10 Best Heavy Metal Live Performances Of 2016

Because you haven't lived until you've experienced "Fear of the Dark" live.

Yui Mok

Live shows have to be the very best thing about being a heavy metal fan. Especially when they're done right.

A good live band gets hairs rising, toes tapping, heads banging, pits moshing and mouths screaming. A great live band does all of this and more, within the space of one set.

What follows are the 10 greatest (in my humble opinion) live metal acts of this year. And before you dive in, it's worth knowing that your favourite band may very well not appear here: obvious choices like Slipknot, Ghost, Metallica, Alice Cooper and so on are being intentionally left off so that this list might - just might - expose you to a new band or two.

Hopefully it works out, and as always, feel free to add your own entries below if you think I've left anyone off.

10. Wilson

Kicking off the list is Detroit, Michigan's very own Wilson; the acclaimed providers of 100% of the world's supply of f*ckery.

Back in February, the rock n' roll five-piece had one of their dreams come true when they embarked on a headlining, two-week-long jaunt across the United Kingdom, bringing a shed-load of anarchy (and several gallons of beer) with them.

Even though they played predominantly intimate venues like Southampton's Joiners and London's Barfly, Wilson doubtlessly made the most of their chance to shine on this side of the Atlantic, making each and every show feel like a party.

In fact, a Wilson show is more than a mere party: imagine finding out tomorrow is the end of the world and throwing one last, almighty thrash-up so that you go out on top before the planet burns. Literally a get-together that lets you get wrecked like there's no tomorrow.

A Wilson concert is what that party wishes it could be.

In the vast array of sub-genres, divisions, politics and internet trolls that inhabit it, it's sometimes hard to forget that rock n' roll is just supposed to be fun. No more, no less. Luckily, Wilson are always on-hand to remind their fans about the core of what heavy music should be: guitars, swearing, moshing and booze.

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I write for Metal Hammer, Prog and WhatCulture. I don’t have Facebook or Twitter, so you’ll just have to call me a stupid cuck to my face.