We've had some good threads on comics, books, and movies, so how about one on concerts? Namely, the best shows you've seen.
Here are my top five:
5: Live/Counting Crows; Berkeley--Greek Theater; 2000
4: Nine Inch Nails; Omaha--Civic Center; 1994 (This was the show where the video for Hurt was recorded.)
3: Queensryche; Omaha--Civic Center; 1991
2: The Cult; SF--The Warfield; 2001
1: Dave Matthews Band; SF--Pac Bell Park; 2001
My worst concert? REM and Sonic Youth at Kansas City in 1995. Mix together too much beer, cheap gas station snacks, and, er, "interested" women and even the best of friends will turn on each other like a pack of dogs. :-)
By Mark Asher on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 12:55 am:
I was a big Springsteen fan so I saw him about 8 or 9 times. Every show was excellent. He's got to be one of the best live performers ever.
Other than that, they all run together in my mind. Typically, we prepared for concerts in such a manner that our memories would be a bit faulty.
Elvis Costello was good. The Who were alright. Saw the Grateful Dead a couple of times, including once outdoors when it poured down rain and the Deadheads all danced in the middle of a grass field. I saw Elton John at the height of his popularity when he dressed in all the outrageous costumes. He put on a good show.
Oh, I saw the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and really liked them. They put on a great show at another outdoor venue.
Worst concert may have been the second time I saw the Dead. I was never a big fan anyway, bu t a friend dragged me to it. It was indoors and they played too many long, extended jams. It was boring.
Oh, and the time I got thrown out of a John Lee Hooker concert in a bar for being underage and ordering a beer. That was a drag. Paid for the show and didn't see it. Paid for the beer and didn't drink it. Woe unto me.
By Mark Asher on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 12:58 am:
Oh, one more great show. I saw the Stray Cats, and the Busboys opened for them. They had the concert set up so the area in front of the stage was for dancing. Lots of fun.
Last concert I saw was a couple of years ago. Graham Parker in a bar in St. Louis by the Mississippi.
By Denny on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 01:01 am:
US Festival '83, days 1 and 3
Everyone from Flock of Seagulls, INXS, and The Clash to Joe Walsh, Stevie Nicks, U2, and Bowie.
US Festival '83, Day 2. AKA Heavy Metal Sunday
Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Ozzie, and this was the day the port-o-lets had all filled up. If you'd dropped a tactical nuke on the crowd that was there that day, California's crime rate would have dropped by 40 percent.
By Mark Asher on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 01:30 am:
Wow, what a contrast between day 1 and 2.
By Brad Grenz on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 04:22 am:
Let's see. I don't have a whole lot of expirience with concert going. Not enough to know what was a good night and what was a bad night for big bands. I had front row tickets for the Smashing Pumpkins on their Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness tour. I had a great time at the Weezer concert I went to when they were promoting Pinkerton. And I saw the Presidents of the United States of America the last time they played in Portland, OR (all three of these were in Portland) before the band broke up.
My brother-in-law and I went to see Frank Black and the Catholics when he came to Eugene, OR last. That was a fantastic show despite my being deathly ill that day.
There's a local band here in Salem, Oregon called the Widgets. I'm friends with the guys in the band and I actually do their web-site for them ( http://www.thewidgets.com/ ). I've been to an ass-load of their shows and I count several of them as some of the best concerts I've ever attended. The best of theirs was over the summer they played a kind of downtown side-walk sale/festival they have here in town called Summer in the City. The Widgets played one night on one of the out door stages. It was easily one of the best shows they've ever played.
By Dave Long on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 10:31 am:
Queensryche at Hersheypark Arena when they did Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety is probably my favorite show I've been to. Close seconds would be Michael Schenker at the Allentown Airport Music Hall (the opening act was a brand new, Shake Your Money Maker just released Black Crowes), UFO at Top of the ROC in Reading, Halford just last October at the Trocadero in Philly and the mighty Judas Priest just about anywhere I've seen them in the last 15 years.
One of the wackier shows I went to was Fugazi at the Trocadero. That was insane.
By Erik on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 01:18 pm:
By TomChick on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 03:17 pm:
I saw PJ Harvey last night at the Hollywood Palladium. My girlfriend -- how cool is this -- *won* tickets from a radio station.
She has a song on her latest album that she sings with Thom York from Radiohead, about two people breaking up in New York City. There's a line at the end about the sun going up over the skyscrapers. I don't think the new significance was lost on her. She began by doing that song solo: just her and a guitar in a pool of light.
Not necessarily the Best Concert Ever, but certainly Very Good.
By Bub (Bub) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 03:34 pm:
I've been a PJ Harvey fan since, well, since she her debut. I've seen her 4 times now and she always puts on a great show, even when playing before a very disinterested, and very not arrived quite yet, audience there to see U2.
Last week my wife won tickets to Lambeau Field and Monday Night Football on, well, this coming Monday.
