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 11, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2009 5:06 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

BigBluMascochist wrote:

1. Grateful Dead with Branford Marsalis & Bruce Hornsby 9/10/1991 :

Hey BigBlu

I am sure you have a boot of this show (and if not let me know).  Bet it was wild!   I could write a page on each long strange road trip I went on the see "the boys." I'll write something about some favorite shows and road trips here soon.

Rock on in peace!

Since: Aug 26, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2009 11:42 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

Queen - Exhibition Stadium Toronto late 70's - Sat in the back row but the music was amazing


Yes - In the Round - Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto - 1977 - Awesome version of Roundabout as an encore.


Styx - Exhibition Stadium Toronto late 70's- Grand Illusion Tour. Stadium Rock at its best. Huge Sound and great light show.


Doug & The Slugs - Ontario Place (Toronto) & Ottawa City Hall (New Years Eve) - mid '90s- Excellent showman, wanders through the crowd while singing.


Sting - The SkyDome (Toronto) - 1991 or 92 - Concrete Blonde opened up.


Billy Joel - Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto (late '80s) - Amazing Talent. Just Billy and his piano. Piano Man live is one of the best perfomances I've seen.


Echo & The Bunnymen - Waterloo summer of 1983 or 84. Amazing show, acoustics were great, a very high energy performance.


Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2009 8:16 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

I'm male and Canadian, so mine are pretty typical.


Neil Young in Halifax.. a few times.  He can rock it as good as anyone, and can also lay down the folk tunes.  He was here in November and surprised me how he still can rock out as good as he was twenty and thirty plus years ago.

Tragically Hip in Moncton... The Hip always always impress live... plus Gord Downy is Harry Sinden's nephew or something like that, so he is a Bruins fan.... They still play pick up in the Toronto area.

I Mother Earth... If you have heard them, they were one of the most prmising Canadian Bands since the Hip, and their technical music sounded the same live as it did on a cd.  They were incredible.

Furnaceface... The Inn at StFX in 1996... I opened for these guys, I hated their music when I heard it on cd, but by far and away the greatest live performance I have ever witnessed in a small bar.  I am pretty sure they won a Juno for best live band before I Mother Earth won it a few times.  I imagine early RedHot CHili Peppers would have performed like these guys.

I am envious of anyone who got to see Queen live... that would have been an incredible show... any of them.

Carlos Del Junco ... Antigonish... This guy played a concert at the local Jazz School... I did sound for him... he played harmonica and by far and away the best harmonica player I have ever heard.... He played one harp... an A flat the entire night.  Whether the song was in C or Bminor or whatever, he played an A flat harp, and was brilliant.  He manipulated his mouth to get the right notes for whatever he did.

Dutch Mason  ... Canadian Blues Legend... first time I met him I was nervous, but he calmed me down and said "don't worry about nothin' we're gonna be real drunk tonight."

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2009 7:26 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

There were $. YES, Genesis, and Supertramp...Jethro Tull!!!  All amazing....musically, theatrically, and induced mind fun!

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2009 7:21 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

This is some great stuff. Just what I was looking for. I hope everyone else is enjoying reading these, too.

Rev -- I would love to have seen the New Order encore of Sister Ray. VU is one of my favorite groups, and Lou Reed is one of my favorite musical artists of all time. I think Sister Ray is a great song, and I almost can't imagine what the song would sound like played by New Order.

Keep 'em comin'!

Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2009 5:17 pm

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

the tubes best concert ever freewaybill was amazing

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2009 10:44 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

Great idea for a post, Iggy. In no particular order:

1. Grateful Dead with Branford Marsalis & Bruce Hornsby 9/10/1991: I saw the Dead too many times to count, but the fact is that this particular show will always be the the one that jumps to mind. The Dead plaued with a lot of guests on stage, but the ones that gave into letting the music direct them and take them for a ride made for special moments. None were more special than this moment, with Branford and Horsnsby weaving a jazzy tapestry around Garcia and Lesh - it was an amazing 3 hours of music.

