Best Concert You’ve Seen ???

Lee Van Kief

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I count myself as extremely lucky to have been in the audience at Vic Chesnutt’s final show at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin. This tour featured members of Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Guy Picciotto of Fugazi; all of them combining perfectly to elevate Vic’s delicate performance. The emotion in the room was incredibly powerful, aided by the venue’s intrinsic sound and warmth. I think this is the only recording of that night:

 

James Walker

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Spring of 1998, at Metropolitan Opera in New York. Prokofiev's "Betrothal in a Monastery." Valery Gergiev conducting the Kriov Opera Orchestra and Kirov Opera Chorus. Anna Netrebko in the role of "Louisa." Extraordinary skill and artistry all around - the orchestra, the singing, the staging, everything.
 
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73Rogers

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Tough question! Most memorable ones for me at least - J. Geils, 1974. Invited by a friend, didn't really know who they were. Mind blown. Saw them several times since, amazing shows every time.
T.P. & the Heartbreakers, Damn the Torpedos tour. Tightest band ever. Stan was amazing and Mike Campbell is Mike Campbell...
Stevie Ray Vaughn. 6000 seat college arena, seats about the 6th row. Loudest concert I ever went to.
Springsteen, Meadowlands Stadium 1985. The show where most of the last CD of the box set was recorded. 4+ hrs, the last encore was about an hour of covers. The Church of Rock and Roll.
 

funkypoodle

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The Ramones/B52's, 1983 (or 84), Cape Cod Coliseum. My 1st big show! I was 14 (or15), on vacation on the US & my parents let me go alone!

Little Feat/Grateful Dead, Eugene Or., summer '90. Some trips you don't come back from.

George Clinton/P-Funk Allstars. Several times. Ain't no party like a P-Funk party!

Medeski, Martin & Wood, several venues, Always intenses AF (I like Sabians :compress: )


Here's a topo about our city's summer festival:
"Festival d'été de Québec is the biggest outdoor musical event in Canada. Held since 1968 in Québec City, the 11-day festival takes place every year in July. FEQ's eclectic programming includes the biggest international stars and emerging artists from around the globe".Wikipedia
I've been living here for over 30 years & have seen so many shows that choosing a "best" is impossible. Most of the African super stars I've seen were mind-blowingly good. Baaba Maal, King Sunny Adé, Youssou N'dour, Manu Dibango, Mahmoud Ahmed, Lucky Dubé, Ladysmith Black Mambaso, Angelique Kidjo, Papa Wemba, Mulatu Astatke, Salif Keita, Toumani Diabaté, Femi & Seun Kuti, Rachid Taha & the list goes on. I probably forgot half....but you get my drift. I mentioned Baaba Maal first because when I saw him in the early 90's the band was on fire! The guy playing sabar (lead percussion) was making the dancers do madness & even the Senegalese folk in the crowd couldn't believe what was happening.
 

shiek_yerbouti

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Yes at the Nassau Coliseum 1978 in the round. It was a magical experience.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Yes at the Nassau Coliseum 1978 in the round. It was a magical experience.
Must have been the Tormato tour - I attended the Oakland, Ca. show.

Most memorable concert was Grateful Dead opening for The Who in 1976 @ Oakland Coliseum. 10th anniversary of both bands. Followed by Blackmore's Rainbow @ Winterland 1978.

THE best were always the Prince concerts (5) easily a cut above the rest in spectacle, production, musicianship and entertainment. Nobody else ever came close. Fact.
 

shiek_yerbouti

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Must have been the Tormato tour - I attended the Oakland, Ca. show.
Yes indeed. The Tormato tour. Alan White had the North drums mixed in with his kit.
I've seen them countless times, but that was always my favorite.
 

