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I can make a list of the 5 best I've ever seen.
1. The Flaming Lips, in Norway
- It had been the worst of days. Abused by racist security guards, my vacation had started in the worst possible way. The rain was pouring down too. I was this close (shows with fingers) to ending my vacation, and heading home (or actually England, if I remember right), but decided to wait for the Flaming Lips concert I was planning to see. And boy, am I happy I did. They made the sun come out! On stage! I remember smiling through the whole concert, and afterwards all the bad things was forgotten, and the rest of the holidays were grand.
2. Pink Grease, in Sweden
- I had never heard of this band, but decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately I came a little late, because the preshow had been one of the band members running through the audience singing in falsetto. The show was so funny, I was laughing through the whole set. Those unfamiliar with the band, here's a short description. The lead singer had bleached his hair about half a year ago, and hasn't bleached or cut it since. Another one was really skinny, heroin chic like. Then there was the guy with the large afro and a guitar that looked like a machine gun. He's the one who sang in falsetto. The bassist was wearing something that looked like a pyjamas, and he was frequently dangling from the ceiling. There were six guys on a tiny stage, crashing into eachother all the time. Funniest show ever.
3. The Who, in Norway
- Fantastic band, and amazing songs. The rain was pouring down, so everybody at the outdoor venue was soaking wet, but it didn't matter. Hardest rocking grandparentaged people in the world.
4. Teitur, in Sweden
- Singer/songwriter from the Faroe Islands. He did this concert with the thunder of Soulfly as noise in the background, as it was on a festival. He turned out to be a very funny and charming guy, who promised to say a few honest words about "ruining" his concert, to Max Cavalera at the backstage area. Luckily, the show wasn't ruined at all, it just turned into a sweet, surrealistic break from noise.
5. Peaches, in Sweden
- This wasn't a concert as much as theater. Magnificent show, with a guest appearance by Iggy Pop on video. The songs are cool, the singing all right, but the acting was downright spectacular.
Radiohead were amazing. cannot wait for their tour this year.
the next best were the white stripes and kings of leon. groove armada were great too. lvd soundsystem are the best ive seen this year
Never been to a concert in my life - count yourselves lucky to have the opportunity to see all these artists...
The concert that impressed me most, was Radiohead in 1997, Vredenburg, Utrecht, Holland, shortly after the release of OK Computer.
To concerts of Tröckener Kecks (Dutch rock band) I have good and special memories. Saw them a couple of times in Tivoli, Utrecht, Holland.
In 2007 I've seen 17 Hippies here in Freiburg. A 'world music' band from Berlin, was very nice.
Last summer, end of June, I was in Canada for holiday and visiting my mother in law. I really regret that I did not get tickets for Wilco in Toronto, I was in town that day!
17 Hippies are great indeed. I saw them in Paris in the Jewish museum.
most of their repertoire is klezmzer (traditional jewish music from Eastern Europe), one of the most joyous and nostalgic musics ever.
Yes, nicolas, their concerts are boosting the happy hormones big time. Their CDs are also nice to listen to, but the real acclaim they get from their live performances.
So, let's agree upon listening simultaneous to 17 Hippies twice this coming summer: First, when France and Holland play in the group phase of the European soccer championships, and the second time when they meet again in the final.
but will you still play them after the final ?
Sure, it would mean Germany won't win the tournament, right?
