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Illyria

Concerts - general discussion and experiences

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What concerts have you been to, or what bands are on your list that you definitely still have to go see? What concerts are you sad you've missed?

 

I couldn't find a general topic on this, sorry if something like this already exists, then this can be merged of course.

 

I thought of this because I just saw that Rammstein are playing two solo shows in Berlin in July. I am super frustrated cause they are at the top of my list of bands I still have to see, but I already have tickets for ESL Cologne that weekend. WHYYYYYY. They are playing at the Waldbühne which is an amphitheatre and simply an amazing open air venue, been to a concert there before in 2007 so I am really gutted to be missing out on this.

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I love going to gigs. I must have been to a few hundred over the years. The only band of my time that I haven't seen that I'd love to have seen live was The Gits. Never getting to see the late great Mia Zapata live is the one that stings. Probably catching Nirvana playing at the QMU in Glasgow would be the one that really sticks out as it was an amazing gig with a crowd of around 800 just when 'Nevermind' was starting to take off.

 

My personal music preference is the grunge/rock/indie scene of the late 80's and early 90's and during that time I was at gigs just about every week. I've seen just about every band I wanted to see, and a few I'd rather forget.

 

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Been to loads and tonnes of festivals since the early 90s, first being Prodigy at Barrwloands in Glasgow when I was 14. I have no preference, I'll go to see hip-hop, metal, indie, dance or pop. Couple of favourites, both at Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh. Amy Winehouse on the last night of the Frank tour when she debuted a couple of her new songs, Rehab and Back to Black, at the end of the set. Santigold at the same place when she first broke through in the UK, really energetic performance that had the crowd jumping, and a great band. Also James Brown at T in the Park a few years before he died, he came on an hour late and killed with the energy of a man a third his age, complete with cape.

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Gutted that I never saw JB.  Same with Curtis Mayfield.  I did get to see Gil Scott-Heron at the Jazz Cafe though, which was amazing on account of it being such a small venue. I've been to dozens and dozens of hip hop gigs over the years.  It's pretty much my favourite social activity.

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My first ever gig was Chris DeBurgh. And no, I wasn't a fan. It was a Christmas present from my mum to my dad. When he admitted he hated DeBurgh, lil 7 year old me was there to tag along. He dressed up as a woman at one stage for 'Patricia the Stripper'. It was a surreal experience.

Best stage show - Kiss in Dublin

Best Gig - Bruce Springsteen - Belfast

Biggest Letdown - Smashing Pumpkins - Belfast

Most mindblowing (musically) - Bon Iver in Dublin

Most pleasantly surprising - The Zutons in Dublin

Most intimate gig - Foy Vance with about, 25 people

 

And for the lols

 

Best tribute band - AB/CD

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I've seen pretty much every band I wanted to over the years - must have been to a couple of hundred gigs of one size and another.

About the only one I'd really like to see is ELO, even though it's basically just Jeff Lynne now. Annoyingly I missed out on tickets for the recent shows.

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I've seen tons of bands over the years. Best of the bunch would be Type O Negative, Tool and Clutch, in that order I reckon. Love 'em or hate 'em, Type O didn't half know how to put on a hell of a live show.

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I went a lot during the 90s, kinda stopped almost entirely during the 00s, and have picked it up again with a vengeance in the last few years. However these days I largely eschew big names/large venues (except if it's someone truly amazing who I'd always wanted to see, like Prince) and just go see new/niche acts in tiny venues. It's cheaper, there's obviously a far more intimate feel, and you often come away surprised and excited about having found something potentially brilliant and new.

 

My best gig of recent years was probably La Femme a couple of years back. Had no idea what to expect, about a hundred of us or so packed into a tiny basement in North-East London, rocks on which a wave of keyboards, yeye vocals, theremins and fuckawesome surf guitars crashed upon. Songs about the terribleness of taxis and why you should always take the bus, waking up after the end of the world, travelling through hyperspace, and yes, the importance of catching a good wave, all of it in French. It was the kind of Road to Damascus style moment I hadn't experienced since seeing 'Faster' played on Top of the Pops, or hearing 'Common People' for the first time at Reading.

 

My great gig regret was knowing one of my favourite new bands back in the day were playing up the road from work one night, deciding to catch them next time then finding out they'd split at the end of it. A harsh lesson learned - if the chance is there, always take it, chums.

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I went to a lot of gigs in the late 80s and early 90s (highlight was being squashed up at the front for Big Audio Dynamite at Rock City in '88, and shaking Mick Jones' hand at the end), then had a 10-15 year gap where I went to hardly any which I now regret. I basically went through the entire Grunge-Britpop-AltRock era buying loads of CDs but never seeing the bands live. I particularly wish I'd seen Mansun on the several occasions I had the chance but family commitments (felt like they) got in the way.

