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2014 was a great year for shows for the metal and punk genres. Many great bands toured the states and many of America’s metal festivals, had amazing line ups. With special guests “Birdman” Dan and Josh “The Snake” Schifris, we are proud to present our best concert experiences of this year.
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine with Negative Approach and New Red Scare at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, New York
Anthony: So I’ll start the list of with my non metal concert of the year.
Birdman : How much spoken word was incorporated into the set?
Anthony : He did spoken word before every song including when he covered DK classics.
Anthony: Which is fine. I agree with a lot of his views and really he has great stage presence as well as a good sense of humor. Negative Approach did a good job too, even if the singers voice was a little shot.
Animals As Leaders, Conquering Dystopia, and Chon at The Chance Theather in Poughkeepsie, NY
Birdman: Ah, well I really wish you were at this one Anthony.
Anthony: I wanted to go to that but it was too close to Maryland Deathfest and I was saving money.
Birdman: I didn’t come in time to see the local openers, but I heard they had a vocalist so that kinda ruined the theme of instrumental prog rock.
Josh: I really need to catch Animals at some point. Tosin is a machine!
Anthony: I miss them every chance I get to see them. I checked out Chon a few days before that show. Pretty good stuff.
Dan:They’re literally a band of kids. One of the band members just turned 18.
Anthony : My friend was at that show and he said Conquering Dystopia was actually the best band on the bill. Do you agree?
Dan:Tough call, they were definitely the heaviest. Pretty much all of the leads came from Jeff Loomis, Alex Rudinger talked between songs. Everyone else was silent in this supergroup.
Anthony : Seeing Loomis shred live is worth a concert ticket alone. That dudes a beast!
Birdman: That’s why Arch Enemy just HAD to recruit him.
Pentagram, Radio Moscow, Bang, and Kings Destroy at Johnny Bendras in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Josh: This one is actually the least metal itself, but more of a doom/ 70s rock vibe kinda show.
Anthony: Pentagram I’d defiantly consider metal, never heard of the others.
Birdman : Honestly, the only band I’ve checked out is Pentagram.
Josh : I highly suggest you check out the other 3 if you like good hard rock and roll. Radio Moscow is the hybrid child of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Bang was actually a band that has been around since the 1970s and Kings Destroy is a doom metal band.
Anthony : Cool will check those out . I love 70’s sounds, when done right of course.
Josh: I honestly cant believe that Bobby sounds just as good if not better then his recordings. He did more drugs then Ozzy and Mustaine combined. This was my second time catching Pentagram.
Anthony: I still need to catch them hopefully will see them soon.
Josh: Definitely a great show.
Judas Priest with Steel Panther at the Izod Center in Homdel, NJ
Birdman:My 2nd favorite show of the year.
Josh: HALFORD WAS ON THAT NIGHT MAN!!!
Birdman : I remember being obsessed with the song “Love Bites” when I first got into them (the first metal band I really got into).
Anthony: While not as great as the 2011 show at the same venue due to shorter set list, the show still ruled due to being so close and not having to sit through Black Label Society.
Birdman: Hence I’m glad I caught them on this 30th anniversary tour of Defenders Of The Faith.
Anthony: Yeah i’m glad I got to hear “Devil’
‘s Child” live. They didn’t play that last time.
Birdman: Ah, from Screaming For Vengeance.
Josh : I loved that they put alot of Defenders on that set. That album does not get the recondition it deserves . I was gonna say the inclusion of “Devils Child” was great too.
Anthony : yeah and Steel Panther made for a hilarious warm up act.The singer backstage even thought I was a girl and tried to molest me. Most awkward experience ever.
Birdman: I tell ya, after musicians I tend to idolize comedians, or anyone with humor for that matter.
Anthony : Which seems to be lost in metalheads nowadays.
Josh : Ugh tell me about it.
Mastodon, Gojira, and Kvelertak at The Starland Ballroom in Sayrville,NJ
Birdman: First off, I’m not mocking Kvelertak here, but I wish the tour was just Mastodon and Gojira just so Gojira would have a longer set, because they were equally as good as Mastodon.
Anthony : Ahh yes a show i planned on going to be didn’t thanks to Rhode island Comic Con.
Josh: I really want to catch Gojira live. Nothing but good things about them live.
Birdman: Heaviest band I’ve ever seen live.
Anthony: Yeah there another one of those bands i sadly always miss, Mastodon to.
Birdman: What you want to do Tony, is catch them on a tour promoting an album you like. When they played Heavy MTL they were still promoting The Hunter so I was mostly bored. But this show, LOADS better. I got footage of them playing “Divinations” but I shouldve had the camera rolling during “The Motherload”.The drummer was singing most of it, and he was smiling the whole time.
