2016 has been a roller coaster year to say the least. While many great things have occurred, and while we’ve gained a tremendous amount of new music and exciting live concert experiences, we also can’t forget the heroes we lost along the way. It seemed that tragedy would never come to an end, but one after the other, time has its way of running out on those we love the most. This year, we honor both the good, and the bad of 2016. From all the great albums that have been released this year, to the start of the tour of the century that many people would’ve never though would happen in Guns N’ Roses reuniting with original members Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, and Slash, to Axl Rose filling in for Brian Johnson in ACDC, to of course taking a moment to remember those who have given so much musical joy to us all these years, seeing them leave this beautiful world in peace.
2016 Album Releases
To kick things off, this year was a stellar year in new music. A lot of our favorite bands out there have released a brand new album or EP that made for a great year in releases. With so many albums to choose from, it’s unbelievably difficult to pick a handful of albums to represent as our stellar list of top tier highlights. The biggest highlight of all of course ended up being Metallica’s long time awaited release of their tenth studio album “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct,” an album 8 years in the making from their latest album “Death Magnetic.” In addition, legendary bands such as Dream Theater, Anthrax, Green Day, Testament, Megadeth, and more, have all released new music for us to indulge. Everyone’s list of their standout albums of 2016 is of course going to be different on all accounts, but perhaps yours will match up well with ours for our top album picks of 2016 (in no particular order).
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Green Day – Revolution Radio
Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake
Megadeth – Dystopia
Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
Baby Metal – Metal Resistance
Ace Frehley – Origins, Vol. 1
Dream Theater – The Astonishing
Anthrax – For All Kings
Killswitch Engage – Incarnate
Volbeat – Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie
Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
Korn – The Serenity of Suffering
Paul Gilbert – I Can Destroy
Jim Breuer – Songs From The Garage
Lamb of God – The Duke (EP)
Memorable Moment of 2016?
Surely many of you had a great 2016 with so many amazing shows and festivals out there this year that showcased some of our favorite bands doing what they do best. This year’s introduction of a weekend of legendary rock in “Desert Trip,” with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney made it to the top of your list, or seeing Axl Rose take charge on the microphone with ACDC in place of longtime great Brian Johnson.
While all those are well and good, perhaps the most memorable moment of 2016 was the announcement of Guns N’ Roses reuniting with members Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, and Slash. The long awaited reunion topped the charts as being by far the biggest tour in the world, selling millions of tickets all across the globe. The highly anticipated tour spanned multiple areas of the world, with an immense number of stadium filled concert dates, playing in front of millions of people by the end of it all.
Not only was 2016 great for Guns N’ Roses, 2017 will be just as great, as the band has already announced, and is planning many more concert dates all over the world in the upcoming year. Throughout the leg of the tour, Axl certainly showed that his singing chops have not gone anywhere. After playing a large stretch of sold out stadium shows, the singer has kept himself sharp and intact throughout all of it. Not only was Axl able to pull off a line of stellar performance this year in Guns N’ Roses, but also putting forth a tremendous effort in ACDC as well, filling in for Brian Johnson, who had to leave the band early this year after experiencing hearing problems.
With 2017 just around the corner, Guns N’ Roses plan to make it another big year in touring. The band recently made 2016 a historic year in itself with their line of great shows, but also made history for the upcoming year, selling over 1 million tickets in a 24 hour period for a string of upcoming performances; a feat that many triumphant bands can’t come near, but for the mighty Guns N’ Roses, it’s just another day at the office.
Those Who We’ve Lost In 2016
Last but not least, with all the good that’s happened, tragedy found a way to strike as well. The number of people who have died this past year is beyond staggering. Below is a list of just some of the few who have made such a memorable impact on society. Their music has touched millions upon millions of people over a span of decades, and for that, we are forever grateful. Names such as David Bowie, Prince, Nick Menza, Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson, and so many more, are names that we as a society will never forget, and names that history will never forget. These individuals are spirits that will live on for eternity, using the world as their stage, being a part of some of the most notorious bands in history, and writing some of the best songs and albums the world has ever heard. It is with honor to remember those who we’ve lost in 2016, and look to embrace the good that the year has brought, while looking forward to the exciting endeavors that are to come in 2017. RIP.
Jimmie Van Zant
JT “Doc” Berry \m/