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Best Live Show You've Ever Witnessed?
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Jax
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10th December 2002
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Talking Best Live Show You've Ever Witnessed?

Who, what, when, where was the best live performance you've ever been at?

Genre doesn't matter. Year doesn't matter. Venue doesn't matter, etc.

Why did the show whoop on your soul so hard?

I saw Stanley Jordan perform about 12 years ago. He had one guitar on a stand that he played chords and rhythm accompaniment and wore the lead guitar. There was a backing band cosisting of standup bass and drums, but they didn't need to be there, and they looked it. I have never heard anything like this done on guitar. He did a version of "Elenor Rigby" that seemed like it was imported straight from a habitable, undiscovered planet where music was developed by altogether different means. The song was still recognizable, but it was something completely different.

My friend and I left that show in utter disbelief of what we had just witnessed. This might all sound a little dramatic, but I'm reflecting on the experience shared by the whole audience. It was one of the two most astounding musical performances I've ever had in my life. The other was Zakir Hussain with Ravi Shankar and other equally proficient accompanists on harmonium and clay drum. I didn't go there expecting to weep at the beauty of it, but I did. The Stanley Jordan show was less spiritual, but still mind numbing.
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I got to lots of shows so for me there's been too many that were incredible...

One of the most recent was the bonnaroo festival in Tennessee...

I recommend everyone check out the 2 disk DVD of the festival for a taste of what went down there...
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Nickel Creek on 11/20. Really great band!!!!
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The Who with Moon (at their peak). You had to see it to believe it.

Hendrix.

Pink Floyd.
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Jellyfish in 4 part harmony!
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The Family Dollar Pharoahs opening for Southern Culture on the Skids.
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The Down From The Mountain tour at the Ryman Auditorium

Spinal Tap, with Run C&W opening.

The last night of Van Halen's 1984 tour.

Zeppelin's 'Houses Of The Holy' Tour.

The Meters at Tipitina's.

They only did 3 songs that night, but the Fairfield Four singing at a Clinton/Gore rally in Nashville was truly magical. (I was paid to be there - we played after the Fairfield Four...)

Others will probably come to mind.
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Little River Band at the Universal Amphitheatre in Hollywood in 1980.
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1973 (?) Led Zep tour...Eagles opening act...what else can ya say?

1998 (?) Moody Blues/Midland Symphony Orchestra...As good as I could have ever wished for...

2000 Texas Playboys Reunion Ruidoso NM...all surviving Playboys that could still navigate on the stage at one time...an extremely emotional moment in honor of a truly original and never-to-be duplicated artform that pop radio has been hell-bent to destroy...I counted 14 fiddles during "Faded Love"...each dropping out until there was just one left... and then there were none. (sorry...I still get pretty damned chocked up about that moment...)
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Tower of Power - Early '80's

Unbelievable!
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'Tower Of Power' early 70's at the Tower Theatre in Philly, opening for Quincy Jones.
I saw 'Level 42' in the mid 80's. At that moment they sounded like the best four piece band I had ever heard.
Buddy Rich Big band @ 71'.
Earth Wind & Fire at the Garden in '79.
I did a television show in Madrid in the mid 80's. Kind of like the tonight show. Stephan Grappelli and his trio were on the show. I got to sit with him in the green room for an hour. He play me the heads of the first four songs he recorded with Django. He also told me how George Shearing discovered him. He was so deep. I'm a lucky guy.
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i was lucky enough to have backstage passes to almost every show that came thru dallas/ft. worth from 1973-1980...so many incredible shows.

zeppelin, deep purple, aerosmith, uriah heep( when gary thain was electrocuted on stage), elvis, foghat, yes, queen, the who, zz top, etc...

no sequencers or backing tracks...just ****ing great musicians.

but the two best shows were:

cat stevens...small theatre, spiritual and amazing

the tubes...first tour with the full-on out of control stage show.

runners-up:

george shearing with mel torme...two gifted masters.

stevie ray vaughn at crossroads in nacogdoches, TX( he played there about every month when i was in college)...unbridled and unmatched.
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Judas Priest: Palace of Auburn Hills Michigan, 1988. Something about that show was just larger than life. I'll never forget it.

Entobmed: Harpo's, 1994. I didn't even know who the hell they were, but got dragged to the show. They blew me away.

Sepultura: Harpo's on the "Chaos A.D." tour. Anyone remember that song "Territory?" That was the tour. They must have stuffed 3000 people into a venue designed to fit 1500. The most out of control show I've ever seen. Unfortuantely, they took a creative nose-dive shortly thereafter.

Judas Priest: Michigan State Theater, 1996. Packed to the gills and they blew the roof off the joint, literally! Paint chips were falling from the cieling!
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I tell ya, I saw James Taylor the other night with Gadd playing drums, Johnson on bass, and Landau on guitar. Unbelievable!
Thanks,
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1.d'angelo and the soultronics 8with ?uestlove,pino palladino and roy hargroove) quart festival 2000.
best show ever and the hottest ladies in the audience..woheee!

2.red hot chili peppers with arik marshall on guitar werchter festival 1992

long live arik!
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REM on monster tour in 95 on hot balmy night..

Radiohead on OK computer tour.. they even said themselves it was thier best gig to date @ the time!

Gomez..

Mogwai

To name a few

Nirvana underage gig in 91 when they week they did the cover of RS and 'never mind' blew up.

PEACE
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The Who, Lou Reed, Bad Company - Charlton Athletic Football Ground, circa 1976.