I'll probably forget some now, but I've been to concerts with these bands and artists:
22-Pistepirkko (FI)x2, Arctic Monkeys (UK), Brendan Benson (US), Marit Bergman (SE), Big Bang (NO)x2, Mary J Blige (US), Borknagar (NO), Bright Eyes /(US), Vashti Bunyan (US), The Cardigans (SE), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (US), The Clipse (US), Clutch (US), Coldplay (UK)x2, The Coral (UK), Nikka Costa (US), Mira Craig (NO), Dandy Warhols (US), Death Cab For Cutie (US), Deftones (US), Depeche Mode (UK), Dimmu Borgir (NO), The Distillers (US), Nicolai Dunger (SE), Thomas Dybdahl (NO)x2, Enslaved (NO), Ephemera (NO), Essex Green (US), Flaming Lips (US), Beth Gibbons (UK), Grandaddy (US), Ed Harcourt (UK), PJ Harvey (UK), Richard Hawley (UK), In Flames (SE), Infadels (UK), Interpol (US), James Band (NO), Wyclef Jean (US), Daniel Johnston (US), Juliette & The Licks (US), Kent (SE), Alicia Keys (US), The Kills (UK), Klovner i Kamp (NO), Kris Kristofferson (US), Lady Sovereign (UK), Ladytron (UK), Marit Larsen (NO), The Like (US), Looptroop (SE), Amund Maarud (NO), Madrugada (NO), Magnet (NO)x2, Magnetic Fields (US), Manic Street Preachers (UK), Mayhem (NO)x2, Melvins (US), Maria Mena (NO), Minor Majority (NO), Lisa Miskovsky (SE), Morrissey (UK), Motorhead (UK), Motorpsycho (NO), Muse (UK), Nine (SE), Opeth (SE)x2, Peaches (CA), Pharrell (US), Pink Grease (UK), Pixies (US), Placebo (UK), Queens of the Stone Age (US), The Raconteurs (US), The Raveonettes (DK), The Roots (US), Satyricon (NO), Snow Patrol (UK), St Thomas (NO), Stereo MCs (UK), Superfamily (NO), Teitur (DK), Timbuktu (SE), Tool (US), Rufus Wainwright (US), The Washdown (US), We Are Scientists (US), The Who (UK), Sophie Zelmani (SE) and Erlend Øye (NO)
I saw Underworld last year on September 11th here in Denver. The show had been planned for Red Rocks, but ticket sales lagged so it was moved to a smaller venue here (3000 people versus 9600). This worked better because the weather sucked that night (and although Red Rocks is great, once you're accustomed to it, the drive gets kinda annoying).
For me, it was far and away the best show I have ever seen. I'd been to a lot of bad electronica shows before that and a few good (namely Faithless and Daft Punk), so I didn't know what to expect. Frankly, they blew those shows out of the water. The music is perfect for a concert cause all you wanna do is dance, the crowd was extremely friendly and the band just rocked the place. They actually seemed like they wanted to be there and like they were having fun and that energy radiated through the crowd. Plus, the setlist was perfect.
Well, there was the Barry Manilow show last summer, which was amazing. He played all of his hits: “Mandy”, “Copacabana” – he rocked the place! The crowd’s energy was amazing, and Barry’s voice was better than ever – even better than the CD!
There’s also the Air Supply show where the duo performed acoustically; that one was pretty good. And a few years ago I saw a Michael Bolton/Kenny G double bill – nothing short of spectacular. But the one that really stands out in my mind was the Starship concert I went to in 1986 for the Knee Deep in the Hoppla tour. Talk about a remarkable group at the height of their power! Grace and Mickey were in top form that night. I can still remember the crowd singing along to “We Built This City” – it was like a religious experience.
Gosh, there’s been so many good ones. It’s really hard to pick a favorite.
Radiohead during OK Computer tour
Sleater-Kinney during last tour
White Stripes during last tour
Pixies during comeback tour
Wilco @ Newport Folk Festival
Dylan during Love and Theft tour
Brian Wilson during Smile tour
Still need to see Neil Young before he dies, but I keep finding out about his shows after they're sold out.
I also saw Radiohead at Bonnaroo a few years ago, but it wasn't as good because the crowd near the stage was so dense it was muffling the sound and I couldn't even hear it well until I backed way away from the stage.
Honorable mention to Red Hot Chili Peppers @ Woodstock 99. I'm sorry, but if grown men are jumping through bonfires, it's an AWESOME show.
