Scorpions on stage in Portland on Rock Believer Tour

Best Concerts of 2022

Live shows returned (mostly) unbounded in 2022 leaving the coronavirus blues behind and by spring it seemed like nothing ever happened.

Attending concerts, I think, has gotten a bit old. Certainly the violence that continues to plague Portland weighs heavily on deciding whether or not venturing downtown makes much sense. Regardless, the joy has waned thereby limiting the number of reviews and impacting a true Top 10 Concerts of 2022.

In my defense though, not a whole lot of must-see concerts came through Portland this year. Arguably, big acts appear less than enthusiastic in coming to Portland as Bend in central Oregon was the place for shows. Perhaps the violence caused some bands to reconsider the (wilted) Rose City or maybe other venues had an offer they couldn’t refuse. Whatever the case, Portland lost some of its grip (in my opinion) on being a necessary tour date for all the big name bands.

Just five concerts this year, but crossed two off the always-wanted-to-see list, and like 2021 a few I looked at longingly and ultimately passed on because of scheduling conflicts or lack of overall excitable interest. Potentially, these five represent the Top 5 Concerts of 2022 because the draw was strong enough to go. Indeed, a rather deficient argument at best!  But I dare say, all unquestionably proved why little else compares to attending a live concert.

Top Concerts of 2022

5. TobyMac – Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR

TobyMac Performs in Portland March 2022
TobyMac Hits Portland in 2022

TobyMac did not get a review when I saw his concert in March. I was done with writing reviews and a failed attempt at a review for his concert at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland (wrote about two sentences before calling it quits) proved I had moved on from the business of blogging. (I later quit quitting.) I had front row seats, sort of. My seats were right next to the secondary stage which TobyMac and his band spent much time on. He sang “Promised Land” which was worth the price of admission and the only draw back came from seeing the choreography up close. It just felt, well, choreographed.

4. Samantha Fish – Aladdin Theater in Portland, OR

Samantha Fish plays, I mean, shreds the guitar as good as anyone I’ve seen. Touring in support of last year’s Faster, she’s headlining shows now and though her musical genre in the studio may not appeal to all, her live show rocks.

Samantha Fish in Portland on Faster Tour

From the review: “In fact, nearly every song brought forth extended solos, and sometimes a second one, perhaps just to put an exclamation point on an obvious joy in playing. Her guitar collection rivals that of an arena band as she used at least half a dozen different axes throughout the night, maybe more, as I lost count.”

Read the review: Samantha Fish Gives Portland Chills on Faster Tour

3. The Last Summer on Earth Tour – Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, OR

I gave up my tickets to the Last Summer on Earth tour with Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms and Barenaked Ladies after the show closer to home was twice cancelled. It eventually sold out so thankfully I finagled my way to see the show in Bend. Got seats in row 5 and quickly became a fan of Barenaked Ladies.

Barenaked Ladies Last Summer on Earth Tour in Bend, OR
Barenaked Ladies in bend

From the review: If this is the last summer on earth, then at the very least Barenaked Ladies, Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket allows us to go down with the ship with a smile on our face.

Read the review: Last Summer on Earth Tour Snubs the End Times

2. Kansas – Ilani Casino in Ridgefield, WA

After all these years I finally caught Kansas. Nothing lasts forever but hopefully they carry on a few more years because I gots to see them again!

Kansas band on stage at Ilani Casino
Kansas at Ilani Casino

From the review: “Kansas touched nine albums on this 2022 Classics Tour including their 16th release The Absence of Presence in 2020 delivering fan favorites and deep dives that showed the band’s breadth and progression as the decades of rock passed. “

Read the review: Kansas Carries On 50 years Later

Best Concert of 2022

1. Scorpions – Moda Center in Portland, OR

After all these years I finally caught Scorpions. I am pretty sure if I saw 10 other shows the Scorpions Rock Believer Tour would rank as the best concert of 2022. These seemingly ageless wonders certainly look older but these veterans outplay any modern rock band on tour today. 

The best concert of 2022 goes to Scorpions
The SCORPS!

From the review: “Scorpions played tight from start to finish their only blunder (I think) in missing the middle verse on “Hurricane” however it was such a party no one noticed, and the band covered impressively, or maybe I just got lost in the music not wanting the show to end.”

Read the review: Scorpions Make Rock Believers Out of Portland

Next year already shows promise, as several bands have announced dates for 2023. Muse hits the road, so does Journey, both in support of excellent new albums while Metallica plans an enormous tour. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will also go on tour, not as Rush, but as A Tribute to Rush. OK, just kidding. I can dream right?

12 thoughts on “Best Concerts of 2022

  1. Great stuff. Sucks about being issues down by the arena and what not but the fact that you got out to a few shows is great.
    Scorps as Johnny said would have been a great one to have seen especially since they were plugging a new record that was great as well!
    Journey for me is a joke with that silliness between the preacher and Schon. I streamed there latest live album and couldn’t get through it knowing these guys are being bitches towards each other. lol
    Well Andy said that him and Alex are working on some EON material so see what comes out of that…

    1. ha! you’re not going to like my top 10 albums list. I forgot about the squabble. ordinarily I would not make ab effort to see them but I do like the new album and Toto is opening. give it some spins. you might like it. thanks pal!

      1. I was toying about buying that latest Journey studio album on vinyl but I couldn’t pull the trigger on it. So I tried the live one that dropped a week ago and some of it is good but I deleted the ballads and Cains piano diddling or solo whatever you call it lol
        Look forward to your list as I’m working on mine and its going to be a huge read lol
        Be warned Andrew! lol

  2. I’m surprised to hear that downtown Portland is still experiencing increased violence. That’s too bad, as their downtown was so nice.

    And I hear you about ‘writing two sentences before calling it quits’, something I experienced several times this past year. As you know, I’ve suffered from burnout on writing reviews, so I empathize. As far as going to concerts, I saw only two this year – Two Feet in April and Cannons in October. Was supposed to see one of my favorite bands MISSIO in L.A. at the end of July, but the singer got Covid so they had to postpone. It was rescheduled to a Monday night in October, but with the 2 1/2-hour drive to L.A. from my home in the Coachella Valley, it wasn’t possible. Also, I’ve decided I’m now too old to attend shows where I have to stand for 3+ hours.

    1. it’s not the rioting but the city did recently break all time homicide record. granted it’s not all downtown. plus there still is the issue of car breakins and theft. I’m too old to stand for 2 hours! lol

  3. Sounds like you had a great year of concerts! Still jealous you got to see the Scorpions live. I’m looking forward to your review of the Metallica concert, though!

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