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After numerous phones in the past few years, Nokia, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson I decided that it was finally time for me to purchase an iPhone - something I'd always considered out of my budget range.
I picked it up for a reasonable price on an O2 contract about a year ago. The reason for this was I'd really been underwhelmed by my previous phones, they'd been okay but I was generally slightly unimpressed. I stepped into the Apple store in Norwich and I was sold as soon as I picked it up. The main reason for this was because of the capacitive touch screen; something which I hadn't tried before. In fact before I tried an iPhone I was firmly against touch screens (which were all generally resistive at the time of purchase and nothing came close to it).
Essentially, a year ago there was no competition against it, and I have never been so pleased with a phone. I went for the 32gb version as I like listening to music a lot. (On that subject I'd recommend that you invest in a new pair of earphones, the stock ones are awful IMO.)
These days a lot of phones have caught up with the iPhone (12 months later), in terms of capacitive touch screen and fast smooth response, however there are a number of things which set this phone (and the iPhone 4 of course) apart from its rivals:
1) iTunes sync is exceptional. It really just makes managing your phone simple. With previous phones I avoided connecting to the PC because it was such terrible software, with iTunes I plug in every night. In doing so I back up the phone fully (everything from email accounts to apps to simple things like texts and background pictures. It also gives me all the latest podcasts which I've subscribed to.
2) Onboard memory. The fact the you can have 32gb built in is a big advantage over SD cards. It makes it quicker, more reliable and just simpler. No messing about.
3) App support. It's getting to the stage where a phone is only as good as its apps. Its thus logical for me to opt for the phone with the biggest selection.
4) The phone just feels solid. I've tried a number of other phones and they just don't have the same feel. Some are especially flimsy (Google and Samsung I'm looking at you!).
5) Doesn't need to be tuned up. It is getting to the stage where some smartphones are slimmed down PCs. This is fine for some people, but for me? I spend enough time tuning up my PC than to bother with doing it to my phone too, which I know would happen on Android. Android has some technical advantages and allows more freedom which I don't need, some people do. If you're one of those people steer clear of iOS! Personally, I just want a phone which works and simplifies things (like calendar syncs, emails, notes, scientific papers etc.)
So there you have it, this is why I initially chose to go for an iPhone, through to why I now feel that I'll stick with them in the foreseeable future. Certainly not a phone for everyone but suits me down to the T!
Just hoping for a dual core 64gb white iPhone 5 now!
After being VERY into Modern Warefare 2, I obviously pre-ordered this in a hurry (with free dog tags!).
If you have read my MW2 review you'll know that I'm mainly into the online multiplayer side of things, so that's what I crackled on with. I'll start with explaining how the unlock system is differneet as it's an important part of the game. If you're familiar with MW2 you'll be aware that there are a number of weapons, each of these weapons can have attachments. You also get a number of perks to help you out, such as faster reloading or running faster.
In this game the unlocking system for the attachments and perks is slightly different and favours new players more. For example, if I had some sort of Assault rifle and I wanted 'extended mag' (double the bullets in a clip) on MW2 I would have to get that weapon, get 300 kills with it to unlock FMJ (which allows you to shoot through walls more easily). Then get 25 kills through walls. In other words, a great deal of effort had to be put in to unlock some extras. In BO you can simply earn a small amount of credit by playing a couple of games and buy the extras. This is definitely an advantage for less experienced players and gives them a change using better weapons rather than just getting killer repeatedly by pros with heavily modified weaponry.
The gameplay is, let's be honest, not as good as MW2. MW2 just worked perfectly, BO has many holes to be picked. The most annoying one is people spawning behind you ALL THE TIME. Another major problem is that footsteps basically go unheard. In MW2 people just couldn't sneak up on me unless they had Ninja Pro (silent footsteps) as I'd hear them running up. On this they just run up making no noise at all after spawning behind you. Another problem is that sniping now takes a long time to 'scope', making the sniper rifles virtually useless unless you camp, which you can't do because of the above reasons!
Because of these gameplay additions my style of play has had to change to suit it, I feel like I've became a worse and less skilful player as a result.
