Bands I’ve Seen Live- D

Dragonforce: Definitely a love ’em or hate ’em band, Dragonforce nevertheless know how to put on a great live show. Low on set paraphenalia, it’s all about how they translate their studio work onto the stage, and if it’s even possible. Having seen them twice I can answer that with a resounding yes- all that fancy, twiddly guitar wanking that makes teens explode in delight, fury, and jealousy in their bedrooms, they recreate flawlessly on stage. As musicians they can’t be faulted technically, and while the nonsense lyrics about fighting dragons with your brothers while the fire burns are suitably singalong enough to make you forget the silliness of what you’re actually saying. Between songs (first time round) there was a high level of banter between the band, joking, swearing, all the expected entertaining metal stuff. Second time round they were only a support band and it was their new singer’s first show- less joking, a few vocal issues, and a shorter, less impressive show. Still good, but clearly most people have tired of the fact that they aren’t trying anything new.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonforce

The Doves: This English band never quite hit the heights that some of their peers reached, at home or State-side. I was a fan of their first two records and quite happy to watch them in early evening Glastonbury. A good set heightened by the atmosphere and some over enthusiastic fans made this a memorable moment, even better as we danced in the light rain to Catch The Sun as the day’s last light faded.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doves

The Darkness: I saw these guys just before they hit the big time. They were already a bit of a joke and a cliche, but there was something oddly refreshing about them. Plus they good play and put a strong melody against some interesting lyrics. The best moment was their high speed version of Street Spirit, completely changing the song into something which no-one thought it could be against the scorching backdrop of a South England morning.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Darkness_(band)

Def Leppard: I grew up in the 80s, I watched MTV, I was a rock/grunge/metal kid. Def Leppard were on my radar and I liked the singles from Hysteria and Pyromania but even at that young age I knew that there was something different between them and Guns and Roses, between them and Nirvana- in other words between the bands that I really loved. Something smelly. Something cheesy. So yeah, as time went on I realised that they weren’t really very good. I saw them because Alice Cooper was semi-supporting them. A lot of the tracks I didn’t know and felt very samey and had that cheesy feeling I remembered. Plus there were a lot of drunk women who seemed to absolutely adore them but chatted amongst themselves during Alice Cooper. And that, my invisible friends, is a crime punishable only by having a litre of iced coke thrown at them from 2 rows behind and kicked down the stairs. Their husbands on the other hand played with their phones throughout both. That punishment is death.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Def_Leppard

Bands I’ve Seen Live: A

I’m going to organise this by first letter, starting with A:

Alabama 3: I saw these boys at Glastonbury on a scorching June morning. It almost set the scene for a day/weekend of debauchery with their funky rock/country drunken musings finding a happy fit with many fellow revelers. Of course I only knew of them through The Sopranos, but it was a laid back morning set which I could appreciate from a distance, whilst my first (fourth) pear cider of the morning washed down my breakfast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama_3

Alabama 3
Alabama 3

Ash: Everyone from Northern Ireland has seen Ash live, most of us at least 8 times. It’s not that they’re that good, it’s just that they were all we had. They still perform several hundred shows here each year, but they haven’t had a hit in a long time. I’m doing them misservice- they are still the best band this unholy land have produced in a long time. Anyone who mentions Snow Patrol and their sub Coldplay embarassments will get a slap. Snow Patrol are as worthless as a terrorist. Ash knew how to make a nice pop/punk/rock single and with classics like Goldfinger and Girl From Mars, they always put on a good show, complete with more drunken singalongs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_(band)

Ash
Ash

Acid Mothers Temple: Now we’re talking. I saw these guys in The Pavillion- a Belfast pub/bar/club- the perfect place to witness a bunch of crazy Japanese post-hippies play their wacky jazz/rock/psychadelic fusions and close the night by inserting a guitar into the rafters. A great collection of songs had me dancing groin to groin (face) with the band by myself, whilst the rest of the crowd sat bemused at the farce unravelling before them. Seriously, what did you expect from a band with that name? Releasing a meagre 3 albums every year, you should catch them while you can. And, like me, dance along with a bottle of the cheapest red wine you can find, swooning for 18 minutes of ‘Pink Lady Lemonade’, possibly the greatest song ever (whilst drunk on said wine).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_Mothers_Temple

Nightman feeling the ill effects of proximity to wine and stars
Nightman feeling the ill effects of proximity to wine and stars

Alice Cooper: I’ve been an Alice Cooper fan since I could first walk. Trash was the first album I ever bought. I quickly grabbed his back catalogue and swallowed every word, and aside from Manic Street Preachers, GNR, and Michael Jackson, no-one else has had such an impact on my own songwriting. I never thought I would ever get to see him, but this year, finally, I got the chance. He was only a support act to a band who will remain unnamed until I get to that letter, but he blew everyone else off the stage with a mini show. Everyone shold have Killer and Hey Stoopid in their collection, showing the two most prominent sides of the man’s oevre- the early progressive blues style, and the later metal leanings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Cooper

Alice
Alice

Who is the best artist beginning with ‘A’ that you have seen live? Where and when was it? Which artist did you want to see but never had the chance?

Now updated with Setlists!

Alice Cooper – Odyssey Arena 2011

The Black Widow

Brutal Planet

I’m Eighteen

Billion Dollar Babies

No More Mr Nice Guy

Is It My Body

I’ll Bite Your Face Off

Cold Ethyl

Feedin My Frankenstein

Clones

Poison

Wicked Young Man

Killer

I Love The Dead

School’s Out

Elected