I had the pleasure of attending many concerts in South Florida this year. Here are a few of my favorites:
Aaron Lewis, Hard Rock Live Hollywood. 2/17/09: Aaron Lewis's solo acoustic shows never disappoint, and this one was no different. Playing a variety of his own music and covers, the performance was intimate and he was engaging. Highlights include a cover of Alice in Chains' "Nutshell" and his own "Tangled Up in You". At the end of the set, Lewis unplugs everything, including the microphone. The audience remained completely silent as he sang "Intro" from 14 Shades of Grey.
Against Me & Flogging Molly, Pompano Beach Amphitheatre. 3/6/09: Against Me pumped fists in the air through songs off of each of their albums. The crowd rose to their feet for "Thrash Unreal". Flogging Molly lead singer Dave King turned in a rousing performance that had my friends and I Irish jigging all night. "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" became the sing along song of the show, with total strangers locking arms and waving their pints of Guiness.
Iron Maiden, Bank Atlantic Center. 4/2/09: Bruce Dickenson urged everyone to "Run to the Hills" with a voice as strong and clear as it has ever been. Multiple costume changes, set changes, explosions, and more metal than you have in your pinky finger. This show was meant to be seen from the floor, and I'm glad I was there.
Flight of the Conchords, Bank United Center. 4/7/09: The kiwi duo took Miami by storm with jokey songs about women, friendship, and robots. A good time to be had by all.
Green Day, American Airlines Arena. 8/4/09: The founders of pop-punk don't just put on a concert, they put on a stage spectacular. Billie Joe Armstrong knows how to please a crowd, and please he did with old favorites and new tracks from 21st Century Breakdown. He even invited audience members onstage to help the band play and sing songs.
Dethklok and Mastadon, Pompano Beach Amphitheatre. 11/8/09: Mastadon is, in a word, EPIC. Crack The Skye takes prog-metal to new heights with soaring melodies and gorgeous vocals.
Metalocalypse creator Brendon Small made sure fans got the full Dethklok experience live. Animated shorts played before the set, as well as between songs. It was almost easy to forget the skinny nerdy looking guy on vocals was Nathan Explosion. It was a metal show for the cartoon geek set.