2018: My Year With Music

What can I say about 2018 that I haven’t said about other years? Well, more of the same. Once again, I saw A LOT of great live performances, some of my fave bands released new music and, as always, I discovered some new bands (Rebel Soul Revival, Joyous Wolf, Of Limbo, Fever 333, Them Evils). I did a combination list/best of/what was good in my world of music a couple years ago and thought I would do it again. See below for my year with music: 2018 Edition.

CDs purchased released in 2018
: 41
CDs purchased released other years: 14
Vinyl purchased: 2018 – 10 / other years – 3
Digital: Singles – 6 / EPs – 2

2018 albums on repeat more than others* (no particular order):
Myles Kennedy – Year Of The Tiger
Walking Papers – WP2
Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree
Shinedown – Attention Attention
From Ashes To New – The Future
Tremonti – A Dying Machine
Sevendust – All I See Is War
Dorothy – 28 Days In The Valley
The Magpie Salute – High Water I
The Virginmarys – Northern Sun Sessions
*Not to say any of the other albums I purchased were bad, there was just something about these

Number of concerts I attended: 49 (Full list)
Number of bands I saw live for the first time: 47
Number of multi-day festivals attended: 2
States other than IL I saw a concert: WI, OH, MO, IA
Band I saw the most in 2018: Tie between Royal Bliss and From Ashes To New (5)

Buying New Music in 2018: Back in May, I finally came to the realization of the sad fact that the way I have been buying new CDs, for what feels like the last 20+ years, is now jacked up due to Best Buy no longer selling CDs in store. I wrote about it here.

Unique music related purchases: I originally came across an Instagram post of some amazing ukulele art by Brian Hennesy sometime in Nov or Dec of last year on @Screw_You_Art. I immediately had a reaction to one particular piece. Not so much because it was an instrument, but the combination/order of the screws, washers and what not. The fact it was a musical piece was a bonus. Time went by and I kept going back to the same piece. Each time I had the same reaction. I wanted this. Every time I would check to see if it had sold, it hadn’t. Well, fast forward to March 2018 and I looked for the post again. I thought, if it was still available, it was meant to be. Well, it was. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy. It proudly hangs on my wall. The cover photo I took shows how long it is and these others show the amazing detail. I still love the pattern! Thanks again Brian!

If I remember correctly, the first time I met Bill was in 2012 at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI. The first thing I ever bought from him? A print of James Hetfield. I’ve been a fan of his from the very start and to be honest, I’ve lost track of the number of coasters and prints I have bought from him. He is such an amazing artist and I always look forward to seeing him every summer when he makes his way up here. If you’re not familiar with his SACRED heART SERIES, check it out now. Oh and while you are there, be sure and read his Bio. (Photo: Bill and I at ROTR 2018 in Columbus, OH / Chester Bennington coaster by William K. Stidham)

Celebrating 20 years.
More than a few times this year, I took a look back 20 years. Sometimes it was the release date of a fave album, other times it was the first time I saw a particular band. Some bands I like celebrated the 20-year release of a particular album or the start of their career.

Jan 28, 1998 I joined the Metallica fan club: 20 years ago, I joined the Metallica Fan Club. It would have been sooner, but you know, I was having a hard time justifying spending the $30/35 joining fee. Which is a F’N RIOT when I think about all the money I’ve spent on Metallica stuff over the years. Even though the Club no longer has paid membership, I have my Legacy status, I have countless memories tied to The Club and Metallica are still my number 1 band.

Feb 2, 2018 Big Wreck at Lincoln Hall in Chicago: A Sold Out show! They were touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first album, In Loving Memory Of… What. A. Show. To be honest, IMO, if you didn’t know this album was 20 years old, you’d think it was current. They played all 13 songs plus a song that Ian said was originally pulled from the album (not their fault tho). They changed guitars After. Every. Song. and they were all awesome. The encore started with one of my very fave songs, Albatross, with Ian playing a double neck. It was amazing and my smile was from ear to ear. However, the part of the night that really had me staring in awe was the double slide playing during Overemphasizing. One of my faves and it was just brilliant. What an excellent night. I really hope they come back to the U.S. in 2019!

