WELCOME TO THE FIRST EDITION OF MY TOP 100 SHOWS! There's plenty of variation and surprtising picks to read about this month, so lets just jump right into it! Enjoy!!
100 CANNIBAL CORPSE
FEBRUARY 3rd, ENGINE ROOM, HOUSTON
Ever been to a show where some guy's arm gets ripped from the socket and said guy refuses to leave. Well, I have and let me tell you its fucking gnarly to witness. This show at a disgustingly packed Houston club was memorable for plenty of reasons, such as the three hour 30 song set by the death metal pioneers and the wild experience I had getting to the show, but in the nearly 20 years since I witnessed that concert, I’ve never forgotten how much that crazy asshole refused to leave. It's still one of the most aggressive shows I ever went to, which is why it opens our countdown at number 100.
NEW METAL & HARDCORE FEST, APRIL 2003, PALLADIUM, WORCHESTER
This one time, years ago, I ventured to the town of Worchester Massachusetts for the now defunct New England Metal & Hardcore Festival. Although many memorable performances were seen, it was the homecoming of sorts set by Hardcore thrash legends Converge that remained in my brain for years to come. The blink and you’ll miss it 30 minute co headlining set never let up as the opener “Concubine” blurred the lines between chaos and celebration, with vocalist Jacob Bannon taking the form of a beast as he prowled the stage, in all his metal glory.
98 KANYE WEST
COACHELLA, APRIL 29 2006, EMPIRE POOI FIELDS, INDIO
He wasn’t even supposed to be there, but 2 days before, low and behold there he was on the Main stage schedule, in between Common and Sigur Ros. He was late by twenty minutes, raced through all the big hits from his first two blockbuster records, and had the crowd eating from his palm for the duration. Everyone sang along to all the obvious choices i wont list, mostly because if you’re a fan you know all the hits from His early records. It was a tremendous surprise, an early statement of arrival from Mr. West, and another perfect Coachella “I was there moments,” but we’ll get there in time.
97 LIMP BIZKIT
FAMILY VALUES TOUR, OCTOBER 17 1998, CAJUN DOME, LAFAYETTE
This might be laughable now, but there was a time when we all did laughable things. For myself, especially in 1998, this kind of music set off so much movement in my life that its stayed with me. Entering the stage from a giant, extremely cool crashed UFO, the Jacksonville upstarts tore through an energetically angry set full of eventual nu metal classics. “Faith” killed, as did “Counterfeit,” but overall the set was defined by one the early badass stage designs i had witnessed and its played a role in my love for stupid large stage shows that captivate.
96 MASSIVE ATTACK
COACHELLA, APRIL 30, EMPIRE POLO FIELD, INDIO
At the time I didn't really enjoy the set, but over the years my thoughts have wavered. The show could’ve had a better slot, as being right before the first Tool show in 4 years doesn't exactly translate well to the more intricate, subdued at times set by the legendary British duo. Having said that, technically speaking the show embraced the technology of the time as more of a complement to the setlist, which with perfect set pieces like “Teardrop” only added to the specialness of the evening. It was steady, perfectly paced, and a festival set for the ages.
95 EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
COACHELLA, APRIL 29 2006, EMPIRE POLO FIELD, INDIO
Even beyond the swagger of Jesse Hughes, or the double drumming of Joshua Homme & or Samantha Maloney, the show at Coachella towards the end of the first day was memorable because of the magnificent introduction speech from legendary actor Denny DeVito. “Welcome the Motherfucking Eagles of Death Metal'' echoed across the stage and the crowd as the California group roared their way through a fifty minute set of hip shaking, flirtatious growls. Hughes is nothing if not sexually charged, but the set was chalk full of the band's early hits, some of which haven't aged as well as we’d hope. Either way, you know what you’re getting into with a EoDM show, and that night at Coachella they didn't disappoint
SAILING THE SEAS OF CHEESE TOUR, MARCH 2 2004, STATE PALACE THEATER
I’m not even friends with the person I went to this show with (Apparently me not having enough time for them at my wedding was the last straw for this person) but the show was one of the first times i went to a single band concert. There was no opening act, with the band instead performing two sets of various selections from their career, but the main attraction obviously was the full album performance of “Seas of Cheese” which was as quirky and bizarre as you’d expect from Claypool and cohorts. The record itself is only about 40 minutes, but the “Seas” set was well over an hour, culminating with a twenty minute rendition of “Fish On,” featuring about 15 pig mask clad bands members.
