Live Music: What Are Your 5 Most Unforgettable Concerts?

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I didn't get to see the Pixies until 2018, touring with Weezer, at the Xfinity center in Mansfield, MA. I got to see Kim with the Breeders at House of Blues on Lansdowne St. that Spring, and stand there taking pictures afterward as my buddy who got me to go made a spectacle of himself fawning over Kelly on the sidewalk outside.

Frank Black (Black Francis) and Kim Deal are amazing together, which is why it's such a shame they can't get along.

Oh, given the forum, I should mention seeing Weird Al in concert three times! Each time was more than a decade apart, too. The last time was the 2019 Strings Attached Tour. And the first time he was still wearing glasses and had the 'stache.

I will be so grateful when live music gets back to normal.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

payn

Legend
Frank Black (Black Francis) and Kim Deal are amazing together, which is why it's such a shame they can't get along.

Oh, given the forum, I should mention seeing Weird Al in concert three times! Each time was more than a decade apart, too. The last time was the 2019 Strings Attached Tour. And the first time he was still wearing glasses and had the 'stache.
Never seen Black Franny, but I have seen Deal a good number of times. She is fantastic in anything.
I will be so grateful when live music gets back to normal.
I got tix for 3/16 to see Car Seat Headrest. I cant wait. Its been too long.
 

Scottius

Explorer
These are in no particular order.

NIN - For a variety of reasons I didn't get to attend many concerts back in the 90s but it had been a lifelong goal to see Trent and company live and I finally got to do so during the NINJA tour with Jane's Addiction. They were every bit as raw and powerful as I'd expected them to be.

The Pixies - Glad I got to see them while Kim was still playing with the band. They played every song I would have asked for had I been composing the set list.

Bauhaus - haunting and atmospheric and everything my inner teenage goth wanted it to be.

The Cure - Speaking of goth... I've seen Robert and co twice now and they were amazing both shows but the first time really stands out. He was sick enough his doctor had asked him not to go on and yet they performed anyway and did a packed set covering all eras of the band with multiple encores. A transcendent evening.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - One of my favorite groups of all time and they absolutely blew me away. Warren Ellis was an absolute madman on his violin. He was shredding strings on that thing like crazy. And Nick was as good a performer as I've ever seen.

And I'm cheating with a 6th entry! You can't stop me!

Dresden Dolls - They were amazing live. Great choices of covers mixed in with the best of their own songs. Powerful performances from both Amanda and Brian. This was from their last tour during their original run before Amanda started doing her solo material.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I will be so grateful when live music gets back to normal.
Finally attended my first show since the pandemic on Sunday the 30th; Caravan Palace at House of Blues. They were amazing again (I saw them the last time they were in Boston as well). Vax required, and crowd mask adherence was really solid. Covid numbers have finally been dropping in MA and NH for the last 2-3 weeks, which I'm very glad of, with tickets to several shows coming up.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
These are in no particular order.

NIN - For a variety of reasons I didn't get to attend many concerts back in the 90s but it had been a lifelong goal to see Trent and company live and I finally got to do so during the NINJA tour with Jane's Addiction. They were every bit as raw and powerful as I'd expected them to be.

The Pixies - Glad I got to see them while Kim was still playing with the band. They played every song I would have asked for had I been composing the set list.

Bauhaus - haunting and atmospheric and everything my inner teenage goth wanted it to be.

The Cure - Speaking of goth... I've seen Robert and co twice now and they were amazing both shows but the first time really stands out. He was sick enough his doctor had asked him not to go on and yet they performed anyway and did a packed set covering all eras of the band with multiple encores. A transcendent evening.

I, too, have seen NIN, Pixies, Bauhaus, and two shows by the Cure.

It's interesting to see such common musical interests among those of us posting in this thread.

I'll be seeing Dream Theater for the 2nd time next weekend. Anybody else a fan?
 
Last edited:

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Having not seen The Cure yet is something I periodically kick myself over. Not as bad as with Soundgarden, of course, because I can still hopefully see The Cure.
 