The challenges don't leave you wanting more either. On MW2 when you got enough kills/headshots/whatever with weapons you'd unlock little trophy plaques to go on your call card, these just don't seem to exist now.
Don't get me wrong, I have fun playing Black ops, but it's not addictive like MW2, it doesn't allow you to be quite such a skilful player either. You some how just don't take it so seriously. And in the end it has just left me wanting MW3, probably just good marketing at the end of the day...
I normally wear contact lenses, the main reason for this is I looked awful in my old Specsavers glasses. I thought it was time for an upgrade, now these glasses are more expensive than a lot in Specsavers, especially as they offer 2 for 1 on designer frames, so 2 pairs for £125. Don't get me wrong, the glasses they have are 'okay', the biggest problem is that everyone always has the same ones! I thought I'd spend a little bit more on something a bit different.
Now these frames retail at £180 (just for the frame!?!?!?), and yes that is a lot, especially when a lot of these retailers will crack 80 quid on them for basic lenses, and I wanted the anti-reflect adn hardened scratch resistant finish, which in my opinion is essential.
Rather than that, I tried them on in a number of high street opticians (who wanted around 250 for the package...), then went online! After a brief search I found them at £140 including standard frames; bargain! I added to this 20 notes for the anti-reflection and scratch proof coating coating, so in my opinion it was a good price, maybe a little more expensive than Specsavers, but as I often wear contact lenses I'd rather have one pair which I really want than 2 pairs I don't want.
I guess this comes down to personal opinion, I think they suit me, they're thickish, but then not "attention-seekingly thick". The Matte black looks cool as I see very few glasses with them, this coupled with the shiny metallic red inside makes the glasses look nice both on and off the head (they'd make a nice ornament) They may look a little wide for people with a thin face I suppose, my face is a little thin but as I have longish hair over the sides so it goes well. The Oakley logo is nice, lets people know that they're Oakley without being in their face, it's embossed in and is shiny black so a very subtle touch, they could easily have went OTT with this and made it bright red for advertising, so I like that they didn't.
The styling is simple but attractive, with a cut out down the side and a groove in it they've stuck to basics. The metal (they're made out of titanium so they're very light) is very thin, so rather than looking like thick plastic they're very smart.
Now at first I couldn't wear these for extended periods, they dug and cut into my ears a bit. It took a bit of bending the arms slightly, and maybe took a month to wear them in (would be sooner if you wore them constantly). This could be a downside for a lot of people, as it was very uncomfortable after a days wear, but now that I have them the correct shape they're a comfortable pair.
They aren't sports glasses, so they're not a very tight fit, and the 'Unobtainium' on the arms to grip your head is minimal. Not that they fall off, but I wouldn't wear them to play squash for example. Oakley do an 'active range' more suited to that sort of thing.
They have a very nice 'feel' to them when you pick them up as they're full metal rather than having plastic arms which is nice.
I've had them for about 6 months now, and the finish is still good, lenses have no scratches etc. One problem I've had is that the 'Unobtanium' strip on one side started to come off a little then kept getting caught on my hair as I put them on and off so the problem got worse. I probably could have sent them back, but instead sent for a quick superglue fix and they're as good as new.
*****Do they work?*****
They lenses work a lot better than my contact lenses, mind you they are added by the opticians, they are not Oakley lenses. You can buy Oakley lenses from some places, if you wallet is fat enough... Anyway the basic lenses are fine for me, and I'd highly recommend the 20 quid on anti-reflection coating. It's great when you're driving, and you don't get the TV screen reflection which looks like a smear in the corner when watching TV. Depends what you use them for I guess.
I'm really pleased with these glasses, I like Oakley, I like the way these look, I like the view it gives me and they're comfortable now. Like I've said don't buy them as sports glasses, but as a pair of smart and cool everyday specs these are great, especially as I never see anyone else wearing the same pair as me, I'm glad I spent a little bit more on them.
