With a new year, there always come new live acts, tours, shows and opportunities to catch your favourite bands or artists live. In this article, I will focus on both newer acts & somewhere, perhaps father time is taking its course, and their time as active touring musicians is near a close.
Depending on the band, I know farewell tour prices might be ridiculous if it is someone who is of the calibre to be playing arenas and bigger, but if you are into these acts, I mention it is worth the money to see them. Honourable mention is going to my own band E.B & The Deadlights because I feel like not putting us on this list is a bad business move, haha! With that being said, let’s get into the first act.
So, Kiss is on what seems to be their never-ending farewell tour, and it is a spectacle; there are no two ways about it.
The show is a pure Rock N Roll extravaganza with enough pyro to roast a marshmallow if you are standing within the first three rows, and while I must admit I am anything from happy to see that they have once again announced what appears to be a copy and paste of their previous UK farewell tour only a more expensive ticket price, I would still recommend catching them if they are coming to a city near you.
Now, if you did catch them on the 2019 leg of this tour, in all honesty, I would say keep it that way, as the set list does not seem to be changing much throughout the tour, and the addition of adding a gold circle (which considering these shows are in arenas is laughable in itself in my opinion) £189 makes me think you are paying an excessive amount of money (or the standard amount you’d pay for an arena band these days except t you will be stuck at the bottom end of the venue) to see the same show twice.
It may sound like I’m being negative but make no mistake whatsoever. Kiss is one of the best bands, in my opinion, and the 2019 End of the Road show I saw is still one of the best concerts I have ever attended. This is the ultimate Kiss show on every level.
The set is fantastic; as I’ve said, the show is something to behold. As I said, I love Kiss and think everyone who is remotely a fan of them should have the opportunity to see them live before they hang up the boots, so if this is the last chance and they are coming within a distance of you, don’t pass up the opportunity.
Another classic act. So here’s the deal, my God tier artist is Alice Cooper. I love the man, and the fact he is showing no signs of slowing down (seriously, the guy tours more than most younger bands do) and still releasing new music regularly makes me immensely happy.
The harsh reality is you never know what could happen, Coop is 75 now, and while he is still at the top of the game, there could be one day he does decide that he can’t do it anymore; I highly doubt that, but it is something to keep in mind.
There seems to be a world tour from Alice every other year, so there will be enough opportunities to see him. Maybe it is just because I love his music & persona so much, but I would say the best show I have ever seen is Alice Cooper with support from The Cult & Creeper (more on them later) in Glasgow’s OVO Hydro arena. I had only previously seen Coop in a more theatre venue which was about 2000 cap; it was great and a very intimate show for someone of his calibre, but getting to see the full arena setting of something I grew up watching DVDs of was phenomenal and really heartwarming for me as dramatic as that does sound.
From nightmare castles and giant Frankenstein to Guillotines and crazed nurses, the short answer is to see Alice Cooper live; you won’t regret it.
They are a slightly newer act, which is funny considering they’ve been going for about 20 years and have released 8 albums. Nonetheless, Skindred is a band I feel needs to be talked about more.
Trust me when I say you need Reggae Metal in your life. I’ve been a fan of Skindred for years, but they never seemed to venture to Ireland until they were the primary support to Volbeat this year in Dublin, so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see them finally. I will not lie; they are a strong contender for the best band I saw in 2022.
The energy these boys bring is unmatched; the crowd in Dublin, I will be honest, was dead. It was a Monday night and had a relatively low turnout, and from what I told you, the gig had undersold by quite a bit (not having a go at them, it’s hard for bands right now in this post covid life). This gig was a testament to how good frontman Benji Webbe is at his work. This man took another wise dead crowd and verbally slapped them up the side of the face, which, to be brutally honest, is the wake-up call that was needed.
The music you can mosh, jump, dance and headbang to. There isn’t much more to be said; Skindred is the whole package.
Funnily enough, when Mason Hill played Belfast, I worked at the show. They are absolutely lovely people and have phenomenal live as well. To me, Mason Hill and bands of the sort are the ones who are keeping Hard Rock alive and kicking at the moment. These are the guys and girls who are going to be the next wave of bands, so why not show their support?
Seriously, the debut album from Mason Hill, “Against The Wall,” is one of my favourite ones, and the songs are just as good live. As well as that, as I said, they are lovely people.