Not as bad as with Soundgarden
Im a big Soundgarden fan. Saw them twice. First time was July of 1994 for the Superunknown tour. Second time was in July of 2010. They were both good shows and they sounded good, but on both occasions, there was little stage presence or crowd interaction. They just went through their set and I dont recall exactly but I dont think they did an encore. Second time I saw them we were in the pit in front of the seating and they were so loud it was hard to even hear what they were playing at times and enjoy the show. They also played some songs at that point that Cornell had a lot of trouble singing by then, especially Beyond the Wheel. Think I'd have preferred to have seen them for the King Animal tour instead of the 2010 one. Dont get me wrong they were both good shows but I suspect that anything after the Badmotorfinger tour paled in comparison to the raw energy of their concerts from then or before.
 


Here's a cool site that has setlists for a lot of concerts. Funny because my recollection of the songs that were played at shows Ive seen sometimes varies greatly from reality or I just dont remember the particulars except bits and pieces.

 

payn

Legend
Im a big Soundgarden fan. Saw them twice. First time was July of 1994 for the Superunknown tour. Second time was in July of 2010. They were both good shows and they sounded good, but on both occasions, there was little stage presence or crowd interaction. They just went through their set and I dont recall exactly but I dont think they did an encore. Second time I saw them we were in the pit in front of the seating and they were so loud it was hard to even hear what they were playing at times and enjoy the show. They also played some songs at that point that Cornell had a lot of trouble singing by then, especially Beyond the Wheel. Think I'd have preferred to have seen them for the King Animal tour instead of the 2010 one. Dont get me wrong they were both good shows but I suspect that anything after the Badmotorfinger tour paled in comparison to the raw energy of their concerts from then or before.
I saw Dave Matthew's band open for Big Head Todd and the Monsters back in like '95. They just blew me away. So much energy and the fiddle player wrecked like 5 bows that night. So hungry and so good. When they came back around as mega stars and sell out stadiums act, it was all stools and laid back and super boring, I felt like my seat should should have come with a morphine drip. A few years ago I saw Matthews for the first time in a few decades solo with acoustic guitar. I could have listened to him for hours. So good.

About ten years ago I went to a music festival in Atlanta. I caught wind that Spoon was playing some dive bar not part of the festival one night. I went and it was a great little (packed buttz 2 nuttz) show. The next night at the actual festival, stools and laid back no stage presence and boring. Probably gave too much the night before and hung over too.

Sometimes its the tour, and sometimes its just the night.
 

Sometimes its the tour, and sometimes its just the night.
Thats true. Sometimes its just an off night, bad sound, or the crowd sucks. Ive to more than a few of those. Its usually the concerts youre looking forward to the most that end up being the bad ones and the ones you could really care less to be at and just kind of end up there are the best ones.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
5. 3 Floors of Ska (Knitting Factory): The headliner was The Specials. Also playing were the Boss-Tones, Mustard Plug, Hub City Stompers, and Westbound Train. I drank about a dozen Red Stripes, danced for about 4 hours, and couldn't move for two days.

4. Les Paul (The Iridium): Worth every penny (and the 2 drink minimum) to see a legend. I had him sign a pick-guard for my dad's Les Paul Custom. His rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was simply amazing.

3. BB King (The Blue Note): The Blue Note is a legendary jazz club. BB is a blues legend. Seeing him play there, mere feet away from him, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

2. Kenny Burrell (The Blue Note): My favorite guitarist of all time, arguably one of the 5 best living jazz guitarists. I highly recommend giving Midnight Blue a listen.

1. WHFS-tival (RFK Stadium): PJ Harvey, L7, Primus, Bush, Soul Asylum, Hole, Juliana Hatfield, Shudder to Think, and topping it all off, Tony Bennett, followed by... The Ramones.

Honorable mentions: Matisyahu, Roseland in NYC on Christmas Eve. Rancid, Great American Music Hall in SF, where I got my shoulder messed up.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
1. WHFS-tival (RFK Stadium): PJ Harvey, L7, Primus, Bush, Soul Asylum, Hole, Juliana Hatfield, Shudder to Think, and topping it all off, Tony Bennett, followed by... The Ramones.
WTAF. That's a show that sounds just amazing. What a semi-random collection of acts, but it just sounds like it would work.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Im a big Soundgarden fan. Saw them twice. First time was July of 1994 for the Superunknown tour. Second time was in July of 2010. They were both good shows and they sounded good, but on both occasions, there was little stage presence or crowd interaction. They just went through their set and I dont recall exactly but I dont think they did an encore. Second time I saw them we were in the pit in front of the seating and they were so loud it was hard to even hear what they were playing at times and enjoy the show. They also played some songs at that point that Cornell had a lot of trouble singing by then, especially Beyond the Wheel. Think I'd have preferred to have seen them for the King Animal tour instead of the 2010 one. Dont get me wrong they were both good shows but I suspect that anything after the Badmotorfinger tour paled in comparison to the raw energy of their concerts from then or before.
One of my dreams is to have been at either of the 1992 shows at the Paramount which were used for Motorvision. Preferably the one with the version of Slaves & Bulldozers they used.