2.  Frank Sinatra @ Radio City Music Hall June 1990: Again, believe it or not I'd seen Sinatra a number of times. He was older, voice not as strong as it used to be - but sitting in the 4th row center stage with Tom Selleck behind me, Tony Bennett 4 seats away on my left and Jack Nicholson a row in front of me? And that wasn't even the best part - Frank was in a rare mood that night, very feisty and upbeat (it was about a month after Sammy Davis Jr. passed away, so maybe he had a new outlook on life?) and actually came out to sing an encore (which he hardly ever did). After the encore, he came to the foot of the stage and started shaking hands with people. When you get to shake hands and say hi to the Chairman of the Board, it's a great night.

3. The Who's "Farewell" tour w/ David Johansen & The Clash - Shea Stadium 10/13/1982: Just the vibe during the show - ultimately this wouldn't be the "farewell tour" everyone thought it would be, but still... That gigantic lighted "WHO" running from one corner of the outfield to the other was awesome.

4. Broadway: "Death and the Maiden" at the Brooks Atkinson Theater 1992: 3rd row center stage for a 3-person play starring Glenn Close, Gene Hackman and Richard Dreyfuss. I was literally 10 feet away from Gene Hackman as he was tied to a chair, sweating profusely as he screamed his lines in anger - I could see the veins poppinf out of his neck. An unreal experience seeing three hollywood icons in action.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2009 8:35 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

Great concept. I've seen quite a few great live performances in my time.

Aerosmith - I've seen them live on 3 occasions, and they always put on a great show. It's easy to see why Steven Tyler is so skinny since all he does is run around for a couple hours on stage.

Meatloaf - Seems like an odd entry, but he puts on a great live show, and can really work the crowd.

Motley Crue - Another band I have seen multiple times, and their shows are probably the best I've ever been too. Loud music, pyrotechnics going off all over the place. During the Dr. Feelgood tour, Tommy Lee was on a drumset suspended from the ceiling that went all around the stadium, the only drawback for me was he was only wearing a studded jockstrap, not a sight I needed to see. Red, White and Crue tour was incredible, it was like a circus with girls and midgets running all over the place. CrueFest was amazing since there were 5 bands playing.

BuckCherry - Saw them at CrueFest, similar to Steven Tyler, it's not too hard to figure out why Josh Todd is so dang skinny.

Def Leppard - Another great show, saw them at an outdoor arena, they had 5 different oncors. Which continually answered my, "Why didn't they play      

Creed/3Doors Down - Caught their New Years Eve act. Great show. The only down part was when a guy went onstage to propose to his girlfriend. It was in Philly, and he walks out with a New York Giants hat on, so naturally the crowd had to Boo him.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2009 8:35 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

The Who in 1981 at the LA Colisium.  We managed to get 50 feet from center stage and it was quite the experience.  I remember U2 at the US festival as being quite profound (when Bono climbed the rigging for the lights all the way to the top while still singing).  Since then every concert seems pale.  Though I would say that Genesis at the Hollywood Bowl in 2007where very good as well.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2009 3:11 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

I have several, but the two that really stand out for me would be Queen w/Billy Squire and Paul Simon. Queen was someone I had always wanted to see and on the day of the show, a buddy of mine stopped by the house and said, "Get dressed. We're going to see Queen tonight." Part of the cool thing about a concert is lining up the tickets a month or three ahead of the show and knowing that it's out there in your future. But in this case, the spontaneity of the thing made it that much better. Freddy Mercury was an amazing performer. Spot on vocals... crowd interaction, good lights, great show. Billy was kind of fun as well.

I saw Paul Simon the year before he came out with Graceland. It was an outdoor show and many of the lawn tickets were given away to several local businesses and government offices including where my mom worked. Paul was not very popular at the time. We got there and grabbed our spots in the lawn, in the rain... the place was half empty. Paul comes out on stage, sits on a stool with his guitar and says for everyone in the pavillion to move forward. Then he has the lawn people move into the back of the pavillion. So I'm only about 45 rows or so back. The stage is set up with a partition so that it looks about the size of a large living room. Paul just started strumming away and singing his solo and Simon and Garfunkel stuff. It felt like we were just sitting around with him listening to him jam in his living room. He was pretty talkative and funny. It was truly "An evening with Paul Simon." not "just" a concert. The next year, after Graceland was released, his show sold out in 20 minutes or something. I didn't go. But I'll always remember the one I did go to.

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