Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Restrospective

2014 Retrospective

In 2014, 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 2015 is even better (but perhaps a little cheaper!). Overall a pretty great year with a wide variety of music (mostly heavy!). Well, without further ado, here we go:

Tate Ball Z: Spirit Ball- one of my favourite photos of the year

I went to only 67 shows (compared to 85 ! last year) and spent $1369.64 on tickets- for myself, which was less last year (again, only for me).  Food, drinks, merch, and tix for others not quite doubled that doubled that (didn't track gas)! Drinks  I think I still need to cut back on the drinks, maybe divert that to CDs, etc.


Favourite show: Ritchie Blackmore's Night (with King Diamond a close second) with Jaxx/Empire closeness of about 20 feet to the Guitar God Ritchie (say what you will about Rainbow, Deep Purple, Night, etc. but this brought tears to me eyes). Bucket List crossed off for both Living Legends


Highlights:  Seeing several bucket lists- Ritchie Blackmore, King Diamond,some rare acts like Tony McAlpine, Amaranthe, Within Temptation, etc.


Worst Show: Between the Buried and Me (w/ Deafheaven and The Kindred) - The Kindred were OK, Deafheaven was good but I couldn't look at them, and BTBAM was so horrible. Left after 2 songs- these guys may be talented musically, but they can't write a song I must say.  Agalloch and the Local Stoner showcase were also pretty zzz worthy.  Crowbar's show was not interesting except Black Crown Initiate. Puya was not really worth the it but I did get discount tickets.

Tate talking down to us

Sleeper Show: Queensryche (Tate) w/ Hurricane - I was fully expecting Tate to be completely horrible, but I really was blown away by Tateryche's performance and I had to eat my words. I also thought The Aborted were way better than anticipated. Widow and Darker Half (all the way from Austrailia!) were also fantastic very unknown bands that should get more exposure.

Nothing More on the rise!

Cheapest show:  $8 each for Cassandra Syndrome and Co. and Nothing More (Excluding free and comp shows). Great price for up and comers Nothing More (some gooood Octane Rock!) and a nice  local lineup with a number of bands I hadn't gotten to see until then.

Winery Dogs kickin it

Most Expensive Show: $55 for the Winery Dogs featuring Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, and Ritchie Kotzen! A close second was Ritchie Blackmore ($52), and both were at the Birchmere. Both were amazing shows, which made me maybe not question the price too much. Winery Dogs was just them, and Blackmore actually had an opener.

Ar you one fo the true Manowarrior$?

Most Overpriced Show:  $55 seemed like a lot for Winery Dogs, but it was a great show. That's with fees. HIM also was a bit more expensive ($38) than I thought it would be. $27.5 for BTBAM also was a bit steep for those guys.
Honorable mentions: $85 for Ace Frehley (formerly of Kiss) (I didn't go to this, but it's about 100 with fees). Dream Theater also was like $70 (did not attend). And of course Manowar was about $100 for just them, I think the closest was 4 states away as well.


Most Metal Moment(s):
  • Front Rail at All That Remains and then Yesterday's Saints (different) 
  • Iced Earth / Sabaton ruling and the crowd going ape!
  • Eluveitie selling out Baltimore Soundstage! Standing in line to get in!
  • Manowar cover by Metanium
  • Pics with some bands (Doris Yeh (Chthonic), Leather Leone, Steve Grimmett, Matt Barlow and Freddie Vidales (Ashes of Ares), Jonne Järvelä (Korpiklaani), Ashley Williams (New Years Day), Lips (Anvil), Widow, Anissa Rodriguez (Eyes Set to Kill)
  • Bucket List check offs of Ritchie Blackmore, King Diamond, Combichrist, Jake E Lee, Winery Dogs, Primal Fear, Black Star Riders, Grim Reaper, Queen, Grendel, and HIM
  • Sonata Arctica bringing it live again!
  • People showing up in droves for Exodus, Death to All, etc.!
  • Seeing a full set from the Birthday Massacre
  • Brad Paisley's rock snippets and "Hot for Teacher" cover ! 
  • Being close for Lacuna Coil and Amaranthe

Oh Zakk

Most Disappointing:
  • Ace Frehley ticket prices ($85+ fees)
  • M3 and Paganfest on the same days (still made it to each, tho!)
  • Missing most of Children of Bodom
  • Black Label Society being a shadow of what they once were
  • Devil You Know being a bit underwhelming
  • Dark Tranquility and Omnium Gatherum getting shorter sets (first night of the tour)
Neil Turbin, featuring iPad

Most Ridiculous moments: 
  • Onslaught w/ Neil Turbin singing from the tablet Teleprompter
  • Ritchie Blackmore chuckling on stage (!!)
  • All the interesting goings on in the crowd at the Grendel show
  • Getting hit by a drumstick during Guns Out At Sundown
  • Division setlist paper airplane
  • Tommy Lee's drum solo and ridiculous sampling of non-Crue songs

Brian May should stick to playing the songs instead of extended solos

Least Metal Moments:
  • Zakk Wylde's less than impressive guitar solo
  • Brian May's rather limp guitar solo
  • Howard Jone's cringeworthy jokes
  • Onslaught w/ Neil Turbin singing from the tablet Teleprompter
  • Missing most of Children of Bodom
  • Much of the set of Blackmore's Night
  • Jess and the Ancient Ones
  • Butcher Babies still... not good

Saw part of Day of the Beast, then ran to see Tesseract on the same night!

An Example of a packed Empire- Skeletonwitch

Venue Most Visited:
Jaxx/ Empire is the winner by a wide margin, with a whopping 27 shows (only one less than last year)! Why can't they have a frequent buyer card? Fillmore Silver Spring was visited 9 times (compared to 12 last year) and then Baltimore Sound Stage with a scant 5 (down from 7). Other places were ranging from 1 to 3 times, and a few new venues (Hard Times Hagerstown, The Blue Fox in Winchester, and the Asylum 13 in Delaware and the Trocadero in PA).

Ghost of War!

Bands seen most this year:
I actually didn't see a lot of repeats- for locals Ghost of War (4 times) was the most, with Yesterday's Saints and A Sound of Thunder tying  (3 times each- half of last year for ASOT).
For nationals, there were a lot that I saw twice-
  • Lacuna Coil
  • Suffocation
  • Tyr
  • New Year's Day
  • Devil You Know
  • Skeletonwitch
  • Pyrexia

Stolen from Shamus Oddish

Regrets/ Missed out:
  • Missing Machinae Supremacy at Magfest (also missing it in 2015 it seems)
  • Loudness cancelling their tour
  • Satan going on at midnight (didn't go)
  • Missing Aesthetic Perfection (same night as Blackmore's Night)
  • Missing Sonata Arctica play "Wolf and Raven" in Baltimore (didn't play it in PA FFFFFF)
  • Machine Head tour cancelling 
  • Missing most of Children of Bodom
  • Somehow not seeing Kix
  • Not being one of 15 people at the Stitched up Heart tour stop in Baltimore ;3