 

One of my dreams is to have been at either of the 1992 shows at the Paramount which were used for Motorvision. Preferably the one with the version of Slaves & Bulldozers they used.

Never saw that video but think I may have saw a few clips on YouTube from that era, they were definitely on at that time. My brother saw them in Toronto for Lollapalooza 1992 or 1993, why I didnt go I have no idea, they mustve just decided to go and didnt ask me. Oh well. I know Sam Dunn from Banger films was planning a Soundgarden documentary around 2014 or 2015. They put out an open call for old videos, pictures, interviews, memorabilia, etc around that time but there really wasnt much out there. It then changed trajectory to be a documentary on mostly Chris Cornell but alas the project was shelved after he died. I was looking forward to that as his movie Super Duper Alice Cooper was great. Guess I'll have to settle for reading my copy of 'Total F*cking God Head: the Biography of Chris Cornell".

Total F*cking Godhead: The Biography of Chris Cornell
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
WTAF. That's a show that sounds just amazing. What a semi-random collection of acts, but it just sounds like it would work.
WHFS was a great alternative radio station here in DC back in the 90s. They ran this festival every year for a bit over a decade.

Bennett was unbilled. During the day, there was a rumor that he was going to open for The Ramones. LOLOLOL. Yeah right. Tony Bennett is going to open for The Ramones. Like, why would that even happen?

Then, the lights began going up on the main stage, revealing a stand-up bass and a 5 piece drum set.

Before Bennett took the stage, the screens lit up as U2 premiered "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" from Batman Forever.

I miss the randomness of the Nineties.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
WHFS was a great alternative radio station here in DC back in the 90s. They ran this festival every year for a bit over a decade.

Bennett was unbilled. During the day, there was a rumor that he was going to open for The Ramones. LOLOLOL. Yeah right. Tony Bennett is going to open for The Ramones. Like, why would that even happen?

Then, the lights began going up on the main stage, revealing a stand-up bass and a 5 piece drum set.

Before Bennett took the stage, the screens lit up as U2 premiered "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" from Batman Forever.

I miss the randomness of the Nineties.
What an awesome concert. And I bet Tony Bennet had a blast with it, too.

I was talking just yesterday about the amazing randomness of the 90s music scene. I miss it too.
 

1) RUSH - 50 Tour (farewell) - Scottrade Center St Louis Mo
This was a tour d' force and the 'backward' progression from new to old with a stage cluttered with props from every tour back to two school chairs with a Fender Bassman and Twin 'Verb and two stage hands holding big white lights on the band while a disco ba and banner that stated 'Rod Serling High School prom 1971' was epic.

2) Billy Joel - The Bridge Tour' Purina Checkerdome, St Louis Mo (1984 ish??)
3 hours, just Billy and his 'old' band. This was the first time I ever saw a performer not have an opening act. He came out swinging and just kept going.... Key moments was when he started pulling the crew onstage to 'help' with his musical numbers. But when he brought out the 'Vietnam Vets' for 'Good Night Siagon' was ...moving.

3)Judas Priest/Queensryche - Herdon, VA 1997, 8???)
Before Queenryche imploded and after Judas Priest (classic line-up) reformed. Show was even better because it was free. (won the tickets by knowing the Spinal Tap's second album was named 'Break Like the Wind.')

4) Van Halen - 5150 (before it was without a net) 1987, SIU Arena Carbondale IL
Sammy Hagar, songs that had meaning and musicianship. Dave was gone and doing his own thing and the remaining members plus Sammy were in their prime before the offal hit the rotating ocillating cooling device.

5) Bon Jovi/.38 Special - SIU Arena Carbondale IL
This was before Bon Jovi was known. 'Runaway' was two weeks from being released as a single an these guys were 'nobodys'. It was obvious, that was about to change. .38 Special would have been good but their lead guitar player got drunk and fell over one of the two drumsets taking out about 90% of it. Funny, but sad.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top