; Tangled Up In Blue: Best Concert You Ever Saw?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Best Concert You Ever Saw?

Last night Coldplay was in Nashville. Tomorrow, Paul McCartney is in Atlanta, and tickets go on sale this morning for Neil Diamond at the GEC for his concert on Oct 17.

I don't know how many concerts I've seen in my life. My first one was "The Kingsman" when I was about 8 in the mid 60s, and I never missed a concert from 65-80.
(someone had to inspire Cameron Crowe to write about "Penny Lane," but that's another story)

I saw the Beach Boys in their prime, and they were great. I caught Elton before "Your Song" was a hit, and I said to myself,"That boy's got some talent." (Obviously a brain surgeon even then)

I hate being cliche, but I think Bruce, circa 1985 was the best concert I ever saw. His concerts were usually 3-4 hours long, and the concert goer didn't sit down the entire time. He was exhausting and exhilarating.

Next would be Billy Joel. I saw him circa 1980, and he was fun and dramatic and extraordinary.

I saw McCartney in 1993. You'd have to ask my ex husband how I liked it because all I can remember is repeating over and over, "That's Paul McCartney."

Marilyn Manson was fun in a sadistic sort of way. Brian Warner, (Manson) actually does great performance art, and we ended up discussing Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism...don't ask) for quite a while.

I got to see the greats--from Elvis to Chuck Berry to McCartney to the Beach Boys to The Hollies to Simon and Garfunkel...too many to remember, but not enough to forget.
(I think I have the title of my next country song, but I digress...)

So, what was your favorite concert, and, who would you most like to see of those still performing?


Blogger Raizor's Edge said...

My favorite concert would probably be the BoDeans at the Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia on my 28th birthday. It was astonishing. They have never hit the big time (their only hit being that song that was used as Party of Five's theme song), but they are an absolutely incredible live band.

The most amazing thing I've ever seen was Doc Watson and Mac Wiseman at MerleFest in 1997, sitting on stools and swapping stories with an occasional song or two thrown in. Magic.

And, for Sharon, one of the funniest things I've ever seen was in 1974 at the Grand Ole Opry, when Roy Acuff introduced the crowd to a "young feller" who was visiting backstage: Paul McCartney.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Police 'Synchonicity Tour', at the Omni in Atlanta, late '83. Way to go out on top, boys.

Roger Waters 'Radio K.A.O.S.' summer of '87 (I think), also at the Omni. The closest thing to a real Pink Floyd show you'll ever see.

Elvis Costello w/The Fairfield Four, Ryman Auditorium, '97 or '98. Indescribably good.

Mark Knopfler, with some backup from Emmylou Harris, at the Ryman sometime in late 2000 or early 2001. A flawless performance somewhat marred by the usual pack of dopes who go to concerts in order to yell during the spaces between the notes.

9:39 AM  
Blogger HUCK said...

It would easily be Bonnaroooooooo 2003... but you didn't say festival, you said concert.

They are in no specific order:

Van Halen, '1984 Tour' - my first concert ever.

Pink Floyd, 'Learning to Fly Tour' - a truly religious experience.

U2 - 'Zoo TV tour'

Grateful Dead in 1992 just before Jerry left us.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Karen--I still can't believe you were lucky enough to catch Macca at the Opry!

Sarcastro and Huck--How I forgot Roger Waters(Starwood) and Pink Floyd) Vandy, I'll never know. Well, I think I know why I forgot..but not to mention publicly!

I love a tortued genius, and no one is better at that than Waters.

The Pink Floyd light show (I think I was at Vanderbilt stadium) was awesome.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I caught the Zoo TV tour at Birmingham's Legion Field the day before I turned 18, and I would probably have count that one.

However, standing up front at the now-departed 328 for shows by Son Volt, Pavement, Paul Westerberg, and Wilco (just a few days after "Being There" was released)would all tie for a close second.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Kerry Woo said...

