Last week’s Top 10 featured my favourite bands that I’ve had the privilege to watch live in concert. This week we take a different approach, this time around it’s the Top 10 bands that I want to see live in concert!
The rules for this list is simple, only bands that could conceivably put together a show count on this list. Saying I want to see The Beatles in concert could be cool, but when half the band has passed away and they haven’t done a show since 1966, the odds of one happening now seem quite unlikely. There might be bands on this list that are on hiatus or have “retired” from action, but the possibility of a reunion tour or something like that could still be possible, those bands count.
Anyways, let’s get to this list!
I’m not the biggest KISS fan in the world, not even remotely close. I like a few songs here and there, but I wouldn’t call myself a member of the fabled fan club, the KISS Army. However, there is no band more legendary for their shows than KISS and I would love nothing more than the opportunity to experience that. I may not be singing along with every song, but I sure as hell know that regardless of my level of fandom for the band, they always put on a good show and it would be a blast to go to.
There’s a lot of unique acts out there I’d love to see. One of the highest on my list are Boston’s Dropkick Murphys, a Celtic punk rock band that mixes the usual fast and hard style of punk rock with accordions and bagpipes. Hell yeah! They’re one of my favourite bands over the years and an act that I’ve just never been in the right place at the right time to see. The one chance I had, I was stuck attending a family gathering instead. Ugh, that’s the worst!
You could argue that in an age of music where no iconic bands are surfacing to the levels of groups like the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Iron Maiden, the closest band to that in this current age of music is Muse. This magnificent trio has always been a great source of well-crafted, hard-hitting rock music and over the years has moved higher and higher on my priority list to see live. It’s just another case of a band that I’ve just never gotten around to seeing yet.
Mike Portnoy is my favourite drummer of all-time. I managed to see him with Dream Theater not long before he and the band would part ways. Now he’s got a new band going on in The Winery Dogs, a badass supergroup with Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen. Their first album was one of my favourite records in 2013 and while their second album, Hot Streak hasn’t quite captured my attention as much as their debut album did, they’re still an act I really need to see. Because I love Mike Portnoy and I’m biased as fuck.
Just like KISS, I’m not the biggest Alice Cooper fan. I know a bunch of songs by him and I love the person, but I couldn’t just spout out lyrics to songs on the Dragontown record off the top of my head. But when it comes to legendary stage shows, Alice Cooper takes the cake. To be able to see the kind of show that back in the late 60s and 70s that caused parents and politicians alike to freak the fuck out, that would be nothing short that fucking spectacular. If there is any legendary stage show I need to see live in concert, it’s Alice Cooper.
Yep, my #5 is a band fronted by a professional wrestler in Chris Jericho. I told you I was biased as fuck. But in all seriousness, I think Fozzy is one of the most underrated bands I currently listen to, they are a badass metal band, they continue to get better and better with each album and anyone who shrugs them off just because by assuming they’ll be shit cause the lead singer is a professional wrestler, they piss me off. There is no North American band out there that I want to see who isn’t already in the music spotlight than Fozzy. No one’s even close. And that includes my biased love for The Winery Dogs. #7 and #5 are a lot further apart than the list would make you think.
I remember seeing this Japanese nu-metal band in 2007 on television (Much Music) when Live Earth was running. I was watching the show at Makuhari Messe in Japan specific to see Linkin Park’s set, but when I changed the channel to this show, Rize was starting to play. For the first time I heard songs like “Pink Spider” and “Heiwa” and I fell in love with these guys instantly. It took me over a month of endless torrent searching to find their music, because at the time the hadn’t crossed over into North America, so I had no way to buy their records. Since then, they’ve remained one of my all-time favourite bands and my #2 Japanese act, the #1 just happening to also be on this list. These guys are absolutely incredible and if you haven’t heard of them, check them out.
In fact, here’s a YouTube video of some of their Live Earth set. Wow, what a blast from the past for me to see this again: link
Now here’s a legendary act I’ve yet to see. If you told me just a few years ago how into this band I’d be, I would have scoffed at the idea. Not because I didn’t like the band, far from it, but at the time it just wasn’t the kind of music I was into. Then after watching the Banger Films documentary of the band “Beyond the Lighted Stage”, I was sold on these guys. Hearing some of their more heavy stuff around the 90s, I was so much more interested in this legendary, now hall of fame trio than I’d ever been before. Not to mention how amazing the band sounded when they first started playing together. This is one of the biggest bands currently touring and arguably the biggest Canadian band ever. To make things difficult though, because of Neil Peart’s recent retirement from touring, it’s possible I’ll never have the opportunity to see them again. But if the opportunity comes again, I will try my damndest to be there.
Speaking of bands I may never have the chance to see now, but could still come back for a small tour again, Judas Priest next to Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath are one of the most iconic metal bands in history. Rob Halford is an iconic frontman, an iconic singer, a legendary figure in the metal community. I wish I’d had discovered them and gotten really into them earlier, so I could’ve tried to see them before they retired from touring back in 2011, returned in 2014-2015 for their new album and haven’t had any dates since. It’s very possible that they’re done, K.K. Dowling already retired for good in 2011, who’s to say anyone else couldn’t be far behind, including of course, Rob Halford? But if they have one more tour in the future, that’s gotta be my last chance to see them. And I will not miss out on it.
There is no act out there that I am currently desiring to see more than the unique Japanese pop metal act, Babymetal. That’s crazy to think when bands like Judas Priest, Rush and Alice Cooper are also on the list. But out of any band I’m currently listening to, there’s no group I’m listening to more than Babymetal, it’s not even close. I was also annoyed when the one time they’ve come to Canada (as far as I know), it was at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal and I was not going out there just for that, it’s how I am. All I need is for this band to come to the major city I’m an hour-drive away from and I will be there in a heartbeat. I don’t care what the cost is. I will be there, no questions asked. That’s how much I love this band.
And that’s this week’s Top 10, hope you enjoyed it as much I did writing this! Holy hell this list could be infinitely long, so making a Top 10 was not easy (except for #4 onwards, they were guarantees) and took a lot longer than it should have to narrow down the list to only 10 bands.
Anyways folks, thanks again for reading, don’t forget to put your own lists in the comments below!