Best Concert You’ve Seen ???

jaymandude

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A few things..

Small club. Joe Henderson/George Mraz/Al Foster at the Vanguard ( Maybe the Blue Note, I saw them maybe 4 times)

Larger Show - George Clinton/P-Funk All Stars at the Ritz in NYC, 1984. Single best drum performance I have ever seen by then unknown Dennis Chambers.

Most Emotional... seeing Miles Davis in Boston in 1981

Best Sound - John Mayer at the Isleta Amphitheatre in Abq. They had an extra day to set up the sound and I had great seats. Excellent...
 

Drm1979

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Foo fighters and red hot chili peppers. 2001 the foos were touring in support of there is nothing left to lose and rhcp had just put out californication. Just an amazing rock show.

Other great concerts I've been lucky enough to see was cheap trick and stone temple pilots

Goldfinger and 311

And my first concert was the meat puppets opening for primus.

Pensacola florida used to have a good rock scene at our little civic center. Not anymore unfortunately.
 

dcrigger

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Hendrix in '68 at the Hollywood Bowl with the Vanilla Fudge (Or a year later at the Los Angeles Forum with Chicago Transit Authority opening)

Don Ellis Big Band at Disneyland Tomorrowland Stage on Memorial Day '68 (first time seeing them... a total game changer for me) (Or again, runner up, a couple of years later up close at Donte's jazz club in Studio City)

Mahavishnu Orchestra (1st version) in probably '73 (72?) at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood - very up close (the Roxy's not that big) and came with the "ton of bricks" revelation as to just how much improvisation was happening as far as arrangement details and structure went. Of course I knew there was tons of blowing - but there was just so many specific arrangement bits that obviously were not specific at all. Anyway - it was the witnessing of fluid odd meter expression at this whole next level beyond what I had been doing. Billy! OMG!!!

Elvis Presley at the International Hotel in Las Vegas 1970 - this was the second run of dates after his post-retirement return to the stage in '69. This was basically "Fat Elvis" before he became "Fat Elvis" - meaning Elvis Presley at literally the top of his game - with a stunning band and orchestra. By no means, the center of my musical universe, but damn, he was just incredible.

Oh and of course, any of the many times I saw Buddy - most often, again very up close, just feet from the band and the drums, again at Disneyland - but at the much more intimate Carnation Pavilion.

Honorable mentions - Return to Forever at Dorthy Chandler Pavilion (the symphony hall) performing the "Romantic Warrior" music) (or alternately a couple of years earlier, up close at the famous, Troubadour in West LA will Bill Conners playing guitar)... Zappa at the Roxy (one of the nights they recorded that album)...Zappa at the Bowl with the Grand Wazoo band... also at the Bowl... Chicago performing most all of Chicago II, Emerson Lake and Palmer doing Tarkus, the 80's King Crimson at the Greek Theater... Chase at the Whisky... The Doors in the "round" in West Covina... when I was 9-10(?) seeing the Dave Clark Five (again in the round at what became the Melodyland Christian Center - that I worked at a bunch 10-12 years later - back during the time of big orchestra church gigs)

So many concerts... it is such a same that economics of the concert scene has so fundamentally changed... yeah they cost money, but not that much money. It seems now like a "big event" - a really special treat. Which I think makes it really hard for most regular folks to hit 10-15-20 concerts a year - like I did for all of those years.

Anyway sorry for the length - and that was certainly more than one favorite...:)
 

hsosdrum

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Wow, I was at all three of those shows too. All were great but I gotta go with Jimi as it was the first real show I ever went to. Pretty good place to start.

Jazz: Don Ellis at the Pilgrimage theater. Besides the 27 piece big band he had a choir of 40 and 50 dancers.
I was at that Don Ellis show as well! Ellis premiered a piece called "Love Structures" that he composed especially for the concert. While the band played on stage some of the dancers were running up and down the aisles trailing long, colorful scarves while other dancers were paired-up on stage, simulating "adult activity".

