2012 has got to be one of the best year’s for me to go to concerts. There’s bands I had never seen before but have wanted to, bands I hadn’t seen in 2-3 years, and even bands I thought wouldn’t come around again for a long time.
10. Metalachi 5/5/12 – The Roxy Theater – Hollywood, CA
The world’s first and only metal mariachi band. This was a special Cinco De Mayo concert at the world-famous Roxy Theater. Even though these guys aren’t really known and don’t put on a crazy show with fancy lighting or huge stage setups, I still gave these guys a spot on my list for creativity in what they do. They take popular/well-known (mainly)rock/metal songs and cover them using mariachi instruments. When I first heard about them last year, I couldn’t believe it and had to see it for myself. This was actually the second time I saw them. Here they are doing a Dio cover.
9. Lamb of God 10/31/12 – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood, CA
I had been aching for a while to see Lamb of God live and then they finally announced US tour dates. The first set of US tour dates had to be cancelled due to singer Randy Blythe’s imprisonment in the Czech Republic. Once released, new tour dates were announced and I jumped on them. They were everything I expected them to be live. Crazy, energetic, and most of all, brutal. After the show I met up with all the members of Lamb of God at different times as they exited the building and got to talk with them for a bit. What a way to spend my Halloween. Will definitely check them out again.
8. Van Halen 6/1/12 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
One might wonder why a band like Van Halen might be so low on my list. Well I have good reasons for it. When Van Halen last came it was 2007. By the time I heard about it, I had just missed it by a few days and since then I’ve vowed to make it next time they come around. This year they released their newest album, “A Different Kind of Truth”, which featured original singer, David Lee Roth, for the first time in 27 years. My dad has been a Van Halen fan since the 80’s so when they announced this tour, I got tickets for the both of us. The openers for them was the 70’s funk band, Kool and the Gang. That was a real treat for me since I never thought someone from my generation would ever see them. The reason that they’re so low on my list is that, in a way, they were just simply…boring. I’ve seen videos of them from back in the day and I thought for sure I’d see one of the greatest shows I’ll ever see. I paid hard-earned money to see a great show. I also have to put into factor that 3 out of the 4 members are at that age where they probably don’t have the energy like they used to, but then again I’ve seen bands their age put on spectacular shows. David Lee Roth still danced to most songs but he didn’t jump around as I’ve seen in older videos. Eddie Van Halen didn’t do much other than play guitar. He usually stayed in one place and walked around and didn’t run or jump around as I thought he would. Personally, I think they’re at that point in their career where they don’t really care anymore since they reached stardom a long time ago.
7. Megadeth 12/7/12 – Fox Theater – Pomona, CA
I had the chance to see Megadeth twice this year and I picked this day from the second time as my favored show. This tour was celebrating the 20th anniversary of their double-platinum selling album, “Countdown To Extinction”. This being one of my favorite metal albums and my second favorite Megadeth album, I just had to go to this. The titans of thrash metal, Megadeth, as always put on an awesome metal show for us metal heads. The show carried out really well and frontman Dave Mustaine showed no sign of slowing down anytime soon. He even announced that my particular show would be released on DVD! After the show I caught up with all the band members except for Mustaine. In this video, before they play Holy Wars, a friend of mine who happens to be the biggest Megadeth fan I know, throws her hand-made Megadeth flag at Dave and he holds it up for everyone to see. I got it on video just for her.
6. Linkin Park and Incubus 9/8/12 – The Home Depot Center – Carson, CA
This was this year’s Honda Civic tour. It featured alternative rockers, Linkin Park and Incubus. I haven’t seen Linkin Park since February of 2011 so I was due to see them again. I did see them again in December at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, but I chose this night in particular. This was also my first time seeing Incubus. Both bands put on a great show. Incubus went up first and played greatest hits from their past albums as well as songs from their newest album, “If Not Now, When?”. When they finished, Linkin Park came on. They were the highlight of the night for me. They’re one of the few bands I can see and no matter how hard I try to resist, I end up singing along to every song. They were out supporting their newest album released this year, “Living Things”. The only problem I had during the show was the venue. It was a soccer stadium. I could tell that no matter where you sat, It’d be a terrible view and would be too far to see anything clearly. The only way you’d have a good view is if you were on the floor and had a close-up view. As always, I cannot wait for them to come back.
5. KISS and Motley Crue 8/14/12 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA
KISS and Motley Crue had to be one of the hottest tours of the summer. This was the first time in 30 years that they had toured together since 1982. I hadn’t seen KISS in 2009 and was anxiously waiting for them to come around again. Motley Crue I’ve been seeing every year since 2008 and this made the 6th time(the most out of any band) I had seen them. My only complaint is the venue. The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater has got to be the worst venue in the world. Everything about that place is terrible. Driving there, trying to get into the venue, finding parking, food/merchandise pricing, and it’s a long walk to the seating area. As for the band themselves, they were awesome as always. First up were the kings of glam metal, Motley Crue. I’ve been a huge Motley Crue fan and I’ve yet to get tired from seeing them. Due to the terrible layout of the venue, I missed most of their set. I took a half day from work and I still got there late! I only got around to fully hear their last 2 songs but they put up an awesome display of pyros, fireworks, buckets of blood, and women on stilts. When KISS came on, the crowd went crazy. It had been too long since they last came around. Thanks to my dad, they were one of the first bands I remember listening to When I was just a kid. They still rock even at their age. They played greatest hits along with some newer stuff. I know it won’t be soon but I hope KISS comes back without having me wait another 3 years.
