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5 artists/concerts you were truly blessed to have seen.


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1- Bruce Springsteen & the E St. Band - 8/15/78 Capital Centre, Landover, MD 2- WINGS Over America - 5/16/76 Capital Centre, Landover, MD 3- Led Zeppelin - 2/10/75 Capital Centre, Landov

If I exclude Bruce, then in order of seeing the shows it would be: Small Faces, Birmingham Odeon in 1967 (Roy Orbison was in the same bill, but I went to swoon over Steve Marriott - my first ever

Here’s mine: 1. Roy Orbison - Carlisle, mid sixties. 2. Ray Charles - London Palladium - 1976. 3. Muddy Waters, (Eric Clapton dropped in to jam) - Dingwalls, London, capacity 400. 1978.

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I enjoy reading everyone's Top 5 shows.  Some really, really great ones there....Bob Marley?  Are you kidding?   Bowie, Zeppelin, great Clash, Dylan and Who shows....as well as probably a thousand Bruce shows between us.

Anyway, got me to thinking about the best moments from some of the best shows that I've seen, and I thought I would put a little Top 5 together for it.  Not necessarily in order....

Bruce and the ESB - Columbus, OH (11/9/02) "Glory Days / Hang on Sloopy" - Besides being tapped on the shoulder by the men in black to move up to the pit, Mrs. Sonic and I were treated to one of the great shows of our lives.   The highlight beyond the knee slides and strumming the guitar during 'Born to Run' was the encore of "Glory Days / Hang on Sloopy".   If you know anything about the tradition of "Hang on Sloopy" with the Columbus / Ohio State University crowd, you know that it sends them into the stratosphere when it is played.  When Bruce and the band tied it into "Glory Days", it was utterly amazing.  In fact, the look on Patti's face was priceless....like, 'how does this guy manage to get people this crazy?'   Anyway, if you were there, you remember it.  

Beastie Boys w/ Ben Stiller - Dayton, OH (10/30/08) "Sabotage" - One of those "Get Out the Vote" tours to stealthily promote a particular presidential candidate, the show was a mini-festival with Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper and the Beastie Boys.  When the Beastie Boys get going, they do a little intertwining dance number and Ben Stiller jumps in unnoticed until he starts singing along.  During the final song, the band revs up "Sabotage" (one of my all time faves) and has Stiller come out around the 2:00 mark for the "scream".   Great moment to cap a really energetic fun show.  It was the most pleasantly surprising concerts that I've ever attended.

 

Sonic Youth - Chicago, IL (10/5/92) "Theresa's Sound World" - It's just one of the great live songs ever written and it epitomizes what seeing Sonic Youth live is all about.  A slow burn song sung by Thurston that explodes into a hurricane of noise once in the middle and again at the end.  During the live setting, the stage is lit by pulsating strobe lights that just add to the effect of the song.  As good as "Expressway to Your Skull" is live, "Theresa's Sound World" is even better.  This whole show used to be up on Youtube....professionally shot.  It's since been taken down...hopefully for commercial release.  But, here is another performance of it from the week before my Chicago show.

Neil Young (solo) Dayton, Ohio (9/18/82) "Sugar Mountain" - Just that early example of going to one of your first live shows and hearing a song played that you've only heard on the radio or on vinyl.  And, when you get 10,000 people singing their lungs out to it along with the artist who wrote the song, it definitely leaves a lifelong impression on you.   And, such a simple quiet song leaving the crowd chanting the chorus long after Neil is done playing it is something that I will never forget.

Guided by Voices w/ Kim Deal, Chicago, IL (10/1/94) "Shocker in Gloomtown" - Members of two of my favorite 90's bands joining stage at a small, sweaty club near my apartment in Chicago.  The Lounge Ax was known for bringing in a lot of the talent around the Midwest at the time....Soul Asylum, Jeff Tweedy, Son Volt, etc....sort of a dirtier Cabaret Metro.  This was my first time seeing GBV, a really great band from my hometown in Dayton, OH.  I actually went to see a high school friend who had been playing bass for the band, but he had taken the tour off to start his real job as an attorney.  Anyway, the show was fantastic...playing songs from the acclaimed "Bee Thousand" album and the soon-to-be-released "Alien Lanes" album.  Terrific set all the way through.  Then, about half of the way through,  the band brought on fellow Daytonian and bass player for the Pixies to sing on "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" and "Shocker in Gloomtown".   SiG was a song running under two minutes long that Kim Deal did with her side band The Breeders.  She has such a recognizable voice that the bootleg I have of that show today is a real treasure.  Here's the whole show for anyone who cares.  I think it's brilliant.