Regarding the Hendrix concert you mention, was it the one at the Hollywood Bowl?
 

rculberson

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at Indian Wells Tennis Garden (Palm Springs, CA area) in 2006. The band sounded amazing, TP was in form, and Ferrone was an absolute locomotive (as always, wish I could've seen them with Stan). Most impressive part of the show for me, though, was Mike Campbell. His playing was an emotional experience for me.
 

hsosdrum

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Hendrix in '68 at the Hollywood Bowl with the Vanilla Fudge (Or a year later at the Los Angeles Forum with Chicago Transit Authority opening)

Don Ellis Big Band at Disneyland Tomorrowland Stage on Memorial Day '68 (first time seeing them... a total game changer for me) (Or again, runner up, a couple of years later up close at Donte's jazz club in Studio City)...
It's clear that dboomer, dcrigger and I were all extremely lucky to grow up in Southern California when we did. There were so many places in town to see great music in the late '60s and early '70s, and admission was always only a few dollars. (The first time I saw Cream at the Shrine Exposition Hall admission was $2.50; six months later a ticket to their farewell show at The Forum cost $6.50, which at the time we thought was outrageous — that was even more than the $5.00 it cost to see The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in 1965!)

dcrigger: I was also at both of the Hendrix shows you mention, as well as seeing Don Ellis at Donte's in 1970, and saw ELP at the Hollywood Bowl in '71 (Tarkus tour, with Humble Pie and Edgar Winter's White Trash opening). Although I didn't see Mahavishnu at the Roxy, I did see them at the Whiskey on 3/27/72, and up close in that small venue they were absolutely overpowering!
 

p83

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this is kind of a cop out, but i have seen hundreds of shows starting seriously in 1971, and can not give an absolute answer. back in the day, concerts were affordable (often cheap), and always had 2 or 3 bands, some you knew and some you did not. many times an unknown opener would be a headliner a year later. you got to see a lot of groups on the way up. seeing all those bands with original members (and not all messed up) playing their classic songs has given me a never ending well of amazing memories and stories to tell.

boy howdy do i miss concerts!

favorite band all time - little feat (about 20 shows)

first show - the beatles 1966
 

dcrigger

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It's clear that dboomer, dcrigger and I were all extremely lucky to grow up in Southern California when we did. There were so many places in town to see great music in the late '60s and early '70s, and admission was always only a few dollars. (The first time I saw Cream at the Shrine Exposition Hall admission was $2.50; six months later a ticket to their farewell show at The Forum cost $6.50, which at the time we thought was outrageous — that was even more than the $5.00 it cost to see The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in 1965!)

dcrigger: I was also at both of the Hendrix shows you mention, as well as seeing Don Ellis at Donte's in 1970, and saw ELP at the Hollywood Bowl in '71 (Tarkus tour, with Humble Pie and Edgar Winter's White Trash opening). Although I didn't see Mahavishnu at the Roxy, I did see them at the Whiskey on 3/27/72, and up close in that small venue they were absolutely overpowering!
Cool to hear that we sat in some many great rooms together!!

Yes Southern California had its perks in this regarding (though obviously many large cities have their own special offerings as well). But besides just being a big town, two big unique things were... 1) the company town part - as the 70's were starting the lion's share of the recording industry relocated to LA. Which made for some wonderful concert and club experiences, many that just didn't happen anywhere else. So many concerts weren't just one more stop on the tour, but they were big industry showcases - which meant special guests, or bigger configurations, etc. Then there was the whole Troubadour scene - and at various times, the Whiskey scene, then up the road... the Roxy with the Rainbow Grill... and later places like Madame Wongs.. Before my time, but for instance, The Doors was like the band in residence at The Whisky. Tons of live albums were done in LA for well, obvious reasons.

Anyway and 2) for the young jazz drummer, there was the amazing thing that Disneyland used to be. First off, everyday going to Disneyland as a kid was a day filled with seeing and hearing live performers - dixieland groups, jazz groups, barbershop quartets, stage shows, rock bands, burlesque shows. Even from before I started playing, I remember seeing seven or eight different drummers play on any given day at Disneyland.

Then there was Memorial Day weekend - where the park would cancel all the shows and bands playing the various stages and venues throughout the park and replace them for the weekend with national known big bands. And then as the 60's wound down that tradition morphed into hosting a different big a week for the entire summer - so 13 different bands would do weeklong stints at the pretty intimate Carnation Pavilion. There were of course other times through the year that big bands and jazz acts would play as well.

So for me, living 30 minus from Disneyland and it only costing about $5 a head to go to the park for an evening - I was able to see the bands of Buddy, Basie, Ellington, Woody Herman, Harry James, Don Ellis, Stan Kenton and many more than I can remember - all by the time I was 14!!! And some I saw multiple times - I probably saw Rich at the park 20 times.

My parents were incredibly supportive - but seeing jazz as minor back then entailed going to clubs - and if I could get in, the only way I could get in was to go to a dinner set and actual eat dinner - which could easily turn a $30 dollar night out for the family into one that cost over a $100 - which 1970 and before was a lo of bread!!!