Feb 24, 1998 Union’s Self-Titled album released: Hard to believe the first Union album was released 20 years ago. While I wouldn’t see them live until April 2000 (and then meet them at a show in May) due to previous years scheduling conflicts, I did buy the album when it was released. I also have signatures from a local show from 1998 due to a friend getting my CD signed. After all these years, I kept hoping for a reunion. I guess never say never, right? Oh, and anyone remember the first track, Old Man Wise, wasn’t listed on the back even though it’s the first song? Not sure if this was corrected on another pressing. Fave track: I can’t pick just one!

Mar 19, 1998 the first band I ever met: It was 20 years ago that I met a band for the very first time. Meaning, the first time I met a major band, since I technically spoke to HOTD at this show. The band? The one and only Cinderella 😀 Seriously, HOW has it been 20 years already!? I remember this night like it was yesterday. I guess it’s true what they say…you always remember your first. HEHE Read my review here.

Mar 20, 2003 and Mar 30, 2018 The first and last time I saw The Steepwater Band: On March 20, 2018, I saw Jeff Massey perform one of his solo shows at Harlem Ave Lounge. At the time, I also realized it fell on the very same day I saw The Steepwater Band for the first time, 15 years ago, when they opened for Hookah Brown at Double Door. I love date/number coincidences. Well, fast forward to 2018 and they were now celebrating 20 years as a band! Hard to believe I have been around for 15 of them.

On March 30, 2018, The Steepwater Band celebrated their longevity and shortly after went on a hiatus. While it was uncertain eight months ago if they would return to the stage, I am happy to say, on December 13, they announced they were back and with the addition of new bass player, Joe Bishop. (Previous bassist, Tod Bowers, posted a message on FB: “Leaving The Steepwater Band was not an easy decision to make, but it was a change that I needed to welcome. I love Jeff, Joe & Eric like brothers. I love the music and records like children. I love the fans and everyone who’s supported the group like family. And I’ll miss it all. I wish Steepwater all the very, very best in the future…”) Tod will be missed by me and many others, but as they say, The Show Must Go On! Now to find a date that doesn’t conflict with my schedule in 2019!

Apr 20, 2018 Royal Bliss celebrated 20 years as a band: While I would have LOVED to have been in Utah to celebrate the band’s 20th year, it just wasn’t in the cards. So instead, I wrote some words. A lot of words. Check it out here.

May 5, 1998 My first L.A. Guns show: HOLY CRAP! I still can’t believe it’s been 20 years! Back in May I decided to elaborate a little more with a post on my site. You can read that and see some “old” pics from back then. Oh and if you forgot or just never knew, you may recognize a certain member of Steel Panther. HEHE

Jun 28, 2018 Gen-X Tour at Summerfest: Why is this date special? Prior to attending this show, I realized I had been going to Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI to see live bands for 17 consecutive years (1998, 2002 – 2018). WHAT?! Trust me, I WAS SHOCKED TOO! Not to mention, 2018 marks 20 years since the first band I saw at Summerfest (Creed). Another cool date coincidence comes with Jun 28, 2008, when I saw Shinedown at one of the Summerfest ground stages. It was also the first time taking my son to see Shinedown. Their album, Sound of Madness, also turned 10 this year. A lot has changed in 10 years, but one thing is still true… Shinedown continue to be one of the best bands out there and they are for sure very high on my list! (Photos from the 2008 show)

Jul 11, 2018 and 20 Years of Sevendust: Not my first time seeing Sevendust live, but a cool revelation happened during the show. I saw Lajon repeat something someone said to him from the crowd, “You’ve been with us since 1998?” I was like, wait a minute. HOLY CRAP! I saw them for the first time in 1998. Later on, after checking my list, this particular date was almost exactly 20 years to the date of the first time I saw them. Read my review of their set here.