I doubt it'll be the "Best Concert Ever" but I'm looking forward to the Star Spangled Banner.
By Brian Rucker on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 10:14 pm:
I haven't been to concerts in ages. Still go to clubs once in a while to see regional bands I know.
1) Shriekback at DC's Smith Center back in the late 80's. The Comsat Angels opened up. Just an amazing show.
2) U2 at the Cap Center. Joshua Tree tour.
3) Laurie Anderson at the Smith Center in, 89 or 90. We actually got front row seats.
4) Peter Murphy (Bauhaus' old front man) at The Flood Zone in Richmond in 89. It was a Friday the 13th. He wasn't that great but he had this opening band called Nine Inch Nails that just blew the place away.
5) Fishbone and Violent Femmes with The Indigo Girls at UVA in 89 or 90.
Also worth mentions: Prince - Purple Rain Tour at the Cap Center in DC, Sleezefest in North Carolina (a punkabilly and sick country palooza), Lords of The New Church at The Bayou in DC, and GWAR in 1988 at Rocketz (or whatever it was called then) in Richmond VA.
By Steve on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 10:19 pm:
I saw the Replacements play some of the most phenomenal shows at the Hollywood Palladium... they were either the greatest band in the world or the worst on any given night, depending on their level of intoxication. They'd perform one minute of Iron Man, then segue into Daydream Believer, or some other weird covers, plus all their great songs... ah, the wonderful music of my college years... saw 'em with The Posies, the Goo Goo Dolls (before they sucked)...
Then there was Paul Westerberg at the Whiskey, which just rocked.
I saw Camper Van Beethoven in 88 or 89 at the Ford Theater near the Hollywood Bowl with some band called Jane's Addiction opening.
How about a triple bill of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who were headliners) at the Sports Arena?
Saw a ton of great Elvis Costello shows (including the one where he played songs based on what came up on a spinning wheel, and took any and all requests).
Echo & The Bunnymen with The Pixies and Blowfly, the X-Rated Rapper ("Shittin' On the Dock of the Bay") was... interesting.
REM with Robyn Hitchcock, Robyn Hitchcock with Alex Chilton, a record release party at the Roxy for Urge Overkill's "Saturation..." Another for Soul Asylum's "And the Horse They Rode in On" (another great band that eventually sucked) with some awful opening band called STP, who eventually became Stone Temple Pilots.
Flew the grunge flannel with Supersucks/Mudhoney/Screaming Trees/Alice in Chains... Midnight Oil were actually a pretty great live band, as was Crowded House (who had Richard Thompson open, and he just blew me away... what a guitarist).
Wilco played here recently and put on a phenomenal show (and will be back in a couple of weeks... they have a new record they've finished but their label said "there's no hits" and dumped them). Elliott Smith also put on some great shows here.
My first concert was Billy Squier (?) in like 1982 or so... I was so traumatized I never went to another until I saw U2 a couple of years later.
Worst concert ever? Easy, George Thorogood, which I went to with the most beautiful woman I've ever known as "payment" for taking her to that Urge Overkill show. Hanging with her was almost worth having to endure "Bad to the Bone" played in 20 subtle variants.
By William Harms on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 10:32 pm:
>He wasn't that great but he had this opening band called Nine Inch Nails that just blew the place away.
I've seen NIN four times. I love the insanity, even if Reznor's rage doesn't quite resonate with me like it once did.
During the Downward Spiral tour I saw them in Omaha and after the show Reznor said something about the crowd being the best he'd ever seen. Being the cynical bastard that I am, I thought "yeah, whatever". Lo and behold, however, three months later they come back and film the entire show. (Along with the video for Hurt, which I mentioned earlier.) That show was pure insanity--at one point Reznor ran headfirst into the big wooden stage the drums sat on (while trying to grab the keyboard that was stationed there) and crumbled to the stage. He lay there for 10 minutes or so, and the band kept going, like nothing even happened. I gotta respect that.
By Brian Rucker on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 10:38 pm:
Crap. :) I forgot The Replacements at the Mosque in Richmond in '90 or '91? It was just before they broke up! Those guys were ripped out of their minds. Westerberg had a copy of the local city paper (Style Magazine) and was stumbling around the stage doing an impromptu version of 'Love Lines'. He even climbed down into the audience and crooned to a friend of mine in the front row. The next day she went out and got a heart tatooed on her ankle with the words "Achin' To Be" emblazoned in a ribbon over it.
Thanks for that memory burst, Steve! :)
By Tom Ohle on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 08:25 pm:
1) Depeche Mode in Vancouver a couple months back
2) Sublime in Long Beach, ca. 1995... I kinda wish I could see them again now that I'd be allowed into a non-all-ages show
3) Nickelback on New Year's
4) Nickelback & Everclear in February
For those of you unfamiliar with Nickelback, find a copy (mp3 or otherwise) of "How You Remind Me." I think it may be on the radio in the US... it is here. They're a good rock band.
