Best shows of 2009

This year I didn't go to as much shows as previous years. In 2009 I saw 28 concerts (in the last few years I went to between 40 and 55 concerts). The ironic part is, that the number is quite a bit lower because practising and performing with 2 bands claims so much of my time.

In chronological order my favourite shows of this year.

The Bronx, Middle Class Rut at Tivoli / Utrecht, February 23rd, 2009

Middle Class Rut was a nice surprise: a punkier version of Jane's Addiction, sadly due to some trouble with our guest list spots we missed a large part of their show.
The Bronx is one of my favourite punk bands for quite some time now. The singer seemed a bit pissed, probably due to the tame audience. The songs on the new album are softer and more rock then punk, but live they're as hardcore as ever. (And extra points for the porn moustache of the bass player).

Supermannen at Melkweg / Amsterdam, March 28th, 2009

The Supermannen presented their debut album (which is incidentally also their greatest of). A great Dutch rock band, live even better, which mixes the stoner rock, alternative rock and grunge of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighthers with funny and original Dutch lyrics.

(Of course I'm biased towards Dutch language lyrics)

The Ghost of a Thousand at Groezrock / Meerhout, April 18th, 2009
Sure, there were lots of great bands at Groezrock, but The Ghost of a Thousand was my greatest discovery. Angry hardcore punk with swing: rock'n'roll core. In a similar vein as Gallows and The Bronx: not just angry screaming over fast chord changes, but real rock 'n roll.

Them Crooked Vultures at Melkweg / Amsterdam, August 19th, 2009
Was this show overhyped? Sure. It was reported as sold out even before the ticket sale started, but some friends of mine were able to buy tickets just before the show started.
So, was the effort other people (including me) put in to get those tickets wasted? Hell no. This was a great show. Watching those 4 guys play and having a great time would have been worth a lot more trouble.

The Mieters at de Kade / Zaandam, September 11th, 2009
Warning: Shameless self promotion!
Best debut show of one of my bands ever. We played pretty good, the audience was great. This promises a lot for our show at New Year's Eve!

Want proof? Check the video evidence:

King Khan & The Shrines at Patronaat / Haarlem, September 26th, 2009
Both King Khan and BBQ can do no wrong. This year I only got the opportunity to see King Khan. The opening act, Jack of Heart, was, well, pretty bad. The singer seemed more interested in scratching his crotch than in singing in tune. Luckily the steaming funk, soul and garage rock of King Khan & The Shrines made everything right. One of the most charismatic frontmen in current rock.

The Blackout at Melkweg / Amsterdam, November 13th, 2009
This is certainly a guilty pleasure. Labeled as post-hardcore, emo or screamo, it's really just hair metal in a modern disguise: catchy songs you can sing/scream along instantly, lyrics about having fun and partying (their songs have titles like 'I Love Myself And I Wanna Live', 'Spread Legs Not Lies' and 'I'm A Riot? You're A Fucking Riot!').
So there I was, surrounded by 16 year old emo girls and boys who all look alike and dammit, I was having a blast.

Alexisonfire, The Ghost of a Thousand at Melkweg / Amsterdam, November 14th, 2009
Two of my favourite bands on one night! (Ok, and two bands I could very well live without). One of my new favourites (see above) The Ghost of a Thousand opened the show. The venue was pretty empty, but they got people going anyway. And of course, extra points for the drummer's rockabilly meets mullet hairdo.

Next were Four Years Strong, who combine nice riffs with lame Blink-182 poppunk vocals. Not my cup of tea. Anti-Flag I skipped altogether. One of the more boring 90s punk bands, if you ask me.

Alexisonfire is a long time favourite. The 6th time we saw them, but the last time was 3 years ago. George Petitt seemed a bit pissed, but when he started to throw annoying people and their phones in the audience, it got funny anyway. They're still one of the better bands combining clean vocals with screams/rough vocals, and they don't disappoint live.

All in all a good year in live music. Hopefully next year I'll see some more shows, there are still a few bands left on my 'have to see live' list!

What were your favorite shows?

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