1.Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Paradiso, Amsterdam
This reunion tour has been one of the most impressive live experiences I've ever had. I don't think there was a single person in that concert hall that didn't have goosebumps all over his body when Godspeed performed Moya in utter and complete perfection. I will remember this night for as long as I live.
2.Steven Wilson in Paradiso, Amsterdam
My favorite musical composer of all time on his first solo tour. A lot of work was put in the sound engineering, but the screen visuals, the stage performance and the perfectly executed songs were absolutely stunning. I have seen Mr. Wilson perform many times before, and either the Fear of a Blank Planet Tour or this show must have been his best. Already looking forward to the second leg in May 2012.
3.The Watch in de Boerderij, Zoetermeer
This concert might look as a strange appearance on this list. In 2011, The Watch performed a cover concert of the famous British band Genesis. Completely focused on the "Peter Gabriel era", this Italian band played one of the best progressive rock albums of all time, Selling England by the Pound, in its entirety. To this majestic album, which was performed in such a flawless way that it could hardly be distinguished from the original, Genesis masterpieces such as the touching The Musical Box and the epic Supper's Ready were added. Peter Gabriel. Steve Hackett, and Phil Collins could hardly have done better than these Italians did.
4.Watain in De Kade, Zaandam
One of the best studio as well as live black metal acts out there, Watain needs no introduction to any fan of high quality black metal. Pioneers of what is often referred to as the orthodox subgenre of black metal, their live rituals are legendary among black metal fans worldwide. Watain does not deal in mere concerts, but in totalizing live experiences. Performing top-notch pieces off their latest masterpiece Lawless Darkness, the Swedish legions never fail to deliver. Can't wait for them to come back to the Netherlands.
5.Aderlating in dB’s studio, Utrecht
An in my opinion much underappreciated band, Mories de Jong's project Aderlating, played an overwhelming show in this small venue in Utrecht. Known from projects such as Gnaw Their Tongues and De Magia Veterum, Aderlating is one of his lesser know incarnations. Nevertheless, with the criminally loud sound in Utrecht, this unique mix of black metal, noise and dark ambient took over every inch of my body that night. The verses were performed with so much energy, agression, and violence that this concert, which lasted only half an hour, was a true physical and mental experience. Definitely the surprise of the year!
6.Opeth in 013, Tilburg
Touring their album Heritage, Opeth played an entirely clean-vocal live show in Tilburg. Even though Heritage received mixed receptions, this concert was a direct hit and showed us a beautiful and fragile Opeth, performing their most emotional songs.
7.Covenant in Luxor Live, Arnhem
The reunion of this legendary black metal band, who unfortunately turned industrial after two very promising releases, had led to high expectations. Luckily, Covenant did in no way fail to deliver and was the absolute highlight of the Aurora Infernalis Festival. Performing on my birthday, this was an ideal gift and really made my night.
8.Pain of Salvation in 013, Tilburg
The progressive rock masters from Sweden played a fine set while opening for Opeth. Despite the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd, the band did a great show, performing some of their best songs. The highlight of the show was of course Daniel's amazing voice.
9.Alcest in Doornroosje, Nijmegen
A one in a kind band, Alcest had been of my most grateful musical discoveries of all time. While they were not able to execute their sound live as well as on CD, the live show was nevertheless a great experience, which temporarily removed me from this world and took me to another.
10.Van der Graaf Generator in Tivoli Oudegracht, Utrecht
Founded in 1967, these mammoths of progressive rock still knew how to rock the evening! Thris triumvirate, all over 60 years of age, mastered their instruments remarkably well and were able to set down a show that people 20 years their junior could only dream of. Already looking fowars to the 2021 concert!
11.Rosetta in Ekko, Utrecht
12.Absu in Luxor Live, Arnhem
13.Primordial in Doornroosje, Nijmegen
14.Farsot in Luxor Live, Arnhem
15.The Devil’s Blood in dB’s studio, Utrecht
16.Negură Bunget in Luxor Live, Arnhem
17.Sonata Arctica in Effenaar, Eindhoven
18.Blackfield in Paradiso, Amsterdam
19.Peter Broderick in Paradiso, Amsterdam
20.Virus in Luxor Live, Arnhem