Best Live gigs you've been to

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by spdruce, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Jun 14, 2010
    mojave desert
    Moody Blues X2, runner-up, Blood Sweat and Tears. BST were so good live, I couldn't stand to play their records for a few years, they were so much better live.
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  2. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    Motorhead, Iron Fist tour. The venue was not so good, but Motorhead put on a fantastic show!. Actually, all the shows I saw, Motorhead never ever did a bad one. One ( Another Perfect Day ) was perhaps not the best with Robbo, but even that rocked.
    Hawkwind, around 1983 maybe 1984. The date is rather vague as reality was somewhat augmented. I've seen Hawkwind many times, and even with the vagueness ( psylocibin time ), that stood out.
    Lindisfarne Christmas Show. Lindisfarne just made it a loud party :)
    Jethro Tull, Nostell Priory 1982
    Mad, Bad and Dangerous ( Wilko, The Hamsters, Jon Otway ), some pub in Leeds.
    The Blockheads. Every Blockhead gig is an event. Sadly, Norman doesn't show for all the Northern engagements ( boo! ), but the tunes!, BritFunk at its absolute finest. Taking my kids to see The Blockheads is something they'll remember.
    The Band, Nostell Priory 1984. OK, Robbie was gone and Levon didn't want to come over for one show, but even so, what a band. Aptly named.
    Various Iron Maiden shows.
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  3. PARCO

    PARCO Tele-Meister

    Mar 5, 2008
    Last year I saw Hot Tuna and they were AMAZING!!! How two guys produce that much sound is unreal.
  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Also have to add....Gentle Giant at some small club in Dallas, circa 1980 or so. I was literally less than twenty feet from Derek Shulman at his mic stand. I think they were supporting The Missing Piece LP (Two Weeks in Spain, etc.) They did not bring out the cello and violins, although they did play recorders and vibes. Gary Green played his battered gold-top, with Ray Shulman on a P Bass. I'd been a Gentle Giant fan since early seventies, and this was definitely a "bucket list" show for me.
  5. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    Dire Straits Brothers in Arms tour, mid 80's
    Johnny Winter, mid 80's
    SRV, mid 80's
    ZZ Top Afterburner tour
    Long John Baldry in a smallish bar with maybe 80 people in around 95.
    The Angels, late 80's
    The Masters Apprentices mid 80s Rock of ages concert with Russel Morris.
    AC/DC early 90's
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 2, 2003
    Several years ago some friends invited us to see Joe Cocker as they had 2 extra tickets. I always liked Joe but had never really thought of going, much because it's not really guitar oriented music I suppose.
    Joe sang for 2 hours straight and it was so powerful that by the end I had tears streaming down my face. I had forgotten how many great songs he did. But talk about passion, emotion and power... wow.
    Frankly I dont remember if there was a guitar in the band or not, if so, it had little presence in the music.
    I have seen many live including Hendrix and Led Zep etc back in the day. But nothing equalled this.
  7. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    I saw Bernard Flowler in a tiny place in NY state - an old train depot - the place only held 130. This must have been around 2010. Bernard was great, and he had Waddy Wachtel playing lead that night. Waddy also did "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" solo. They also did a few covers, and Bernard's solo material.

    We were all jumping with the music, the floors of the place were bouncing up and down. Insanely good concert that really left an impression.
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  8. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    Queensryche, doing Operation Mindcrime 1 & 2 back to back...amazing !!
    fendertx likes this.
  9. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 9, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    -Uriah Heep, Feb 1973, Harrisburg PA Farm Show Arena. My first live concert. Magical.
    -Queen and Aerosmith, 1973, Harrisburg PA Farmshow Arena. They both astounded me, and I'd never heard of them. Opened for Mott the Hoople, who were OK, but a disappointment to me because Mick Ralphs had already departed for Bad Co.
    -Steeleye Span, 1973, Penn State Rec Hall
    -Montrose, circa 1974, Altoona High School (of all places) opening for the Outlaws (yawn).
    -Kansas, 1975, Penn State Rec Hall
    -Kiss, circa 1975. Didn't care much for them until I saw them live, then I got it. Awesome.
    -Cheap Trick, May 1979, Davis Field House, Bucknell Univ, Lewisburg PA.
    -Utopia, 1981, Thomas Field House, Lock Haven, PA. So much music from four people.
    -Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, circa 1992, Town Point Jazz Fest, Norfolk, VA. Held at the Scope this particular year because of rain. 3-day fest, Flecktones played two nights 'cuz Larry Carlton was a no-show. Howard Levy became my musical hero. And Vic Wooten was a rock star.
    -Barenaked Ladies, July 2001, Virginia Beach Amphitheater.
    -Vintage Trouble, 2015, Austin, ACL Fest.