 

Two Honorable Mentions:

Yes - Oxford, OH (4/28/84) "Starship Trooper" - Still an impressionable high schooler, this was about the most prog rock, 70's extended, wailing guitar solo song that was available for purchase anywhere.  It was Trevor Rabin who played the biggest role in that song, and it was spectacular.  During their 90125 tour where the band saw a resurgence, this song was known to me but not at this level.  It was really an incredible thing to witness along the lines of the "Sugar Mountain" but on the other end of the performance scale.  Never saw them before, and I haven't seen them since.  But, they were incredible.

Travis Scott - Louisville, KY (11/9/18) "Sicko Mode" - My son took me to this one (or, I took him, as the case may be).  Had no idea what to expect, but I've never seen an entire arena jump up and down in unison before.  It was really awesome and gave me faith that the kids today will continue to enjoy the live concert experience...though I wish these rappers had the talent to play their own instruments.

 

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6 hours ago, whispered secret said:

 

Blackbush, July 1978. What can I say, just so lucky to be there.

 

AJ, I've heard a few horror stories about that gig, in terms of facilities, distance from the stage.

 

So t'was a good un?

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21 minutes ago, MagicRatAFC said:

AJ, I've heard a few horror stories about that gig, in terms of facilities, distance from the stage.

 

So t'was a good un?

I remember being a long way from the stage and it being nightmare getting away afterwards. Can’t remember the facilities. Enjoyed seeing Graham Parker playing a huge gig after following him in pubs and at The Marquee. Dylan was great, my memory of Clapton is hazy. Hard to believe it was 42 years ago.

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8 minutes ago, Brown Eyed Boy said:

I remember being a long way from the stage and it being nightmare getting away afterwards. Can’t remember the facilities. Enjoyed seeing Graham Parker playing a huge gig after following him in pubs and at The Marquee. Dylan was great, my memory of Clapton is hazy. Hard to believe it was 42 years ago.

Pretty much agree with this. The car parking was dreadful, I remember being stuck in the car park until around 3am. The loos were awful, but I was used to that having gone to all sorts of motorcycle events with my mum and dad.

I do remember loving Graham Parker, having seen him at a warm up in Birmingham a few days earlier and all I remember about Clapton is Layla. However, Bob was fantastic and it was the first festival type thing I had ever been to. We were at the Earls Court gig as well,  but, for me, Blackbush was more special and memorable.

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1 hour ago, Brown Eyed Boy said:

I was at that one too, I remember it about 3 hours to get out of the car park.

We really should have met each other sooner than we did. We turn out to have been at so many of the same gigs! 

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I guess that given we all share a common bond, it’s not too surprising, but reading back through this thread it’s striking that we are at so many of the same gigs.

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17 hours ago, sonicramone said:

Anyway, got me to thinking about the best moments from some of the best shows that I've seen, and I thought I would put a little Top 5 together for it.

...but no Ramones gigs? Liking Sonic Youth ...another on my wish list

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17 hours ago, whispered secret said:

 

I do remember loving Graham Parker, having seen him at a warm up in Birmingham a few days earlier 

I had either completely forgotten, or didn't know, he was in the line up that day.

That'd been just before "Squeezing out Sparks" came out? (I think early 79 was the release?).

Would've loved to have seen him live, with The Rumour.....I suppose I may yet catch up with him solo.

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11 minutes ago, MagicRatAFC said:

I had either completely forgotten, or didn't know, he was in the line up that day.

That'd been just before "Squeezing out Sparks" came out? (I think early 79 was the release?).

Would've loved to have seen him live, with The Rumour.....I suppose I may yet catch up with him solo.

Saw him several times in the late 70's early 80's, always one of my favourites. Saw him a couple of years ago in Leamington, which is just down the road and he was still excellent. 