Jul 26, 1998 My first Metallica guitar pick: On this day I saw Metallica, Jerry Cantrell and Days of the New at Marcus Amphitheater in Milwaukee, WI. Ticket face value was $39.50. (Boy, those were the days!!) Not my first Metallica show, but once again I say, TWENTY FREAKIN’ YEARS AGO?! Where the HELL does the time go? Other than seeing another GREAT Metallica set, (and different due to the acoustic portion), I got my first Metallica pick at this show. Even though I was like 12 rows back in the amphitheater seats, somehow Kirk whipped a pick to my area at the end of the night. Of course there was a mad scramble to find it. I thought for sure someone else would get it, but then I looked under the seat in front of me and there it was 😀 A green pick with a ninja star on one side and the old school Metallica logo on other side. The first of many to come! Set list from Metallica.com.  

Aug 18, 1998 Kid Rock’s Devil Without A Cause Released: Are you FREAKIN’ kidding me?! I first heard Kid Rock on the radio way back when because I listened to Mancow. My husband and I became immediate fans. Only God Knows Why is my fave Kid Rock song… “You get what you put in and people get what they deserve” but there are many other great and fun songs to sing along with, especially Bawitdaba 😀 Watch the video here.

Aug 25, 1988 Metallica’s …And Justice For All Released: I know this is about “20 years ago” but I can’t pass up a comment on this album. As much as I listen to music, I don’t always think about when it actually was released or for how long I’ve known about it. However, 30 years is a long freakin’ time to have remembered hearing something when it was first released. Metallica has also been doing a great job of celebrating their album milestones by releasing deluxe box set versions. I officially rec’d it for Xmas! Fave track: One.

Aug 25, 1998 Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International Released: His first album after White Zombie and another piece of work that has aged really well. At the time, finding out that Tommy Lee also played drums on The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore was even better as I really loved that song a lot! This was also one of the first albums I started to learn about “edited versions.” Does your cover have an X on his head? Mine does. Read more about the edited artwork here. Fave track: Demonoid Phenomenon. Due to my own poor decision when White Zombie was around, I never saw them live and then they broke up. Another “20 year” is the first time I saw Rob Zombie perform live; Oct 24, 1998 at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. I was in the balcony but, WHAT. A. SHOW. They also filmed Living Dead Girl for a video and they played it twice. I was in the balcony, stage right. Watch the video here.

Sep 1, 1998 Local H’s Pack Up The Cats Released: My fave Local H album. I got into Local H with the As Good As Dead album, but PUTC is the one that I go to time and time again. Not that any of the other Local H albums aren’t good, but there is just something about this one. I’m not sure if it’s the songs themselves, the ongoing flow of the album or what. In 2018, they released a 2-LP version on orange vinyl which also included a bonus CD/digital d/l, Pack Up the Demos. Fave track: “Cha!” Said The Kitty. =^..^= I was even more ecstatic when Local H announced a 20th anniversary tour to play the entire album! More on that below.

Extra Special Shows…

May 18-20, 2018 The last time I would attend Rock on the Range: While no one would know it until later in the year, this would be my last time attending ROTR due to a name/owner change. As they say, “Nothing lasts forever.” I’m not going to lie, I am bummed about it being over. I’ve been every year since it started in 2007, which is still insane to me!! That is a lot of years with friends, great music, crappy weather and knowing where you will be every year on the same weekend in May! Yes, I know it’s still there under a new name, but it’s just not the same. For now, this is my last time traveling to this location/venue for a festival.

Jul 3, 2018 My 60th Royal Bliss show: BY FAR the most times I have seen any band. Not only did I review their set at Great Lakes Naval Base for MomentsInSound, they played 3 new songs I had not heard before. When you see a band so many times (Hey, it’s not my fault they play the Midwest so often!) it’s awesome when they change it up. Especially when they throw in those NEW songs! I’m hoping for a full album in 2019, but something tells me it will be a couple of EPs. We shall see.