I think there is only one way to describe this album - creepy... That may sound strange for a music album, and it is in a way, but it's creepy in a good way, everything from the front and inside cover, which relates to a child being abducted, to the songs beginning to end (the end has a tape which they found in an abandoned house after the singer has finished crying on the song...)
If you've been listening to songs like Twisted Transistor and Freak on a Leash then you may be surprised when you listen to this album, as they've changed a lot since then. I would class this as my top KoRn album, it's a classic especially as it's their first album and a must for any KoRn fan.
After saying all that I would say it is not a very accessible album, and definitely takes a few listens. I'm not sure how much this would appeal to fans of the newer stuff because as I've said it's completely different style of music and very unique. The style is very heavy and slow and an eerie sort of singing.
It's one of those albums which has to be listened to from beginning to end to get the full effect of the album, and it has some really great songs on it. Stand-out songs for me would be Blind, Ball Tongue and Daddy. This is why for me it is their best album because every song is great and cannot be dropped as it all flows together.
I got this as a gift a year or so back, as I wanted a DAB radio to walk me up in the morning (to Planet Rock).
This arrived in my stocking, and was exactly what I was looking for. It is a triangle shape, so it looks cool and sits on your bedside table nicely. It is handy here as the screen is constantly lit up even when off so you cans see the time, it has two brightness settings as well so you can have it to your taste but in all honesty the brighter setting is far to bright at night.
It has a number of settings, primarily alarm settings as that is what it is designed for, so you can set a daily alarm, weekday alarm and weekend alarm which is very handy. It has all of the usual stuff like snooze buttons as well, so you can lay in bed for as long as possible before getting to to rush to get to where you need to be.
As for sound quality, it is good enough for it's job, which is waking you up or just listening to the football or some casual radio etc. It doesn't go especially loud and starts to distort at loud volumes so no good for cranking out Slipknot, but that's really not what I bought it for, I use my PC speakers for that :D.
Very good at what it does.
I bought one of these a long time ago, just before the iPod craze went off and to be honest for it's time it was fantastic.
Of course it is a little bulky taking CD's and all, but not too much so. It is barely bigger than a CD in fact and was ideal for my needs at school. I used to have the CD part in my bag, then the remote trailed out of the zip. The remote is the coolest feature of this product as it has a small screen on it so you can read your albums and songs.
The major problem with it was the software, when you were creating an ATRAC CD it just took forever, once it was made it was perfect however. After my 3rd Gen iPod broke, and my newer Sony HDD system is on the blink this little bad boy is still going strong! Pity they're being phased out :(
Because it takes ATRAC CD you can fit stacks on CD's onto one CD (the amount depends on the quality you choose, but a safe bet would be around 25).
My favourite feature of it however was the battery life, far greater than any iPod, because while listening the CD didn't actually spin as it saved it to a memory. This meant the battery lasted around 100 hours generally (with the in built lithium batteries), and even came with an attachable battery pack for AA batteries.
The sound quality was excellent as it normally is with Sony products, and again I would say a lot better than an iPod. The whole build quality in fact was fantastic, it just looked so cool and elegant with the tiny concealed buttons around in and the brushed metal back plate. They just don't build them like this any more!
When I first logged onto this site I though, hang on, this just isn't right. There we have top label cloths (Diesel, Bench, Levi's, Superdry) at half the going rate, and at the price of NORMAL CLOTHS.
I smelt a rat, so I went snooping around the internet for any news of what sort of site it was, and found that it seemed genuine. I thought why not, give it a go, I have a credit card after all so it will be insured.
I ordered a Bench jumper, then a cheap T-shirt to make it up to 25 quid so that I could get free shipping, then waited and wondered...
Then, in the next couple of days, a parcel arrives and the goods seem genuine! This site really does seem too goo to be true in a way. The cloths are top quality (as you can see by the brands if you take a look around the shop), and the shipping is as quick as they come.
