Greg's Top Ten
It’s that time of year again when everyone comes out with their “Best Of The Year” lists and I'm no different. I was luckyto attend over 85 different concerts and have seen probably over 150 artists in five different states in about twenty different venues this past year. I was approved to cover about 50 shows, got some freebies from friends, and yes, I even paid for a few shows that I really wanted to see.
As usual, this was an outstanding year for concerts and 2020 already has some great shows that have been announced already.
Without further ado, I present to you my Top Ten Concerts Of 2019.
10. Uriah Heep The Kent Stage Kent, OH
I have never seen these classic rockers until they staged a mini residency at The Kent Stage for three consecutive nights. Mick Box and the boys really put on an outstanding show and the acoustics at the former movie theater were incredible.
9. Night Ranger MGM Center Stage Northfield Park, OH
These ‘80s rockers made their annual trip to The MGM this December, but this time they mixed it up by playing their first two albums in their entirety. It was great hearing the deep album cuts that I haven’t ever heard live. Tim “Ripper” Owens came out for the encore to sing “You Got Another Thing Coming” and the band was having a blast and clearly didn’t want to leave the stage.
8. Foo Fighters Mapfre Stadium Columbus, OH
How can my favorite current rock band not make the Top Ten? Dave Grohl is one of the best frontmen out there today. He rocks his butt off every night as does the entire band. Although the set was a little shorter than normal due to the thunder storms and high winds that cancelled some acts earlier in the day. The Foo Fighters never disappoint.
7. Peter Frampton Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Peter was one of the many artists that have recently stated that they are on a farewell tour. However, this one may be the truth as he has I.B.M., a degenerative muscle disease which will eventually make him unable to play the guitar. When Frampton took the stage, he showed no signs of the disease and his playing was incredible. I’m glad I got to see a master, one last time, while he is still on top of his game.
6. Bryan Adams/Billy Idol Darien Lake Amphitheater Darien Lake, NY
At first it may seem as an odd pairing, but in concert it makes total sense. Bryan and Billy ruled the ‘80s and MTV. Both artists played all of their hits and you forget how many hits each of them has had. I haven’t seen either artist in over 30 years and since this tour didn’t come to our area, I decided to go to them. It was my first road trip of the summer, but it would not be the last! They both sounded fantastic and I’m glad I made the trek to Darien Lake to see this show.
5. Santana and The Doobie Brothers Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Believe it or not, I've never seen Santana. To be fair, it has been over five years since he has played in the area. But boy, I have been missing out! Another classic rock guitarist who still has the chops. He and his amazing backing band, including his wife Cindy Blackmon on drums, are the epitome of professionalism. The same can be said for The Doobie Brothers, who should be getting inducted into the Rock Hall this coming May.
4. The Killers Express Live Columbus, OH
Brandon Flowers is an incredible front man. The band hit the ground running with their great debut record Hot Fuss in 2004. This show featured many songs from that album and Flowers had the audience in the palm of his hand all evening. It really was like an old school rock show with pyro, lasers and confetti cannons.
Photo Credit: Mike Wenger
3. Lenny Kravitz Wolf Trap Vienna, VA
It's been a long time since Lenny has toured the States and I haven’t seen him since 1994. He kicked off his short US tour in Vienna, VA and I decided to travel there to check it out. This man rocks! The 55-year old is still in great shape and his voice is also in top form. He just oozes cool. Here’s to hoping he makes a stop a little closer to Cleveland in 2020.
2. Alice Cooper Jacobs Pavilion Cleveland, OH
Alice Cooper hit the road with his Ol’ Black Eyes Tour this summer with a brand new stage show and set list, and what a show it was. The master of macabre and theatrics is still showing the youngsters how it's done. We got the classics which you would expect, but the deep cuts like “Bed Of Nails” and “Roses On White Lace” really got long- time fans excited.
Photo Credit: Steve Kalinski
1. Iron Maiden Riverbend Theater Cincinnati, OH
The Legacy Of The Beast Tour is one of the best shows I have ever seen, any genre, any decade. It is too bad that Iron Maiden didn’t make a stop in Cleveland on this tour. The set list was basically comprised of their greatest hits, however some of these songs have not been played in decades. Opening up with "Aces High" that featured a replica Spitfire plane from WW II, Maiden was off an running. Almost every number was a production on to itself. The show was visually stunning, sonically outstanding, and Iron Maiden proved that it's an absolute shame that they are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Anyone who attended this tour would have to agree.
There you have it, the best of 2019! Honorable Mention honors goes to Elton John, Slash with a great new band, Dirty Honey, and The Struts. I hope to see you at some shows in 2020!