Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Retrospective

2013 Retrospective

In 2013, I went to a TON of shows and spent a lot of money, and had a ton of fun! Overall a great year for shows, friends, and music in general. Let's hope 2014 is even better (but perhaps a little cheaper!). Well, without further ado, here we go:




I went to 85 shows (compared to 58 last year) and spent $1700 on tickets- for myself, which was not that much more than last year (again, only for me).  Food, drinks, merch, and tix for others about doubled that (didn't track gas)!  I think I need to cut back on the excessive drinks, or better plan flask fillings. I should also buy more tix in advance from locals (there were at least 3 shows that I realistically knew I would make, but for some reason was on the fence).

Favourite show:
Paganfest 2013 Featuring Ensiferum,  was easily the best show of the year- despite there being a couple moments I don't remember. The energy and crowd were GREAT. I recall being sore for a few days after. I somehow got up to the front at one point as well.

Runners up:
Mayhem Fest 2013 (part I)- 11 hours of sun, walking, drinking, bands, and friends. Exhausting!
Ripper Owens- Tiny venue, him playing his solo stuff, Beyond Fear, and his era Priest songs (I'm a fan, so I loved it!)
Wintersun- I loved every national band on the bill. KILLER.
Alice Cooper/ Marilyn Manson/GWAR- totally worth getting the expensive tickets to see my main man Alice up close. AND GWAR up close and getting a bit messy. Manson was OK, his theatrics were good, but when you compare him to the original, it really pales.
Mago de Oz- Would have been a more top contender if I knew more of the songs

Highlights:
Seeing some legends I've not been able to before: Doro (looks and sounds fabulous still <3), Uli Jon Roth (one of the best ever), BLACK SABBATH w/ OZZY, the last living half of SLAYER, ZZ Top.
Seeing some rarer acts like Winersun, AMARANTHE, Arkona, Mago de Oz, Oz, Steelheart, Loudness, Firehouse and Ensiferum.
Seeing some favourites like Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth

Winning tickets (to Korn (well, Device really), Watain).
Ted Poley putting on amazing set, despite not really being familiar with Danger Danger (Dangerx2) songs, his charisma was insane.

Worst Show:
Midnight Eye/ Exar Kun at the Pinch- we got there late, so we missed Thrain, and had to walk a bit far from the venue. Then the sound was horrible, Exar Kun was rough, and Midnight Eye was... not having a good night at all. At least it was free. Thankfully they redeemed themselves in my eyes at another show.
Runner up: The Agonist put on another disappointing performance.

Sleeper Show:
Oz/ Deceased/ October 31- I'd never seen any of these bands, but they were all highly entertaining, more so than I had anticipated. The crowd was actually decent, especially for their first North American tour (Oz).

Cheapest show:
A few free shows -Korn/ Watain/ Metanium/ Kings of Hollywood/ Midnight Eye/ Avenged  Sevenfold (well free for meeee) meant I just had the cost of gas (and drinks..). So it was Watain, cause I didn't even get anything

Most Expensive Show:
Alice Cooper ($75) for pit tickets. They were, however, worth it.

Most Overpriced Show:
Would have been Mago de Oz if they didn't completely kick ass ($45.49), so the award goes to....
Black Sabbath ($47- lawn), because it was just them. Even for legends, it seemed a bit much. Rob Zombie ($50) was up there too, more so because of his short set length.

The Cult ($35), because their openers have traditionally been worthless. They did, however, play a long set. ZZ Top was pretty expensive too ($35), but they seemed worth it. Slayer ($46) was expensive, but about what I paid for them at 930 club years ago.


Most Metal Moment(s):
Meeting Sir Russell Allen (and Mike Portnoy I guess) and the Adrenaline Mob.
M getting mistaken for Masha Scream not once, but twice at Arkona!
Winning tickets to Korn after saying I wasn't goin' (A sign or punishment from the metal gods?).
Guy Drinking from 'das boot' at Hanzel und Gretyl
'meeting' Children of Bodom and Amon Amarth.
Meeting Matthew Barlow
Meeting my doppelganger
hell, meeting/pix with a ton of bands( Bonded By Blood, Alestorm, Ashes of Ares, Flag of the White Rose, Shadows Fall/Death Ray Vision, Enuff Z'Nuff, Starkill, Kobra and the Lotus, Ayria, Exhumed, Holy Grail).

Most Disappointing:
The whole Rock Harvest II debacle
WASP's M3 performance
A lot of headline acts adhering to disturbing trend of the playing for about 1 hr (or less!)
Mastodon inducing a nap during mayhem fest.
Scar the Martyr kind of not bringing it.
Lamb of God having VERY similar setlists.
M3's headliner of Bret Michaels.
Bang Tango further declining.