Jul 27, 2018 My 1,000th concert: It finally happened. Godsmack, Shinedown, Like A Storm at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL became my 1,000th concert since 1986. Read about it here.

Aug 24, 2018 Show #350 with my concert partner-in-crime
: You thought I only kept track of my own shows? HAHAHAHAA I have lists for everything! I first met Kim back in July 2000. We were both in a Meet and Greet line for Metallica. We talked, I offered to take pics of her with the band (I snuck in my camera) and we’ve been friends ever since. For this date, she invited me as her +1 guest for a work trip which included Journey, Def Leppard and Cheap Trick at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. This was also my first time in a suite. While it was a cool experience, I prefer to be much closer! 😉 It was a great weekend overall and the concert was a nice ending! Providing all of the formulas in my file are correct (they should be), Kim and I have seen 350 shows (well, 353 as of Nov ’18) together over the past 18 years. That’s a lot of shows together and two lifetimes of memories!

Sep 2, 2018 Metallica in Madison, WI: Sure, I saw Metallica 4 times in 2017, but it didn’t matter. Metallica playing the U.S. doesn’t happen quite as often as it used to so I was taking advantage of seeing them a couple more times. The Madison show just so happened to be the first night of the U.S. Fall WorldWired arena tour and we had seats for a different perspective of the stage. What a show it was! AND, I FINALLY got to hear Spit Out The Bone live for myself! It was cool to see them change up some things from 2017, like the “drum part” during Now That We’re Dead, the amazing “moths” during Moth Into Flame and all of the cubes. SO MANY cool visuals. At times I almost forgot the band were on stage! I heard another new album song live for myself, Confusion, and got Cyanide, another fave from Death Magnetic. See full set list here. I still think the Minnesota set 2 nights later (because of No Leaf Clover and Breadfan) should have been the Madison set! HAHA Being a long time fan and fan club member, I know a lot of people from other states that also travel. Always cool to see and run into people from other places that I often only see when Metallica tours!

Sep 16, 2018 Local H Pack Up The Cats Tour at Empty Bottle in Chicago: Even though the tour to celebrate 20 years since the original release started earlier in the month, this was the first Chicago date of the tour. I wasn’t originally going to be at this show, however, things worked out and I am so glad I didn’t have to wait until November to see this for the first time around. The current two-man band (Scott Lucas/Ryan Harding) became a four-man band (with Jay Langston and Dave Lugo) so that they could re-create every note, sound, etc., on the album and IT WAS AMAZING!! The album was played in order and also included outtake, ATM (Longitude and Latitude), before Cool Magnet. After two amazing sets (the first included a selection of Local H songs from the rest of their catalog, the second set was PUTC), it was time for the encore. We all got a surprise when Scott introduced a special guest (actor, Michael Shannon, who also appeared in the newest Local H video for Innocents). Michael took lead on singing David Bowie’s Heroes and he sang with such emotion. (see my video below) I also had tickets for Nov 2 at Shank Hall in Milwaukee and the final date of the tour, Nov 18 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. After each of the three shows, I was left with a smile that could not be easily wiped from my face. I wish I could go back and do it all over again. (Photo of me with Scott and Ryan in Milwaukee) =^..^=


Sep 29, 2018 Dead Sara at Beat Kitchen in Chicago: Prior to this show, it had been FIVE years since I last saw Dead Sara live. That is far too long ago. However, their approx. 70-minute set more than made up for it even though it felt like it flew by. Honestly, I didn’t want the night to end! They played all my faves and opening with Suicidal put the biggest smile on my face! Music is such a powerful thing and I never take seeing my fave bands for granted. The new songs from Temporary Things Taking Up Space were excellent as well. It’s so good to just get lost in the music at a show. If you are not aware of Dead Sara, do yourself a favor and start looking them up. ALL of their releases deserve a listen.

Oct 4, 2018 20 Years of Mark Tremonti Live: It was during this show at RocHaus in West Dundee that it hit me. I have been following Mark Tremonti’s career for 20 years! WHAT?! Read more about it here.

