Seen a couple live acts that have kicked my ass for differing reasons. Not all of them kick it on their albums, though....
1. Peter Gabriel first tour back 2 winters ago. Just an amazing show- technically and musically. Starting off with the Blind Boys and Hukwe Zawose (probably just butchered the spelling there) was a pretty cool way to start the evening.
2. Coldplay, Hollywood Bowl Summer 2003. Ever see 19,000 fans completely transfixed in perfomance then cheer for 20 minutes after the show trying to get more encores? The energy was unreal.
3. Dave Matthews solo tour in January.. Staples Center. Between him and Tim Reynolds (lots of notes), Trey Anastasio, Emmielou Harris, and Daniel Lanois (who came on stage to sit in on a couple tunes)... once again 20,000 just going nuts over a show. A hell of a lot of excitement.
4. Tool, Winter 2002 ? Not my usual type of music that I listen to, but an amazing show, just the same.
There are a couple local bands here in LA that are as of yet unsigned that put on pretty amazing shows, too...