Event Of The Year
The year had been littered with Black Sabbath rumours and speculation before 11 November 2011 when the four original members of the band appeared at a press conference in LA to announce that they were getting back together to headline Download Festival 2012. Oh, and record a brand new studio album.
The rumour mill had been on overdrive since an off the record Tony Iommi was quoted by a Birmingham journalist in the summer saying that the band had started rehearsing together. The guitarist was quick to admonish the journalist for betraying a trust, but he never denied the reunion and despite last year's lawsuit brought by Ozzy against Tony, Geezer's vehement denials and the general feeling that they just wouldn't be able to get that magic back, the most important heavy metal band will be back in 2012 for a new album and a huge world tour.
|2) THE BIG FOUR AT SONISPHERE
Almost as unlikely as the Sabbath reunion was the possibility that Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth would ever play together. But that's exactly what happened this summer at Knebworth House when the four most important thrash bands of all time took to the stage for four spectacular sets, before joining forces as one gigantic thrash chorus on the song that kickstarted them all, Diamond Head's 'Am I Evil?'. It was euphoric, emotional and absolutely brutal.
|3) ALICE COOPER AT ALEXANDRA PALACE
A freak show, Halloween and, erm, Arthur Brown - Alice Cooper's second UK Halloween special was a fantastically over the top affair, bringing the vaudeville to life in the form of a rock concert. Alice's current live show is amongst his finest, and this extra special London show felt like a party. A brilliant set list drawn from across his back catalogue in a venue that suited the king of shock rock down to the ground
|4) JOURNEY / FOREIGNER / STYX TOUR
An AOR fan's wet dream in terms of a line-up, with each band having more hits in their arsenal than an Abba compilation. Each band tried to outdo the other on every night of the tour, with each and every set packed full of crowd-pleasers. Five hours of singing can really wreck your voice, but it's a certainty that not one single member of the audience cared by the time the final notes of Journey's closing number rang out. There was no tour more fun than this during the whole of 2011.
|5) JUDAS PRIEST AT HIGH VOLTAGE
The metal legends said goodbye to UK festivals for good with the kind of crowd pleasing set that made them festival favourites in the first place. A massive 2+ hour set saw the band tear through tracks from their entire back catalogue, culminating in FOUR encores. Every song was a winner, and if the band wanted to go out on a high then mission accomplished.
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