I also went to a NOFX/Pennywise/Vandals concert in Long Beach a couple years ago. That was good, too.
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 11:42 pm:
All the best concerts i went to were non arena and in chicago, mostly the metro . . .
Badly Drawn Boy Metro this year
Weezer at the Metro last year
the rest was all in college or before that (pre 1997)
Material Issue tons of concerts at the Metro
Smashing Pumpkins at Double Door... wow fun fun fun
Dinosaur JR at the metro
TMBG/ Tower Records shows
Green Day United Center (not great but loud)
Pegboy, Naked Raygun and Big Black various places in Chicago
Bob Mould, Sugar at metro (he SCREAMS and has gravely voice by end of concert WOW!)
some fireside bowl generic alternative shows, just fun and loud!
and I like bands that do covers and do it well in small venues. I hate bands that are ABOVE doing covers... even if they are big name bands. EVERY band has to have at least one good cover song in its playlist. but some good bands dont, but they should anyway.
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 11:47 pm:
"Worst concert may have been the second time I saw the Dead. I was never a big fan anyway, bu t a friend dragged me to it. It was indoors and they played too many long, extended jams. It was boring. "
I think you have to be stoned to enjoy the Dead, you know, like Phish. Sheesh. though Phish does do Betles covers... thats cool. I hate concerts that are longer than an hour and a half. which is why i hate arena concerts... generally. though im out of it, ive only been to two concerts in two years...
By Robert Mayer on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 01:45 pm:
I was never much of a concert maven myself. Lemme see...
Good Shows we Camped Out for Tickets To:
Blue Oyster Cult, a bunch during the late 1970s
The Who, 1979
Good Shows we Didn't Camp Out For
Aerosmith (in Berlin, on the Pump tour--fantastic)
Great club shows
Southern Culture on the Skids
The Kingston Trio (my dad dragged me, honest)
Metal Shows (most on multiple bills with other similar acts):
Metallica--good band, arrogant as hell though
Slayer--fast as hell
Anthrax--funny and good
Judas Priest--campy but rocking
Megadeath--what? I can't hear you.
Harder Attack--small club in DC. About a million degrees in there.
Alice in Chains--boring.
By Jason Levine on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 02:16 pm:
Almost all my concert attendance was pre-marriage and kids (funny how it works out that way), which means it was more than 12 years ago. So any list I put together would be extremely geezerish. Anyway, the best and worst as far complete concerts go are very geezerish indeed as both were in about 1975.
The best was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Harvard Square Theater. This was the concert that Jon Landeau reviewed in the "I have seen the future of Rock and Roll and his name is Bruce Springsteen" Rolling Stone article. Nobody in the theater that night would have disagreed with that assessment.
The worst was The Who at the Boston Garden. This concert consisted of exactly one song--"I Can't Explain"--after which Keith Moon collapsed over his drum set in a stoned cold stupor, and the concert had to be cancelled and rescheduled. Given Moon's condition, the performance of "I Can't Explain" wasn't bad at all, but because of its length, this wins the worst concert by default.
My best single concert moment, however, was in about 1978 and it was Rod Stewart at Cleveland Stadium. What made this the best moment was that the solo violin on "Someone Like You" was played by my Dad. When I asked him about it afterward, he wasn't much impressed by playing in front of a crowd of about 60,000. What impressed him more was that his amped up violin for one night made him louder than the 1st and 2nd violin sections of the Cleveland Orchestra put together!
By Bub (Bub) on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 03:35 pm:
Robert Plant Now and Zen 1990
The Grateful Dead Vegas 1992
Yes - Union 1992
Blues Traveller 1992
Horde Tour 95
Dave Mathews Band 98
Steely Dan 2000
Richard Marx (no kidding) at Knotts Berry Farm 88
The Grateful Dead - Oakland 1993 (Steve's right, indoor stinks with them)
By Sparky on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 06:44 pm:
Spinal Tap! The Warfield! 2001!
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 02:07 am:
"What made this the best moment was that the
solo violin on "Someone Like You" was played by my Dad."
J, did your dad play concerts for rock stars alot? or was he a concert violinist that happened to know Rod Stewart? thats pretty cool... And seeing Keith Moon in concert?!? Holy cow! I think doing drugs is overrated in rock n roll.. i mean it never made a good concert... i think?
By Johan Freeberg on Wednesday, October 3, 2001 - 01:58 pm:
It was Jormas for my 1997 birthday! I was to small to enjoy them when they had meaning. It was with Beach Boys but still worth it. I had to drive to Helsinki with a broken cooler! For you who do not know Finland Helsinki is far from many places. Jormas is the Beatles of Finland and do many popular songs of Beatles like Taivas Vain Tietää and Rööperiin. Probably better! Also that same year I have seen ZZ Top at Ruisrock. A good year right? :>