2020 has been, without a doubt, the most insane year. There has been plenty of lows such as gigs, tours, and festivals being canceled among other things. However, despite all these lows, there have been some highs that I can look back on fondly. Here are some of my favourite things in 2020.
Seeing Slipknot team up with Behemoth one wet night in Cardiff was definitely something special. Not just because I got to see two of the best bands around in the same evening, but because Behemoth really brought their A-game and gave Slipknot a real run for their money. Slipknot were Slipknot, you know what you’re going to get with them, especially as it was on the back of their latest album, We Are Not Your Kind. It was a really good show despite being let down by the sound problems. The band seemed to have sound issues during every song, mainly the drums being louder than everything else on stage for a lot of the set.
How I handled lockdown:
Lockdown has been hard on everyone around the world but it seems everyone has found their own way to deal with it. My way of coping was listening to a lot of old albums, including some more obscure stuff that had slipped my mind over the last few years. This brought me a lot of joy over the months during lockdown as I often used it as a pick me up when I felt at my lowest. I know some friends of mine did similar things to help with their state of mind during lockdown as well.
I cannot stress enough that getting out of the house, if even for just 10 to 20 mins, can do you the world of good. Something simple like a walk around the block. It’s amazing what some time spent outside can do for your mind and how you see the world during this insanity we all find ourselves in.
Best live stream show of the year, Metallica:
This year has seen a drastic change with live shows being pulled, postponed, and pulled again. However, bands have adapted well to the challenge of putting on live performances with live streams becoming the new normal for the time being. There have been some very impressive live streams that I’ve seen over the past few months and I’ve heard impressive things from some streams that I missed. Behemoth is top of that list and I’m still annoyed at myself for missing it. The standout live stream I’ve seen this year has to go to Metallica for doing a full acoustic set. It was interesting to hear some classic Metallica songs performed in a new way and the fact it was in aid of charity made it a very entertaining stream.
Album of the Year: Code Orange – Underneath
Back at the start of the year, before all this craziness, Code Orange gave us the follow up to the outstanding Forever from 2017. There was a lot of anticipation for this album and the band did not disappoint. With some absolutely banging tracks such as “Last Ones Left” and “Back Inside The Glass”. It’s a somewhat chaotic approach to things at times on the album but amongst all the chaos there is a calculated thought-out style to things and the band doesn’t lose any of the ground they made with Forever. The album has a lot going on all the time; it took me a good few listens to pick out some of the more intricate parts to some of the songs.
This is the album Code Orange has given us, one of the best albums of 2020 by a long long shot. I couldn’t really find one bad thing to say about it, which is rare for any album in this year of all years. It’s nice to have an album like this that you can just put on and lose yourself and forget everything for 50 minutes. I’m very excited to see what the band does with the next album as they surely will continue to build on their popularity for years to come.