Thunder Bay Arena Rock’s Top 10 Live Albums 2020

2020 was a tough year for everyone. Thankfully some bands stepped up and released product to hold us over until life gets somewhat back to normal. If anything I’m surprised Gene and Paul from good old KISS did squat and released nothing. Others though took care of business and that was the business of Live Rock!

Without further ado here’s what I think is the best of the best!

#10- Hardline: Life Live-  I have always liked “Double Eclipse” the self-titled debut by San Fran’s Hardline back in 1992. So when this live release dropped in January 2020 I was intrigued as only singer Johnny Gioeli remains.(Original guitar guy Neil Schon is gone back to playing sappy power ballads with Cain in Journey) Make no mistake that Johnny still has the voice and this release pleasantly surprised me. 

#9-Sloan: Live at Yep Roc 15- Sloan played an indoor festival show and Halifax’s best slam out a 10 song 31-minute set that oozes cool. If anything I had a good chuckle as about 3 months before this album came out Bassist /Vocalist Chris Murphy told me personally that “no one listens to live albums anymore” Ha! I do!

#8-John5: Live Invasion- John5 sizzles some serious 6 string on this album. John5 is smart as he keeps the pace going from song to song including a classic 12 minute medley of a whose who of rock that is a complete mindblower. Plus a cover of VH’s “Take Your Whiskey Home” makes this a win-win album.

#7- Queen: Live Around The World- I’m kinda a funny Queen fan. I love The Game album and some other stuff but the last Queen album I bought was “Innuendo” and what was that back in 1991! The whole Lambert thing I didn’t really dig my heels in until Queen announced this live album and I have to say it’s Killer Queen. Give Lambert props as he doesn’t try and copy Freddie instead Adam does what he does and that delivers some stellar vocals.  All in all an enjoyable listen and this would have placed a spot higher if “Dragon Attack” was on here!

#6- The Rolling Stones- Those old buzzards still like the rock n roll and give these guys credit as in a pandemic year they reissue “Goats Head Soap” and released on audio and DVD the massive “Steel Wheels” tour from 89. This is a full show from Atlantic City that features 27 tracks and a bunch of special guests in tow as well (Izzy, Axl, Clapton, and Hooker) Such a great setlist as well. 

 I remember reading the rock mags back in the late 80s, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot went on about there was no need for a live Leppard album. Umm ok, Joe how about a 3 pack of live albums that came out in 2020! 

#5- Def Leppard: Hysteria Live- This is a good live representation of Leppard playing song for song all the tracks from 88’s massive “Hysteria” release. Full props to the songs on Side 2 of Hysteria that weren’t singles that show some zip and pop as the band plows through stuff like “Run Riot” and “Don’t Shoot Shotgun”! I love that stuff.

#4- Def Leppard: Hits Vegas- The second live release which came out the same day as the “Hysteria” as the 02 album. The one thing that makes this one cool is the not to often played tracks like “Billy’s Got A Gun”,” Slang”, “Die Hard The Hunter”, and the epic “Paper Sun”.

#3- Def Leppard: The Early Years- Which has to be one the best ever live Lep shows recorded would be included in this massive box set. Pete Willis and the late great Steve Clark as young fella’s run and gun on this live set from Oxford(1980) and it’s so unbelievably brilliant. Kinda a shame really that Joe and the boys gave Pete the boot as if these guys could have stayed together they would be name-dropped in the same sentence as Adrian Smith/Dave Murray and KK Downing/Glenn Tipton. Willis/Clark were that good.

#2-Cheap Trick: Out To Get You Live 1977-  Crazy to think those funny Tricksters had this album sitting in the vaults since 77. Vaults no more as the world now has a chance to hear just how good these guys were back in time and how I proudly stated in my review of this album how this representation is better than the mighty Trick at the Budokan from 78!

#1-Iron Maiden: Nights of the Dead: Live Legacy of the Beast- Maiden delivers another live album and it’s stellar for the tracks that are on it. “Where Eagles Dare”, “Revelations”, and “Flight of the Icarus” give this album a must-listen. Bruce Dickinson as he always does gives it 110% vocally throughout and when Maiden launches into the two Blaze era Maiden tunes (“The Clansman” and “Sign of the Cross”) Bruce vocally makes them his own. I know lots of people moan and groan about another live Maiden album.


Give your head a shake folk’s as there will come a day when Maiden ceases its operation and you numbnuts complainers will be crying!

I may do a third Best of 2020 list so stay tuned…

38 thoughts on “Thunder Bay Arena Rock’s Top 10 Live Albums 2020”

      1. Steve Perry’s Italian. He’ll probably be doing it for another fifty years. Mick probably gets his vitality from being in such close proximity to Keith Richards all these years.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I forgot Def Leppard’s Early Years was released in early 2020, that seems so long ago lol! I see your point for Willis and Clark because they were great together. Also that solo in “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” still gives me chills! I like Phil though, he’s cool. I’ll admit, I have wondered how hard the boys could’ve gone if Willis stuck with them and if Rick hadn’t lost his left arm. Or Rick had his accident, but Willis was still with them. Also, you’re making me want to get the Night of the Dead live album now haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Def Lepp from 80-83 put out some stellar material and this box set proves it. So good. Collen is good sometimes he goes into shred mode on some songs but overall yeah he’s a good fit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What you said makes completely sense! Especially since Steve had a unique way of playing (who else wears their guitar as low as he did?). I think Def Leppard’s current stuff is good, but they are missing that edge they used to have, and Steve was a major part of that!


      1. Yes Sir and the fact that they are playing a bunch of tunes from the stage that no one had heard yet is amazing. There two biggest tunes from the 70s aren’t even on this album!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Is the Leppard early years one available separately Deke? I bought High ‘n Dry a few weeks ago and am definitely going through a phase with them.

    I really want that Cheap Trick one. Really, really want it. Too many live Maidens!! the LP cover is a killer though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Live Years Lep one is only out as a CD box set. I bought it digitally off of iTunes.
      CT is indeed awesome. I can never have enough Live Maiden albums though. lol That’s the fanboy in me speaking.


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