NME's list of 50 artists to see before you die is problematic, as these lists always are, but it raises some good questions. Who are the artists that you need to see? Is it worth it to see Ozzy, who gives it his best shot but can barely keep up with the songs, just to tell your grandkids that you shared a room with the Godfather of Heavy Metal? Is it better to see a band like Gojira, whose songs you know, or GWAR, who puts on a real show? Should you go to shows to discover new bands or to enjoy the ones you already like? How much of either?
My belief is that you go to shows to experience them. The only time I ever saw the Rolling Stones, there were plenty of big shots (and at least one Fox News commentator) there who probably couldn't tell Keith Richards from Charlie Watts. They got to live-tweet the show and tell their friends that they saw the The World's Greatest Rock n' Roll Band. If I ever go to a show for either of those reasons, I will stop running a music blog.
Keep in mind that this is for the state of metal in 2013, when Slayer and is down to two original members and Mastodon aren't having fun. On some nights, I'm sure they're all great--mind-blowing, even. But for consistency, if you only see ten metal bands from hereon, make sure that it's these ten. I'll be counting them down over the next few days.