Some of the great shows I've been to :
Rufus Wainwright (Paris, 2003)
Radiohead (Paris, 2000)
Brian Wilson ("smile tour" Paris, 2004)
The Divine Comedy (Paris, 1997)
Oasis (Paris, 1995)
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (Paris, 2007)
Les Wampas (Paris, 2003)
Paul McCartney (Paris, 2004)
The Flaming Lips (Paris, 2006)
Guillemots (Paris, 2007)
Pulp (Paris, 1996)
My favorite was probably Johnny Cash at the State Theatre in Detroit after the American Recordings album came out. This was probably in 1994. Johnny was still very spry and in good voice. Part of the concert was oldies with the small band, part was accoustic numbers from the new record, and part was with June just like the Folsom prison show. It was a review of his whole career and he was really into it.
The runner up would be Bruce Springsteen, July of 1984, during the first leg of the Born In the USA tour at Joe Louis Arena (hockey rink). Long energetic show with great sound and a wild crowd. The next time he came around, in 1985, he played the Silverdome (football stadium) and it was terrible by comparison. My Bruce fandom never recovered...
Third place goes to The Replacements at the Michigan Theatre in 1989 (towards the end of their career as a band). They were still fun, but not complete drunks like earlier shows I'd seen.
Honorable mention: Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and The Grateful Dead at the Akron Rubber bowl in 1986. More for the scene than for the music. First (and only) Dead show. Highlight was the Dead's version of Desolation Row. (This was followed by a ten-minute drum solo. )
(1) What is the biggest act that you saw in the smallest venue (before they were stars)?
I missed a chance to see R.E.M. at my neighborhood college bar in 1984. U2 played there a few years earlier. The next time R.E.M. came around the venue was a bigger theatre. Later, while was living in Ann Arbor in the late 1980's/early 1990's bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana came through and played the same small bars before getting famous. Other than the Pixies, I never saw any of the bands that made it big, unless you want to count Uncle Tupelo.
(2) Who is the oldest legendary/iconic performer you have ever seen? (I'm not talking about the performer's at the time of the concert, but in terms of who was born first. E.g., Maybe you saw Louis Armstrong when you were a kid, or something like that?)
Other than Johnny Cash, I've seen Frank Sinatra, James Brown, and John Lee Hooker. All four were very entertaining.
Anthony, tish and pish to yer Bolton/G double header. The guy you really gotta' check out is Curtis Stigers-the guys wanna' be him, the chicks wanna' be with him and live his sheeit be tighta' than a camel's rectum in a sandstorm.
Also, everybody knows Starship weren't at the height of their powers until they unleashed 'No Protection'.
This would be a very difficult list to compile! I know the worst, though- I was dragged to a Dave Matthews Band concert by my wife, and it was as scarringly awful as I anticipated it would be. My wife even hated it! I do have some really interesting concert experiences though, including the Madonna DVD appearance that Anthony refuses to admit to adoring.
You guys crack me up. Yes, "No Protection" is a classic; you can't argue it. And that Madonna dvd is the prized gem of my music dvd collection. Guilty as charged. (Moonbeam, was that the one you're in?)
Now, in an attempt to be serious for a second, I'll say that my favorite shows have been:
- Pearl Jam, 2005 (went to both Calgary and Edmonton concerts; both fantastic)
- Radiohead, 2003 (incredible. "Karma Police" with Michael Stipe - you can't beat that.)
- U2, 1997 (the concert was recorded; "With or Without You" can be heard on the PopHeart live EP)
- White Stripes, 2007 (the highlight was Jack's blistering eight-minute solo on Ball & Biscuit)
(late '90s/early '00s was marked by a lot of festivals - EdgeFest, Summersault, etc.; other shows include Weezer, Interpol, The Strokes, Matthew Good, Tool)
I don't get out much but I did catch Belle and Sebastian with the LA Philharmonic. It was one of the first of its kind now all the trendy indie bands are doing it. I doubt any will ever be as good as B&S.
Tom Waits, Grand Rex, paris, 2000
The Divine Comedy, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, 1994 (he played all of the "Promenade" album), and Bataclan 1997 (he played 2 Brel songs
Neil Young, Zenith, Paris, 1993? (with Booker T & the Mg's)and Reading Festival 1995 (with Pearl Jam backing him)
Smashing Pumpkins, Reading, 1995
Bruce Springsteen, Vincennes, 1987 and so many other times
Paul McCartney, Bercy, Paris, 989
Rufus Wainwright, New Morning, Paris, 1999
Jeff buckley, Olympia, 1995
Supergrass (with Ron Sexsmith opening), 1995
Dick Annegarn, New morning, 2002
Guns n'Roses, 1991
Fabulous Trobadors, 2004
... and : Prince, Rolling Stones, Taraf de Haidouks, Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, Beck, Björk, Iron Maiden, ACDC, RHCP, Paul Weller, John Mellencamp, ..