Anthony: That’s funny considering he barley smiles in videos. “Divinations” is my favorite track off of Crack the Skye so that would be a site to see.
Metal Alliance 2014: Behemoth, 1349, Goatwhore, Inquisition, and Black Crown Initiate at Irving Plaza, NYC.
Birdman: Wasn’t too keen on the music I heard from BCI, and I haven’t seen 1349 live yet, I have seen Behemoth and Inquisition before.I have seen Goatwhore a bunch of times.
Anthony: Another show that other plans made it impossible for me to go to. I like all the bands on the bill, seeing Goatwhore many times and Inquisition now 2 and a half times. Behemoth and 1349 would be who I’d mostly be there for
Josh: 1349 was my main reason for going. Love there music and Ive been hearing good things about there newest release. This was my first time seeing Inquisition and Goatwhore, who I have seen countless times this year. This was my second time seeing Behemoth who I haven’t seen since 2009.
Birdman: You’re not talking about that tour they did with Devildriver when you say 2009 right?
Anthony : What I heard of the new 1349 i didn’t like but to each there own.
Josh: Nahh Mayhem Fest.
Birdman: I checked the new 1349, it’s definitely more thrashy than previous releases.
Anthony: Did Behemoth cover “I Got Erection” at either of those shows?
Josh: I have no idea.
Carcass with The Black Dalhia Murder,Gorguts and Noisem at the Best Buy Theater in NYC
Josh: Ahh yess that was a good one.
Anthony : Yeah sadly thanks to NYC’s traffic I missed Noisem.
Birdman: How was Gorguts set? I heard when they played The Chance in 2013, their set was just the album Colored Sands, and then two songs from Obscura as the encore.
Anthony: They only played three songs at this show.
Josh: It was all Colored Sands . That album has actually grown on me.
Anthony : It was one of my top last year. And yes at the Chance it was all they played. I was there.
Josh:They did the same at MDF this year, but they did play stuff from the older catalog.
Birdman: To each his own I guess, that album still remains in my book as one of the most overrated metal albums of last year.
Anthony: But yeah, I missed Noisem and Gorguts played too short but, the Black Dahlia murder and Carcass had great sets.
Josh: Lots of crowd surfing and moshing!
Anthony: Carcass played songs from all there albums even the terrible Swansong (which Jeff joked about everyone hating).
Birdman: Yeah those are two bands I desperately need to see.
Josh: Third time catching Carcass. Never disappointing!
Arch Enemy with Kreator, Huntress, and Starkill at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY
Birdman: I still have the lump on my forehead from getting decked in the Kreator pit.
Josh: Kreator is always great. Kinda wish I saw them.
Anthony: Kreator is a band I need to see . Didn’t go cause I don’t like later Arch enemy or the other two bands on the bill.
Josh: Same with Anthony.
Birdman: Yeah, Arch Enemy unfortunately didn’t play anything from before Wages of Sin
Anthony: Kreator is one of the very first non big four thrash bands I got into.
Birdman: I think Alyssa is an acceptable vocalist at best, I mainly went for Mike Amott.
Skeletonwitch with Ghoul, Black Anvil, and Vektor at Underground Arts in Phily, PA
Josh: That show was insane.
Birdman: Didn’t you say Black Anvil were annoyed by your Horse mask?
Josh: Apparently. No disrespect towards those guys. I thought they were awesome but, if you took the horse mask seriously then that’s just sad. Vektor REALLY loved horsehead actually.
Anthony: Honestly I could never get into Black Anvil. Saw them open for Watain and they did nothing for me. If I went I’d mostly want to see Ghoul and Vektor and be curious to see Skeletonwitch.
Josh : Ghoul stole the show man.
Anthony: Did they have fighting robots?
Josh :YUP. WITH A HUGE SACK! I touched that sack and the robot hit me with a chain!
Anthony: I couldn’t read that with a straight face.
Summer Slaughter: Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, Thy Art is Murder, Goatwhore, Origin, Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, Within the Ruins, Fallujah and Boreworm at the Troc Theater in Philadelphia, PA
Josh: Dying Fetus, man.
Birdman: That’s my number one concert of this year. Fallujah made those 20 short minutes count.
Josh: Fallujah was awesome.
Anthony : Yes all bands ruled except for Within the ruins and Thy art is Murder.But the high lights to me were Morbid angel, Origin Fallujah and Dying fetus.
Birdman: I thought Within The Ruins ruled their set, I mean I wish they just got a second guitarist but you give credit where credit is due, the guitarist was perfectly in sync with the backing track. Its why I saw them a second time, at The Loft in Poughkeepsie.
Josh: Apparently kids were break dancing during there sets..I kinda wish I saw that.
