Blog Entry

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

Posted on: January 30, 2009 12:34 am
Edited on: January 30, 2009 12:39 am

I'm going to take a page from fellow CBS member Da Fan In Japan and take a slightly different slant on the live music scene. Da Fan has posted a blog on the Best Live Album, and it's done quite well. I want to post a blog on the best live SHOW you've seen. This won't be a poll, just a spot to regale us all with tales of great shows you've seen and the venues you've seen them in.

This doesn't have to be about rock. If you've seen some good jazz shows, country, etc., post up. Whatever floats your boat.

I'll start with a few I've seen over the years.

Beatlemania -- first show I ever saw, at Cincinnati Gardens. Maybe this one doesn't count, but the guys in this group for Beatlemania were really good.

The Clash -- I saw them at Hara Arena in Dayton on the Combat Rock Tour. This was a loud and intense show. "Festival" seating was allowed on the floor, but I was smart enough to get an actual seat on the left side of ths stage about half-way back in the arena. Fantastic show.

David Gilmour -- I saw him on the About Face Tour. On the floor, right side of the stage, in line with the speakers. I can still hear the buzzing in my ears. I think this one was at Cincinnati Gardens, too, but can't remember for sure.

The Police -- I saw them at Riverfront Coliseum, back when it was still called Riverfront Coliseum. It was the Synchronicity Tour. The opening act, Reflex (famous for the "hit" The Politics of Dancing" -- completely forgettable), was awful, but The Police were awesome.

The Go-Gos -- They were at Riverbend in Cincinnati on the Prime Time Tour. INXS opened for them and were actually better, though the girls put on a pretty good show, too. I still recall that show when I think about what Michael Hutchence did to himself. Idiot.

That same summer, I think, I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Gregg Allman Band. Stevie Ray was on the Live Alive tour, and Allman was on the I'm No Angel Tour. What a show that was. A friend of mine still has the pick he caught from Stevie Ray. That's another show I think about with some sadness, but glad to have seen Stevie Ray before death caught up with him.

Morrissey -- Having always been a big fan of The Smiths, when Morrissey went solo, I started buying his albums, too. And when his tour came to Riverbend one summer, I couldn't resist. Another great show, though Morrissey was a bit of a self-important gasbag and refused to do an encore after security wouldn't let the crowd get closer to the stage.

Sinead O'Connor -- Also saw Sinead O'Connor at Riverbend. This was before she completely lost her mind. Very emotional performer, eloquent speaker, great singer. She had a fine band, too. I think guitarist Marco Pirroni was on that tour.


Anyway, those are a few of my tales. Please feel free to add yours here. No rush, no hurry. I'd just like to read some of your tales of your days of yore, listening to good music in interesting venues.



Category: General

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2009 12:26 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

Van Hagar- Blossom Music Center, 1995, near Cleveland, Ohio.  They just simply rocked.  THeu were touring after the release of the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album, but they still played all teh hits.  This band was awful with DLR, Sammy had real talent and the show was awsome.  Skid Row opened, and they tore the place down with their set.

The other that stands out is Dave Matthews Bands, 2005, West Palm Beach.  They are without question my favorite band.  Just so much talent, its almost criminal to be this good.  The weather was awful, it was raining and cold that July night, but DMB absolutely rocked.  I have seenthem 4 times and this was without question the best 1.  If you have the Greatest Hits album they did,it was 2 discs, 1 live, 1 studio, the live version of Don't Drink the Water was from that concert.

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2009 11:41 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

I've been to so many concerts(stadiums, arenas, clubs) so when I try to think of one that I enjoyed the most, or my favorite, the one that sticks out in my mind the most was the Stones, July/1972 at the Akron Rubber Bowl.  Stevie Wonder warmed up the crowd for Mick and the boys.  I can still hear Mick wailin "Well you heard about the Boston.......Honey, its not one of those."  I've seen them 9 or 10 times, heard that tune at every show, but that show did it for me as far as settling the Beatles or Stones conundrum.  Of course, that little orange barrel I ate for a late lunch that day might have had something to do with it.

Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2009 2:26 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

GWAR. They are disguting, foul, raunchy, and politically incorrect. But oh man can they entertain.

