For me 2015 was definitely a rocking year. As a concert photographer I sure get to see many shows, and I believe the summertime can give you a great opportunity to shoot anywhere from 2 to 5 shows a week. Those who shoot know what it means for a photographer.
Now, if I forget about the camera and just for a second look back at the whole year, I could safely say that 2015 indeed rocked! I have seen dozens of intimate shows in small venues, dozens of bigger venue concerts, and of course most major heavy metal festivals. Saying my year was not full of rock n’ roll and metal would be a complete lie. It’s difficult to make up a Top Ten out of so many great shows. Some were good, some were okay, and some were amazing. There are also some that hold a special place in my heart. So here’s starting from Number Ten.
#10 California Music Fest
It was my first time seeing Bonzo Bash, Randy Rhoads Remembered and The Ox and Loon – a-three-day celebration for some of the most iconic musicians in rock music. The event had great energy and left a lasting impression on me without doubt.
#9 John 5 – Whisky A Go Go – February.
Even though I saw John 5 twice this year, I must say the first show of the year was the most memorable. It was my first time seeing the guitar virtuoso and the fact that Michael Anthony from Van Halen joined John 5 on stage was a real moment of awesome!
#8 Ultimate Jam Night
Definitely in my Top Ten of the year. I got to see Nuno Bettencourt performing Purple Rain; I got to see killer covers of Metallica’s Seek And Destroy, Pantera’s I’m Broken; I got to see Bruce Kulick doing Detroit Rock City. The musicianship that Ultimate Jam Night brought into the L.A. music community is undeniable. Let’s hope for more great stuff in 2016
One of the first songs that raised my curiosity in 80s rock music was “Here I Go Again.” I kept failing to see Whitesnake for years, so of course, when David Coverdale announced The Purple Album, I was nervously waiting for the shows to be announced. Some of us had no high expectations because of Coverdale’s vocals on last tour, but… We all had mistaken. The band was great. Hearing songs from your childhood was amazing.
MayhemFest was one of my first bigger festivals. Thankfully, Slayer headlined, so the headbanging and jumping was well justified!
#5 Anthrax – House Of Blues Sunset Strip the very last show
Holy-moly-guacamole. Anthrax literally destroyed the venue. I bet they the demolition was completed after 2 seconds because the thrash metal madness had the house shaking the whole time. Not a single negative comment in the crowd. Even some of the most dedicated fans said that it was an intense one.
#4 Summer’s Last Stand Tour – Las Vegas
This is one was tough. I wanted to put it higher, but I think the amount of heat that I endured in August in Vegas sort of brought the number lower. However, all the bands I saw, I enjoyed immensely. Mainly went to see Bullet For My Valentine since they are not local, but Lamb Of God and Slipknot on top of that was a killer combination.
#3 Knotfest 2015
This festival is becoming huge. The bands I really enjoyed seeing were all there: Korn, Judas Priest, Trivium, and I am also a fan of Bring Me The Horizon now (such incredible lightning show), so don’t hate!
#2 AC/DC at Dodgers Stadium
No comments necessary. Nearly 50 thousand people in one place ready to rock!
I got lucky enough to see Lemmy with Headcat packing The Roxy in January and it was the coolest intimate rock n roll show I’d ever seen. Naturally, I had to see Motorhead when they announced the tour. I gotta say it was the loudest concert I had been this year. Watching the three of them making rumble and proving everyone wrong was spectacular.
Of course this list might be missing some shows – it was extremely hard to extract just ten from the abundance of what I saw in 2015, but this is what I came up with. Feel free to comment and share yours Top Ten.