I had absolutely no problems with the service or the goods, and from the reviews it seems that noone did either. This site is certainly worth checking out regularly as the stuff changes about. I'm waiting for a checked Superdry shirt to appear on there hopefully. Just wish I had seen those Diesel jeans for 25 quid in my size before I got a 20 quid pair from Next ;)
I have to be honest here, I don't own an Xbox 360 but I used to have an original Xbox which I played Halo 2 online quite a bit. In my opinion nothing was better than Halo 2 online. When Halo 3 came out it was also very good (I play on a house mates sometimes), but you tend to get bored of that after a few hours of play.
I decided to chuck in Modern Warfare as everyone told me how great it was. I didn't bother with the single player as that really doesn't appeal to me.
I got online and what happens? I was shot to pieces without fail every match. This really isn't anything like Halo... I finally made my first kill a couple of matches in, before that I was going in thinking I was the big Halo man and noone could touch me as I ran through the level all guns blazing. Every time I was picked off by someone hiding in a little vantage point. That is the name of this game, realism. I finally gave in and joined their technique and it worked a treat.
Once you're used to it, it really is a very good and very realistic shooter, giving you the chance to hide, set traps and work as a team together. I often think it's very much like online paintball. It's the sort of game you just don't seem to get bored of either, you accidental play on it until the sun comes up sometimes. The unlockables online give you something to aim for as well, and there are a number of challenges so it isn't just killing other people.
I've definitely been converted to the ways of COD, in fact so much so that I've accidently pre ordered the Modern Warfare 2 Super Elite Xbox which is released on 10th November, and I have to be honest I cannot wait for this little treat I've bought for myself. I'll even be using some DooYoo Amazon vouchers to get myself a play and charge kit and some audio cables to hook myself up to my speakers etc. Look out for the review of that!
It's an addictive game, and has many hours gameplay in it. You can pick it up dirt cheap now, but be warned, you'll egt hooked and have to buy MW2 in a couple of months time...
This is pretty much the original heavy metal album. I don't think any heavy metal fan exists without this in their collection, and if they do then they need a slap really.
1 - Black Sabbath: We begin in a rainy graveyard type place... This sets the scene of what's to come. Unexpectedly (but very fittingly) the first riff is very very slow, but probably the heaviest thing ever heard at the time it was released. We hear Ozzy's voice slow and chillingly start to narrate a story. This goes on for some time and get's us set up for the album. Half way through the song there is a sudden tempo change and things start to kick off for the rest of the album. As a first Sabbath song ever, this is an absolutely essential song and because of that it cannot receive less than 10/10.
2 - The Wizard: Another absolute classic. A bit faster than the last song, really great singing too. Strangle it's slightly comedic at the thought of a wizard walking by. As always for Black Sabbath, great riffs. This would make it onto my top 10 Black Sabbath songs too probably, and it also must receive a 10/10.
3 - Behind the Wall of Sleep: Not quite as classic as the first two songs, but still a very good song. It's nice to mix things up and have some variation, so this song is slightly more chirpy. I always see it as a heavier interpretation of what was already on the scene at the time. Very good song, but in comparison to what's also on the album I can only give it 8/10.
4 - N.I.B: Best Bass intro ever? Maybe. Anyway after this has finished, another brutal riff is unleashed, and typical almost chant like singing. Great song throughout and has some excellent solos in it too. Classic? Definitely. 10/10? Yes.
5 - Evil Woman: Bit more chirpiness once again, excellent bass riff going on here. Can't say I'm the biggest fan of this song, although it is YET ANOTHER classic Sabbath song. It's not a bad song, but I'm only going to give it 7.5/10.
6 - Sleeping Village: A complete change from the rest of the album. This song is very slow to start with, can't say the style of singing suits Ozzy's voice. A good solo follows, then we're back to another very slow riff. This continues in this fashion. It has some exceptional solos, but I think that it is a little too long and gets a bit boring. 7/10.
7 - Warning: Quite a good interlude track, this has a lot of variation, especially considering it's only 3:30 long. Have to say I do like this song, and it definitely fits the album. 8/10.
8 - Wicked World: This is the last track, and they've closed on a high. Great riff, and a good interlude in the middle. Finishes things off nicely. 8.5/10.
