End of the year means Excel sheets, formulas, grading systems, and a terrible memory, in other words, yearlists!
I haven’t decided on the albums of the year yet but since i have no more gigs planned this year i can make the list of most enjoyable gigs of the year. And luckily i keep things up to date in my last.fm profile, so there isn’t the problem of the slight dementia i’m suffering from from time to time.
Here we go.
1. Winter – Tilburg 013. Roadburn Festival, april 2011
I haven’t been as excited about seeing a band live as i was with Winter at this year’s Roadburn festival. You could say i was even a bit nervous, hoping it wouldn’t suck. And it did everything but suck. 20 years after releasing their Into Darkness album and splitting up almost right after that, it sounded just as impressive, refreshing and crushing as it did the first time i heard it at the local bar somewhere in the mid 90’s. Visually it was rather boring, but musically it was amazing, brilliant and close to the best gig i’ve ever seen.
2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Paradiso, Amsterdam january 2011
In the tsunami of reunion shows this one was one i was really looking forward to. Saw them in Paradiso in 2002 but i don’t remember much from that gig besides it being really crowded, me having a sucky place in the audience and some fucknuts constantly talking through the quiet parts. This year we had an amazing place, right above the stage where we could sit on a little bench, everyone was quiet and the band was amazing.
3. At the Gates – Tilburg 013, Neurotic Deathfest, april 2011
Slaughter of the Soul is probably the metal album i’ve listened to the most in my entire life. Every beat, every break, every riff on that album i basically know by heart. Before this time i saw them once in 1996. And despite the sound not being the best (the drumsound annoyed me quite a bit) it was very enjoyable.
4. Black Math Horseman – Tilburg, 013 Roadburn Festival, april 2011
I really enjoy ‘Wylt’, Black Math Horseman’s album. And so they were high on my ’to check out’ list at the Roadburn festival. They played at the same time as Candlemass, and right before Rwake. I am not too familiar with Candlemass so decided to check them out and i’m glad i did. The songs are a lot heavier live which adds a lot to the songs.
5. Rwake – Tilburg, Midi Roadburn Festival, april 2011
Rwake was also very high on my ’to check out list’ at Roadburn. They played the Midi theatre and had a very solid, very heavy and very ‘dirty’ sounding gig.
6. Neurosis – Effenaar, Eindhoven, july 2011
One of my favourite bands played the Netherlands again in july. And despite having seen them about 4 or 5 times already i can’t let that pass. The gig wasn’t as impressive as the one in 1996 in het Paard, Den Haag or at Roadburn 2007 where the 1996 gig seriously scared me and the 2007 one caused me goosebumps when they played their first notes but it still stood out between all the other gigs of the year. It was a shame they started with Locust Star, although it’s my favourite song by them the sound wasn’t as good as it should be so the impact wasn’t as great as it could and should be. The new songs sounded very promising though, can’t wait for the new album to arrive next year.
7. Yakuza – Tilburg, 013, Roadburn Festival, april 2011
Yakuza is, in my humble opinion, one of the more interesting bands these days, their Of Seismic Consequence album was one of my favourite ones in 2010 and since they never played the Netherlands before they were also rather on my to check out list. Playing the smaller venue they truely put on a great show. I love the addition of a saxophone in some of their songs and Bruce Lamont is a great frontman.
8. Kylesa – Baroeg Rotterdam, july 2011
I haven’t been to many clubshows this year. Mainly because i’ve seen quite a lot of bands already i’m getting more picky and partly because my taste is changing a little, and those bands don’t really tour much unfortunately. Kylesa was one of the exceptions, despite them playing the Netherlands quite often already i always missed out on them for some reason. I’m glad i saw them. The two drummer thing they have going on is great and they write some catchy songs. Unfortunately the vocals weren’t as great but the music made up for that.
9. Envy – ACU Utrecht, october 2011
I was a bit bummed out that they only played Groningen initially on their European tour. Since they are from Japan they hardly tour here. But luckily the guys from Terzij de Horde managed to put them a bit closer (Groningen is about 3 hours from here while Utrecht is only 1). They seemed to be a bit tired or out of it at the beginning of the gig and they played quite some songs i wasn’t too familiar with. But overall it was a great gig from a great band.
10. Woven Hand/Mamiffer/Today is the Day/In Solitude/Ghost – Roadburn Festival, april 2011
The Roadburn festival this year was truely beyond amazing. I wasn’t as enthousiastic about bands or gigs as i used to be the past 1,5 to 2 years. There is a lot of crap to weed through to get to the gems in different genres. And Roadburn seems to do that pretty well. Not everything is up my alley there but a lot of bands they book are great. It every inspired me to start fooling around with some music again. Buying myself a bass guitar again and it resulted in me buying more vinyl that i have room for in my appartment.
Anyway, notable mentions from the festival are Woven Hand, unfortunately we came in late and only saw 3 to 4 songs of this gig and it was really weird. Dave Eugene Edwards seemed rather pissed..or possessed and he was yelling at the audience and challenging them, or so it seemed. Shame i didn’t see more of it. Ghost was one of the first bands we saw on the thursday of Roadburn and it was a strange experience. I couldn’t quite get into the vocals at the time but the music was catchy as hell. Now i’ve listened to the album more often and i love it. Ghost is like the satanic Beach Boys. Mamiffer was one of the quieter gigs at Roadburn. It’s Aaron Turners’ (formerly of Isis) new project together with pianist Faith Coloccia. Haunting and beautiful, shame it was so crowded in the Batcave you could hardly focus on the music because of the heat and large crowd in a small space. Today is the Day was pretty good as always although i expected a bit more. Even though it was really loud the sound was a bit ’thin’. Nonetheless very enjoyable.
In Solitude was one of the bigger surprises. Not having heard them or of them before they surprised with their old fashioned heavy metal. Which sounded refreshing.
All in all 2011 was a decent year when it came to gigs. A lot of reunion shows, not too much ‘new’ bands i discovered live.
2012 is looking to be nice as well with the Roadburn 2012 ticket already bought i’m already looking forward to that weekend in april. Also Neurotic Deathfest is shaping up to be nice with bands like Gorguts and Suffocation.
Anyway. That’s it for the gigs. Expect the album list somewhere this or next week!