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Top Live Performances of 2016

Joe Lynn Turner - Revolution - Amityville, NY - 2-27-16 - Hard Rock Daddy

By Adam Waldman

The calendar has finally flipped to 2017, but the scars of 2016 remain.  2016 may be remembered for the deaths of several musical icons, but there were some truly memorable live performances that proved that rock and roll is very much alive and well, most notably, Joe Lynn Turner’s stellar solo show.

As rumors swirled that Ritchie Blackmore was ready to step back into the rock arena for a “Rainbow reunion,” JLT seemed like a slam dunk to take center stage once again.  Not only was he the frontman featured on some of the band’s biggest hits, but he also is the only singer to have also fronted Deep Purple.  If Blackmore was ready to rock again, the first call should have gone to JLT.  Inexplicably, it didn’t.

JLT didn’t let Blackmore’s misguided decision stop him from giving the people what they wanted.  His show at Revolution on Long Island is everything that you could have asked for in a Rainbow show (even without the enigmatic guitarist present).  Not only did JLT deliver brilliant performances of the songs that he made famous with Rainbow, he also did so with the songs that pre-dated him joining the band (while throwing in Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen classics for good measure).

JLT didn’t get nearly the hype that Blackmore got for his Rainbow/Deep Purple live performances, but he deserved it.  Amazingly, JLT’s vocals are as strong today as they were over three decades ago when he rose to fame.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.




Jeff Scott Soto has a tremendous resume, but he still manages to fly under the radar.  In an intimate show on a cold winter night, JSS and his band SOTO delivered an inspired performance, showcasing chemistry that you usually find in bands that have been together for decades.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.



The first time that I heard “Baptized In The Rio Grande” on SiriusXM’s Octane, I was instantly hooked.  With a seasoned sound that goes well beyond their years, the boys from a small Texas town near the Mexican border live up to the saying…“everything’s bigger in Texas.”  One of the best newcomers onto the hard rock music scene, Sons Of Texas showed that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.



Anthrax’s inclusion on this list comes with an asterisk because it wasn’t actually a concert, rather a four-song, show-stealing performance at the recent Epiphone Revolver Music Awards.  It’s a testament to the band’s greatness that the crowd was as enthusiastic about the two new songs (“Breathing Lightning” and “Monster At The End”) as they were about the classics (“Caught In The Mosh” and “Indians”).

CLICK HERE to read a full recap of the event.



Top Live Performances of 2015

Top Live Performances of 2014

HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 2/13/16

HRD Radio Report - Anthrax


The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by, and appears every Tuesday on  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on

Click on the hyperlinked song titles to read song reviews, and the hyperlinked artist names to read album reviews.

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 2/13/16.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:


TOP 50 ACTIVE ROCK SONGS (by spins) OF 2015


1 1 SHINEDOWN “State Of My Head” 2122
2 2 POP EVIL “Ways To Get High” 1781
3 3 FOO FIGHTERS “Saint Cecilia” 1543
4 6 NOTHING MORE “Here’s To The Heartache” 1374
5 7 HIGHLY SUSPECT “Bloodfeather” 1270
6 9 MUSE “Reapers” 1208
7 10 3 DOORS DOWN “In The Dark” 1203
8 13 DISTURBED “The Sound Of Silence” 1159
9 5 SEETHER “Save Today” 1081
10 4 FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “Wash It Away” 1038
11 11 CAGE THE ELEPHANT “Mess Around” 1001
12 12 TRIVIUM “Until The World Goes Cold” 943
13 14 BRING ME THE HORIZON “Happy Song” 888
14 8 DISTURBED “The Light” 851
15 15 SAINT ASONIA “Let Me Live My Life” 808
16 20 RED SUN RISING “Emotionless” 687
17 16 FROM ASHES TO NEW “Through It All” 685
18 17 PAPA ROACH “Falling Apart” 678
19 19 SHAMAN’S HARVEST “In Chains” 601
20 18 PARKWAY DRIVE “Vice Grip” 465
21 23 ADELITA’S WAY “Bad Reputation” 463
22 25 THE STRUTS “Kiss This” 386
23 26 ESCAPE THE FATE “Alive” 380
24 27 SLIPKNOT “Goodbye” 361
25 35 ROB ZOMBIE “Well, Everybody’s…in a UFO” 357
26 28 STITCHED UP HEART “Finally Free” 342
27 21 ARANDA “We Are The Enemy” 338
28 49 DEFTONES “Prayers/Triangles” 325
29 29 FAILURE ANTHEM “Paralyzed” 313
30 22 THEORY OF A DEADMAN “Blow” 303
31 34 WOLFMOTHER “Victorious” 285
32 33 MEGADETH “Dystopia” 275
33 50 FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “My Nemesis” 272
34 30 LACEY STURM “Impossible” 264
35 31 DROWNING POOL “By The Blood” 251
36 24 ALL THAT REMAINS “Victory Lap” 247
37 36 DEVOUR THE DAY “Lightning In The Sky” 227
38 32 ANDREW WATT “Ghost In My Head” 222
39 40 PUSCIFIER “The Remedy” 186
40 43 KILLSWITCH ENGAGE “Hate By Design” 146
41 41 FOALS “Mountain At My Gates” 145
42 45 ANTHRAX “Breathing Lightning” 126
43 47 BLACK STONE CHERRY “In Our Dreams” 116
44 46 THROUGH FIRE “Stronger” 113
45 44 BARONESS “Shock Me” 100
46 48 CILVER “I’m America” 97
47 42 WAYLAND “Bloody Sunrise” 94
48 51 MONSTER TRUCK “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” 89
49 53 SMASHING SATELLITES “Gamblin’ Man” 75
50 61 GHOST “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” 66