Radio King

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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. :(
To see Keith Moon live was quite the experience. When I saw them in 1975, he was in top form, wearing his Esso jumpsuit, continually mugging and clowning with the crowd. There's so much he would do live that rarely made it on camera. Continually bouncing sticks off his snare, sending them waayyy up in the air, reaching for and occasionally missing the catch afterward, which would make for some more mugging and laughing. The guy just had such joy behind the kit. It was tough for me to decide who to focus on more: him or Pete. They WERE the show visually. My biggest takeaways were:
a) how much Keith spoke to the crowd between songs - he was just like a ringmaster. The banter between him and Pete was hysterical.
b) Pete's jumps. He would often land right on the downbeat, and you could literally hear his Doc Martens slam onto the stage through the PA. It was incredibly impressive to my 15 yo self.
Definitely the best spectacle I've ever witnessed.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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To see Keith Moon live was quite the experience. When I saw them in 1975, he was in top form, wearing his Esso jumpsuit, continually mugging and clowning with the crowd. There's so much he would do live that rarely made it on camera. Continually bouncing sticks off his snare, sending them waayyy up in the air, reaching for and occasionally missing the catch afterward, which would make for some more mugging and laughing. The guy just had such joy behind the kit. It was tough for me to decide who to focus on more: him or Pete. They WERE the show visually. My biggest takeaways were:
a) how much Keith spoke to the crowd between songs - he was just like a ringmaster.
I saw him play outdoors in 1976 on that white Premier set with copper hardware, during a particularly long intro for a song from Quadrophenia he literally stood on his kit with a towel on his shoulders and proclaimed "Nothing much for me to do during this bit so.... I'm going for a sauna! BRB"

I'm pretty sure he was halfway into a bottle of cognac at that point, which he kept holding up, and they were only about 3/4ths into their set.

A total madman, or at least that was the image he was projecting.
 

Skyrm

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Thought of a few more:
Spyro Gyra - 1980 at Chicago Opera House. Original line up, and they really put I a fantastic show. Percussionist was very energetic! Also saw them at Blossom (outdoors) - they were at the peak of their career, and came out for 4 encores. Audience wouldn’t leave.

Neil Diamond. Great showman.

Bruce Springsteen at Cleveland Muni Stadium. 80,000+ The man knows how to put in a show and keep the audience engaged.

Tony Bennett - great singer, and Clayton Cameron was fantastic!
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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Chicago 1976 - Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens - Danny was using the white Slingerland Concert Tom Kit and did a fantastic drum solo . Terry Kath was still alive and played masterfully . A superb concert when they were in their prime . The current lineup is a joke .

Elvin Jones and the Jazz Machine - Toronto DuMaurier Jazz Festival a couple years before he passed . Within bars of the start of the first song I was enthralled . Could not take my eyes off him . Every name drummer in Toronto was there . We were all entranced .

Count Basie - about 1972 - a truly fantastic band - maybe my favourite Big Band - so smooth and laid back . Duffy Jackson on drums .

Buddy Rich -1970 ish - first time I saw Buddy in person . I was 9 or 10 years old and could not take my eyes off him . He so inspired me that night . I knew I needed to practice more and more and more . Magical night for a young lad .
 

Skyrm

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Chicago 1976 - Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens - Danny was using the white Slingerland Concert Tom Kit and did a fantastic drum solo . Terry Kath was still alive and played masterfully . A superb concert when they were in their prime . The current lineup is a joke .

Elvin Jones and the Jazz Machine - Toronto DuMaurier Jazz Festival a couple years before he passed . Within bars of the start of the first song I was enthralled . Could not take my eyes off him . Every name drummer in Toronto was there . We were all entranced .

Count Basie - about 1972 - a truly fantastic band - maybe my favourite Big Band - so smooth and laid back . Duffy Jackson on drums .

Buddy Rich -1970 ish - first time I saw Buddy in person . I was 9 or 10 years old and could not take my eyes off him . He so inspired me that night . I knew I needed to practice more and more and more . Magical night for a young lad .
Man, you and I have a lot in common! But the only time I saw Count Basie was in “Blazing Saddles”! :)
 

TomR

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Standouts:
The Eagles - Sep 2, 2014 in SLC. Glad I saw them before Glenn Frey passed away. Sound and performance were spot on!
Deep Purple - Aug 14, 1985 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion
Deep Purple - Sep 15, 2019, in SLC. Small venue so not a bad seat in the house. Ian Paice is still a monster drummer!
Neil Diamond - July 28, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in SLC. The most gracious entertainer!
Bruce Springsteen - Aug 5, 1985 at RFK Stadium, Wash. D.C. Was not a fan until I was invited to the concert by the girl I liked.