Oct 16, 2018 Metallica at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI: Originally I wasn’t going to add this second Metallica show to my list but you know what? I’m giving it a mention for a couple of reasons. 1. It’s a live Metallica show. Check out that set list: Harvie, Motorbreath and of course, Spit Out The Bone again! 2. It was at the brand new stadium in Milwaukee. 3. I got to see friends from near and far, one of which held a great spot in line for my friends and me which eventually lead to number four. Although I didn’t know it would work out the way it did, sometimes you gotta just go with the flow and know things will work out exactly as they should. 4. Being in the right place at the right time landed me on the rail and that is NEVER a bad place to be! 5. It also gave me a better view of some of the new guitars Kirk and James have been playing live, not to mention a couple I have never seen them play before (JAMES PLAYED A GIBSON! I swear I have never noticed him playing that live before.) After years and years of seeing them play basically the same guitar models, it was kind of wild to see some “others.” But, I love guitars, so bring them on!

Nov 13, 2018 Myles Kennedy & Co. at Concord Music Hall in Chicago: I’ve said it before, but I will say it again; Myles Kennedy is one of my favorite singers. While I somehow missed the boat back in the day with The Mayfield Four, I was def aware of his amazing voice with the release of that first Alter Bridge album, One Day Remains in 2004. Needless to say, I’ve been on board ever since. Running MomentsInSound.com, from time to time, PR will reach out to ask for coverage of certain shows/artists. I was more than happy when I rec’d a request to interview Myles for his upcoming Fall Tour. Realistically, this is not something you pass on! Either way, I had a great conversation with him via phone and then covered the first night of the tour in Chicago shortly after. Of course, two days later, I also went to see him again in Milwaukee. 😀 I was taking every advantage to see him play songs from his solo album, Year Of The Tiger. It was everything I wanted and more. Seriously people. Going to see live music is one of the greatest things EVER! You can read my interview here and check out the show review here. Oh and check out Walking Papers while you’re there.


I still continue to listen to music many different ways (radio, CD, Spotify, YouTube, Music Choice via my TV, etc). Since Spotify does a year end wrap up and I like stats…here we go.

Time spent listening: 10,340 minutes (up 58% over last year)
Top Artist: 8 hours with Dead Sara
Top Genre: Rock

Top 5 Artists:
Dead Sara
Rage Against The Machine
JD McPherson
The Dead Daisies

Top 5 songs:
Let The Good Times Roll – JD McPherson
Shy Boy – JD McPherson
Untold – Them Evils
Heaven’s Got A Back Door – Dead Sara
Mona Lisa – Dead Sara

Spotify also created a Top 100 playlist of my favorite songs from 2018 which included songs by my Top 5 Artists and other bands like Them Evils, Monster Truck, Lullwater, Middle Class Rut, Blacktop Mojo, Local H, Ramones, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Bad Wolves, Papa Roach, The Virginmarys, Myles Kennedy, Badflower, Fever 333, Slash’s Snakepit, Adler’s Appetite, Sevendust, Big Wreck, The Glorious Sons, Lincoln Durham, Rival Sons, Highly Suspect, Shinedown, Blackberry Smoke, Pop Evil, Foxy Shazam, Ian Moore, Wilson, L.A. Guns, Gilby Clarke, 10 Years, The Steepwater Band, Tremonti, Rival Schools, Izzy Stradlin, From Ashes To New and Black Stone Cherry.

Lastly, check out what I was up to in 2018 with Moments In Sound.

Every year I look forward to discovering new bands, seeing awesome live shows and hearing new music from my fave bands. As most of you know, music is a HUGE part of my life and always will be. Overall, I’m really looking forward to what 2019 brings in general. I already have tickets for a handful of concerts and I have MORE than enough options for concerts in February. Seriously, I have 10 options. We’ll see if my schedule and the winter weather cooperate.

Long live Rock ‘N’ Roll!

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