 

Then about five or so years ago I decided I was going to take up gig going again, gathered a bunch of like minded mates, and started looking out for anyone playing nearby who we either already liked or who seemed interesting. Apps/sites like Songkick, and following a bunch of musicians on Twitter has helped immensely with this. We also avoid large venues unless it's someone we're desperate to see with no smaller option available, but the best gigs have been in tiny venues with virtual unknowns who have blown us away.

 

We've slowly built up a mental list of "must see every time they come anywhere near us" artists, and top of that list is singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell. I first saw her in the (very small) Twelve Bar club in London when I was doing some work down there. I've seen her three times since with local mates: once at the (even smaller) Maze in Nottingham (pub backroom with a tiny stage in the corner), once (IIRC) at the Nottingham Glee Club (soulless venue but she was great again) and last time round we travelled up to Bakewell one Sunday night to see her playing - I kid you not - in Bakewell Village Hall. A venue so intimate it had no facilities whatsoever, and the entire audience was sent to the pub round the corner in the interval.

 

Tonight I'm supposed to be going to another one on that mental list - Misty Miller, who I will be seeing live in Nottingham for the fourth time in less than two years, and all in tiny (but progressively less so) bars. Tonight's is the first one in an actual gig venue rather than a bar, but even then it's in the upstairs back room rather than the main hall (Red Room at the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham-based fact fans). But my two mates have both bailed out, and now I'm debating whether to go on my own or not. She is very, very good though, so I'm veering towards yes.

 

Sorry to keep mentioning Nottingham but it is where I live, and it is blessed with a great bunch of gig venues of all sizes. Every year we see new artists or bands that become new favourites. It's brilliant.

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20 hours ago, JohnnyNolan said:

I saw the Smashing Pumpkins touring off Gish and Billy was an annoying ego maniac even then!

They were fucking dreadful in Belfast. Like, really, really dreadful.
 

19 hours ago, Vespa Alex said:

I've seen pretty much every band I wanted to over the years - must have been to a couple of hundred gigs of one size and another.

About the only one I'd really like to see is ELO, even though it's basically just Jeff Lynne now. Annoyingly I missed out on tickets for the recent shows.

My dad has seen ELO a few times. Says it's the one show I should definitely see given a chance. I would love to see Jeff Lynne.
 

5 hours ago, Captain LeChuck said:

It's been more than a few years now, as I used to go with my brother a lot, but with the arrival of his son, it's been difficult. But the last one I went to was Sonisphere back in 2010. 

 

Rammstein headlined one of the days, it was their first UK festival, and they were awesome.

 

The best one I went to was Download the year before (I think), that had Faith No More, Slipknot, and my beloved Def Leppard headlining Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively. Each day was amazing. I did post about it shortly after. The highlight was Def Leppard while I was hopped up on ephedrine pills. :lol:

 

Christ, those days are long gone. Good times though.

 

Edit: just realised I'm wearing the Rammstein t-shirt I bought at Sonisphere. :)

Saw Def Leppard twice in Belfast. Once they played out of their skin, Elliot was on form, Campbell was a local hero and they whole arena was bouncing. The last time (last year), they were pretty flat. They were by no means terrible, just a bit, meh.

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I've seen that with a few bands the longer they go on. Catch them in their prime and they can be amazing, but at other times you get the feeling they are just going through the motions. It's one of the reasons that I'm always wary about reunion tours, or bands hitting the road again after a long absence.

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1 hour ago, Captain LeChuck said:

Thankfully they were on top form when I saw them. And yeah, it can be really disappointing when a band you've seen before puts in a duff performance the next time time you see them.

 

Back in 2005 I saw Marylin Manson at Reading, and he was amazing. I saw him again at, I think it was that same Download in 2009, and he was dire. <_<

 

Yeah I saw him in 2009 as well and it was absolutely awful. Felt like he was drugged up and not even sure why the hell he's on stage. Very disappointing.

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On a slight tangent, what bands have people seen most?

i must have seen The Wildhearts or Ginger's other bands more than twenty times. Bowling For Soup a similar number and a few others 10 times. 

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I keep a list (just of the bands I've seen and how many times, not dates etc), so can tell you Marilyn Manson is top with 22 times, followed by The Darkness (11) and Manic Street Preachers on 7.

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1 hour ago, Vespa Alex said:

On a slight tangent, what bands have people seen most?

 

Pretty sure I've seen Mogwai at least once on all of their tours since 1997 (however many gigs that adds up to - with festival slots it's over 20). Looking forward to the Atomic shows later this year, just to see what they're like live without John. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, JohnnyNolan said:

Stiff Little Fingers as the most gigs attended for me. Basically because they play Glasgow every Saint Patrick's night.

 

As a Belfast man, I've seen them 6 or 7 times. They play at least one big one here every year or two. Absolutely superb, and our wee Jakie still has it!

