In a perfect world, Slipknot and Trivium would have played one of their finest shows in Singapore earlier this week. But this just hasn’t been the best year. In March, the gig was cancelled as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the planet to a standstill.
It was a disappointment, but our generation lucked out in other ways. At least, we have YouTube! And for now, watching my favourite live bands on screen will have to do.
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails stopped by Singapore on their Wave Goodbye Tour in 2009, and thankfully, it wasn’t a permanent farewell. The night presented the best concert I’ve ever been to, without the shadow of a doubt. Aurally and visually stunning, their rock show doubles up as an impressive light display. The energy is indescribable, and this video is the closest one can get to the experience off-site.
Not only has Iron Maiden kept their energy up more than forty years on, the heavy metallers are still making brilliant music. I remember hearing Blood Brothers live for the first time and seeing how it brought everyone together. There, I was reminded of why I loved going to shows and was also fully convinced – you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Iron Maiden live.
If anyone ever tries to deny that Rob Halford is one of the greatest vocalists alive, grant them a Painkiller performance. One of the best tracks that Judas Priest ever released shows exactly how his vocal range was, and is, unmatched. It may have been a long time since this video was made, but having watched the band kill it live just two years back, I can confirm that they’ve still got the magic.
Of course, Rival Sons made the list. When the first notes of Keep on Swinging ring, even a stranger to their music knows that they are in for a great show. Seeing them at Download Festival proved that as a relatively empty field turned into a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd in seconds. It was honestly the best day of my life.
The Aliwal Arts Centre is a tiny venue, especially compared to the global stages Fleshgod Apocalypse has played. But that did not stop them from putting up a hell of a show in Singapore 4 years ago. What an incredible night it was, watching them perform The Fool up-close in full garb and high spirits, despite the notoriously warm weather here.
The only band on this list I haven’t seen upclose – Slipknot. I missed their gig in 2008, and had jumped at the news that they were returning to Singapore this year. Granted they had just retired zero bullshit, who wouldn’t want to hear Corey Taylor belt out Unsainted on stage? Fortunately, they may still make their way back here after the pandemic, which we sincerely hope will be over soon.
Please share your favourite concert experiences below, so we can live vicariously through your words in these tough times of social distancing. There is nothing quite like enjoying live music amongst fellow headbangers, and we cannot wait for normalcy to return. x