TOP TEN BEST SHOWS OF 2022
I don't have a ton to say about the excellent shows i got to check out this year, but it involved many rock bands, and quite honestly, it felt more normal than the last few years. Let's get to it anyway!
10 SEVENDUST, ORIENTAL THEATER
Album specific tours can be tricky if you’re a band, yet back in March, I got to see one of my nostalgic bands, in the form I’d Sevendust, roll through their breakthrough third album “Animosity,” in truth, I haven’t been a regular fan for probably 15 years, but seeing this near hour long album performed in its entirety was something I couldn’t miss. The band sounded just as good as I did when I loved them, which obviously made it easier to lose myself for the duration of the show. Tracks like “Dead Set” were powerful, while selections like “Praise,” and the beautiful “Angel's Son,” were the most memorable for me. It really was an evening spent waxing nostalgic, and after a long time of waiting, it finally happened, and it was awesome.
9 DEMI LOVATO, FILLMORE DENVER
For one, I was easily the oldest person at this concert, but in the end, I walked away surprised at how much I enjoyed the show. This tour saw Demi fronting a female backed rock band, full of all the bells and whistles of pure rock n roll. For 90 minutes, LOVATO, who had to cancel the next few dates due to being sick, showed no signs of illness as she strutted and pointed across the stage, making the capacity crowd chant and sing to songs like “Sorry Not Sorry,” “29” and more.
8 CHVRCHES, SHAKY KNEES
Having seen the Glasgow trio a few times nowadays the sunset performance at this years Shaky Knees was one of the books. Dropped in a beautiful gold dress that was later covered in blood, Lauren and company delivered the perfect mix up upbeat synth pop anthems with sing along moments the whole crowd enjoyed. The band played right before headliners King Gizzard and Nin, which made the night even more perfect.
7 GLASSJAW, SUMMIT
And another full length album show finds our list. I got these tickets in 2020, and like so many others had to wait years to finally go. The concert itself saw Glassjaw barrel through their first record, “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Silence,” before a brief intermission that led into their breakthrough record, 2002’s “Worship and Tribute.” The band, led by Daryl Palumbo sounded patient but purposely as they plowed through two of metal cores best records.
6 DEFTONES, BALL ARENA
As far as metal bands go, the Deftones are consistently brutal if you witness them live. The mole does and ambient backings are obviously still there but everything is turned up to 11 when the play. One of the shows that was repeatedly postponed due to 2020, the concert finally happening was a great sign for upcoming events and an even better experience with my lady, who’s absolutely obsessed with Chino. Overall, it was just as remarkable and energetic as the other 13 times I had seen the Sacto art metal legends.
5 PUP, OGDEN
When you see Toronto natives joyfully rocking out on stage, it’s pretty much impossible not to get swept away in the energy. At the start of the bands fourth album touring cycle, Pup dominated the headlining spot for the duration of their hour-long set, bringing in even more fans than their previous tour. Filling the set with new tracks like “Totally Fine” with classics like “Reservoir,” “Kids,” and “Morbid Stuff” the band ate every moment up as the crowds chants and sing along’s only added to the jubilation of the crowd, the band, and especially myself and my awesome wife, who finally got to experience Pup live.
4 IDLES, MISSION
It took me a little while to come around to the thoughtfully antagonizing music of Idles, but by the time I saw them for the first time, my body was primed for a raucous show, which it undeniably was. The five price only player for about an hour and fifteen, but everything from the opening of “Colossus,” to more recent songs like “Mr.. Motivator '' were all high energy, with the full band going crazy for the vast majority of the show. I walked away reminded of how cathartic and emotionally researching a high energy show can be, which is a roundabout way of saying this band is worth their weight in gold when it comes to live performances.
3 CHEMICAL BROTHERS, FIRST BANK CENTER
It took me over 20 years to be able to write this, but I finally crossed off a major bucket list band in the shape of dance music legends the Chemical Brothers. As part of a brief tour, the Bros. rolled though with their full projection, lights and enough subwoofers to make a deaf person have a headache. With openers the Avalanches (another bucket list band) the Chem’s had a lot to live up to, yet the band seemed in great moods during their nearly two hour set. The duo punished the crowd with a shockingly powerful opener in the form of “Block Rockin Beats,” only to build in that energy, ending with their classic “Galvanize,” which is even better live than you’d imagine.
2 NINE INCH NAILS, RED ROCKS
After so many times seeing Reznor and the boys, part of me wonders if it’s still worth it. At the first night of the band's two night Red Rocks stint, I was reminded why I still make Nin shows happen. For two hours, they executed the type of set that hard core fans eat up. Very few hits, tons of songs not often played, superb energy, and last but actually probably most important, my first time seeing the unicorn known as “Somewhat Damaged.” After 25 times hoping to get the track live, it finally happened. This show was a little more experimental than the Shaky Knees show I saw a few months prior, but whether they’re playing rare tracks or a majority of hits, Nine Inch Nails never misses when performing live.
1 KING GIZZARD, & THE LIZARD WIZARD RED ROCKS NIGHT THREE
I can't say playing a full three hour concert, on three instances in a very short amount of time (about 2 weeks) is a guarantee to being named sing of the year, but when those concerts are as ridiculously good as they can get, it’s hard to ignore. Having gotten to see them twice this year as well, the final red rocks show was a relegation, spurred by fun crowd activities, indulgences and of course, 180 minutes of trippy prog rock. Stu McKenzie of course leads the show, but the band is so collaborative that it’s hard to pin point where all the ideas come from. This was my fifth time seeing them, and not only was it my show of the year, it’s easily one if the best shows I’ve ever seen. There really is no band like these Australian musical psychos, and I assume we have years and many more wild and unforgettable concerts from the band known as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
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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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