(Here’s another installment of Andy Synn’s irregular series devoted to his favorite things that come in fives. As always when he does these things, please feel free to share your own list in the Comments — in this case, your favorite bands you’ve never seen live.)
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these random little columns. I bet you were beginning to think I’d forgotten about them, hadn’t you?
Well, my strange predilection for numerical lists of my favourite things has reared its ugly head again, and this time we’re dealing with the mournful issue of bands I’ve never (for a variety of reasons) managed to see live!
Let’s start with a big one, shall we? I love Extol. They are one, if not the biggest, of my favourite bands. Their dissolution back in 2007 seemingly put paid to my chance of ever seeing them live, but now they’re back with an amazing new album and are playing a few select live shows… well, let’s just say that there are few things I wouldn’t do for a chance to see and hear them perform!
And, fyi, if they ever play the UK I will quite literally move heaven and earth to get Beyond Grace [editor’s intrusion — Beyond Grace are one of Andy’s bands] to open for them. You have been warned.
That’s right, I’ve never seen Cynic live. And you know whose fault that is? Carcass. No joke. I originally had tickets to see Opeth/Cynic play together here in the UK, but when Carcass announced a special “one-off reunion show” at Damnation Festival… well, it seemed the only reasonable thing to do was to go see Carcass – who of course, I would never get the chance to see again – and just make sure to catch Cynic another time, right?
We all know what happened then… Carcass stuck around, milking the nostalgia cow for all it was worth, and I still haven’t had a chance to see Cynic again since! On the plus side though, we did eventually get Surgical Steel out of the whole debacle, so I suppose that’s something!
Cross your fingers that I’ll get the chance to see Paul, Sean, and Sean live sometime soon.
Another band I would give my left testicle to play a show with (don’t worry, I have two… and they grow back, right?), what sort of person doesn’t love Misery Index? Massive growls, humongous riffs, gigantoid drumming… they absolutely epitomise the meteoric devastation of modern Death Metal to me. I just want to see them destroy.
I’ve actually been able to see most of my favourite Death Metal bands at least once so far in my lifetime, but these guys are an aggravating exception!
Undeniably a huge influence on Beyond Grace, particularly for their tightly welded, crushing riff patterns, Living Sacrifice were also one of the earliest adopters of the same sort of angular sense of mechanical rhythm that Meshuggah have been instrumental in popularising… only LS did so without simply aping the Swedish mentalists wholesale, or dumbing it down for mass appeal.
Of course it helps that they already had a well-defined sound of their own before they started to bring in more of that angular rhythmic element, but they still remain masters of the sort of taut, weaponised riffage and bone-rattling drum work that really deserves more attention.
Unfortunately it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to see them live, but still, a man can dream surely?
We started big, so let’s finish big, too. This one really is a huge deal. Emperor truly are legendary, and I never, ever, thought I’d get a chance to see them live. I had tickets to see them play in London on their last-ever UK tour, and the night before… well… let’s just skip the details and say that illness prevented me from going. Horrendous, disgusting, “oh god I think I’m dying” illness. Something only compounded by my utter devastation at missing the band’s last show.
I’ve even spoken to Ihsahn in person since then and purposefully didn’t bring up Emperor, out of both courtesy and general speechless awe.
But this Saturday… I get to see them live, playing In The Nightside Eclipse in its entirety. I cannot stress how amazing that is going to be.
And, as a bonus feature, here’s five bands I’ve only seen live ONCE… but would love to see live again!
Vision of Disorder
Life of Agony