I went to a show where the "plot" was almost a rip-off of Donte's Inferno. They walked through Hell, playing their songs, spraying the crowd with blood, guts, and other various bodily fluids (fake, of course). Man it was awesome.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2009 1:03 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

BigBlu -

I have a 3rd gen Soundboard of this full show on tape - it is a killer. Guess I always thought the soundboards would be available on so I never burned a CD of the show.  You can stream audio of the show at  I would always be happy to burn a tape for you though.  Anything for a fellow who's been on that long strange trip.  If you'd like a copy, drop me a line - email at

Rock on in peace.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2009 10:58 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

DH Trea -

I had a boot on tape but lost it years ago - I recently found the show on one of "those" sites and downloaded a few track from it. It was pretty great.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2009 1:30 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

Festivals -

'83 US Festival - I attended this as a high school graduation present.  My mother asked me if I wanted a class ring and I said that I wanted to attend this festival in the California valley.  I had an uncle living in Glendale at the time so I stayed with him.  Different uncle than the one mentioned in the Kiss tale; much crazier uncle.  He was a strugling musician and music copywriter.  A few months prior he was fortunate enough to meet George Harrison which is another story on itself.  The concert began the day after graduation; I was at a party until 3am and my flight was at 7am so the sleep I got was on the plane trip.  When I arrived and got into my uncle's car, first thing he did was hand me a beer.  "Better drink this," he said, "I'm worried about you, if I worry about you too much I'll have to send you home."  He was my Dr. Gonzo to my Raoul Duke on this trip as this conversation occurred several times over the two weeks.  We had an early lunch at a greesy spoon (started my affection for eating at local dives whenever I road trip) and drove out to the show.  With the drive and setting up our tent in the camp area, we missed most of the day one acts but I we did catch the headliner, The Clash.  I didn't realize until a few years ago that it was the Clash's last show.  They were good (it's the Clash, of course they were good) and you could see the tension in the band on stage.  Seemed no one came within two yards of another band member.  The second day was called "Heavy Metal Sunday."  The venue was on a large hill and at the top of the hill was a statue of John Lennon.  From the top of the hill the crowd site was unbelievable.  Over 300,000 on day 2; at least double the crowd from the day before.  Saw Motley Crue before I had heard of them.  Ozzy was great.  Judas Preist rocked out (Rob driving a motorcycle onto the stage).  Triumph was really good but didn't seem to fit with the previous two acts.  The Scorpions were great as well.  Van Halen was allright..., they were actually better the next time I saw them.  They debuted songs off of "1984" and it was their first show with synths which could have been why they didn't seem quite comfortable.  Day 3, about 200,000, had U2 as an early act.  They were spectacular for about an hour long set.  I took a nap during Quarterflash knowing I wouldn't be missing much.  The Pretenders were sweet.  Joe Walsh was awesome and I swear he drank a fifth of Jack during his 90 minute set.  Fell in love again with Stevie Nicks, her beautiful brown eyes on the big screen.  Then the headliner, David Bowie.  I wish I had seen him when I was too young to appreciate him during the 70s but he was really good all the same.

Austin City Limits Festival - I live in Austin so going to this when I have has been a no-brainer.  I highly recommend y'all coming down to check this fest out.  It ain't Bonnaroo but it isn't intended to be - first difference being no camping so book your hotel or bunk with a local.  Next one being they try to limit it to about 80,000 a day for three days.  Wristbands for all three days go pretty quickly and single day tickets are pretty limited.  Both national and local acts (something for everyone but sorry no metal bands, bands with buzz and some you just take a chance on to see what they got) appearing on seven stages, not counting the kids stage, and there's a huge food court (bring lots of cash) with only local businesses and vendors.  Often several acts appear at once so you have to pick and choose who to see and they've done a good job as far as noise not filtering to the stage you're at.  It's held at Zilker Park, a city park along Lady Bird Lake just off downtown.  Lady Bird Lake is really just a dammed up portion of the Colorado River running through town.  It's walkable from downtown but if you do walk it, wear sensible shoes.  One day, I wore by Chuck Taylor's without socks and walked it and by the end of the day: massive blisters.  The first year I went was the second ACL fest in 2003.  That year I saw Liz Phair, Robert Earl Keen, Los Lonely Boys (blew me the freak away!), Mavis Staples (she was incredible, even passed on Steve Winwood (had seen Traffic open for the Grateful Dead), Al Green, Asleep at the Wheel, The Derailers, North Mississippi All Stars, String Cheese Incident, The Shins, Lucinda Williams, the Polyphonic Spree (unbelievable, had the crowd being true believers), Jack Johnson, Yonder Mountain String Band, Ben Harper and REM.  Something for everyone.  That year was so great that the following year they increased capacity to over 100,000 a day which they found out was too much so they try to hold it now at the 80,000 mark; a perfect sized crowd, not too many lines, etc.  In 2004 I saw The Killers, Blind Boys of Alabama, Solomon Burke, Toots & the Maytals, Franz Ferdinand, Sheryl Crow, Cat Power, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket, Clarence "Gatemouth" Borwn, The Wailers and The Pixies (reunion and it was AWESOME!!!), the Roots, Elvis Costello, Spoon and Wilco.  Some advise if you go; no coolers but 1 bottle of sealed water can be brought in and can be refilled inside and drink lots of it - its still summer here in late September so expect temps well above 90, bring an ID if you're a beer drinker but try to hold off til nighttime due to the heat, and unless you like the nice hard ground bring a blanket and maybe a folding chair, preferably a colapsing one that fits in a bag over your shoulder.  Hot during the day but the temp will drop off and greatly by comparison of the day so bring something you can throw over you.  I havn't been since '04 but plan on going this year.  Come on down and enjoy!

