Zoiks! Online’s Best Concerts of 2011 Include The Pretty Reckless and Black Label Society. - Review

Not only was 2011 filled with great music, it was also filled with great live shows. One of my favorite things to do is see how well a band plays live. I've always been impressed with the tenacity and energy that go into live acts, and when the band sounds well it only adds to the experience.

 

Bob Zerull and I had the opportunity to travel to different venues to check out some of our favorite acts, and some that we had very little knowledge of. Here is our list of favorite shows we had the chance to witness in 2011.

 

Jason's Top Three:

 

Girl in a Coma: On November 19, 2011, the Double Door in Chicago, IL hosted one of the best shows this year. It wasn't just the concert though that made the night. It was the fact my hotel room was reasonably priced for Chicago and the Blue Line (El Train) was only a two minute walk from it. Not only that, the stop was right in front of the Double Door. Talk about convenient. The show kicked off with two opening bands; when Girl in a Coma came on, the trio played an hour long set that sounded as if they were recording an album. Nina Diaz and Jenn Alva were both under the weather but they still managed to play an amazing set that was comprised of all four albums. The best part of the night was when the girls hung out before they went on. Fans got to get photos with them, meet them and get items signed.

 

Evanescence: October 21, 2011, Evanescence took the stage at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI for their comeback tour; well, not really, the band was promoting their new, self-titled album, the first in five years. The album dropped October 11th and went straight to number one on four Billboard charts. Amy Lee was in vocal form and the crowd appreciated an exciting hour long performance that consisted of most of their new album and hits from "Fallen." This band's dedicated fan base, along with one of the neatest venues, made for a fantastic show.

 

The Pretty Reckless: This up and coming rock band opened up for Evanescence in Milwaukee, WI. Their debut album reached number two on iTunes the week of its release and their show was a product of that success. Taylor Momsen and company energized the crowd with most of their album's songs and an Audio Slave cover. The former "Gossip Girl" actress took command of the crowd with her gothic look and seductive dance moves. The Pretty Reckless' live show was exactly like the album – exciting and sexy.

 

 

 

Bob's Top Three:

 

The Dear Hunter at The House Café in DeKalb, IL (7/23/11) – Going into this show I had heard of The Dear Hunter but was not familiar with their music. The only reason I agreed to the show was because I went to school in DeKalb, IL and I thought for sure I could get someone to go with me. Turns out I couldn't find anybody to go; too bad it was probably the best show I had been to all year. The performance was amazing; the in-between song banter between the band and the crowd was pure stand-up comedy. It was a magical night for me. I regret that I haven't dug deeper into The Dear Hunter musical catalogue.

 

Sully Erna @ The Rave Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI (5/30/11) – I've been a Godsmack fan for a long time so I was pretty excited when Godsmack and Sully Erna (Godsmack's front man) played back to back nights at The Rave in Milwaukee. I skipped the Godsmack show in favor of Sully's solo performance. I brought a friend who was not familiar with Sully Erna's solo work, and hated Godsmack. He was as blown away as I was. "Avalon" is a masterpiece of an album and the live experience is something special.

 

The Black Label Society @ The Majestic Theater in Madison, WI (5/27/11) – I've seen Michael Jordan play basketball live, but not as a Bull. I've never seen Walter Payton, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky play live, but I have seen Zakk Wylde. Zakk Wylde is to the guitar what Michael Jordan is to basketball and what all those other guys are to their respective sports. He is a living legend. I've seen Zakk Wylde and the Black Label Society seven or eight times. They never get old. I enjoy watching Zakk play as much as I like looking at naked women, maybe more.

 
 
BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Love that you enjoyed The Dear Hunter! Aren't they amazing??? Have been lucky enough to see them several times in and around Chicago.

 
 
 

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