Can you believe that 2016 is over? It went fast. I had the privilege of attending thirteen concerts last year, and I've written reviews on all of them. So how do they stack up? Below is my ranking. Please note that this list is ranking the concert experience as a whole, not the band or their music. Like in 2015, I was fortunate enough to enjoy every single one of the concerts I attended. I'll start at the bottom and move my way to the top spot.
Andrew Bird: Andrew Bird takes the bottom spot on my list, not because it was a bad show, but because the hipster attendees tried to ruin it for me. I wasn't especially head over heels for the opener, either.
The Black Queen: I loved The Black Queen's performance, but this concert has to remain low on my list due to an extremely late start, a claustrophobic room with a concrete floor, and two opening acts that I hated.
Animal Collective: Animal Collective was good, but again the hipsters were a bit irritating. The low spot is also due to the set list, which I believed to be too reliant on the new album.
Alice in Chains: I think this concert would have ranked much higher if I had scored floor tickets. A solid outing, and they sounded great, but the stage presence left something to be desired.
Coheed and Cambria & Glassjaw: Coheed and Cambria remains one of my favorite live acts. The somewhat lackluster performance from Glassjaw brings this one down.
Temple of the Dog: Temple of the Dog was a solid show. They sounded great... right until the end when there was a glitch in the sound mixing. This concert would have ranked higher if the set was a little tighter, and if I enjoyed the opener a bit more.
Joe Satriani: I'm surprised that Joe Satriani ranks as high as he does, as I'm more of a casual fan of his. However, his performance was incredible, and probably deserves more praise than I'm giving him. If I were a superfan, this would probably take the #1 or #2 spot. He was that good.
Lamb of God: Lamb of God was the most violent concert I attended, and I was injured in the mosh pit. They are incredible in a live setting, just stay out of the pit if you're an old guy, like me.
Killswitch Engage: Jesse's back! His return alone earns this show a top 5 spot. Add to that solid performances from 36 Crazyfists, Memphis May Fire, and my favorite new band of 2016: Toothgrinder. This show would have been higher on the list if 36 Crazyfists had hired me to draw some illustrations.
Guns N' Roses: I almost didn't go to this show. Boy, am I glad I did. Axl sounded great, and Slash shredded every lick he played. If it weren't a stadium show, this may have taken my top spot.
At the Drive-In: At the Drive-In was better and more energetic than I expected, and the pit was a lot of fun. I never thought I'd ever get to see them perform, much less so close. This takes spot #3 only because there were two shows I enjoyed more.
The Dillinger Escape Plan: If Metallica didn't happen, The Dillinger Escape Plan would have easily taken the top spot. They're one of my favorite bands, and they put on one of the best live shows I've ever seen. The mosh pit was fun, without me getting injured. The fact that I caught a drumstick was just a bonus. If you missed them, you missed out.
Metallica: Metallica had to take my top spot. Everything about the experience was amazing, starting with winning the tickets. It just got better from there, and I can finally check them off of my bucket list, not that I wouldn't see them again. James mentioned that they'd be back in the summer, so I'll definitely try to score some more passes.
My regular readers will know that I love live music. 2016 will be hard to top, but I'm up for the challenge! If you like art or music, please support the artists financially by buying their work or seeing them perform. (You can support this artist for as little as $1 by clicking here.) Art makes life tolerable, support it! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you at a show this year.