Wishes : Dylan, Bowie, Wilco, Alvin Youngblood Hart
With all these great concerts mentioned, I allow myself to mention the worst concert I've ever been to.
Back in 1990, they made one of the best britpop albums to date, but live it was a complete disaster to listen to ... The La's. When artists are stoned and/or drunk, the difference between a studio-recorded CD and a live concert becomes very evident. Shortly after the concert, they broke up...
nicolas - you were at the Jeff Buckley concert at the Olympia?!? That's an essential live document!!! Holy crap!
If Wilco is on your wish list, you need to figure out a way to get to Chicago in late February, as they are going to play their entire catalog, "The Complete Wilco" in a series of five concerts. Article.
Anthony : yes I was. remember he sang a Piaf song, but in fact I'm afraid I don't remember much more. Oh yes : opening was Keb' Mo', a sort of fake bluesman I liked very much (but not so much anymore). Oh yes, I was with my ex-girlfriend, the one who loved JB.
One of my friends came across him in Paris on the boulevard St Michel the day before the concert and chatted with him. He was very friendly.
Loophole : Man, I wish I could... But money and family will keep me from that I'm afraid
And Chicago is a city I'd really like to see, cause you know I'm a blues fan, but not only. All myfriends that went there loved it.
The Piaf song was “Je N'en Connais Pas la Fin” (I own the CD, which has been out of print for several years). Even on the disc, the entire concert comes across as one amazing performance after another. I can’t imagine the experience of actually being there! (I’m jealous).
Nicolas, what a lucky guy you are having seen Jeff Buckley at the Olympia !
Worst concert I've been to :
The Shins (Paris, 2004) : definitely not a gig band. It was boring as hell, I've never seen such an hesitating band in concert.
When I was doing my 1980 lists I planned to include, apart from albums and singles, my favourite movie and my favourite live show. But, seeing quite difficult to point a “memorable” live show from every year I’ve decided to make a Top 10 reviving this thread. And, thanks to Internet, I’ve found the exact date of almost every concert. So, ladies and gentlemen,…
1. AL TALL + OVIDI MONTLLOR + LLUÍS LLACH (Bull Ring, Valencia, 3 October 1981)
One of my very first live shows (I was fifteen), and a politically highly-charged one. Apparently not everyone was celebrating the brand new freedom after long years of dictatorship, so some ignorant fascists put a bomb in the house of Joan Fuster, one of the most brilliant intellectuals of my homeland. But they didn’t succeed. They couldn’t shut his/our mouth. I still get chills when I remember Llach singing “Campanades a morts” (“Bells Ringing for the Dead” and shouting “Assassins!!”.
2. ALASKA Y LOS PEGAMOIDES (Galaxy Disco, Pobla de Vallbona, Spring 1982)
Not many people gathered round the stage in a small village disco to see the icons of the “Movida Madrileña”. But I admit that it shocked me (or at least a young and impressionable me). Expecting to find the new wave colourful look and bright sound of its records I found a band with gothic look and punk energetic sound. This performance pushed me into modernity, into looking forward and not back in pop history. Of course I changed my mind years later but I don’t regret at all embracing fashion and modernity during my teenage years.
3. DEPECHE MODE (Pachá Auditorium, Valencia, 3 March 1984)
A great concert from a quite early incarnation of techno-pop masters (without Clarke but with the glorious line-up of Gahan-Gore-Fletcher-Wilder). No guitars and no drums but nobody missed them. They were about to improve notably in a few years, but then Dave Gahan was a perfect front-man yet and the songs were superb (“Everything Counts”!!). I was playing in a punk-funk band then and I remember that my friend Raúl asked me: “Why don’t you play songs like these ones?”. And I told him: “Believe me, it’s not easy at all. I wish I could”.
4. ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN (Pachá Auditórium, Valencia, 24 May 1984)
God bless Pachá Auditorium. We didn’t have in Valencia a club with medium capacity that allowed concerts of bands not successful enough to fill stadiums but known enough for not playing in a small club. For me it was like a Pop Church where I went religiously during the eighties. I could point many concerts but I’ll point a fantastic one from the second Fab Four from Liverpool. They came to promote an acoustic-based album (“Ocean Rain” but its set was tremendously intense and noisy. The buzzing in my ears lasted for more than two days.
5. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E-STREET BAND (Vicente Calderón Stadium, Madrid, 2 August 198
Despite the 40ºC stifling heat and the stadium packed with thousands of people Bruce Springsteen gave us no rest at all, the intensity didn’t decline during more than 4 hours of concert. And I know that you believe me for sure. The ritual of rock ’n’ roll live shows at its maximum expression. Going to see a massive rock star at the height of his popularity is (almost) always a powerful experience, but if we talk about The Boss and his E-Street Band you can multiply the impact by ten. Glory days.
6. PRINCE & THE NEW POWER GENERATION (Luis Casanova Stadium, Valencia, 24 July 1990)
I know, the movie “Graffiti Bridge” was not “Purple Rain”, the album was not “Sign ‘O’ the Times”, the “Nude” Tour was not “Lovesexy” Tour and even The New Power generation were not The Revolution. But a Prince show is always a Prince show. Not simply a rock concert but a complete show, the perfect way to showcase the exceptionality of Prince as musician (what a superb guitar player!), singer, dancer and showman. Sex, music, dance, romance.
7. BOB DYLAN (Luis Puig Velodrome, Valencia, 21 July 1995)
This performance falls into the category “come on, let’s go to see him before he dies” in which I could include The Stones or Lou Reed too, although all of them continue alive and kicking. Part of the “Never Ending” Tour, Dylan completed an awesome concert despite the fact that his latest release was an uninspired “MTV Unplugged” album. Some highlights included the country section (with “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” or “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” but mainly a wild take on “All Along the Watchtower”. You could actually “see” the electric waves coming from the stage shaking the audience.
8. GORAN BREGOVIC (Cultural Centre, Burjassot, 17 May 2003)
A brothers concert. One of the few occasions in which my brothers and me went to a show together. My brother Jesus (yes, it was quite common in Spain naming Jesus the boys born just before Christmas) was a big fan of Bregovic and the Wedding and Funeral Band and introduced my brother Miguel and me in such wonderful Balkan music, that night more apt for weddings than for funerals. By the way, Jesus is the real genius of my family, a gifted musician and an expert in flamenco and folk music (one of these days I will finally convince him to make a list).
9. RADIOHEAD (Las Ventas Bull Ring, Madrid, 16 July 2003)
No doubt, one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. With Low as support band, Radiohead made a great concert with a perfect balance between rock and electronica, between intimate and cathartic moments, between avant-garde and accessibility, between classicism and modernity. And moreover my wife Ana insisted in waiting to meet the band outside the Bull Ring. After two hours (the things one can do for love!) Thom Yorke showed up and, surprise surprise, he talked with Ana for a few minutes. He was really gentle and nice considering the late hours.
10. PIXIES + MORRISSEY + STROKES + FRANZ FERDINAND (FIB, Benicassim, 21-22 July 2006)
And, last but not least, the F.I.B. (Festival International of Benicassim) that supposed for me the main access to good live music in the lat decade or so. There has been so many good moments there that I can’t name them here. I’ve selected the 2006 edition because of the “professional” show of the Pixies, the coolness of The Strokes, the enthusiastic performance of Franz Ferdinand and, above all, the long-awaited performance of Morrissey. I did never see The Smiths playing live and the previous show of Morrissey two years before was mysteriously cancelled. But when I heard the first notes of “Panic” it was clear to me. It worth the wait.
you know what? i don't enjoy live music... odd, i know. but it's true...