Anthony: There just not my kinda band.
Josh: Yeah not my kinda stuff either.
Anthony: This was my third time seeing Dying Fetus, my 2nd time seeing Origin my 5th or 6th time seeing Goatwhore, my 2nd time seeing the Faceless and my first for the rest.
Birdman: It was my second time seeing Morbid Angel, kinda bummed they didn’t play “Chapel of Ghouls” this time.
Anthony: Yeah but I did get to see Noctrunus cover it at MDF.
Josh: They covered it twice.
Anthony: Cause they fucked up the first time.
Josh: Pretty much.
Birdman: I saw so many friends of mine scattered throughout the Northeast.
The Rage of Armageddon 2 at the Acheron in Brooklyn,NY
Josh:The line up featured Hobb’s Angel of Death,Solstice,Deceased,Whipslash,Blood Feast and more.
Anthony: Those are all bands i mean to check out. I know there all considered classic.
Josh: Hell yes.Also want to add the local bands I caught. Iron Force, Carcinogen, Inhumation, Thanatonic Desire, False Prophet, and Methane.
Birdman: Josh I remember when your old band opened for Deceased and Blood Feast.
Josh: On my 19th birthday actually.Since then I’ve had a good friendship with the guys from Blood Feast and Deceased.
Birdman : One of the major ups of being in a band.
Anthony: That’s awesome . i’m friends with the bassist from Morpheus Decends and the singer from Origin.
Birdman : Metal is just so intimate.
Anthony:Yes it brings us all together.
Josh:Everybody knows everybody when your a musician
or a writer.
Birdman: It’s held true even when I was still in Binghamton,not playing any shows, everyone in town knew I was in a band.
Anthony: Yes and nothing brings more metalheads together in this country then…
Maryland Deathfest at the Edison Parking Lot,Baltimore SoundStage and Ramshead Live in Baltimore,MD.
Anthony: This year’s line up contained legendary acts such as Asphyx, Incantation, Immolation, Candlemass, Tankard, Agalloch, Gorguts, At The Gates, Ruins of Beverast, Taake, Inquisition, Dropdead, Birdflesh, Entrails, Bongripper, Uncle Acid, Dark Angel and many more.
Birdman: Did you get a mostly Slaughter of the Soul set for At The Gates?
Anthony: Slaughter and Terminal mostly with some older ones to like i was surprised to hear “Windows”.
Birdman: That’s cool. Didn’t get Windows when I saw them at MTL.
Josh: Meeting Dark angel was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Anthony: i didnt meet the whole band but, I did meet Gene and was star struck. Josh I know you were able to make Thursday’s date while I just went Friday-Sunday. How was Thursday?
Josh : Ah man you have to see Coffins. Band hailing from Japan. Kicked so much ass.
Anthony: I saw Coffins. They played a 2nd set Friday at Soundstage.They were great.
Josh: So rad.
Anthony: How was Sourvien?
Josh:Sourvien is awesome. I actually have there split with Grave at Sea and I believe I follow the drummer on Instagram.
Anthony:Graves at Sea I saw on Sunday and they were great. But yeah we can go on forever about this fest. I’d just say that the best bands for me were Incantation,Asphyx,Candlemass,Nocturnus and Dark Angel.
Josh: Can I just go back?
King Diamond with Jess and the Ancient Ones at the Best Buy Theater in NYC
Josh: My number one pick for a single show is King Diamond.
Birdman: I imagine you bought your ticket within the first hour of the sale.
Josh: I got it during the presale.
Anthony: I wanted to go to that show but it sold out by the time I got home from work.This was only 3 hours after they went on sale!
Josh: Should have given you the presale code.
Anthony: So what kind of set did king diamond play?
Josh:I think from all the albums. A mix of everything with the most insane presence and live show I have ever seen!
Birdman: All his albums fucking rock. I guess the least good one is House Of God.
Anthony: I like House of God. My least favorites are Abigail 2 and The Graveyard. Did he play any Mercyful Fate tracks?
Josh: Yes “Evil” and “Come to the Sabbath”. Ive seen Motorhead, Maiden, Priest, and now Diamond . When I saw the King it was nothing I have ever seen.
Anthony: Anyway I guess we will wrap this up with honorable mentions. Mine being NIN,with Soundgarden and Dillinger Escape Plan at the PNC, The Damned with TSOL at the Chance. Goatwhore with a Carnivore tribute band at the Chance and Nile at Bogies in Albany, NY.
Birdman: Periphery, The Contortionist, Intervals, and Toothgrinder at The Chance.
Josh: Artillery at Champs in Trenton, NJ, Samhain with Goatwhore and Midnight at the Best Buy Theater in NYC and Death to All with Obituary and Massacre at the same venue.