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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Concerts and Events

Now that I’ve lined out all the music that blew me away during the 2009 year, its time to lend my focus on the Concerts and Events that we attended. In looking back on it, I would have to say that 2009 was probably the biggest year that I ever had as a music writer and photographer based on not only how many cool concerts there were, but how many I was able to find myself taking part in for your eventual entertainment as readers of the site. I think that I caught something like 95 shows which is a new record for me and probably one that will be very difficult to beat but of course I have been saying this for three years. Below are some of the events that I felt were the most exciting of them all.

The Best Concerts of 2009:

“Paganfest USA – 2”: This time around the tour would feature Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Primordial, Blackguard and Swashbuckle and really be an impressive one. What made it exciting for me was the chance to see Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow and Primordial for the most part because none of these bands had ever done a proper tour in the USA. I found Blackguard to be a nice surprise as well.

Judas Priest & Whitesnake (Epic Records/SPV Records): Judas Priest would celebrate their 30th Anniversary of the “British Steel” albums while the Snake would be celebrating two incredible releases of their own. The show featured a solid set from both bands and was a gig that many would talk about for months. According to reports, Priest recorded one of the shows and plans for the video/audio to be released with a special edition of “British Steel”. Whitesnake in turn also released deluxe editions of both “Slide It In” and “Slip Of The Tongue” this year.

Marduk @ The Gramercy Theatre (Candlelight Records): After having missed the Blackenedfest a few months earlier, Marduk was on US Soil to crush the Metal legions. This was an intense show that delivered on all counts and impressed all those fans who had wanted to see them a few months earlier.

Saxon @ B.B. King Blues Club (SPV Records): Saxon had not done a proper US tour in some years and this NYC show would be one of two appearances and be done for a sold out room. The mood and the Metal were intense this evening and proved to many that the Old School glory of traditional Metal had not and will never subside.

Paul McCartney @ Citi Field: I was lucky to catch one of the three performances by Sir Paul McCartney who did a night of wonderful tunes. Lots of Beatles and lots of Wings, which is all classic stuff and still relevant to all fans of good ole Rock & Roll. A DVD/CD would be released of this historic visit.

The 69 Eyes @ Gramercy Theatre (The End Records): The Helsinki Vampires were “Back In Blood” supporting a new album that really delivered the goods and reminded their fans why they remain so special to them. It also featured the talents of Dommin and The Becoming. A very dark night in NYC to say the least.

Mayhem @ The Fillmore NY (Season Of Mist Records): This was called the Blackened Metal Fest and while it depressed some that Marduk was off the tour, the True Mayhem delivered a frightening and powerful set of Black Metal that focused on the bands influential years.

KISS @ Madison Square Garden (KISS Records): Love them or hate them, NYC and Madison Square Garden are nothing less than home for KISS and their show always pulls out all the stops. The rousing good time celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the “Alive” CD and found much of the set focused on that live classic. A lot of other different and more unexpected numbers were in place this time around which made it a great experience. I could have done without Buckcherry as they bored me with their set.
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Korpiklaani @ Blender Theater at Gramercy (5/4/2009)

Logo - Korpiklaani

Artist: Korpiklaani
Venue: Blender Theater at Gramercy (New York, NY)
Opener: Primordial, Moonsorrow, Blackguard, Swashbuckle
Date: 5/4/2009
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Last September the Big Apple played host to the first-ever “Pagan Fest” and this exciting show featured the might of Ensiferum, Turisas, Tyr and Eluveitie all on one stage. To my knowledge none of those bands had ever appeared in New York before much less did a proper US tour so it was good fun for all around who made their way into the packed B.B. King Blues Club. Many were impressed at how good the draw was that night especially since both Dream Theatre and Opeth were playing a little further uptown. The success of the first Pagan Fest was bound to merit a second go at it and lucky for us this turn of the Metal page would continue the practice of bringing over bands that were not regular faces to the concert goers of the region. Headlining the show would be Polka-Metal fanatics from Finland Korpiklaani who had direct support from Ireland’s Primordial. The appeal of these two acts alone could have made for a solid tour but we would also get the likes of Moonsorrow, Blackguard and Swashbuckle. Moonsorrow are also Finnish while Blackguard from Canada. Swashbuckle hail from that distant land known only as New Jersey and they would be the first band up for the show. Here is how the night went down for those who missed out on the show.
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“Metalmania 2008” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Metal Mania 2008”
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 8/11/2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

I’ve reviewed a number of these “Metal Mania” festival DVD’s from Metal Mind Productions and while many of them are good there are also ones that are sometimes difficult to sit through since the roster is not as appealing to me as I would have liked it to be. That being said, the 2008 edition of this festival show is really on the exemplary side and manages to deliver quite a lot of Metal giants while also bringing bands that more people should be supporting into the living room. The film starts off with a band called Inside Out that I had never heard of but did find a little bit interesting, and while I was digging what they were dealing out I could not wait to see the clips from Primordial who are a force to be reckoned with from the Republic Of Ireland. I caught this band when they played the Paganfest USA 2 tour and they were incredible. It was a shame that we only had two numbers from them, but perhaps the full set was recorded and shall see release some time in the future. For those who are unschooled in the band, they are a mixture of Black and Atmospheric Metal that use a heavy Celtic historical vibe. Crushing stuff without question. The same applies for New York’s own Immolation who show that they are still a monstrous force for Metal’s good some twenty plus years after first hitting the scene. Fortunately there were three tunes from them. We find Flotsam and Jetsam following the Immolation treats and while this is the band that first gave us Jason Newstead (ex-Metallica, ex-Voivod) they never really did that much for me so I was rather “meh” during this part of the film. Artillery was fun, 80’s styled Power Metal but since they were leading up to Marduk, Vader and Satyricon I must admit that I breezed through their offerings based on these three Black and Death Metal giants. It was great to see some new footage of Marduk live as their recent attempt at regional touring was thwarted on the Blackenedfest 2009 but they are set to return soon as headliners. Vader is never short of amazing live and this quick brief on them sent me back to watching my “And Blood Was Shed In Warsaw” full live DVD that they put out. Satyricon I would have liked to see more than two songs from as well after having enjoyed them perform as an opener for Cradle Of Filth when that band last hit my region.
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