4. Scorpions 6/22/12 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
Scorpions live is the true definition of a rock show. This was their Final Sting/farewell tour and probably the one and only time I’ll ever see them, sadly. The opening was the rock band, Tesla. I was only familiar with a few Tesla songs since they never really caught my attention but from what I hear, they’re one of the most underrated rock bands. My dad has been a Scorpions fan since the 80’s but has never seen them before so when I heard they were coming around, I jumped at the opportunity to take him and I wanted to see them for myself. They put on an all-around rock show and I was really enjoying myself. Even at their age, they still rocked and ran around. They played all greatest hits that I was familiar with. There was hardly a dull moment in that show. I just wish I could see them again. singer Klaus Meine still sounded great and all the other member still had it in them. My dad and I both agreed that they were much better than Van Halen which is why Scorpions is much higher on my list.
3. Iron Maiden 8/9/12 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA
There’s no questioning it, Iron Maiden is one of the greatest bands of all time and one of my all-time favorite bands. I last saw them in 2010 for the time and I was dying to see them again. I got my wish this year. This show was definitely better than the last time since they played their older stuff compared to last time where they played mainly songs from their more recent albums. With this tour they recreated their 1989 Maiden England tour and played several songs from their “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album which is what the tour was based off of. Iron Maiden is everything you could want at a metal concert. They had multiple stage setups, fireworks, pyros, giant Eddie robots, and of course awesome metal music. The whole time the crowd was insane and reacting to whatever song they played. Singer Bruce Dickinson sounded great for his age and all the other members were at their best. Throughout the night, you never knew what was gonna happen next with each song. Their mascot, Eddie, came out as a giant robot multiple times, devils spitting fire, and fireworks. They are a band for anyone that’s into metal to go see. Will definitely see them again without thinking twice about it.
2. Rammstein 5/17/12 – Honda Center – Anaheim, CA
Rammstein has to be one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. they’re simply spectacular. Almost every song they play, they have something special planned. During “Feuer Frei!”(Open Fire), they come out with fire-breathing masks. During “Mein Teil”(My Part), they played out the cannibalistic story of Armin Meiwes when singer Till roasted keyboardist Flake inside a huge pot using a big flamethrower. During “Engel”(Angel), singer Till comes out wearing giant angel wings that spit out fire from the tips of the wings and are already covered with flashing fireworks. During “Pussy”, singer Till gets on top of a huge penis-shaped cannon and shoots foam at the crowd. Rammstein is one of the most fun bands you could ever see. i can tell I’ll never get tired of them. I saw them for the first time last year when they did their first US tour in 10 years and I didn’t think they’d come around again until later that year they announced they’d be coming back and I jumped for joy. I won’t hesitate to see them again.
1. Rockstar Mayhem Festival: Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax, and more! 6/30/12 – San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, CA
This year, without a doubt, the best show for me this year was the 5th annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival. This was the 2nd biggest tour of the summer which packed over 28,000 headbanging metal heads and I was there for the opening night!! The main bands that I went to see were Anthrax, Motorhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. I’ll focus this on Slayer and Slipknot since they were the headliners. Slayer and Slipknot are 2 of my favorite bands and both have different fan bases. There were fans that were there for Slayer and hated Slipknot, there were fans that loved Slipknot but didn’t like Slayer, then there were fans like me who loved both bands to the fullest. I never thought I’d see Slayer and Slipknot share the same stage together in one night so this was a dream come true for me. Slayer was incredible and totally blew us away. They played mostly greatest hits including some of my personal favorites that I’ve never seen them play before from the 2 previous times I’ve seen them. With drummer Dave Lombardo being my idol as a drummer, I’m always happy to see his skills live. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman was still out to due his arm injury and was temporarily replaced by Exodus guitarist, Gary Holt. After they finished, Slipknot came on. I hadn’t seen them since 2009 and waiting for them to come back was a very painful wait. This was their first US show since the passing of bassist, Paul Gray. Guitarist Jim Root was out due to his appendix bursting so one of the guitarists from As I Lay Dying(who was also one of the bands on the tour) filled in for him temporarily in the back. Slipknot made their return to the US with sheer force and the crowd reacted really well to it. My eyes got a little watery from joy and excitement once the curtain fell and Slipknot was on stage opening with “Sic”. The whole night they played greatest hits and I was enjoying each and every song and even singing along. Slipknot is just one of those bands where you have to see them live to feel the intensity and electricity for yourself. They’re definitely on my list to see again.