93 THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN: SOUTHP 2016
NOVEMBER 7 2016, SOUTHPORT HALL, NEW ORLEANS
Right on the eve of the night we as a nation would elect a literal sexual predator who’s orange glow makes the sun jealous, Dillinger Escape Plan, made a stop on their farewell tour to a little club nestled somewhere in uptown New Orleans. All the songs fans wanted to hear were represented with the capacity crowd jumping, thrashing and generally being assaulted by the blinding quickness of the music and the lights. It was the only time i saw the headline their own show, but goodness was it intense and unforgettable. Even today, it feels like never ending controlled chaos.
92 DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE:
BONNAROO, JUNE 15 2008, MANCHESTER
The weekend had been long, and mostly annoying, but the music had been great. Standing in that field Sunday evening, watching Gibbard and the rest of Death Cab wind down the fest with the last pre headliner set, everything felt worth it. The skies in Manchester at sunset can be otherworldly at moments, and that backdrop served as a perfect compliment to the band's mild mannered indie rock. My then girlfriend and i left immediately following the set, embarking on a 10 year trip home after just hours of sleep, but sometimes you sacrifice yourself to keep the music going.
91 STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
VOODOO FEST, OCTOBER 28 2000, CITY PARK NEW ORLEANS
As the encore began, a naked Scott Weiland, clothed only with an American Flag around his nether regions, danced manically across the stage as Dead & Bloated echoed over the crowd of thousands. The band, closing the then one day Voodoo Fest, showed all the legendary status of one of the bigger alt rock acts of the now extinct 1990’s. For 90 minutes they cranked out intense hard rock, with Weiland especially worth watching as his snake-like movements provoked and entertained the crowd. I remember going with my dad who remarked it to be one of the best shows he had seen, even though he may have just been saying that to make me feel better, although that was never really his style.
90 BLACK LIPS
SEPTEMBER 10 2004, TIPITINAS, NEW ORLEANS
King Khan and the Shrines opened the show, and were extremely entertaining, but the punk rock styling of the Black Lips were enough to make everyone forget about the openers as the show progressed. I’ve seen the band four or so times by now, but this show always stands out to me. Covered in sweat, hopping along the dirty beer soaked floor of uptown Nola’s Tipitinas, I felt like a teenager again as I sang along to “O, Katrina,” their most memorable sing for my money.
DECEMBER 3 1993, UNO LAKEFRONT ARENA, NEW ORLEANS
For the record, some shows, no matter how technically bad they were, are able to still be memorable. For obvious reasons, the band never toured again after this trek, but just getting to see this monumental 90’s band was enough to make the memory worth it. The show wasn’t great, with opening acts Shonen Knife & the Breeders both putting on better shows with superior sound. For Nirvana though, even though the band was clearly fucked up and not focusing, it was still memortable just because at moment the arena came alive for some big known hits we all already know the names of. It’s a sad reminder that sometimes our idols are clearly human, full of sadness and personal turmoil, and that even they have bad nights, weeks, months or years.
88 RUSSIAN CIRCLES
FUN FUN FUN FEST, NOVEMBER 4 2011, AUDITORIUM SHORES, AUSTIN
The heavines, good lord treh heaviness! To say I was unprepared for my first Russian Circles show is an understatement, but I left that set a huge fan of the band, and that love continues even now. The three piece band is never easy listening, but they're so in sync and on the same page that they act as a moving juggernaut of thick riffs, heavy rises and falls, and not a word said throughout the entire set. For all metal fans, these guys continue to be one of the most consistent bands around.