So Disneyland was just the hugest blessing a young drummer could get.
 

bolweevil

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Strapping Young Lad at the Quest in Minneapolis, MN in 2005. It was on Halloween and I was at my peak of SYL fandom. I may be rating this show high due to my personal sense of excitement at the time (a close second would be Metallica in '94 for similar reasons).

Honorable mentions: Rush on the Clockwork Angels tour and the Devin Townsend band in a small club in Eau Claire, WI in 2011.
 

TheMattJones88

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Ted Leo was wonderful back then. My band opened a few shows for him and I loved watching him play.
Oh awesome. I saw him every time he came around for a long time. I saw shows on the last couple of tours with the expanded band and they just weren't the same. I know that he's getting older, there just wasn't any urgency to any of it, even when they did the full play through of "Hearts of Oak", which is my favorite record of his. It just seemed phoned in. Didn't help that The Hanged Man was kinda ehhh...
 

MrDrums2112

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Well, I’ve seen many great ones over the years, but last summer’s Iron Maiden show was amazing. Also, Peter Frampton was fantastic.
 

drawtheline55

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I would add Paul McCartney, 1990 at what is now Gillette Stadium, where the Pats play.
Played my fav Beatles song "Things We Said Today"
Just a great summer night of Beatles, Wings and solo music.
 

Freewill3

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King's X and Scorpions 1991ish San Antonio Hemisphere Arena
+1 on the King's X! Saw them every time they came through the Chicago area, when they were first gaining a lot of ground. Also had the pleasure of hanging with them - they invited my friends and I to join them for dinner at Ann Sather's. Saw them open for AC/DC and they invited us on their bus. Completely original sound, great bunch of guys!
 

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1997 Wu-Tang Clan opened for Rage Against The Machine. I wasn't familiar with much of Wu, and they nearly got the show shut down due to F'n stupidity. But, they got every back to where they were supposed to be. . .and the show went on. RAGE WAS AMAZING. My neck hurt for a couple days I was bangin' my head so much. They set up like a garage band, it's tight, they can see each other. Great show!
1986 Genesis. Sat behind the stage. I was literally 20 ft away from Chester Thompson. I was so stoked. This was also my first big concert ever.

1994 Pink Floyd in Columbus, Ohio. If you were at this show, you had to stop and wonder, HOW IN THE HECK, Floyd got planes to fly over during Goodbye Blue Sky. Everyone just kinda stopped, looked up and went. . . Whoa.

I don't have A #1. Heck, I didn't even mention Phish in NYC New Year's Eve 1998. . .Oh wait I just did.
 

shilohjim

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To choose just one out of over 700 is a daunting task, but the answer came pretty easily: Lindsey Buckingham at the TLA in Philly, 1991.
 

thejohnlec

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I’ve seen so many of my heroes in concert and have standout memories of each of them, so to pick one is tough.

However, I saw Living Colour on the Time’s Up tour at an old theater in Worcester MA, when Muzz was still playing bass. They were the total musical package, displaying a level of musicianship that just floored me. Seriously, they were so good and so tight that it was actually frightening.

Okay, high honorable mentions to Rush on the Clockwork Angels tour, U2 on the 360 tour, Little Feat, and Chicago.
 

dsop

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The Who 1978 Pontiac Silverdome
I really regret not being able to see Keith Moon live before he died. By the time I saw The Who, Kenny Jones was on drums. I think it was a year or two after Moon passed. Jones is great, but it wasn't really The Who anymore. :(

I forgot to mention Missing Persons! I saw them a few times in fairly small venues/clubs, and Terry was inspirational to say the least. Even with Dale's nonsense, I loved that band.
 

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Sun Ra - Shank Hall (no, not the place called "Shank Hall" in Spinal Tap), Milwaukee, circa mid-1980's.

The show was originally scheduled for a different/larger venue, but was moved to Shank Hall, which is a small, musty little club, due to lack of ticket sales. I think the show cost $10, and maybe 100 people showed up. The band had the following night off, so they offered anyone at the show tickets for an impromptu show the following night for $5. Of course, my buddies and I paid the $5.

The music was absolutely transcendent. The band was in full regalia, and included several dancers.

At one point in the show, they played a soft, loping African-tinged tune (something about the Nile?) that was so evocative. The small crowd sat tranfixed. After the tune my buddy and I looked at each other with a look that signified that we both had the same out-of-body experience. Our spirits were literally transported to the African delta, and we could see and smell the gazelles, giraffes, etc. An absolutely unforgettable experience. As close to "religion" as I've ever been.
 


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