    Saw a couple I should have been in awe over (FZ and the Mothers when George Duke was in the band, Deep Purple with Tommy Bolin, Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale), but FZ was over my head at the time, and DP was too freaking loud.
    kookaburra and Random1643 like this.
  10. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Meister

    Jan 23, 2019
    New Orleans
    For those nineties kids I do love to mention that I saw Stone Temple Pilots and Blind Melon together, before either one had a hit, for I think 8 dollars. Small club, mostly empty and both bands put on a hell of a show. Great times.
    jman72 likes this.
  11. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2003
    Kittery, Maine
    Elvis Costello in '79
    Ramones in '80
    Devo in '81
    Clash in '82
    Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Sonic Youth and Social Distortion. 1991
    Los Lobos - every time!
    JD McPherson - last year
    Nick Lowe w/Los Straitjackets last week.

    Lots of great shows over the years.
    That JD show really stands out.
    Random1643 likes this.
  12. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Holic

    Jul 22, 2004
    U2 - Unforgettable Fire tour. circa 1983. Amazing, and I wasn't even a fan. The crowd sang the chorus to their last encore "40" for a solid half an hour *after* the house lights came up.

    Bowie/Nine Inch Nails circa 1994. First of several Bowie concerts I was privileged to see. Bowie (of that era) and NIN complemented each other beautifully.

    Bowie circa 2003 at the Tower Theater in Philly. By this time, the personas were gone and Bowie was just being himself, having fun onstage. A celebration of a brilliant career.

    Prince circa 2000. Prince was the real deal. He played better, sang better, and danced better than almost anyone I've ever seen live - and he did it all at the same time - in heels.
  13. CCK1

    CCK1 TDPRI Member

    Jan 23, 2018
    North Georgia
    Most memorable - McCartney, Wings Over America tour, 1976, The Omni, Atlanta. Lots of musicians, lots of instrument changes, and it ran like clockwork.

    Wildest crowd - Skynyrd, One More From The Road live recording, 1976, Atlanta. I thought the crowd was gonna tear down the Fabulous Fox Theater.

    Only show I ever left before it was over - The Grateful Dead, sometime in the 70's again at the Fox in Atlanta. I didn't leave because I wasn't enjoying it, I just had to go before I just passed out. The Dead started playing about 9:00ish, when we left it was around 3:00 am. I have no idea how long they played that night. Loosest, most informal show I've ever seen. I'm not sure that more than 3-4 songs were played in 6 hours. The number of people on stage varied a lot. At times there were only 2 people on stage, other times, there were about 10 or more. People would just walk on from backstage, play a while, then just wander backstage again. Loved it!
    Honest Charley, Rich724, Chip and 2 others like this.
  14. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    My, such riches posted here.

    I've seen some I guess "big" concerts - Poco, Manassas, Hot Tuna w/ Papa John Creech sitting in, Jeff Beck, Mahavishnu Orchestra (meh), etc. - but the ones that stick with me are "small" acts in lowly venues.

    Denny, I also saw Steel-Eye Span in 1973 touring in support of their Parcel of Rogues album at The Main Point folk club outside of Philly. Am assuming that's the same tour that hit Penn State that year. An amazing performance culminating with the entire band setting their instruments down and stepping to the front of the stage (no mics) for the last song, Rogues in a Nation, sung a cappella except for a single handheld drum. (I also cut high school to see Jerry Jeff Walker at The Main Point circa 1970; monster blues picker, Paul Geremia, opened.)

    Caught John Hartford in the late-60s at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Picking banjo, singing and clogging. I felt like he just scooped up the audience and cradled us all in his arms, just nestled in this mood, this spell. Fairport Convention was also there, some other big names, but Hartford stays with me.

