Best live performances of 2011 – Top 10

So I didnt go to any of the festivals in 2011 – Download & Firefest being my main two I have liked to attend, so I have just concentrated on the single gigs of 2011, by a headlining act, or even the support!! (Yes they were that good)

10. Saint Jude

70s style rock goddess with a voice that makes grown blokes cry into their beer. Their first headline tour of many in late 2011 will surely lead them to much bigger venues than the Academy 3. A band to watch out for in 2012

9. Rival Sons

Another heavily influenced 70s classic rock band from LA. Yes its like getting into a DeLorean and watching Led Zep, but who gives a flying f*ck. Absloutely brilliant. They will be huge! Another band to watch in 2012

8. Judas Priest

Billed as their last tour, I understand further dates have been posted for 2012. As camp as a custard fight between Julian Clary and Alan Carr, Priest (like Kiss) give their fans exactly what they want. Next time Mr Halford I expect you to sing Breaking the Law, and not the audience

7. Rush

Once as rare as a Kate Bush concert in the UK for a generation of followers, Rush are now as regular in the UK as the Norovirus. Still cutting the mustard (even at their ripe ages) they give all the young pretenders more than a run for their money. Playing ‘Moving Pictures’ in its entirety, a Rush/Rash concert doesn’t get mush better than this

6. Mr Big

Four blokes, utterly skilled in their own crafts (and each others come to think of it) Mr Big came, saw and conquered the UK this Summer. Excellent dexterity and layered vocals from all concerned it was one of the unexpected highlights of 2011

5. Richard Marx

Marx has been a whipping boy for many people ever since he came onto the scene in the 80s. But boy, can this bloke sing. A solo performance that slayed the UK audiences and proved that he can still perform with the best of them. Just don’t wait another 20 years until your next visit ‘eh! I don’t think I will be still alive and kicking by 2031

4. Opeth

If there ever was an award for ‘Metals funniest bloke’, Akerfeldt would win hands down. A definite sea change over recent years now he has set his and Opeth’s stall firmly in 70s Prog-land. Some fans will surely be lost along the way, the recent tour was probably a surprise for even the most hardened fan as they stuck firmly to ‘mellow’. Even I would have preferred the odd Death Metal nugget, but alas it wasnt to be the case. If they had have just played ‘Deliverence’, Opeth would have been No.1 in the list

3. Steel Panther

First band on the bill, they absolutely blew away the competition they were taking the piss out off. Tommy Lee doesn’t get it, but that’s because Steel Panther are playing music like Crue dreamed of (then and now!). If Michael Starr wasn’t a DLRoth impersonator before SP I will show my arse in what was Woolies shop window.  Extremely talented and even funnier, they deserve to be taken seriously. I beg you to catch them on tour in the UK in March

2. Foreigner

This should have been billed as the ‘Tour without any original singers’ tour!. Styx were as polished as a highly polished thing, but Foreigner with Kelly Hansen on board blew away all concerned – yes that means you Journey!. Foreigner now have a new lease of life and with Hansen looking like Steven Tylers younger brother, Foreigner now have a singer than can sing the songs live just as Mick Jones intended. Mick must be laughing his cock off. THE surprise gig of the year

1. Alter Bridge
Been a huge fan of AB since the beginning. I for one was delighted and surprised that they had stepped up a gear and playing the arenas in the UK. In Myles Kennedy they have a ‘bona fide Rock God’ who can sing anything thrown at him. Just ask Slash who has a guy for the first time ever who can sing songs just as he intended. Ranging from Metal to gut wrenching balladry, AB are one of the best live bands I have witnessed in the last 30 years.They deserve everything that is due to them. Unfortunately there will be no AB activity in 2012, so I will have to settle for the DVD release due out early 2012                          

Author: barnstoneworthutd

Rock music lover from the age of 4 thanks to my dad. I migrated to the classic rock bands of the 70 (Rainbow, Rush, Lizzy, Purple etc) before discovering melodic rock and hair metal in the 80s and beyond. Also partial to a bit of prog

2 thoughts on “Best live performances of 2011 – Top 10”

  1. Nice list there. Surprised but absolutely delighted that you've put the astounding Alter Bridge at number one. Hands down the best modern rock band at the moment. As you rightly said, totally deserve everything that they achieve. I saw them years ago play the Astoria 2 and to have seen them headline Wembley this year was just amazing.


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