Best Live Act of 2015 – 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards
Let's take a breather and relax from all of the studio output of 2015 and bring our attention towards the stage. For virtually every group, performing live is the most rewarding experience about being in a band. There's no better feeling than a crowd screaming every word of the song, but you have to earn it.
Below are 10 nominees who really bring their performances to the next level. Some prefer to bring theatrical builds to the stage and others simply just rock it with the bare essentials. Fans can vote once per hour through the deadline of Dec. 1 at 8AM ET, so get those votes in to pick the winner of Best Live Act of 2015 in the 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards!
AC/DC have been rocking the world for over 40 years and are still among the best to do it. Since just about every song in the set is a massive hit, the energy is ceaseless with the crowd screaming every word in unison with Brian Johnson. Still decked out in a school uniform, guitarist Angus Young takes everyone to school with his celebrated playing and signature stage moves. Old dogs don't need new tricks when they invented the tricks to begin with.
This year saw BabyMetal return to the United States in dominating fashion. The band's show is sensational, delivering a full choreographed performance complete with theatrics and of course dazzling pyrotechnics to complement their epic, high-octane heavy metal. The band is an experiment in excess of all forms, exploring territory most metal bands wouldn't dare to tread and all with raving success.
Few rock bands are quirkier than Faith No More. Singer Mike Patton is the ring leader of this circus, delivering eyebrow-raising performances that up the ante of the band's avant-garde stylings. From the band's attire to the stage setup, Faith No More remain predictably unpredictable and one of rock's most entertaining live bands. Sol Invictus saw the band roar back with their first new album in almost two decades.
Foo Fighters are the ultimate live band, led by charismatic frontman Dave Grohl. When Grohl broke his leg earlier this year, he still managed to forge on with the band's North American tour, having a hulking guitar throne constuctied so he can remain seated with his foot resting upright. He still rocked out hard, despite sitting down, headbanging and bobbing up and down, putting his all into the performance despite the obvious limitations. After all, the show must go on, right?
When hitting the road, Ghost bring the full package. Gorgeous backdrops imitate stained class that so often decorates churches and Ghost create a mass of their own. With the Nameless Ghouls decked out with anonymous masks and Papa Emeritus III wearing his usual papal robes, the band's live show reflects a ritual more than just a mere concert. Full immersion is the intent and not many bands can deliver like this group.
Halestorm deliver one truly rockin' performance. They have the ability to headline complete with a full light show or strip it down to just the basics in broad daylight and still get the crowd moving. The band's sound is anthemic and sometimes that's just all you need. Lzzy Hale is an engaging frontwoman, while her brother Arejay is one of the most animated drummers you'll ever see on a concert stage.
King Diamond is a no compromise performer. Bringing a full-blown stage setup complete with barred gates, stairs, lighted Satanic fixtures, and the painted King himself, not many shows stack up with these guys. The band is on point every night, delivering surgical performances and tearing off some of the best solos in the business. Age is not a factor for King at 59 with his voice possessing the ability to nail any song in his catalog.
Lamb of God's intensity doesn't stop with the music. They take things to a new level on the stage with every member demanding attention, but none more than vocalist Randy Blythe. Leaping around the stage and jumping off of monitors, Blythe is the consummate frontman when it comes to the extremity of bands like Lamb of God. His demonic howling commands a presence in itself with his physical attributes rounding out one of the most engaging shows in metal.
Nothing More bring confidence and conviction to each show with each member always in motion. Singer Jonny Hawkins is especially engaging, losing himself in the music and often times dropping to his knees and thrashing his body around like he's trying to escape from a straightjacket only he can see. And when the band busts out the bassinator, it's a sight to behold.
As Slipknot's popularity continues to soar, the band remains hungrier than ever. They refuse to yield, bringing one of the most dangerous shows in metal to the stage each night. Giant metal drums are hurled across the stage, fire shoots up from all angles, and each member just goes berserk like they still have something to prove. Slipknot's live shows are proof why it pays to never be satiated and to never back down. These guys don't know the meaning of "less is more" because in their world, it doesn't exist.