Remember concerts?? Those events where a crowd would gather to listen to musicians do their thing and after a while there was this invisible bond connecting everybody in the place ... and it was all about the MUSIC!! I miss those! I'm in a family filled with musicians. One of my sons is a sound engineer who has traveled all over the world working with some well known bands, and everybody is very sad to be grounded right now.
It’s a pretty safe bet that most of you guys have attended some amazing concerts, and some of you have even been at some of the groundbreaking shows that the rest of us wish we could have witnessed. Maybe you saw Elvis live on stage in 1956? Or you were at one of the first U.S. live Beatles shows in 1964 at the Washington Coliseum or Carnegie Hall? Woodstock?? The 1965 Newport Folk Festival? Aretha Franklin at Fillmore West in 1971? Elton John at the Troubadour in the summer of ’71? Patti Smith’s residency at CBGB in spring of ‘75? The first Clash North American tour in 1979? The 1983 Talking Heads Speaking in Tongues tour?
What’s on your highlight reel of the best concerts you've been to? The rest of us would love to hear all about them ... in as much detail as you feel like sharing! I’d also love to hear about any recent concerts you’ve been to, and any new artists that are awesome live.
My first concert experience was Neil Diamond, 1985, I think it was. I got in line to buy tickets, and had been there some time, when I noticed a sign that payments were cash only!, No credit cards! Yikes! No credit cards?? So I quickly drove home and got on the phone to Ticket Master, or whatever it was, and got tickets for myself and a friend over the phone. They were fairly good seats in the mezzanine, too.
The show was awesome! He is an amazing songwriter and performer. I saw him again in the 90's. Only wish I could have seen him in the 70's. I absolutely love the live album, Hot August Night, from 1972. Too bad it wasn't recorded on video.
I've been into reading music biographies, and just ordered one about him. Looking forward to the read!
"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
@MaVolta: I once drove to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, only to find I had left my tickets at home. Raced home and got back - Missed most of the 1st act (Nostalgia Night - The Association) but caught the headliner - The Mamas and the Papas - John and Denny, with Spanky McFarlane and MacKenzie Phillips as the Mamas. John's friend and tour manager Scott McKenzie was there - and you know he did "San Francisco (Flowers in Your Hair)". And nailed it. Fun night.
Another great concert that I got to see was U2, Elevation Tour, 2001. This is the one with the heart-shaped stage. (There were people who were in line all night waiting for bracelets the next morning to get inside the heart).
Bono was all over the place. The crowd would jubilantly sing along with him. It was loud, I mean really loud, but the music was great. A lot of the songs were from the album All That You Can't Leave Behind, which is my second favorite U2 album (next to Joshua Tree). It was just a few days before my birthday, too, so it was sort of a BD present!
"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
1968 - The Jimi Hendix Experience at the Inglewood (CA) Forum. This was back when there was a local band opening, with the band touring in support following, and then the headliner. The local act: Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys. The touring support - a band with a future (Oh, and a shorter name as of their 2nd album.): Chicago Transit Authority. This was before Ticketron. I got my ticket by mailing in a coupon printed in "The Los Angeles Times".
I didn’t start out 1978 as a big Bruce Springsteen fan. I’d heard him on the radio and definitely liked his music, but had no real clue of the phenomenon that was and is Bruce Springsteen. A friend convinced me that I would be out of my mind if I didn’t get tickets to this upcoming concert (it was Bruce’s Darkness tour), so I actually got up early on a Saturday morning and stood in line for hours in the Los Angeles Forum parking lot waiting to snag two floor tickets. (That was what we referred to as “on line” ticket purchases back in the day … haha!)
The night of July 5, 1978, was when I became a huge Springsteen fan. My mind was totally blown, as we used to say! I have never (before and even up to this day) seen a human being put out that level of energy for so many hours. And with Clarence Clemons on sax, along with the rest of the E Street Band (this was the era with Steven Van Zandt--guitar, Garry Tallent--bass, Roy Bittan--keys, and Max Weinberg--drums), I’d have to say this was the most amazing concert I’ve had the privilege of experiencing, and I’ve seen some great ones! (For the sake of full disclosure, my husband says we didn’t have floor seats, so now I’m not sure, but in my memory, wherever we were sitting, it felt like 2nd row floor seats!)