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1 hour ago, Thunder Roadie said:

...but no Ramones gigs? Liking Sonic Youth ...another on my wish list

Too tough to pick out a particular song from a Ramones show, and, for me, the shows themselves could have their own thread.  Funny how you can be half way through a two minute song before you recognize what they are playing sometimes.  I was very fortunate to see them play 8 different times between 1986 and 1995...Columbus, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit.

Best memories are hearing "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World" from their first album at my first show in Columbus.  Just a sweaty mass of people on the floor roiling around with one of the greatest bands in the land on stage.  And, that song brought it home for me.  Also, standing under Johnny at the Cincinnati show....don't remember the song, but he kindly flipped his guitar pick to me after the song was finished.  That's a great keepsake along with Marky's drumstick that my buddy wrestled on the floor with a bunch of others to grab for me.  Also, wringing out my shirt on the curb after being up front with my buddy at the Chicago show.  It was a cold night, and I remember feeling like a just worked out for a couple of hours.  Mrs. Sonic and my buddy's date stood in the back of the venue while me and him enjoyed it from the front.

The Detroit show was the only one that I went to that had reserved seating, and we were in the balcony.  Kind of a bummer, but great to see Social Distortion as the openers.  It was like watching a Ramones show instead of being a part of a Ramones show.

Anyway, great memories at all.  I really miss them.

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The Ramones at CBGB

BB King

Eric Clapton

The Grateful Dead 

Cream Reunion at MSG

Lou Reed at the Bottom Line

Mose Allison at the Bottom Line

Bob Dylan in the 1970s

The Rolling Stones sometime in the 80s

The Allman Brothers Band in the 70s

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band starting in 1976

(yeah that’s more than 5. Sorry)

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14 hours ago, judyg said:

The Ramones at CBGB

BB King

Eric Clapton

The Grateful Dead 

Cream Reunion at MSG

Lou Reed at the Bottom Line

Mose Allison at the Bottom Line

Bob Dylan in the 1970s

The Rolling Stones sometime in the 80s

The Allman Brothers Band in the 70s

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band starting in 1976

(yeah that’s more than 5. Sorry)

That list is obscene! The Ramones at CBGBs and Lou Reed at the bottom Line...wow!

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20 hours ago, sonicramone said:

I was very fortunate to see them play 8 different times between 1986 and 1995...Columbus, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit.

I guess you managed to catch a gig or two with Dee Dee? My one and only was 91 with Joey, Johnny, Marky and CJ.

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On 5/22/2020 at 8:33 PM, whispered secret said:

Pretty much agree with this. The car parking was dreadful, I remember being stuck in the car park until around 3am. The loos were awful, but I was used to that having gone to all sorts of motorcycle events with my mum and dad.

I do remember loving Graham Parker, having seen him at a warm up in Birmingham a few days earlier and all I remember about Clapton is Layla. However, Bob was fantastic and it was the first festival type thing I had ever been to. We were at the Earls Court gig as well,  but, for me, Blackbush was more special and memorable.

I saw Graham Parker and the Rumour at Birmingham Odeon, circa 1978, supported would you believe by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Edit: I think I'm getting confused.  It was probably Southside Johnny I saw supporting Graham Parker and the Rumour at Birmingham Odeon.  Tom Petty I think I saw as a headline act, possibly at Birmingham Town Hall (or maybe it was the Odeon).   Bob Seger I absolutely did see at Birmingham Odeon. 

Further edit: Internet research now leads me to conclude that I did see Tom Petty at Birmingham Odeon as a support act - 11 May 1977, support to Nils Lofgren!

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14 hours ago, Thunder Roadie said:

I guess you managed to catch a gig or two with Dee Dee? My one and only was 91 with Joey, Johnny, Marky and CJ.

I'll have to check my dates, but I think I only got to see Dee Dee the one time in Columbus during the Animal Boy tour.  

Richie on drums.

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On 5/22/2020 at 2:38 PM, sonicramone said:

I enjoy reading everyone's Top 5 shows.  Some really, really great ones there....Bob Marley?  Are you kidding?   Bowie, Zeppelin, great Clash, Dylan and Who shows....as well as probably a thousand Bruce shows between us.

Anyway, got me to thinking about the best moments from some of the best shows that I've seen, and I thought I would put a little Top 5 together for it.  Not necessarily in order....