87 ANGEL OLSEN
NOVEMBER 5 2019, CIVIC THEATER, NEW ORLEANS
As the house lights made the room big and bright, an ornately elegant but spooky backdrop featuring stars hung quietly in the background, the evening paused while we the audience waited. Eventually, the house lights dimmed to allow the band to enter the evening. e off flawlessly, with Olsen’s voice straining beautifully under the weight of emotion that surrounds the record. I’ve seen plenty of shows, but her voice was something I wasn’t prepared for. So full of volume, depth, and exactly how she sounds on records, she allowed the backing band, fully equipped with amazing musicians playing guitars, bass, and classical string instruments to propel her own vocals to make something so beautiful.
COACHELLA, APRIL 6 2006, EMPIRE POLO FIELDS, INDIO
Typically I would never pay to see a Madonna show, but absolutely I’ll see her in the Dance Tent on the closing night of Coachella 2006. Playing just an hour before Tool was to begin on the main stage, a pack of thousands migrated to get a spot. The Queen of Pop arrived late, byt about 20 minutes, but as soon as the beat of “Hung Up '' started creeping into the packed Sahara Tent, it didn't matter. It really was insane to be there at her first ever festival set. During her four or five song set, she had teh crowd easily dancing to her disco infused pop. In the end, theres not much to actually say, other than shit i saw Madonna one time.
85 DAVID BYRNE
SHAKY KNEES, MAY 4 2018, CENTRAL PARK, ATLANTA
Definitely one of the strangest, but also thoroughly engaging of the entire festival. With a veritable marching band behind him, Byrne dominated the crowd and stage for the whole set, mixing in newer tracks and reworkings of classic “Talking Heads” that everyone seemed to devour in joy. He’s a true king of his craft and the ability to pull in a crowd that seems to be flawlessly easy, it was easily the most imaginative display, and a stark contrast to every other set of the weekend. It may not have been this reviewer's best set, but I feel sorry for you if you attended and happened to miss this show. No one does shows like this, especially when it comes to the rock genre.
84 KING GIZZARD & the LIZARD WIZARD
JUNE 21 2018, THE REPUBLIC, NEW ORLEANS
This being my second time catching the seven piece in little over a year, i was oddly more pumped than i was the first time. But to be fair, it was a far better concert than previously. With Stu at the helm, the band tore through a two hour set in the sweltering club. I remember my friends and i got way too drunk but we couldn't have cared less. It's the type of show where fun is boundless and you just lose yourself in the experience. King gizzard is great in that way. It's also a constantly changing show full of all sorts of different sounds, so its able to stay fresher than other bands.
ISSUES TOUR, FEBRUARY 21 2000, NEW ORLEANS ARENA
My time with the Nu metal titans has nearly completely come and gone, but i’ll never forget that day with two of my best high school friends. Staind opened, we met them, and by 9:00 Korn was about the come on. Opening with “Falling Away from Me,” behind a giant circular tarp, the energy was high as the drape fell, showcasing the asylum theme of the stage show, with gothic style architecture and a circular stage taking up an immense amount of height and space. I thoink back toi how aggressively I would head bang and it makes me dizzy, but 18 year old me was on top of the world, even though I had absolutely no reason to be.
82 LYKKE L
FUN FUN FUN FEST, NOVEMBER 5 2011, AUDITORIUM SHORES, AUSTIN
I remember being with my friend, drinking all you can drink Tecate all day because of “Pretty Important Person” passes and then bearing through a hellacious sandstorm to see Swedish mistress Lyke Li perform the pre headliner set on the second night of the fest. Banners hung from the back, swaying in the erratic wind as her voice billowed out from the stage to a field of masked fans, trying to avoid the sand filling the air. I’ve met people who didn’t enjoy this set, but as my headliner for the evening, it was everything you could have hoped for. Ending the night with the lovelorn seductive songstress, simple amazing.
