4x that amount. Just the pure energy and aggression coming from the band and the audience was a sight to see … eva spence isn’t too bad of a sight either.
2 – Reel Big Fish – Nottingham Rock City
All I can say about Reel Big Fish’s gigs are they’re a hell of a lot of fun … and you will drink a lot. This was the first time I’d seen them with the excellent Skints and Suburban Legends. The entire night was dancing, drinking, singing some obscure lyrics and laughing at the bands on stage persona.
1 – Santana – Manchester Arena
like with Black Sabbath, Santana are a group that I am truly happy I’ve got to see, as Carlos Santana isn’t getting any younger. As a guitarist I was in awe of his ability and as a musician in general the entire band were truly impressive. There were some 20 minute percussion solos and speeches on god which got a bit cumbersome, however this gig was one I will never forget.