Bruce and the ESB - Columbus, OH (11/9/02) "Glory Days / Hang on Sloopy" - Besides being tapped on the shoulder by the men in black to move up to the pit, Mrs. Sonic and I were treated to one of the great shows of our lives.   The highlight beyond the knee slides and strumming the guitar during 'Born to Run' was the encore of "Glory Days / Hang on Sloopy".   If you know anything about the tradition of "Hang on Sloopy" with the Columbus / Ohio State University crowd, you know that it sends them into the stratosphere when it is played.  When Bruce and the band tied it into "Glory Days", it was utterly amazing.  In fact, the look on Patti's face was priceless....like, 'how does this guy manage to get people this crazy?'   Anyway, if you were there, you remember it.  

Beastie Boys w/ Ben Stiller - Dayton, OH (10/30/08) "Sabotage" - One of those "Get Out the Vote" tours to stealthily promote a particular presidential candidate, the show was a mini-festival with Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper and the Beastie Boys.  When the Beastie Boys get going, they do a little intertwining dance number and Ben Stiller jumps in unnoticed until he starts singing along.  During the final song, the band revs up "Sabotage" (one of my all time faves) and has Stiller come out around the 2:00 mark for the "scream".   Great moment to cap a really energetic fun show.  It was the most pleasantly surprising concerts that I've ever attended.

 

Sonic Youth - Chicago, IL (10/5/92) "Theresa's Sound World" - It's just one of the great live songs ever written and it epitomizes what seeing Sonic Youth live is all about.  A slow burn song sung by Thurston that explodes into a hurricane of noise once in the middle and again at the end.  During the live setting, the stage is lit by pulsating strobe lights that just add to the effect of the song.  As good as "Expressway to Your Skull" is live, "Theresa's Sound World" is even better.  This whole show used to be up on Youtube....professionally shot.  It's since been taken down...hopefully for commercial release.  But, here is another performance of it from the week before my Chicago show.

Neil Young (solo) Dayton, Ohio (9/18/82) "Sugar Mountain" - Just that early example of going to one of your first live shows and hearing a song played that you've only heard on the radio or on vinyl.  And, when you get 10,000 people singing their lungs out to it along with the artist who wrote the song, it definitely leaves a lifelong impression on you.   And, such a simple quiet song leaving the crowd chanting the chorus long after Neil is done playing it is something that I will never forget.

Guided by Voices w/ Kim Deal, Chicago, IL (10/1/94) "Shocker in Gloomtown" - Members of two of my favorite 90's bands joining stage at a small, sweaty club near my apartment in Chicago.  The Lounge Ax was known for bringing in a lot of the talent around the Midwest at the time....Soul Asylum, Jeff Tweedy, Son Volt, etc....sort of a dirtier Cabaret Metro.  This was my first time seeing GBV, a really great band from my hometown in Dayton, OH.  I actually went to see a high school friend who had been playing bass for the band, but he had taken the tour off to start his real job as an attorney.  Anyway, the show was fantastic...playing songs from the acclaimed "Bee Thousand" album and the soon-to-be-released "Alien Lanes" album.  Terrific set all the way through.  Then, about half of the way through,  the band brought on fellow Daytonian and bass player for the Pixies to sing on "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" and "Shocker in Gloomtown".   SiG was a song running under two minutes long that Kim Deal did with her side band The Breeders.  She has such a recognizable voice that the bootleg I have of that show today is a real treasure.  Here's the whole show for anyone who cares.  I think it's brilliant.

 

Two Honorable Mentions:

Yes - Oxford, OH (4/28/84) "Starship Trooper" - Still an impressionable high schooler, this was about the most prog rock, 70's extended, wailing guitar solo song that was available for purchase anywhere.  It was Trevor Rabin who played the biggest role in that song, and it was spectacular.  During their 90125 tour where the band saw a resurgence, this song was known to me but not at this level.  It was really an incredible thing to witness along the lines of the "Sugar Mountain" but on the other end of the performance scale.  Never saw them before, and I haven't seen them since.  But, they were incredible.

Travis Scott - Louisville, KY (11/9/18) "Sicko Mode" - My son took me to this one (or, I took him, as the case may be).  Had no idea what to expect, but I've never seen an entire arena jump up and down in unison before.  It was really awesome and gave me faith that the kids today will continue to enjoy the live concert experience...though I wish these rappers had the talent to play their own instruments.

