We’re fast approaching the end of another rocktastic year and all week we’re celebrating the best – and the worst – of 2009.

Today we focus on the shows which blew us away during the last 12 months.

And after witnessing well over 100 sets from seasoned vets to raw rookies we reckon we’ve found the top 10.


1. Testament (supporting Megadeth) – Newcastle o2 Academy

This was the year when Chuck Billy and his buddies would firmly re-establish themselves as one of the the true powers of thrash metal and it all started off in support of one quarter of the so-called ‘Big Four’.

Testament would return to headline their own show at the same venue later in the year but while that was good, this was simply brilliant. Dave Mustaine must have been tearing his hair out backstage as no band on earth could have followed a sensational set.

We said:  “…all four Testa-men came across as crisp as a February night in Newcastle and standards such as Into The Pit and Practice What You Preach will have me digging out 2000’s Live At The Fillmore very soon.”

2. Steel Panther – Download

3. Nickelback – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

4. Terrorvision – Hard Rock Hell, Prestatyn

5. Tesla – Newcastle o2 Academy

6. Black Stone Cherry – Newcastle o2 Academy

7. Def Leppard – Download

8. Dirty Rock And Roll – Newcastle Head Of Steam

9. Blackhole – Newcastle Academy

10. AC/DC – Glasgow Hampden Park