As I've said this album is an essential purchase. One slightly criticism is that the end dies out a little bit, they just aren't quite as memorable towards the end, but that may just be because the beginning is just so good that it's impossible to follow.
Don't let that put you off, as I've said, everyone should own this album, just get it.
I'd never really been a huge Pumpkins fan, always thought they were okay but never really listened to them properly. Along comes Guitar Hero 3 with Cherub Rock on it (track 1 on Siamese Dream). As much as I didn't like to admit it, it was a great song...
Anyway I thought I may as well get the album, and I actually very much like this album, they have a very unique style which is very good. A problem with them in general is they can be a little bit samey but they aren't too bad and very listenable in general with some great riffs.
The stand out tracks are Cherub Rock, Quiet, Today, Hummer (The first 4 tracks). These are really great, quite heavy, good singing and enough variation. Unfortunatley the following 3 tracks (Rocket, Disarm, Soma) are in my opinion a bit poor.
Smashing Pumpkins like to add some slower tracks in, which is fine sometimes, but these just seem a little on the boring side. The last of these tracks 'Soma' does pick up towards the end and has a great solo. Geek U.S.A the next track is a pretty good song too. Has heavy and light parts, in a nice mix. More good riffs here and an excellent solo too.
Mayonnaise is again a little dreary, as is the following Spaceboy and the last two tracks Sweet Sweet and Luna, the only one worth listening to really is Silverf*ck, which is probably one of the heaviest on the album.
Now I say that all of these songs aren't worth listening to, but they aren't too bad when joined as an album. I don;t think the order which the tracks are in is great, as it's one of those which starts really well and really dies a death towards the end. I think which some shuffling and a few more heavy tracks this could be a really really great album.
Maybe get this album, take off 5 or 6 tracks and add them to a Pumpkins mix tape of all of their best stuff which would be really good, as they go from one extreme to the other.
Or maybe it's just me, as a lot of people really like all of their songs. I guess I'm more of a heavy person.
As everyone seems to have written a review about this, I may as well crack one on here too...
I'll be honest, when I first heard about Harry Potter in about Year 7 or whenever it was I immediately took a dislike to it. I'm not entirely sure why, I knew nothing about it at all but something told me I didn't like it without reading it. Anyway, everyone kept nagging me to read it so in the end I thought why not give it a try.
The book really wasn't what I expected and I was more than impressed. It kept me gripped and was very easy to read and yet wasn't a children's book as such.
The idea for the whole series is a fantastic creation, and J.K paints this idea brilliantly. In fact this book is possibly one of my favourite of the entire series. The later books tend to get a lot less light hearted somehow, yet in this one they are all still young and enthusiastic attending or skipping classes etc. You can relate it back to when you started out at school yourself.
I don't think there is any need to go into the story too much, we've all heard it, but if you've never read a Potter book before I'd urge you to try it, and of course there's only one starting point.
I went back on all my previous prejudices and never regretted it it, and this book got me hooked to the series. Actually there are very few people who dislike the book. I think some people won't read it because they think it's too popular or too childish, but until you've tried you can't really say that.
I'd also note at this point that you cannot judge this book on the film version, as in my opinion the films are quite poor. They may well ruin your imagination given by the book if you watch them first.
Anyway it's a very well written book, and the start to the series. It's not a long book either so you don't have an excuse to not try it! Just read the other 300 or so 5 star reviews if you don't believe me ;)
I have owned a Seiko Titanium Chronograph for around 8 years now. I bought it when I was about 13, and it's been on my wrist practically every day ever since. I have finally got a new watch now, which is by no means replacing the Seiko, I just wanted another one...
First off it is still going after 8 years hard use, so the build quality must be there really. I have never had any problems with it whatsoever and it has had one new battery since I got it. Seiko really do give exceptional value for money, they are a mid-range watch company and make very good watches and a very good price. Okay they're not Swiss, but they do the job!
I got this done at Jarrolds a year or so ago for around £15. If I had sent it back to Seiko you'd be looking at close to 100, and as I'd paid £130 for the watch 7 years previously it did not seem like a good idea! Anyway Jarrolds did a good job and I've had no waterproofing issues since.