MARCH 25 2005, UNO LAKEFRONT ARENA, NEW ORLEANS
By the time the iowa 9 hit the UNO Lakefront Arena on that almy summer night, an opener, Lamb of God & Shadows Fall had all rocked the crowd. It hadn’t even started though in hindsight For two solid hours Corey Taylor, the Clown, Jim Root and company filled the finale with every track you’d want to hear, ramps, fire, lasers, rotating drum sets and plenty of head banging. The crowd was into it from the start, but with tracks like “Purity” “Surfacing” and “Left Behind” filling in the needed anthems of the night, there was no stopping the band as they tore through a twenty song set. It was one of the better metal package tours I’ve ever attended, and foir that reason Slipknots set comes in at 81.
80 BLACK SABBATH: OZZFEST 2004
AUGUST 5th 2004, SMIRNOFF MUSIC CENTER, DALLAS
By 9:30 pm, after 21 other bands and over twelve hours of heavy metal, the gods descended on the Amphitheater for a ninety minute set of classics. There’s too many to name them all, but tracks like “Paranoid,” “Children of the Grave,” “Iron Man” and “Snowblind” all sounded just as good as they had decades earlier, with a few minor setbacks. Osbourne’s voice wasn’t quite its old self, and the between song banter was hard to make out as english, but Ioomi especially carried the show. Often I lost myself just seeing Tony play the most difficult classic metal around at his age, but blowing away virtually every other band that had appeared that day.
79 DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE:
APRIL 9 2019, ORPHEUM THEATER, NEW ORLEANS
This might be the most recent on today’s segments, but iyt left a very cleat and lasting impression. Its the type of show that makes you want to go back and revisit all the songs you heard in the days and weeks after the show. That night in New orleans the band was tight but also jovial,making several jokes throughout the set. Highlights like the emotional “What Sarah Said,” or the always evolving love of “I Will Follow You in the Dark.” But still, selections like the more upbeat “Sound of Settling” or “Cath” gave the crowd the right amount of pep when it required it. But of course, the epic conclusion of “Transatlanticism” just served as the icing atop a delicious cake.
78 WEEZER: VOODOO 2010
OCTOBER 29 2010, CITY PARK, NEW ORLEANS
At this particular fret the band played right before Muse on an opposite stage, but while the band wasn’t positioned to headline, they certainly seemed to be while on stage. The set had all the characteristics of a great song along set, with frontman Rivers Cuomo even cloning into the crowd scaffolding during a memorable moment while singing “Beverly Hills.” Other tracks like “Hash Pipe” “Island in The Sun,” “Buddy Holly” and especially “Say It Ain’t So” made the show even more exciting, if not for the sheer noise and vocals being generated by the crowd. It was nearly everything you want out of that type of set, which is why it ends up on this list.
77 CAGE THE ELEPHANT: SHAKY KNEES
MAY 4 2016, OLYMPIC PARK, ATLANTA
Cage the Elephant is the type of band that makes it easy to move your hips and rock out even when tired, sweaty, or especially drunk. On second thought however, maybe it’s just the mesmerizing movements of singer Matt Schultz, who for sixty minutes on a May Friday in Atlanta Sashayed about the main stage moving quicker than any other person that weekend, all while developing a stunning set with his musical cohorts. This was my second time seeing the band, and it was by far the best I’ve seen by them so far.
HALLOWEEN NIGHT 2015, CIVIC THEATRE, NEW ORLEANS
Metal on Halloween should be the law, and this year was no exception. One of my favorite metal bands of the last ten plus years, Mastodon on Halloween Night in NOLA was made even better by an epic showing from the Atlanta kings. For over two hours they pummeled the crowd with their intricate mix of metallic prog rock, all while costumed and enjoying the reactions of the crowd. A must see show wherever they play, it was made all the better by seeing this with my sister and some awesome friends.
Landon Murray is a music connooisseur who craves sounds of all shapes and textures. He's seen over 2000 bands and looks forward to welcoming you into his world of sound,
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