Before everyone starts throwing stones at their screen, here’s the reality of it. Mötley Crüe is an iconic band. Maybe this comeback tour is a cash grab, maybe Vince Neil doesn’t sound spectacular (although he never really did live, so this illusion of him being this world-class singer back in the glory days has stumped me, to be honest), but at the end of the day, it is Mötley Crüe.
I am seeing them in Dublin next year, on my 22nd birthday as well, I may add, and I seriously don’t understand where all the hate is coming from. It is Rock N Roll at the end of the day, and it isn’t meant to be perfect; judging from videos I’ve seen, there are way worse bands out there at both the same age and younger than Mötley.
Put it this way, remember I was talking about Kiss earlier? The price of two gold circle tickets for Mötley Crüe is about £50 more than you’d pay for one Kiss ticket. Neither is cheap, and to be honest, I have never really agreed with the whole gold circle thing in the first place, but at least with the price of the Mötley ticket, you are also getting to see Def Leppard, and they will probably add another bigger band onto the bill.
I do think some people just want to be negative about certain bands, but just be happy that you still have the opportunity to see bands like these when in reality, they could have stopped years ago.
Therapy is the best band to come out of Northern Ireland, in my opinion. The heights they reached in the 90s were mental, and the rocky road they experienced along the way. It is great we still have such a great band, and from our own country, no less.
I caught Therapy Live in Limelight back in October, and they still put on a phenomenal show. They’re a band I find a lot of the time someone would say, “Aw, I love their old stuff!” Which is criminal because the new stuff is just as good. Their most recent album Cleave is an absolute riff, dear, and to say those songs go over amazingly live would be an understatement.
With a new album supposedly recorded and judging by the new track they played on this tour, it is just as glorious and has as many godly riffs as anything they put out back in the 90s. I would assume this is going to lead to a tour sometime between mid-year and the end of the year, depending on the album release, so don’t miss them.
Considering they have just announced a new album and a string of tour dates that don’t include the UK but do include the Download Festival does make you think that they’re sitting on a few more UK dates that they just haven’t announced yet.
I am not the biggest Metallica fan you will ever meet, I like them obviously but wouldn’t consider myself a die-hard, but they are without a doubt the kings of metal music, and when you see them live, regardless of you being a fan or not you can’t deny that.
Metallica is a master of their craft, and if a big production metal show is what you are after, you will not be disappointed at all. You are also getting to hear some of the biggest songs ever written within the genre, which is never a bad touch!
I saw Dirty Honey for the first time earlier this year, opening for fellow rockers (who are also most certainly worth your time) Rival Sons, and I was blown away would be an understatement.
If you’re into your old school’s pure balls to wall Rock N Roll, look no further than Dirty Honey. The talent of the band and how tight they collectively just show you that they are one of many reasons why Rock music most definitely isn’t dead.
I’d seriously not say they have a bad song, and considering they’ve only put out their first release in 2019 and have already opened for the likes of Kiss shows how great they are, and the only way is up.
These guys are absolute workhorses. Being a 2 piece isn’t easy (to be honest, being a good live band, in general, isn’t easy); there’s a lot of space to be filled both musically and onstage, but these guys do a great job.
Bringing a hard rock, almost grunge sound to the stage and a boatload of energy, these guys will not leave you disappointed.
They’re also great guys who you can chat away with, so show them some support and buy a shirt, as eventually, bands like this will be the main dogs that you’re listening to and going to see live.
Southampton goth punks Creeper have once again reinvented themselves and have closed out a massive 2022 with a new single, which can only mean eventually, we are going to get an album announcement which, of course, leads to tour dates.
Creeper is my favourite band. I’ve been lucky enough to see them 3 times this year, and they are, without a doubt, one of the best live bands in the game right now. Frontman Will Gould is phenomenal, both energetic and theatrically dramatic enough to make you feel like he’s overjoyed or in great amounts of pain, combined with the tightness of Ian Miles on guitar, Hannah Greenwood (who also has a fantastic voice) on Keyboards and vocals, Sean Scott on bass and Jake Fogarty on drums and what you have is an absolute musical extravaganza.
Creeper is a band still very much on the rise. Considering the increase in Venue size, the tours they’re getting as openers and just overall popularity in general, see them in a small intimate venue now. At the same time, you have the chance to because their intimate shows are becoming more of a special occasion thing as opposed to the venues they have to play. I guarantee if you haven’t heard of Creeper yet, you most definitely will in the near future.
So that’s it! You will not be disappointed with any of these acts live, so if the opportunity arises to catch them, don’t pass it up. Other than that, may you have a very happy & safe 2023!