ANTHRAX – “Breathing Lightning”

Since the turn of the millennium, Anthrax’s studio releases have been fewer and further between than the time period between 1984-1998.  There has been an undeniable shift in the hard rock and metal genres in recent years, but Anthrax’s music has always had a timeless quality to it.  If they chose to continue creating new music with their signature sound, they would have no trouble connecting with fans.  Getting radio attention, on the other hand, would not necessarily be so easy in the current climate.  “Breathing Lightning” features enough of the band’s signature sound to appeal to longtime fans, but it is the infusion of huge melodic hooks that is likely to bring in new fans from younger generations that didn’t grow up with their music. While “Breathing Lightning” wasn’t written to be “radio-friendly,” the end result is a song that has huge radio potential.  With a vast catalog of timeless thrash songs, would it be sacrilege to say that the band’s most memorable chorus has arrived in 2016 (over 30 years after their debut)? Perhaps, but it doesn’t make it any less true.  The melodic refrain of the song (which conjures up memories of Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains The Same”) sets the stage with a theatrical intro, and is intertwined around customary in-your-face Anthrax riffs throughout.  Although it doesn’t appear on the radio-edit, the full-length version of the song ends with a beautifully melodic, haunting fade out.  When all is said and done, “Breathing Lightning” is a good bet to be one of the top songs of 2016.



HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

Each week, we will share the songs that we think should be added to rotations, alongside the songs that we feel should be dropped from rotations, either because they are a bad fit for the format, or because they have run their course and it’s time for a new single from the artist.



BOBAFLEX“A Spider In The Dark”



VEER UNION“Defying Gravity”




Foals“Mountain At My Gates”

Cage The Elephant“Mess Around”

The Struts“Kiss This”

Pucifier“The Remedy”

Theory Of A Deadman“Blow”

Parkway Drive“Vice Grip”



THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless


Shinedown notches a third straight week at #1 on the Mediabase Active Rock airplay chart, giving up little ground to #2 Pop Evil.  A change is forthcoming, but probably not for another week (or more).  Foo Fighters’ “Saint Cecilia” once again gained more ground from the #3 spot than the current runner-up.




Disturbed turned out to be the only new arrival to the Top 10, replacing their previous single (“The Light”) with their current one (“The Sound Of Silence”)…

Nary a change in the Top 20 songs aside from some shuffling of their order on the chart…

Charging into the Top 30 this week are the latest singles from both Rob Zombie and Deftones

New to the Top 40 this week is “My Nemesis,” the latest single from Five Finger Death Punch, and last week’s highest debuting single from Killswitch Engage

A trio of new arrivals takes up the bottom three spots in the Top 50 this week.  The highest debuting song comes from Monster Truck, with a track that has been in the Canadian Active Rock Top 5 for the past three months.  Also cracking the Top 50 is the debut single from Smashing Satellites (“Gamblin’ Man”), and the latest single from the Grammy-winning Ghost.





3 Doors Down – “In The Dark”

Disturbed“The Sound Of Silence”

Deftones – “Prayers/Triangles”



Seether – “Save Today”

Five Finger Death Punch“Wash It All Away”

Disturbed“The Light”




I’m pleased to see more crossover of songs that have been successful in Canada gaining traction on the U.S. chart.  There’s no shortage of common titles on the two charts, but frequently, it seems that songs that fare exceptionally well north of the border end up getting overlooked by U.S. radio.  In addition to the Monster Truck title that debuted this week, the current single from Wolfmother also broke more quickly on Canadian stations than on their U.S. counterparts.  It’s a small trend that I’d like to see continue, as there have been a number of airplay-worthy songs that failed to see significant breakthroughs in the larger market over the past several years.  Glorious Sons, I Mother Earth, The Wild, and The Lazys are all recent prime examples of band that had songs worthy of U.S. airplay.



That’s all for this week.  Tune in to every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/