Last night I saw the best concert I've ever seen, and I've seen lots of them, starting with Bobby Rydell at the local National Guard Armory in 1963. In between that and last night I saw Henrix, Stephen Stills, Cat Stevens, Janis Joplin and many more.
But last night we went to a small outdoor concert in Albuquerque to see Johnny Clegg, and I was absolutely overwhelmed by the entire show, clapping my hands off for an encore and feeling swept away by his music, his awesome band and the incredible songs themselves.
So, Johnny Clegg now ranks as the best I've ever seen live. Who would you put in that category? (and, if you will, take a few minutes and check him out. I think you'll be amazed)
Fascinating, I started this thread almost two years ago, and since then I've played in 18 states, two Canadian provinces, had two heart attacks and began a twice weekly concert series in the Florida panhandle that has taken off like crazy, over 100 people per show per week and this week we'll introduce a local blues legend named Slim Fatz.
It has been a great run reading these responses and imagining the incredible shows everyone's seen. I'm back now to throw in the name of a great trio from Tallahassee - take your breath away music - called The New 76ers. And if you're ever in the panhandle drop in and catch a show. Either way, it's wonderful to see the responses and to realize how much good music there is out there. No concert should cost more than 10 bucks, and if we can ever defeat thugs like BMI and ASCAP (which will re-open hundreds of small music venues and be the end of their boss, TicketMaster) maybe we'll return to concert prices human beings can afford.
Thanks for all the great stories. I've enjoyed them all......
Have seen many great performers over the years. Three stand out
1. Buddy Guy & Johnny Winter at the Channel in Boston in the 1980s. Johnny was great, but when Buddy came out, he lit up the stage with great joy, great panache, great singing and electrifying playing.
2 BB King at the Boston Tea Party, 1968 or 1969. I came out of that one, a shy teenager, totally sober, but shouting the song "Sweet 16" to the late-night, empty streets with my voice reverberating off the empty office buildings.
3 Andy Irvine at the Dedham (MA) Ale House, early 1980s. After the tremendous ovation he got on his first number, Andy recounted that he been mugged upon landing at La Guardia airport in NYC just before the show and was still shaken by it. We loved him all the more for showing up, and he put on a sterling show.
Richard Thompson doing almost two hours of straight solo acoustic in Raleigh at the end of September this year as a benefit concert. The friends who accompanied me have seen him 7 or 8 times in all types of acoustic and electric combinations and said it was the best they had ever seen. It felt like there were 3 guitarists on stage. What also made this special is that in the same couple of weeks I got to see Bill Kirchen at a club a few blocks from my house and Dave Alvin doing a rockin' two-hour straight concert . It doesn't get any better!
This is impossible, but just a few:
1) Only time in San Fran, Fillmore West 1970: Seatrain, Buddy Rich Band, Ten Years After
2) The Band, Kleinhan's Music Hall (1969) and abandoned New York Central Train Station (1983)
3) John Prine, Riverboat Yorkville Toronto, Diamonds in the Rough just released
4) Hot Tuna w/ Charlie Musselwhite (and Jim Lauderdale though he didn't really fit), couple years ago
5) The Who, "The Tent" aka Melody Fair 1967, Kleinhan's (Tommy) 1968
Oh so many more.
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd 1976.
2. Steve Earle 1996 Feel alright Tour
3. Fred Eaglesmith 2011, 2012, 2013
Nils Lofgren 1974-now
I've posted on this thread before but since i'm a bit bored i'll tell you the 3 best i've seen THIS year :
1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
2. Jason Isbell / Amanda Shires.
3. Steve Earle.
Mark Lanegan Band
6/22/76 - The Grateful Dead - Tower Theatre - 3rd row - I saw the Dead many times in the 70s, but being close up, in a small venue, This is a night that I will never forget.