    Sukay is a band that features folk and original music of the central Andean region of South America. All multi-instrumentalists. My wife and I, along with some dear friends, got to see them at some college auditorium in Philly in the mid-80s. Again, they created an atmosphere. At one point, a musician was soloing on an ocarina-like instrument, I'm guessing made outa clay, and the instrument literally exploded in his hands. Without missing a beat the guy clapped his hands together and continued his stellar solo without the ocarina.
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  15. kplamann

    kplamann Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2003
    Paris region, France
    Peter Gabriel in Paris in the early nineties.
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  16. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 6, 2010
    Long Island, New York
    I saw Fudge at Lambertville Music Fair in NJ, forget what year (but it was during their initial wave of fame). About 3/4 through the set, Bogert's bass amp literally burst into flames. No pyro involved, he smoked that sucker.

    My best shows:
    Humble Pie, The Spectrum, Philadelphia PA 1970. Steve Marriott loved Philly - the Small Faces' first US date was in Philly, and Marriott loved the crowd so much he insisted that every tour after open in Philly. That band's stage presence absolutely changed how I looked at live performance. They hit the stage and they were relentless. Total rock stars. Frampton was completely on his game, the rhythm section was tight as I'd ever seen, and Marriott was everywhere. I forget who followed them on that show, because whoever it was didn't even come close to the Pie.

    Cheap Trick, Capitol Theater, Passaic NJ 1977. Live at Budokan was a year away, and Trick was rock's best-kept secret at that point. My band had been fans since the debut album, and the band was touring in support of In Color. Sold out show, broadcast as a radio concert on NYC's WNEW-FM. My band, management, crew and girlfriends all went and took up nearly 20 seats. They were loud, and just ridiculously powerful. Near the end of 'Clock Strikes Ten' Zander let loose with one of his trademark yowls and literally overlaoded the sound system. With his voice. Pandemonium.

    The Pogues, Roseland NYC, 2009. I bought these tickets with a little nervousness - at that time Shane was in a pretty bad way, and there were no guarantees that he'd even show up for the show, but he did - and he was in a great mood. The band was also in fine form, and they played for nearly two hours, plus encores. It was two days before St. Patty's day and the party was on. By the end of the night, the venue staff were rolling drunks off the floor on hand trucks. It was one of the most chaotic and beautiful things I've ever seen.

    - D
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  17. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 23, 2013
    Birmingham, UK
    I’ve seen live bands on and off since Thin Lizzy in 1979 but in the spirit of the OP the artists who I wasn’t particularly interested in but blew me away live I’ll go for Garth Brooks who had the crowd eating out of his hand and Seth Lakeman who is such an energetic and passionate live performer.
    Although many jazz bands I’ve seen are an intense experience live and just clever wallpaper on record.
  18. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 5, 2015
    Santa Cruz CA
    Mentioned a number of times by me, my top two.

    1967 or 68, 17 yrs old, drove 400 miles with my best buddy in his VW bug and stayed the night in a Berkeley frat house and went to see Janis Joplin and Big Brother at the Filmore West. It was a standing indoor venue and we were center stage not more than 5 or 6 feet from the tiny stage. Some guy I never heard of opened for her, Carlos Santana. It was a truly epic night.

    Number 2; around 1971 saw Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. They did a full set acoustic then took a break and did a full set electric. Just wow!

    If I had to pick a third it would be Linda Ronstadt about 1970, after she left the Stone Pony’s, at the small Troubadour club in LA. Center stage again. I was with my hot date who later became my wife and still is my wife.
  19. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

    Apr 16, 2011
    somewhere between Asbury Park and Atlantic City
    James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot respectively at Fairleigh-Dickinson U. in '70 or '71. Both shows all tickets ($4) general admission auditorium. No seating, we all sat on the floor. Carol King opened for JT. Then came out later to join him in Fire and Rain.
    Jethro Tull in '72. Thick As A Brick had been released.

    I've been fortunate to see a good number of exceptional concerts through the years (Linda Ronstadt, Dave Mason, John Sebastian, Solas, Cherish The Ladies to name a few) but those three in the 70s had really left an impression.
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  20. DaveTone

    DaveTone Tele-Meister

    Apr 9, 2019
    Hamilton, NJ
    Van Halen 1978
    The Pat Travers Band 1979
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