"I could be a soldieeeeeerrrrr"

 

11 hours ago, Vespa Alex said:

On a slight tangent, what bands have people seen most?

i must have seen The Wildhearts or Ginger's other bands more than twenty times. Bowling For Soup a similar number and a few others 10 times. 

 

Mmmm, band I've seen most is probably Kings of Leon (most of them pre 08) 6 or 7 times. They'd be up there.

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On 4/14/2016 at 5:13 PM, Illyria said:

 

Yeah I saw him in 2009 as well and it was absolutely awful. Felt like he was drugged up and not even sure why the hell he's on stage. Very disappointing.

He was beyond woeful on his most recent tour. He even admitted that he was tagged in the US and couldn't consume drugs or alcohol so basically did a European tour to get the tag removed. Shame, Reading 2001 was a classic in my, then 19 year old, eyes.

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He was so wasted on his recent tour he couldn't manage to hold the microphone near his face. He did a few of his older tracks while wearing a headset and the combination of their need for incoherent wailing and lack of needing to hold up a microphone meant they worked out pretty well but it wasn't the best sign for the bloke. It's a shame, I love the southern tinged feel of his most recent album. This was in November. I believe he was due to play the Bataclan in Paris the day after Eagles of Death Metal and obviously had to cancel. He came straight to the UK after that, probably wasn't the best mindset to be playing shows in.

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Ah right, you'd said it was his most recent tour you'd seen, my mistake. Well I guess I'm just gonna stick to listening to his recordings.

 

Last concert I went to was Ennio Morricone, btw. Not necessarily what we're discussing here, but it was absolutely fantastic. I even shed a tear, it was so moving to hear his music played live by the Chech National Symphony Orchestra, and seeing him there, at the age of 87, the man who created all this amazing music over the past 60 years. I'm usually pretty misanthropic but for that one evening I felt good about humanity, damn.

 

Other than that I don't frequently go to concerts, due to finances. Last one I went to, apart from Ennio (where I was lucky enough to get 2 free tickets), was Florence and the Machine in December. Fantastic energy and definitely one of my concert highlights these past few years.

 

I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of most of the bands you guys are listing here :blush:

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On 14/04/2016 at 9:24 PM, Vespa Alex said:

On a slight tangent, what bands have people seen most?

i must have seen The Wildhearts or Ginger's other bands more than twenty times. Bowling For Soup a similar number and a few others 10 times. 

It'd be Ginger and his various bands for me too. Lost count of how many times I've seen them. Other than that I've seen Green Day 10ish times and Metallica about the same. They're bands I'd go to every tour if at all possible. 

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Seen The Prodigy about 20 times. Rarely listen to them, but they are the one band that gets all my mates out so go wherever they are in Scotland pretty much.

Saw Muse 4 times, doubt if go again unless Matt stops singing. They'd work so much better as an instrumental band.

Forgot about Goldfinger. Saw them twice and they are brilliant live, liveliest crowds I've seen too.

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Biggest disappointment was definitely Soundgarden at Reading '95. Cornell just looked fed up and bored, and they imploded due to infighting not long after, so I guess that's why. Closely followed by Iron Maiden at Twickenham on the Somewhere Back In Time tour. I think the Live After Death set is still one of the greatest live sets, and they were game enough, but the sound was attrocious. 

 

Best ? Metallica in '98 at The Gorge, WA and again at New Wembley Stadium, Alice In Chains with Layne at Brixton, Tool at Brixton, Earthtone9 pretty much every time I saw them, Maiden on the 7th Son tour, Radiohead in Salem, Oregon in '98. One that stands out mainly because I don't like her music at all was Madonna in 1987 at Old Wembley Stadium. Not a fan, but fuck she could put on a show. However, best one was the last Mastodon tour when I took my daughter with me to see them.

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I haven't been to much gigs this year. Been too skint and have been saving up for a holiday. Used to frequent the 12bar before it closed. Now and again I'd hit the Green Note, Dublin Castle or the Fiddlers Elbow. I follow the psychedelia scene a lot so frequent the Shacklewell Arms and Fuzz Club now have a regular gig nights at the brewery in east London. Now and again I'll see an established artist, last year I caught PJ Harvy, Patti Smith, Babes in Toyland, Swans, Robyn Hitchcock and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Outside the bigger venues last year I saw Death and Vanilla, the Cult of Dom Keller, Acid Baby Jesus, the Mobbs, the Reverend Beat Man, the Fallen Leaves, Froth, the Rude Mechanicals and a handful of bands at the Fuzz Club festival such as KVB, 10,000 Russos and the Dead Rabbits.

 

Theres a few upcoming gigs I'm tempted by. Gutted I missed out on Billy Childish down at the Lexington which sold out in minutes, King Khan and the Shrines and Public Image Ltd I'd like to see in the next couple of months. 

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