I remember seeing a warm up band for J.Geils back in Richmond, VA before their first LP came out - Emerson, Lake and Palmer! The drum solo by Carl Palmer "Tank" was awesome - I guess it was a lot of loops and electronics - sounded like 6 drummers playing... then Keith Emerson playing the Moog while it rose up in the air and spun round and round made quite an impression on me! Later, as headliners, they were the first band that I remember that introduced 4 channel surround sound - crystal clear music racing around an outside stadium was very innovative - since then, I've come to appreciate them for their showmanship and 3 hour shows - though the music was a little bombastic at times. Their version of Peter Gunn still rocks today!

4:46 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

"I caught the Zoo TV tour at Birmingham's Legion Field..."

Me too! I had recently turned 21. Who knows I may have spilt beer on you...

5:21 PM  
Blogger Luna said...

I'm, unfortunately, too young to have seen the Stones in their prime, but one of the best concerts I've ever seen was when they played in 1997 at Giant's Stadium. It was the first time I'd ever seen them, and I'll never forget running into the stadium at the split second that Keith came out on stage in a full-length leapord-fur coat, cranking out the opening riff to "Satisfaction." Unbelievable. My jaw, along with my friend's, dropped and stayed that way the entire show.

6:11 PM  
Blogger John H said...

Actually, the Stones live shows are better in their latter years than in their earlier years..they really go for the production values. I've seen Stones shows since 1972, and they keep getting better live.

Stones in Nashville at Vandy a few years ago was great.

Best live show was the Talking Heads at Vandy's gym back in mid-80s. This was when the Heads were touring with a 6 piece band along with the normal foursome. First song was Psycho Killer with Byrne and a beat box..each song added a new player and a new instrument. It was just one of those shows where the crowd was part of the show, when Byrne exhaled the crowd inhaled. Up on their feet from the first chord of Pyscho Killer, no one, not even those of us sat the entire time. I felt like I had been working out after the concert was over, and it was a GREAT Sweat. Took me to the river...

8:05 PM  
Blogger Glen Dean said...

I have never seen a better performance than Phil Lesh and Friends when Warren Haynes was playing with Phil. If you have never seen Warren, either with the Allman Brothers, Govt. Mule, Phil and Friends, The Dead, or any other group he sits in with, I suggest you check him out.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Elton John with Ray Cooper (percussionist). I bought lawn seats for the 1993 (?) show in Dallas. But as my wife (then girlfriend) and I entered the ampitheatre a man in black and sunglasses approached us offering front row seats at no charge. Suspicious, we took the tickets, kept our original crappy seats just in case, and proceeded to the front. Some business man, we were later told, had purchased the first two rows of installed seating and filled them with is middle-aged friends. Elton (or Elton's people) didn't like the look of it so he had two additional rows of folding chairs placed in front of the rich guy's friends and he stationed his goons at the entrances to hand pick "cool" "young" looking people he could bare to stare at all night for the newly created front rows.

Shortly into the show our folding chairs were removed and a velvet rope strung up to divide us from the seated middle agers behind us. And we danced all night up against the stage. i was literally ten feet from Elton's hands and watched hi nubby digits make stretches and pound chords no mere mortal should be able to. And Ray was maniacal on percussion strewn across the entire stage. Great music, even better up close.


1:19 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

You probably did spill beer on me, huck, but it didn't matter because I'm sure I smelled like a brewery when I walked in.

I can't believe I forgot about this, but I would have to say that my favorite concert was Neil Young at the Acuff Theater about six years ago. He had no opening act or back up band, it was just him with a row of acoustic guitars, a piano, an organ, and lighted candles all over the stage. It was like having him play in your living room. The place was packed, but you could've heard a pin drop in the silence between the notes.

4:14 PM  
Blogger dolphin said...

I've not been to that many concerts unfortunately (other than like coffee shop/bar concerts with struggling young talent who have yet to make it big).

Of the 3 concerts I've been to, I'd have to say Metallica put on a good show (lots of theatrics, pyrotechnics and of course good loud music). And the Indigo Girls put on a completely different type of good show (alot like a personal conversation with the audience - felt more like a group of friends getting together to make music). Under even the most severe torture I won't admit the stars of the other concert (my FIRST real concert).

5:31 PM  

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