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2009 2:29 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

And since you can't check - as long as you shared a story, you got a five.  What in the holiest of holy's name are the so-called mindtrust at CBS thinking...  And how in firey Hades do I get a score of over 100.  But as they sang about the followers of Joseph Smith on South Park, "Dum dum dum dum dum..."

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2009 2:24 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

A couple of shows that Iggy mentioned brought back some thoughts...

BEATLEMANIA - I was so geeked to see this show.  And yeah, it falls into the category of "not really a concert but..."  As they put it in the advertising, "Not the Beatles but an incredible simulation...."  And to me it was.  First time I saw the show I was thirteen, on December 20th, 1979 at the Shubert Theater (now the Merriam Theater) in Philly.  In this performance, the "original John" was playing, guy by the name of Marshall Crenshaw, very good musician in his own right.  I still have the Playbill from this show as well as the "official program and some crappy faded photos I took.  And went back and saw it two more times.  I'm not sure if it was the second or third time I saw it but the "original Paul" Mitch Weissman was performing and he was a dead ringer and spot on Paul. 

SINEAD O'CONNER - One of the best club gigs I've seen.  Saw her right after her debut "The Lion and the Cobra" was released (another really good 80's album - better than most of that pop-rock crap...  Huey Lewis.  Brian Adams.  GAG!) at First Avenue in Minneapolis.  Not sure if y'all are familiar with this club but it is HUGE.  It's were the live scences and club shots were filmed for "Purple Rain."  Saw alot of shows at First Avenue, including Prince.  Back then I worked at a bookstore/newsstand on the corner of Hennepin and Seventh in Mpls., across the street was the best dang music indie music store in the midwest, "Northern Lights" (looks to be gone now), and a block down was "First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry."  We all kinda had a under the counter sharing program; their employees would get our employee discount (or better) and we got a discount and promo's from Northern Lights as well as comp tickets to First Avenue.  So I think I saw Sinead on a comp.  About 800-1000 people, mostly on the floor.  At that time, she rocked and she was hot! 

More to come...

Rock on.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2009 1:51 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

I can't simply list my fave concerts...I really can't remember them all for one reason or another... Wink I'm thinking more toward great shows, great experiences and telling the tale.  So I will start with my first concert.

Let me take you back to the brisk Philadelphia Monday of January 30, 1978.  To make this sports related my beloved Dallas Cowboys had won the Super Bowl (SB XII) 15 days prior just beating heck out of Denver and their vaunted "Orange Crush" defense.  My father, the sadist and Iggle fan (so I guess he was a machocist as well), the morning of the Super Bowl game said when I woke up, "Trea, it's awful, last night in New Orleans Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson, Randy White, Too Tall, Hollywood, Tony Dorsett and Cliff Harris all got arrested in a bar fight and won't play!  I bawled for sure.  And I'm sure that as a Cowboy fan growing up in Philly I was still being pelted with rocks and garbage two weeks later by my friends. 

Upon coming home from school, I learned that my older sister who was 14 at the time had gotten herself grounded.  She was supposed to go to a concert that night with her girlfriends and my mother was to chaperone.  Well, Leslie's friends still intended to go and my mom didn't want to leave them hanging just because Leslie was grounded so my mom asked if I wanted to go.  At the age of twelve, still trying to find my place on this mortal coil, a chance to go to a concert AND hang with hot high school chick was something I couldn't pass on and definitely would boost my geeky reputation at the time.

So down to the Spectum we go, about an hour drive from where I lived.  My mother was in for a shock!  I don't think she had any idea how rabid fans of KISS could be.  Faced painted, some in costume.  We settle into our seats.  Lights drop.  The oddest smell to me filled the air but somehow familiar... it smelled like my uncles apartment minus the incense!  Opening for KISS that night was a band that at that time I hadn't heard of, from someplace called Rockford, Ill.  Well, a year later everyone knew who they were.  I don't really remember much about Cheap Trick that night - 12 year old contact buzz perhaps?  But when the lights dropped for the headliner, and while still dark, hearing that guitar...bana bana bana bana bana...definately Detroit Rock City.  So my first ever concert at age 12, in 1978, the heights of their glory, was "fire-breathing, blood spitting, guitars exploding, Peter Chris sitting at the foot of the stage, mother fudging" KISS!

And this was the first of many many instances where someone elses misfortune allowed me to see a concert. 

Rock on in peace y'all!

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2009 10:12 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen


Marshall Tucker

Bruce Springsteen

The Who

Rolling Stones 1989


Phil Collins with Earth Wing and Fire

Tom Petty with Jackson Brown

Moody Blues

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