Super fun concert: Weird Al - numerous times! And worth every penny.

Honorable mentions: Zombies, Brian Wilson, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Rush
 

Skyrm

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Oh crap - I forgot Weird Al (Riding’ Nerdy) and Kansas (Leftoverture tour). Kansas opened with “Carry On”, which was the only song I knew. Blew my mind, and I became a huge fan.
 

richardh253

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an advantage to being an older guy:

Doors @ Fillmore East March 1968. (John Densmore)
The Rascals @ Westbury Music Fair LI April 1968 (Dino Danelli)
The Who @ Forest Hills Tennis Stadium August 1971 (Keith Moon!)
Procol Harum at Fillmore summer 1969 (BJ Wison)
Jefferson Airplane (Spencer Dryden) and then-unknown Santana (Michael Shrieve) Central Park early summer 1969 (pre-Woodstock)
Poco (George Grantham) free concert Fairleigh Dickinson U Madison NJ April 1973
Joni Mitchell w/ Tom Scott & LA Express (John Guerin) Radio City Music Hall Feb 1974

and

Bruce Springsteen warm-up shows for Seeger Sessions Band Tour (Larry Eagle) April 2006 Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen 50th birthday concert Sept 25 1999 Philly(Max Weinberg)
The Funk Brothers (Uriel Jones & Pistol Allen) Keswick Theatre Glenside PA (Winter 2010 I think)
Richie Furay 50th anniversary of "DeLIVErin" Sellersville PA Nov 2018 (can't remember his name but he nailed every George Grantham lick from the original down to the flams in "Grand Junction")

And....nice to be able to say I saw Blind Faith Summer 69 @ MSGarden on their one and only tour....but they were not ready for prime time. Had a better time seeing Ginger Baker in a tiny Bucks County Playhouse in PA Oct 2013.
 
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bbunks

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Three for me:
Rolling Stones: July 5, 1972, Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, VA
The Who: Nov 27, 1975, Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA
Ian Hunter: Sept 15, 1981, Peppermint Beach Club, Virginia Beach, VA

I saw the Stones 4 days later - July 9, 1972 in St. Louis. The Stones were GREAT but Stevie Wonder blew me away!

And let's add:

ECM Festival of Jazz: $1.50 for Eberhard Weber, Gary Burton with Metheny, Colin Walcott/Ralph Towner, Jack DeJohnette's Directions with John Abercrombie and Terje Rypdal.

Mingus

Eagles opening for Joe Walsh, 1973

Little Feat, tour after "Waiting for Columbus" 1978 (?)

Gregg Allman Laid Back Tour 1974

Raconteurs - Lollapalooza 2006 - never have experienced a band elevate and take the crowd higher like they did when they tore into "Crazy"

John Pattitucci Electric Guitar Quartet, once with Brian Blade and another time with Nate Smith

Chick Corea and Steve Gadd at the Blue Note, from the vantage point of the first seat BEHIND Steve
 
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Ickybaby

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Frank Zappa, 1987 at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, the night Sting came out and sang Murder By Numbers with the band....that’s the best one for me.
 

Elvis

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Well, I'm pretty sure it would've been SRV at Bumbershoot in '85, but my friend was NOT interested and basically whined like a 3-year old until I agreed to leave.....we went and saw Portland band "The Crazy 8's" instead Good, but....not...the....same!
...SO....
I'll say The Tubes @ The Colosseum, Bumbershoot 1981.
When they put on a show, THEY PUT ON A SHOW!!!
Hot chicks on motorcycles, Fee Waybill jumps out of a 3 story building, and they STARTED with White Punks on Dope. I mean, who does that?!
Great show.
 

DavedrumsTX

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Aerosmith Dec 6th 1974 Boston Music Hall....on their way to the big time, stone cold sober
Blew the roof off !

Queen Nov 11th 1977 Cumberland County civic center Portland Maine Opening date for their
North American tour, great show AND Great sound.

Sade 1985 Orpheum Boston Ma, just a musical show, tons of groove.
Boston magazine pegged it as the best concert of the yr.

Phil woods quintet Regatta Bar, Cambridge Ma, also blew the roof off, mesmerizing sound and performance.
I wish I had seen that. I saw them in 78. Totally wasted
 


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