I recently read that at midnight immediately after the Forum show, a local FM station announced that Bruce and the band were going to do a second show at the 500-seat Roxy two days later, on July 7th. This created a huge amount of chaos and confusion, with kids up all night waiting in line at the Roxy to buy tickets before they sold out. Because the Roxy show was broadcast live on KMET-FM in LA, and having been such a legendary performance, there have been many bootleg recordings of it floating around ever since, but a couple of years ago a remixed and remastered version of the entire four-hour concert was released as The Roxy West Hollywood, CA. I’m gonna have to try to get a copy of that to share with my kids.
One more thing I recently read was that the rock music critic for the L.A. Times back then, Robert Hilburn, said this after the Roxy show: “How do I come back and review this show after I just said that the Forum was one of the best events ever in Los Angeles? Who’s gonna believe me?” Well, I believe you, Robert!
A friend introduced me to Bruce when he released his Asbury Park album and I've been hooked ever since. I have been fortunate to see him a few times. He and I are the same age and I can't imagine trying to do the things he does on stage. His energy is amazing.
I saw Bruce in Hershey, PA and you entered based on his lottery system. We were fortunate to do very well in the lottery and were able to be directly in front of the stage.
When Bruce plays Born To Run, he comes to the front of the stage and he allows the fans to strum his guitar. I was able to do some strumming. I haven't washed that hand since. 😂
Niiice! Asbury Park is one of the all time great albums imo. That's really cool that he did the ticket lottery. I did some reading about Bruce in the last couple of days (at first just trying to remember what year the show that I saw was), and I was impressed about how concerned he has always been about the fairness of the ticket systems, especially for the kids who wanted to come to his shows. He has always wanted more fans and less industry people to get the tickets. When he heard that so many kids had stood in line all night and then couldn't even get tickets for the Roxy show, he was very upset that people had been inconvenienced, that he had personally let them down. And the first thing he did at the beginning of the Roxy show was to apologize for what had happened and take all the blame for it.
Now that's an awesome way to hear a great concert! I love Fleetwood Mac too, and have a crazy story about them. My future (back then) husband and I went to a Fleetwood Mac concert at the University of Oklahoma (in Norman) back in the early 70s. It was somewhere on (or near) the OU campus in a venue that in my memory seemed like a huge tent filled with bleachers. Fleetwood Mac was opening for Richie Havens. I don't think I'd ever even listened to a Fleetwood Mac song before this show. This was pre-Buckingham/Nicks, so after trying my best to decipher their incredibly complex & drama-filled band history, I'm thinking the lineup must've been Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, Bob Welch, Bob Weston, and maybe Dave Walker. Back then they were mostly an awesome blues band, and they killed it! The crowd was so pumped that everyone just wanted MORE!! So I think they may have done some encores, and they may have used up some of Richie Havens' set time.
Nobody wanted them to stop, but eventually somebody had to come out and say, "And now for our headliner, whom you've all been waiting for .... Richie Havens!" So everybody was cheering wildly, but then out comes Mr. Havens with his beautiful acoustic guitar, and as wonderful an artist as he was, there was still a significant portion of the audience members who were having trouble settling down and making the transition from rocking out to sitting quietly and attentively, so there were some "classroom management issues," causing Mr. Havens to get angry, which was very uncomfortable to watch.
It was sad, because under different circumstances he must have been an absolutely mesmerizing performer, but that had to be one of the most epically awkward concert transitions ever. It was just a near impossible situation all around. If they had reversed the order of the performances, it would have worked great. But Richie Havens was a bigger name than Fleetwood Mac at the time, and he was the headliner, and headliners play last.
It’s hard to imagine though that the same Richie Havens who just a few years before had to play for 3 hours straight when he was the opening act at Woodstock (because all the other artists were stuck in the traffic jam getting there), and kept his cool even when he was totally out of material until he improvised the iconic song “Freedom” on the spot ... then fast forward a few years to this goofy college crowd, most of whom were probably high on Tulsa Tops, and he just kinda lost it. I will always wonder about that! But everybody has a rough night now and then.
I've loved Fleetwood Mac ever since that night though, and I still can't decide if I like the bluesy or the pop rock Mac better, even though the latter version was great and definitely a much bigger commercial success. It’s also pretty amazing that they persevered through all the crazy band drama years to finally reach the level of success they had the last 12 years or so of their history (even though apparently the drama never stopped).