Most Ridiculous moments: 
Another pantsless moment (see last year and Pentagram)- some guy got his butt signed by ALL of Alestorm. Oh, it was onstage too.  
Guy drinking from some random chick's boot at Hanzel Und Gretyl.
Cafe 611 in Fredneck getting a lot more first stop shows (ex: Fintroll, Arsis, Arkona)

Least Metal Moments:
Getting injured in the pit at both Finntroll shows.
Seeing Asking Alexandria.
Crying at Doro during the Dio song.
Winning tickets to Korn
(
Joshua-  wont be a metal show without the heavy metal cowboy
Steve -shit sson guess what my email just told me
Joshua- what
Steve- Congrats, SW! You've won the pair of tickets to see Korn at the Fillmore SS tomorrow. Please just confirm the tickets by replying to this email with your full name, which will be left on the guest list at Will Call aka HOLTY SHIT
Joshua- omg wtf!! u lucky bastard who u taking?
 )

Gauntlets:
Seeing Otep and Lich King on the same night!

Apparently in February somehow I pulled the following off
  • Feb 3- Doro
  • Feb 4- Coheed and Cambria
  • Feb 5- Turisas/Firewind
  • Feb 7- Uli Jon Roth
  • Feb 12- Testament
  • Feb 13- Lindsey Stirling
  • Feb 14- Hatebreed/Shadows Fall/ Dying Fetus (how romantic)
  • Feb 15- Hanzel Und Gretyl
which I think beats last year's 3 in a rows.


Venue Most Visited:
Jaxx/ Empire is the winner by a wide margin, with a whopping 28 shows (up from 16 last year!)! This is followed by the Fillmore (Silver Spring) with less than half of that (12)- which was double from the last year,  Cafe 611 and Baltimore Soundstage both with slightly more than half of THAT (7 each).  Rams Head Live, 930 club, and Merriweather Post Pavilion (5 an 4s, respectively) were bringing in the rear, with House of Rock  and Jiffy Lube Live (2 each). The rest of the venues were only visited once (howard theater, tally ho, ottobar, recher theater, state theater, sergios place, metro gallery, the note, the pinch, nabs creek, wolf trap, cuzco, baltimore arena, strathmore mansion).

Bands seen most this year:
I saw local metal favourites A Sound of Thunder 6 times- double from last year. I believe each time they had different set lists as well.
Runners up are death metal acts Yesterday's Saints and March to Victory (4 times each), and the not-my-cup-of-tea Fallen Martyr (3 times) and the maybe increasing in popularity Blackguard (3).

Regrets/ Missed out:
  • Steelheart at the House of Rock (wtf thanks work)
  • Why didn't I make it to Weird Al at Rams Head Live?
  • Missing Picture me Broken cause Empire double booked the night of Otep
  • Missed ANOTHER Cinderella show (Tom Keifer, but close enough).
  • Faster Pussycat apparently came to Sully's in VA (I don't recall seeing any advertisements.
  • Would have been cool to see Sorcery at Sergio's Place
  • I wanted to see Coal Chamber/Lacuna Coil, but had not much interest in the headliners Sevendust when they came to Rams Head Live (sold out)- I would have had to get there early, which can be a problem on work days.
  • Should have made an effort to see Rush before they stop touring (but I bet I would have been skeptical about all the super fans)- went to see the great Oz instead.
  • Maybe I should have gone to see Airbourne on Mother's Day.
  • Not sure if Mandy Lion actually came to the house of Rock
  • Missed Venom at Maryland Death Fest (plans changed)
  • Would I have been able to stand the Geoff Queenryche at the State Theater?
  • Everyone was out of town for Brad Paisley
  • Gorguts at Empire
  • Icon for Hire at Empire (thanks works)
  • I probably should have hiked out to Leesburg to see Acrassicauda all the way from Iraq
  • Protomen /Aeris at Empire - I always seem to miss Aeris when they have shows
  • Soulfly/Havok at Empire- I saw Havok already, but Soulfly played a bunch of Sepultura songs
  • Should have gone to support local music instead of All that Remains the same night (oh well, ATR was great).
  • Missed Halestorm AGAIN (same night, in Baltimore, as Alestorm) 
  • Megadave was on the same night as (H)Alestorm, with the meh lineup of Nonpoint and Fear Factory.
  • $35 seemed too much for Billy Idol (and his opener... the odd choice Cat Power)
  • Missing the new Kix songs at Kixmas
  • Rock Harvest II- too many cancellations (allegedly) to count- top one was Death Dealer.
  • Cradle of Filth canceled- I dejectedly bought a ticket for M3 at this time.
  • Sepultura/Kataklysm canceled their tour- I think Kataklysm is gearing up to tour next year
  • Six Feet Under/ Jungle Rot Canceled- sigh
  • Leatherwolf canceled their tour
  • Benedictum canceled their tour
  • Aether Realm pussed out and didn't come to the first Fintroll stop