With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s time for everyone to take a look at our lives and say thanks for whatever blessings have come across us. I could talk forever about family, friends, and more, but this is a heavy metal site, so that’s what you want right?!? Well here you go! Over the course of my life I’ve seen more shows than I can even count, and it’s my love of concerts that was the main purpose of my move here to New York City. Being at a live show is more than a gig for me. It’s a gathering of the metal family, watching the metal Gods, and forgetting whatever troubles are in our life for that very moment to enjoy the music that is the soundtrack to our lives. Looking back on some of the concerts I’ve seen, I do realize how lucky I truly am. So I decided to put together a list of my Top 5 shows I’ve thankful to have seen live and why for you below! Enjoy the descriptions and footage from each tour below!
Black Sabbath – Ozzfest (2001) – Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA
In 2001 we got the word that the original lineup of Black Sabbath would be headlining the year’s Ozzfest, and I was not missing this for the world. Seeing the icons who are responsible for heavy metal live was an absolute must for me, and they did not disappoint. Finally getting to hear songs I grew up on live for the first time in person left me speechless, and I left there knowing I saw a legendary set. With all four members at the top of their game, it was an honor to witness this performance and it’s a night I’ll never ever forget.
Opeth – 20th Anniversary Show (2010) – Terminal 5 – New York, NY
My love for Opeth is very deep, and when I heard in 2010 that they would be celebrating their 20th anniversary with special concerts all over the world, I was not missing it. I took my first trip ever to New York City for this show and the Swedish Gods put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Not only did we get to witness “Blackwater Park,” which is one of my favorite albums of all time, in it’s entirety, but they also performed several classics from their catalog, and anyone in that audience knew that they were witnessing something special. I’ve seen Opeth over ten times now, but that night in New York City will forever be my favorite.
Iron Maiden – Maiden England North American Tour (2012) – Aaron’s Amphitheater – Atlanta, GA
When it comes to one of the best bands to ever grace a stage, Iron Maiden better be near the top of the list. Watching their DVD’s and videos online made me believe it, but finally in 2012, I would be able to see it live. The heavy metal legends returned to Atlanta for the first time in over a decade and put on a masterful set at Aaron’s Amphitheater. The band’s energy was out of this world and the set list was everything I could have ever asked for. The moment I’ll never forget is singing along to “Fear Of The Dark,” which I’ve seen a million times on my television, but to feel the power of it live still gives me goosebumps. Hell, the entire show still gives me goosebumps because they were absolutely flawless.
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax – The Big Four (2011) – Yankee Stadium – Bronx, NY
Anyone that knows me knows how much I love Metallica. They’ve been my favorite band since middle school, and from them I learned to love the Big Four, and my addiction to heavy metal grew from there. When it was announced that The Big Four would be playing Yankee Stadium at 2011, I booked my plane ticket right away and prepared myself for what would be my favorite concert of all time. My friends and I arrived so early that we found ourselves on the floor before anyone else, and I did not move from there. That’s right. I was front fucking row for The Big Four at Yankee Stadium. I witnessed Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica put on a historic show from ten feet away, and I was at a lost for words afterwards. These bands were the reason why I fell in love with this music and to see their passion still more alive than ever after so many years was a truly inspirational and moving moment for me! It was just unreal!
Pantera, Morbid Angel, Soulfly – Reinventing The Steel Tour (2001) – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
I think it’s pretty obvious why this show is on my list and why I’m MOST thankful to have seen this concert. This was the only time I ever saw Pantera live, and with Morbid Angel and Soulfly in support, it was the most powerful night of metal I’ve ever been a part of. I was a scrawny ass seventeen year old who snuck out of my house to finally see Pantera in concert, and even though I returned with a separated shoulder and broken nose, it was well worth it. I heard how amazing these guys were live, but to finally see Phil, Dime, Rex and Vinnie perform in person was just unbelievable. From the set list, to their sound, to their admiration of the crowd and confidence on stage, there is a reason why they took over the metal scene like no other band before, and I’m truly blessed to have seen it live, because after 2004, I would never have that option again. RIP Dime and thanks for that night.