Gig of the year
It's difficult to choose between two bands I've waited years to see and whom both put on excellent shows but just shading it is Metallica at Sonisphere Knebworth. Because it's bound to become something of a "I saw them at Knebworth" thing in the band's fanbase due to the venue's stature. I'm still going to mention Pearl Jam though, who's O2 Arena show was the perfect example of how a band can be utterly captivating in a big venue without resorting to light show extravagance. They did play for a good 2 1/2 hours as well!
Support act of the year
Well it'd be easy to choose Oceansize who supported Biffy in Edinburgh but seeing as they're a band I already knew and loved I feel it would be a wee bit unfair. Pulled Apart By Horses on the other hand I knew very little about and I was blown away by their mix of serrated riffs and genuine attitude. They were a great warmup for the Biff in Southampton and Brighton.
Unexpectedly brilliant gig of the year
12 months ago I'd barely heard of Aussies Karnivool but in 2009 they became one of my favourite bands. Still when I went to see them in October I wasn't sure what I'd think of them live (I'd heard mixed things). I needen't have worried. That evening cemented their place as a band for me to cherish. I can't wait to see them again in March.
Disappointment of the year
Only one real contender for this, Muse, on their first night at the O2 on 12th November. I spent a good hour writing a review of this gig but it became more of an article about how the band has changed (expect this to surface on this blog at some point). Let's just say that for a band that prides itself on it's live reputation, and rightly so cause they can be bloody brilliant, I thought it was an enormous let down.
The Gene Hoglan Brutality Award
Yes, this is an award I've made up and named in honour of Strapping Young Lad / Morbid Angel / several other worthwhile metal bands drummer Gene Hoglan. It is awarded to the band that most made me fear for my life in awe of their awesome METAL power in 2009. It can only go to Gojira. Intense barely covers it. The fact that the venue was smaller than the hall at my school probably had an effect too.
The John Petrucci Award For Incredible Musicianship
Goes to Dream Theater, obviously.
The Grant Nicholas Award For Provoking Mass Singalongs
Although Therapy? and Hundred Reasons do have a case, as do Nicholas' Feeder itself I think it has to be Biffy Clyro who get this award because I screamed along to every word as per usual. Sorry if that was annoying for anyone.
The Being Downright Weird Award
Only one contender for being really, really weird onstage this year: Unexpect. I'm not sure whether it was brilliant or terrible 3 months on and I'm not sure I'll ever know to be honest.
The Jonny Greenwood Award For Technical Misendeavour
Not their fault but a power cut caused 65daysofstatic's gig to be shortened at Dingwall's in April. Shame because I've waited a while to see them...but I'm sure I'll be seeing them again sooner rather than later.
The Pink Floyd Award For Stage Show
It probably should be given to Muse because to be honest their stage set-up was quite cool...but I'm giving it to Porcupine Tree instead for Lasse Hoile's extremely impressive graphics.
Venue of the year
The nominees are:
- Greenwich O2 Arena for being an arena that it's actually enjoyable to go to and watch a gig at. Good sound for such a large place as well.
- Kingston Peel is always a wonderful place to go and see gigs, or to see 'Size at least.
- Southampton Guildhall is a venue I've been to far many times, considering I live nowhere near it. Always good sound and always a good atmosphere. Both Biffy and Dream Theater were very good there this year.
- Regents Street Apple Store is full to the brim with iPhones and stuff...coolio.
The winner is: Southampton Guildhall so well done to it.
Any other business
Some more bands that I've waited years to see in Porcupine Tree, Therapy?, Nine Inch Nails and Alice In Chains. Normally these bands would be gig of the year contenders but there were just so many amazing shows this year. I look forward to seeing them all (even NIN who I hope will do another tour at some point because Trent always changes his mind) again in the future.
Oh and ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Manic Street Preachers get a mention too.
Cheerio for now