The major annoyance with this watch (what lead me to wanting another one) is that it only has mineral glass and not sapphire glass. This means that by the time 8 years comes around there are a lot of scratches all over the glass face. The bracelet has lots of little scratches too (I think Titanium may scratch slightly easier than Steel), however this is inevitable and adds character.
As for the watch itself, because it is Titanium it has kind of a grey/matte finish rather than polished silver, which makes it a bit different. This suits the black face really nicely. The Titanium also makes it exceptionally light, you can barely feel it on your wrist, people are always surprised when it is picked up.
As for functions, the watch has a main dial (the second hand is the chrono), then 3 small dials behind. One does seconds for the main time, another counts minutes on the chrono and the final is a second clock, which is helpful if you visit a foreign country. This final dial also changes to the alarm time if the alarm is set, which is a nice feature especially for an analogue watch. I've seen few like it. It also has a date window and is waterproof to 100m. A useful feature as well is the low battery indicator, the seconds do 2 seconds jumps when the batteries get low.
Anyway this watch has kind of became part of me, as I've worn it so much. I almost feel bad when I wear my new watch but I alternate so I get by...
I would highly recommend this watch, but I cannot find it, or any photo's even on the internet so you'll probably struggle to buy it (especially as I can't even post a photo. Regardless, it says a lot about Seiko, and if you want value for money then go for it (but get a Sapphire glass model...)
This isn't normally the sort of film which I'd choose to see, but my girlfriend wanted to see it, so off I went...
As soon as it started we are send off into a computer generated world of the past. I really wasn't a fan of these, they just really didn't look realistic and were quite poor in my opinion. I'm never really a huge lover of computer effects anyway so this didn't appeal to me.
I'm sure you all know the story anyway, so I won't go in to too many details about that. Boy of 20 odd doesn't get old and abuses the power etc...
The thing I found about this film was that in a way it didn't really know what it wanted to be. The Beginning part was kind of pointless and dragged on too much and when we got to the end 'horror' part it was tame and too short.
The redeeming part of this film was that the acting (from all of the actors, especially Colin Firth) was excellent and they all really suited there roles.
There was something about this film that I really liked, and it's hard to say what that was. I think it was the thought of what could have been. I certainly got the feeling that it could have been made into a very good film with better directing and producing.
Overall the film was just about watchable, but primarily very disappointing as it's a good idea for a film, with very good actors, yet ultimately, is quite poor. The film reflects on the story line. Dorian had the potential to have everything, but was left with nothing.
You're better off watching Inglourious Basterds while it's out...
The Cult which I have visited is the one in Norwich. I like to look around there, but it's not that often that I buy something.
The clothing in this shop is really nice, and very good quality and seems to be 'fashionable' at the moment. There is a downside to this, it's generally fairly expensive for most things. Tshirts are usually £20 to £25, which isn't ridiculous, but probably a tenner more than in H&M, probably similar price to Topshop to be honest. It's a very different shop to Topshop however, has a very different style in there. It's definitely worth a try to see if you like that sort of thing. Although as I've said the Tshirts are a bit more expensive, they do fit really nicely, and will last you, I'd say they are worth it. I own a lot of cheaper Tshirts, and there is a very noticeable different feel to the more expensive ones.
Jeans etc. are usually about £60, which I think is too much for jeans, having said that it is one of the few places in Norwich which will do a pair in 30 waist and 34 leg which is what I need, and are unbelievably difficult to find! They do look nice as well, but that's a bit too much for me, and I'd say they aren't quite worth the money, although that's hard to say without trying them. It's the same with the buttoned shirts, although again they look nice, they are about £50, which personally I wouldn't like to pay.
I did get a jacket from here however, which was around £65, which is quite a bit I suppose, but I didn't think it was bad considering the shirts were 50 quid. It's a good jacket (a Superdry Tech Windcheater in Charcoal if you're interested), and I went around many other shops to try and find a decent jacket, but this was the only one I really liked, all the others either looked like I was going to climb Everest or just weren't what I wanted (which is a light jacket which keeps the wind out but doesn't overheat me, which is easily done).