Was in the Guiness book of world records for being the loudest ever. My ears rang for 2 days!

Rivalled perhaps by Janes Addiction - 'secret gig' Subterania club london, mid 90's.
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Queensryche's Empire tour- best eye candy.
King's X(any!)- most spiritual experience.
Rush's Vapor Trails- most recent.
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Sonny Rollins at the Lisner auditorium in DC, sometime in the late 80's.
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1. Pink Floyd performing "The Wall" at the LA sports arena 1980.
2. Led Zeppelin at the Inglewood Forum 1977...the night that Keith Moon got up and doubled with Bonzo on Moby Dick.
3. Rush; "Farewell to Kings" tour at the Santa Monica Civic, with UFO opening.
4. Aerosmith at the either the Starwood, Santa Monica civic or Cal Jam II ; 1978.
5. Elton John, Dodger Stadium ('76 I think).
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Quote:
Originally posted by recorderman
1. Pink Floyd performing "The Wall" at the LA sports arena 1980.
2. Led Zeppelin at the Inglewood Forum 1977...the night that Keith Moon got up and doubled with Bonzo on Moby Dick.
3. Rush; "Farewell to Kings" tour at the Santa Monica Civic, with UFO opening.
4. Aerosmith at the either the Starwood, Santa Monica civic or Cal Jam II ; 1978.
5. Elton John, Dodger Stadium ('76 I think).
Oh...and any Quite Riot gig circa '78 that I was at...Randy Rhodes was the shit!!!
6. Van Halen'77, Motley Crue'80, Guns & Roses'87 all at the Wiskey
7. Judas Preist at the Wiskey'77
8. Bob Dylan with the GreatfulfDead '78;Anaheim
9. Rolling Stones '81 (Way better than '78 or '91...wish I'd seen them earlier though)

Damn...there were alot of great shows back in the day...
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1st Hendrix tour...1960 something....San Antonio TX
Afterwards:
Hendrix came to a night spot - "Love Street" and sat down... turned a Gibson 335 upside down and along with Mitch Mitchell and the house band's bass player proceed to play about 1 hour of BLUES in front of about 20 folks...
I was one of em...got to meet him...probably THE BEST concert (jam) I have ever been to. rollz
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The two that stick out are U2--4th night in Chicago May 2001, and Springsteen in Chicago this past fall.

Dave
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A few favorites:

Penguin Cafe Orchestra in a DC auditorium (Lisner?) late 80's/early 90's

Nine Inch Nails - 9:30 club. Right when PHM came out and he was still doing 2 shows a night with the scaffolding on stage.

Lou Reed and the Feelies in DC (New York tour) - the Feelies set was great and it looked like Lou might have trouble matching it. He comes out and says, we're going to play the New York album in it's entirety, take a short break and then play some older songs you might know. Kicked ass.

Neil Young Acoustic tour at Merriweather Post Pavillion some time in the 90's... 3rd row seats
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Saw Black Sabbath a few years ago on Roskilde Festival in Denmark after their reunion, although without Bill Ward- i think Vinnie Appice (spelling?) was the drummer. I would of course have liked to see them in the 70's at their peak, but this was the godfathers of Heavy metal playing nearly 2 hours of their best songs in front of approx. 20000 people. The band was clearly enjoying playing again, joking with each other during and in between songs, and it sounded exactly as it should. Just to see those old geezers (!) having such a good time with each other was enough to make it the best for me, and the sheer power was incredible.
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For just a full-on show: Pink Floyd

For just full-on bad-to-the-bone playing: King Crimson
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Sat down at a pink flyd Dark Side of the moon tour consert, right at the top, halfway back in Wembley arena and payed little mind to the speaker stack right behind me...

Half way through the concert there was a very loud 'tape hiss' behind us - then a deafening BONG!!!!!! and then a contant barage of alarm clok / bell noises!

That was for the song 'Time"

Those were the quadrophonic surround speakers I had my head in! Everyone near them jumped a mile, then we all laughed! Being loaded just for the show made it even more of a shock!

Those pesky Floyd!
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Steve Vai - St. Andrew's Hall, an intimate Christmas show that was just rocking, Mike Keneally played with him...

Lollapalooza - Alice In Chains (Best Live drum sound I've heard)

Pink Floyd - Silverdome '94? (Just because it's Pink Floyd, I *know* it wasn't the classic lineup)

Roger Waters - Boston '99? (Just because it's Roger Waters, I *know* it wasn't the classic lineup)
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- Jellyfish @ First Ave for the split milk tour.

- David Lee Roth (with Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan) LaCrosse Center - Eat'em and smile tour.

- Billy Joel @ the Target Center for the River of Dreams tour.

- Lyle Lovett @ the Rochester Civic Center for the Step inside this house tour.

- My best 24 hours of rock was in the late 80's. Def Leppard (in the round) with Telsa kicking ass as the opening act. Then then following day the Monsters of Rock (scorpions, dokken, metallica, van halen) at the Metrodome. Shitty room but it was fun to watch George Lynch pissing off the rest of dokken.

- One of my favorite mixing nights was Martin Zellar and the Hardways (former Gear Daddies singer and bass player) at a local club. They did all the classics (however they did not do the Zamboni song - that would have made it a perfect night!).
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Quote:
Originally posted by jspartz


- David Lee Roth (with Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan) LaCrosse Center - Eat'em and smile tour.
My 1st rock concert!
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