2017 was yet another great year show shows. I didn’t take in as many shows this year as past years but honestly, it was definitely a quality over quantity shows. I actually challenged myself to whittle my list down from 10 to SIX shows and trust me, it was way harder than you think. After much reflecting I finally came up with a list that I feel is without a doubt the best six shows that I saw this year. Each show has it’s own reason for being such a monumental, unforgettable show and I hope you enjoy this list. Did you see any of these shows? If you did, maybe you’ll agree that the shows listed below were head and shoulders above the rest. Enjoy the list, y’all.
Concert of the Year
August 16, 2017
The Earl – Atlanta, GA
If you would have told me EVER that I would get to see the amazing songs of Captain Beyond played live I would’ve never believed you. Founding member/songwriter/drummer Bobby Caldwell assembled a team of amazing musicians and hit the road delivering Captain Beyond’s songs to packed rooms all over the US and nobody left those shows feeling short changed. The music was played with the utmost respect and the band as a whole left my jaw on floor as they ripped through these classic songs I never thought I would ever get to hear live. This was hands down the greatest show I saw this year and if I never see them do another show I could die a happy man knowing that I at least go to see them once and see them do an amazing, facemelting performance that pretty much dusted just about every show in 2017 except for King Crimson (who was a very close 2nd).
October 23: King Crimson – Center Stage Theater
Coming in just behind Captain Beyond is King Crimson. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be raving about how fucking amazing a King Crimson show was I would have snooty laughed at you. Sometimes it just takes seeing a band live for one to truly connect with what it is they’re all about and that is exactly what happened here! King Crimson had me feeling the full spectrum of emotions and by the concert’s end I was a fan. This line up is hands down my favorite of them all but it was enough to rekindle an interest in the more classic material as well. What an amazing fucking show indeed.
May 21: Sabaton – The Underground (Charlotte, NC)
There are very few bands I will get in the car and travel across state lines to go see but you bet your sweet ass that Sabaton is one of them. For anyone who has seen Sabaton live, they can attest to the fact that Sabaton is without a doubt one of the best live bands on the road today. The sold out and tiny Underground in Charlotte was packed to the rafters with thrusting fists, banging heads, and stinky ass bodies as Sabaton delivered a nearly two hour set that left everyone exhausted. It’s pretty much seeing an arena show in a small club and it was so awesome to see them getting such a huge response. These guys are getting bigger in the states with every passing tour and its shows like this that remind me just how great this lil band from Sweden is.
February 07 : Striker – The Earl
A small venue, people pressed up against the stage, headbanging, sweating, and screaming our lungs out. What doesn’t fucking rock about this scenario? Add to this that it was fucking Striker and you get one of the best metal performances of the year. I had been waiting to see Striker for sometime so this being my first time I was beyond pumped. The band put on a show of arena proportions and played some of the best NWOTHM out there. Why this band doesn’t get more attention is beyond me but goddamn was this a good time. It felt like seeing Iron Maiden at Ruskin Arms or something like that. If you haven’t seen this band live, you are terribly missing out.
January 25: Geoff Tate – City Winery
I love it when artists do something truly unique in a live setting. Leave it to Geoff Tate to pull of a full acoustic performance of Queensryche classics. Geoff and his band featuring two gutiarists, a violinist, and cajon player, stripped down classic Queensryche songs spanning his entire career to the bare foundations and it was something truly remarkable to see. Geoff told stories, had us laughing, and had me moved to tears with heartfelt, soulful performances that only Geoff himself is capable of delivering. This was a really amazing show and it is something that hope Geoff will do again or even release to the masses as a CD and/or DVD. This was something that all ‘ryche fans need to see and hear to believe.
July 23: Styx – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Much like with King Crimson, if you ever told me that Styx would kick my fucking ass in concert, I would’ve never believed you. Well, on the Atlanta stop of The Mission tour, Styx did just that and did so with ease. The band was having so much fun and they were so much fun to watch and their setlist was a fan’s delight and covered all of the bases. I would have loved to have heard more from The Mission but that aside, it was an amazing performance that definitely made me a more connected fan than I’ve ever been.