The shop is a nice environment to be in, and the staff are friendly and helpful in my experience. It's definitely targeted at young people, so you may feel somewhat 'out of place' if you're older, having said that don't let it put you off!
So to sum it up I'd say that in my experience you get what you pay for as a general rule, but because this is nice stuff you do have to pay more. I think is is all FairTrade and that as well if you're into all that, so that hikes the price up. I guess you're paying more as well because it's the 'in thing'. You could probably find things which aren't that much worse in H&M or something. I'd recommend you give it a go though, and if they have a Sale-Rail on, which they normally do, give that a go too, as they're a lot cheaper. Also, before you buy from here, check TK Maxx, as that often has the previous seasons stuff from Cult in, may save you a fortune!
Where was it?
Birmingham NIA. This is a great venue, very large 'mosh pit' area, bit stage. No sloping floor which can be nice for short people. Also the floor is very slippery, so you will probably fall over, but people will pick you up so don't let it put you off :D.
7th December 2008. This was part of the UK leg of their 'All Hope is Gone' world tour. That is their newest album, a very good album in my opinion, more like Volume 3 than the earlier stuff.
What did I think?
I have seen many bands live, and these would definitely rank up near the top. Not because they're my favourite band on CD, they certainly know how to put on a show however. Metallica and Dream Theater are my favourite on CD, and I've seen both of these live. Metallica were fantastic as I saw them at Download festival 2006, and it was a great crowd. Dream Theater were very good at Wolverhampton Civic Hall if you want to just listen to them play, and people generally stand still which is good two.
Slipknot (at Birmingham NIA) was a truly great show however because of a number of reasons. They played very well (some people think they aren't very talented, but I would disagree), and they played a very good selection of old and new music. Right from the outset it was just a great spectacle however as soon as Slipknot hit the stage. Before them Children of Bodom opened the set; Bodom are one of my top bands of all time, but the crowd weren't really up for them, so they were good but nothing special on the day (much better at Download '08). Machine Head followed; they were more the crowd's cup of tea, so there was plenty of jumping about. I'll have to admit I did fall over once during this due to the slippery floor at the NIA and lots of drinks which had been thrown went over the floor. Or at least the ones which didn't cover us went onto the floor...
Then the bit we had been waiting for, Mick walked out onto an elaborately set up stage, and looked intimidating. The rest followed in time, and started cracking on. There weren't too many gaps between songs either, which was a nice change and they all seemed up for it to an extent, but not quite to the level which I had seen on the Diastaterpiece DVD a few years ago on the 'Iowa' tour. Sid made no expeditions into the crowd either (maybe because he broke his ankle or something by jumping from a high platform into the crowd a while back).
The whole way through the crowd was great, we were just far enough back so we were't like sardines, but were in the thick of the mosh pits, which was fantastic, some great circle pits, jumping around and a bit of a wall of death during Machine Head which was all good. The highlight for me was during 'Spit it Out' where the band stops (bar the sinister strumming of Mick) until everyone is on the floor, then when Corey shouts 'jump the f*** up', everyone does what they're told (look up 'Spit it Out Live' on youtube if you want an idea of a slipknot concert).
A slight complaint is that they didn't play some of my favourite songs like 'Left Behind', 'My Plague' and 'Wait and Bleed'. But hopefully they'll play some at Download '09, which I cannot wait for :D.
A word of warning is that if you go down the front it will be a bit violent, so if you don't like being thrown about don't go there. Having said that it's not vicious and no one will deliberately hurt you, and if you fall down they'll pick you straight back up again. At least give it a go if you're going to go to a Slipknot concert (which everyone should do at some point in my opinion) or you'll be missing out, I think you'll enjoy it (unless you like 5'2", in which case you may struggle to see).
What did they play?
Intro - IOWA
The Blister Exists
Before I Forget
The Heretic Anthem
Spit It Out
OUTRO - 'Till We Die (over speakers)