Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 in review - best gigs

I might live in the ass-end of Europe but fortunately I still get to witness lots of fabulous gigs. Here are the ten I liked the most this year, as well as a few videos courtesy of the lovely Luana so you can see and hear for yourself how kickass they were if you weren't there.

Best gigs of 2010

1. NEUROSIS
(with Daniel Higgs / @ Koko, London, UK / Dec 6th)
It's Neurosis, does it need an explanation? Are Stones From The Sky, Locust Star, Through Silver In Blood, The Doorway and new material enough of an explanation?


2. -(16)-
(with The Orange Man Theory / @ Porto Rio, Porto, Portugal / June 14th)
Perfect setting - the ultimate loser-sludge band playing on a ship's cellar to no more than two dozen bewildered people. And one insane screaming fan who knew every lyric and every riff because this band is absolutely fucking essential. Me. Born to fucking lose indeed.


3. ZENI GEVA
(during SWR Festival / @ Barroselas, Portugal / May 2nd)
Stellar musicianship, soul-destroying songs and an almost alien level of intensity. During 'Dead Sun Rising' I thought my head would snap off.

4. YOB
(during Roadburn Festival / @ 013/Midi Theater, Tilburg, Holland / April 16th and 17th)
I had waited for what seemed like a lifetime to see YOB live, and when they split up I thought I never would, so this meant a lot to me, especially as the show was nothing short of transcendental. 'Ball Of Molten Lead', people! As if that wasn't enough, they helped out fill the volcano void and played a whole different set the next day. Bliss.


5. UFOMAMMUT
(during South Of Mainstream Festival / @ Schönewalde-Stolzenhain, Germany / September 4th)
They played the amazing 'Eve' album in its entirety to a transfixed audience, who at the end asked for an encore. 'Nuff said.

6. SHRINEBUILDER
(with Wolves In The Throne Room / @ Scala, London, UK / December 2nd)
Much more cohesive and aggressive than on the already excellent album, with every of the four amazing musicians in the all-star band putting on a fabulous performance of their own - a deep and intense Al Cisneros, a spiritual and emotional Wino, a rocking-out Scott Kelly and a truly savage kit-destroying Dale Crover all fusing together for a hell of a journey. Special note for the now-threepiece Wolves In The Throne Room who emerged from the foggy mists with a whirlwind of a gig beforehand.


7. SUNN O)))
(with Eagle Twin / @ LX Factory, Lisboa, Portugal / February 2nd)
A crushing Eagle Twin set (how can two people sound like a pissed off army of 50??) paved the way for the usual descent into the catacombs that is a Sunn O))) concert. Creepy fog, ear-smashing wall of sound and the usual Attila insanity, this time shooting lasers off his fingers and curling up and unfolding like some sort of huge alien bug. Brrr.


8. CELESTE
(during SWR Festival / @ Barroselas, Portugal / May 1st)
Lights go out and you just see four little red dots and then chaos explodes. If you know the albums, you know what to expect - just multiply their effect tenfold. If you don't, seek enlightenment, like, now.


9. ENTOMBED
(with Avulsed and Miss Lava / @ Side B, Benavente, Portugal / March 19th)
That a band as universally loved for years as Entombed can still raise the roof on a small venue as if they were hungry young kids speaks volumes for their dedication and also for the strength of their songs. How many times have you listened to 'Left Hand Path', 'Stranger Aeons', 'Revel In Flesh' or even the 'Night Of The Vampire' cover? And when have they not been awesome? That's right, never.

10. CONVERGE
(with Before The Torn and We Are The Damned / @ Revolver, Cacilhas, Portugal / July 8th)
Converge, tearing it up, It's what they do, and it's always a sight to behold.

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