 

Here's a version of "Starship Trooper" from a couple months after my show in Oxford.  I remember all of the blue lasers and smoke and crazy wailing guitar jams just as it is in this performance.  If you can make it all the way through, you'll see why it was such a memorable performance....especially Squire and Rabin.  Wow!

 

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13 minutes ago, sonicramone said:

Here's a version of "Starship Trooper" from a couple months after my show in Oxford.  I remember all of the blue lasers and smoke and crazy wailing guitar jams just as it is in this performance.  If you can make it all the way through, you'll see why it was such a memorable performance....especially Squire and Rabin.  Wow!

 

Taste is a strange thing....and I'm not knocking yours but....

If we had a thread on " concerts you wish you hadn't bothered with " I'd have Yes at Manchester Free Trade Hall doing Tales of Topographic Oceans as my number 1 ,! ....and I taped it ( no, I didn't keep the tape )

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On 5/24/2020 at 7:00 AM, Thunder Roadie said:

That list is obscene! The Ramones at CBGBs and Lou Reed at the bottom Line...wow!

I know! I grew up in NYC at the right time, and I was really into music. That Lou Reed show was really intense and amazing - still one of my best concert memories ever.  I saw Lou Reed several times and once he was actually quite awful. He was either brilliant or awful, there was no in-between. 

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Patterson Hood & Mike Cooley in my buddy Jeff's backyard

Springsteen's second Fenway Park show during The Rising tour

Talking Heads , Speaking In Tongues tour

Jimmy Buffett acoustic.  In a Baptist church.  Before he bought into the whole Parrothead schtick.

DBT Athens Homecoming run February 2020, before things actually DID unravel.  I don't think I've ever seen such symbiotic energy between an artist and a crowd sustained over 3 nights like this one.  

 

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7 hours ago, robk1 said:

Taste is a strange thing....and I'm not knocking yours but....

If we had a thread on " concerts you wish you hadn't bothered with " I'd have Yes at Manchester Free Trade Hall doing Tales of Topographic Oceans as my number 1 ,! ....and I taped it ( no, I didn't keep the tape )

Agree with this 100%.  Your individual experience depends on your age, exposure to big rock shows, the crowd or even how many beers you had before the show.  :) 

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On 5/25/2020 at 2:28 PM, judyg said:

I know! I grew up in NYC at the right time, and I was really into music. That Lou Reed show was really intense and amazing - still one of my best concert memories ever.  I saw Lou Reed several times and once he was actually quite awful. He was either brilliant or awful, there was no in-between. 

Picking up the Village Voice as soon as it was released to check on new shows announced ;)

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6 more that came to mind

Cat Stevens, 11/8/72, Lincoln Center. Touring to support Catch Bull at Four, with his band. The first time I'd seen an Ovation guitar, and heard those lush tones. 15th row, with 4 girls I went to HS with.

Sinatra, 4/8/88, Radio City - I saw him three times, first at the Brendan Byrne in the round, then twice at Radio City, the last time with Dean and Sammy. He just commanded the room. That last show was a Friday night. Saturday I went to see the G-Dead at Worcester. I still maintain that I'm the only person with original master recordings of both of those shows :D https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/frank-sinatra/1988/radio-city-music-hall-new-york-ny-6bd22a92.html

Van Morrison, 5/18/85, Beacon Theater - I got my scalper to get me front row in the loge, and I taped it. Gave the masters years later to a "friend" to remaster, and he's never returned them. :( https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/van-morrison/1985/beacon-theatre-new-york-ny-5bf717d4.html

Warren Zevon, 9/28/82, The Ritz, NYC - Although I saw him several times solo at the Bottom Line, this ~1,500 person ballroom with the full band had a completely different vibe. RIP. https://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/01/arts/pop-warren-zevon-at-the-ritz.html

Janis Ian, 6/28/86, Bottom Line - As I had written my mid-term exam in 7th grade English on Society's Child in 1967, this was one of those experiences that meant a lot.

Fleetwood Mac, 6/30/77, MSG - Rumors tour. Such a great band live. They could rock the house with Go Your Own Way, or The Chain. But when Christine closed with Songbird, you could have heard a pin drop in that place.  https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/fleetwood-mac/1977/madison-square-garden-new-york-ny-53c5df6d.html

As @judyg said earlier, it was a great time to be in NYC.

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